Pieces of Eight is in Coins.
Pepy's Diary. 11 May 1663. So to the yard a little, and thence on foot to Greenwich [Map], where going I was set upon by a great dogg, who got hold of my garters, and might have done me hurt; but, Lord, to see in what a maze I was, that, having a sword about me, I never thought of it, or had the heart to make use of it, but might, for want of that courage, have been worried. Took water there and home, and both coming and going did con my lesson on my Ruler to measure timber, which I think I can well undertake now to do. At home there being Pembleton I danced, and I think shall come on to do something in a little time, and after dinner by coach with Sir W. Pen (age 42) (setting down his daughter at Clerkenwell), to St. James's, where we attended the Duke of York (age 29): and, among other things, Sir G. Carteret (age 53) and I had a great dispute about the different value of the pieces of eight rated by Mr. Creed at 4s. and 5d., and by Pitts at 4s. and 9d., which was the greatest husbandry to the King (age 32)? he persisting that the greatest sum was; which is as ridiculous a piece of ignorance as could be imagined. However, it is to be argued at the Board, and reported to the Duke next week; which I shall do with advantage, I hope.
Pepy's Diary. 12 May 1663. Again, to my office. We sat till late, our chief business being the reconciling the business of the pieces of eight mentioned yesterday before the Duke of York (age 29), wherein I have got the day, and they are all brought over to what I said, of which I am proud. Late writing letters, and so home to supper and to bed. Here I found Creed staying for me, and so after supper I staid him all night and lay with me, our great discourse being the folly of our two doting knights, of which I am ashamed.
Pepy's Diary. 28 Jun 1663. Lord's Day. Early in the morning my last night's physic worked and did give me a good stool, and then I rose and had three or four stools, and walked up and down my chamber. Then up, my maid rose and made me a posset, and by and by comes Mr. Creed, and he and I spent all the morning discoursing against to-morrow before the Duke the business of his pieces of eight, in which the Treasurer (age 56) makes so many queries.
Pepy's Diary. 01 Jul 1663. This morning it rained so hard (though it was fair yesterday, and we thereupon in hopes of having some fair weather, which we have wanted these three months) that it wakened Creed, who lay with me last night, and me, and so we up and fell to discourse of the business of his accounts now under dispute, in which I have taken much trouble upon myself and raised a distance between Sir G. Carteret (age 53) and myself, which troubles me, but I hope we have this morning light on an expedient that will right all, that will answer their queries, and yet save Creed the £500 which he did propose to make of the exchange abroad of the pieces of eight which he disbursed.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Nov 1663. Up into the gallery after sermon and there I met Creed. We saluted one another and spoke but not one word of what had passed yesterday between us, but told me he was forced to such a place to dinner and so we parted. Here I met Mr. Povy (age 49), who tells me how Tangier had like to have been betrayed, and that one of the King's officers is come, to whom 8,000 pieces of eight were offered for his part.
Pepy's Diary. 14 Dec 1663. Up by candlelight, which I do not use to do, though it be very late, that is to say almost 8 o'clock, and out by coach to White Hall, where we all met and to the Duke (age 30), where I heard a large discourse between one that goes over an agent from the King (age 33) to Legorne and thereabouts, to remove the inconveniences his ships are put to by denial of pratique; which is a thing that is now-a-days made use of only as a cheat, for a man may buy a bill of health for a piece of eight, and my enemy may agree with the Intendent of the Sante for ten pieces of eight or so; that he shall not give me a bill of health, and so spoil me in my design, whatever it be. This the King (age 33) will not endure, and so resolves either to have it removed, or to keep all ships from coming in, or going out there, so long as his ships are stayed for want hereof.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Jan 1664. So to the 'Change [Map], and thence with Sir W. Rider to the Trinity House [Map] to dinner, and then home and to my office till night, and then with Mr. Bland to Sir T. Viner's (age 75) about pieces of eight for Sir J. Lawson (age 49), and so back to my office, and there late upon business, and so home to supper and to bed.
Pepy's Diary. 04 Feb 1664. So home to the office, and by and by comes my wife home from the burial of Captain Grove's wife at Wapping (she telling me a story how her mayd Jane going into the boat did fall down and show her arse in the boat), and alone comes my uncle Wight (age 62) and Mr. Maes with the state of their case, which he told me very discreetly, and I believe is a very hard one, and so after drinking a bottle of ale or two they gone, and I a little more to the office, and so home to prayers and to bed. This evening I made an end of my letter to Creed about his pieces of eight, and sent it away to him. I pray God give good end to it to bring me some money, and that duly as from him.
Pepy's Diary. 12 Feb 1664. So Creed and I by boat to my house, and thence to coach with my wife and called at Alderman Backewell's (age 46) and there changed Mr. Falconer's state-cup, that he did give us the other day, for a fair tankard. The cup weighed with the fashion £5 16s., and another little cup that Joyce Norton did give us 17s., both £6 13s.; for which we had the tankard, which came to £6 10s., at 5s. 7d. per oz., and 3s. in money, and with great content away thence to my brother's, Creed going away there, and my brother bringing me the old silk standard that I lodged there long ago, and then back again home, and thence, hearing that my uncle Wight (age 62) had been at my house, I went to him to the Miter [Map], and there with him and Maes, Norbury, and Mr. Rawlinson (age 50) till late eating some pot venison (where the Crowne earthen pot pleased me mightily), and then homewards and met Mr. Barrow, so back with him to the Miter [Map] and sat talking about his business of his discontent in the yard, wherein sometimes he was very foolish and pettish, till 12 at night, and so went away, and I home and up to my wife a-bed, with my mind ill at ease whether I should think that I had by this made myself a bad end by missing the certainty of £100 which I proposed to myself so much, or a good one by easing myself of the uncertain good effect but the certain trouble and reflection which must have fallen on me if we had proceeded to a public dispute, ended besides embarking myself against my Lord, who (which I had forgot) had given him his hand for the value of the pieces of eight at his rates which were all false, which by the way I shall take heed to the giving of my Lord notice of it hereafter whenever he goes out again.
Pepy's Diary. 29 Jul 1664. After they were gone comes Mr. Bland to me, sat till 11 at night with me, talking of the garrison of Tangier and serving them with pieces of eight. A mind he hath to be employed there, but dares not desire any courtesy of me, and yet would fain engage me to be for him, for I perceive they do all find that I am the busy man to see the King (age 34) have right done him by inquiring out other bidders. Being quite tired with him, I got him gone, and so to bed.
Pepy's Diary. 11 Apr 1667. After dinner I to the office, where busy till evening, and then with Balty (age 27) to Sir G. Carteret's (age 57) office, and there with Mr. Fenn despatched the business of Balty's (age 27) £1500 he received for the contingencies of the fleete, whereof he received about £253 in pieces of eight at a goldsmith's there hard by, which did puzzle me and him to tell; for I could not tell the difference by sight, only by bigness, and that is not always discernible, between a whole and half-piece and quarterpiece. Having received this money I home with Balty (age 27) and it, and then abroad by coach with my wife and set her down at her father's, and I to White Hall, thinking there to have seen the Duchess of Newcastle's (age 44) coming this night to Court, to make a visit to the Queene (age 57), the King (age 36) having been with her yesterday, to make her a visit since her coming to town. The whole story of this lady is a romance, and all she do is romantick. Her footmen in velvet coats, and herself in an antique dress, as they say; and was the other day at her own play, "The Humourous Lovers"; the most ridiculous thing that ever was wrote, but yet she and her Lord mightily pleased with it; and she, at the end, made her respects to the players from her box, and did give them thanks. There is as much expectation of her coming to Court, that so people may come to see her, as if it were the Queen of Sheba; but I lost my labour, for she did not come this night.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Jul 1667. Up, and after some time with Greeting upon my flageolet I to my office, and there all the morning busy. Among other things, Sir W. Batten (age 66), Sir W. Pen (age 46), and myself did examine a fellow of our private man-of-war, who we have found come up from Hull, with near £500 worth of pieces of eight, though he will confess but 100 pieces. But it appears that there have been fine doings there.
Pepy's Diary. 25 Sep 1668. Up, and Sir D. Gauden with me betimes to confer again about this business, and he gone I all the morning finishing our answer, which I did by noon, and so to dinner, and W. Batelier with me, who is lately come from Impington, beyond which I perceive he went not, whatever his pretence at first was; and so he tells me how well and merry all are there, and how nobly used by my cozen. He gone, after dinner I to work again, and Gibson having wrote our answer fair and got Brouncker (age 48) and the rest to sign it, I by coach to White Hall to the Committee of the Council, which met late, and Brouncker (age 48) and J. Minnes (age 69) with me, and there the Duke of York (age 34) present (but not W. Coventry (age 40), who I perceive do wholly avoid to have to do publickly in this business, being shy of appearing in any Navy business, which I telling him the other day that I thought the King (age 38) might suffer by it, he told me that the occasion is now so small that it cannot be fatal to the service, and for the present it is better for him not to appear, saying that it may fare the worse for his appearing in it as things are now governed), where our answer was read and debated, and some hot words between the Duke of York (age 34) and Sir T. Clifford, the first for and the latter against Gawden, but the whole put off to to-morrow's Council, for till the King (age 38) goes out of town the next week the Council sits every day. So with the Duke of York (age 34) and some others to his closet, and Alderman Backewell (age 50) about a Committee of Tangier, and there did agree upon a price for pieces of eight at 4s. 6d. Present the Duke of York (age 34), Arlington (age 50), Berkeley, Sir J. Minnes (age 69), and myself. They gone, the Duke of York (age 34) did tell me how hot Clifford is for Child (age 37), and for removing of old Officers, he saying plainly to-night, that though Prince was a man that had done the best service that he believed any man, or any ten men, could have done, yet that it was for the King's interest not to let it lie too long in one hand, lest nobody should be able to serve him but one. But the Duke of York (age 34) did openly tell him that he was not for removing of old servants that have done well, neither in this place, nor in any other place, which is very nobly said. It being 7 or 8 at night, I home with Backewell by coach, and so walked to D. Gawden's, but he not at home, and so back to my chamber, the boy to read to me, and so to supper and to bed.