Plague is in Diseases.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 664. This year the sun was eclipsed, on the eleventh of May; and Erkenbert, King of Kent, having died, Egbert his son succeeded to the kingdom. Colman with his companions this year returned to his own country. This same year there was a great plague in the island Britain, in which died Bishop Tuda, who was buried at Wayleigh-Chad and Wilferth were consecrated-And Archbishop Deus-dedit died.
In Jun 1348 the 1348 Black Death Plague Outbreak arrived in England. The first of many occurrences. It is estimated to have killed between 25 to 60 percent of the population of around six million. The outbreak lasted through 1349 recurring in 1362, 1369 and regularly thereafter until its last significant outbreak in The Great Plague of 1666.
Since her last, Walter Welshe, Master Browne, Thomas Care, Yrion of Brearton, John Coke the potecary, are fallen of the sweat in this house, and, thank God, have all recovered, so the plague has not yet quite ceased here. The rest of us are well, and I hope will pass it. As for the matter of Wylton, my Lord Cardinal has had the nuns before him, and examined them in presence of Master Bell, who assures me that she whom we would have had abbess has confessed herself to have had two children by two different priests, and has since been kept, not long ago, by a servant of Lord Broke that was. "Wherefore I would not, for all the gold in the world, cloak your conscience nor mine to make her ruler of a house which is of so ungodly demeanour; nor I trust you would not that neither for brother nor sister I should so distayne mine honor or conscience. And as touching the prioress or dame Ellenor's eldest sister, though there is not any evident case proved against them, and the prioress is so old that of many years she could not be as she was named, yet notwithstanding, to do you pleasure, I have done that nother of them shall have it, but that some other good and well-disposed woman shall have it, whereby the house shall be the better reformed, whereof I ensure you it hath much need, and God much the better served. As touching your abode at Hever [Map], do therein as best shall like you, for you know best what air doth best with you; but I would it were come thereto, if it pleased God, that nother of us need care for that, for I ensure you I think it long. Suche (Zouch) is fallen sick of the sweat, and therefore I send you this bearer because I think you long to hear tidings from us, as we do in likewise from you.".
Diary of Edward VI. Aug 1549. Ther were also, in a skirmish between thre hundred English footmen and 700 French horsmen, six noblemen slain. Then the French king cam with his army to Bolein [Boulogne], wich thei seing raised Bouhnberg.1 But because of the plage he was compelled to retire, and Chastilion (age 30)2 was left behind as gouvernour of the army.
Note 1. Sir Nicholas Arnold, the captain of Boulogne berg (see note in p. 224), observing the success of the French, removed his artillery and stores into the high town of Boulogne, and set fire to the abandoned fort, whereupon it was seized by the enemy. Holinshed.
Note 2. Gaspard de Coligni (age 30), seigneur de Châtillon, who shortly after came to England as ambassador (see a subsequent page).
Evelyn's Diary. 1625. I was this year (being the first of the reign of King Charles (age 24)) sent by my father (age 38) to Lewes [Map], in Sussex, to be with my grandfather, Standsfield (age 58), with whom I passed my childhood. This was the year in which the pestilence was so epidemical, that there died in London 5,000 a week, and I well remember the strict watches and examinations upon the ways as we passed; and I was shortly after so dangerously sick of a fever that (as I have heard) the physicians despaired of me.
In 1625 a plague killed around 40,000 Londoners.
Evelyn's Diary. 10 Dec 1636. The 10th of December my father (age 49) sent a servant to bring us necessaries, and the plague beginning now to cease, on the 3d of April 1637, I left school, where, till about the last year, I have been extremely remiss in my studies; so as I went to the University rather out of shame of abiding longer at school, than for any fitness, as by sad experience I found: which put me to re-learn all that I had neglected, or but perfunctorily gained.
Evelyn's Diary. 23 Mar 1646. We were now arrived at St. Maurice, a large handsome town and residence of the President, where justice is done. To him we presented our letter from Sion, and made known the ill usage we had received for killing a wretched goat, which so incensed him, that he swore if we would stay he would not only help us to recover our money again, but most severely punish the whole rabble; but our desire of revenge had by this time subsided, and glad we were to be gotten so near France, which we reckoned as good as home. He courteously invited us to dine with him; but we excused ourselves, and, returning to our inn, while we were eating something before we took horse, the Governor had caused two pages to bring us a present of two great vessels of covered plate full of excellent wine, in which we drank his health, and rewarded the youths; they were two vast bowls supported by two Swiss, handsomely wrought after the German manner. This civility and that of our host at Sion, perfectly reconciled us to the highlanders; and so, proceeding on our journey we passed this afternoon through the gate which divides the Valais from the Duchy of Savoy, into which we were now entering, and so, through Montei, we arrived that evening at Beveretta. Being extremely weary and complaining of my head, and finding little accommodation in the house, I caused one of our hostess's daughters to be removed out of her bed and went immediately into it while it was yet warm, being so heavy with pain and drowsiness that I would not stay to have the sheets changed; but I shortly after paid dearly for my impatience, falling sick of the smallpox as soon as I came to Geneva, for by the smell of frankincense and the tale the good woman told me of her daughter having had an ague, I afterward concluded she had been newly recovered of the smallpox. Notwithstanding this, I went with my company, the next day, hiring a bark to carry us over the lake; and indeed, sick as I was, the weather was so serene and bright, the water so calm, and air so temperate, that never had travelers a sweeter passage. Thus, we sailed the whole length of the lake, about thirty miles, the countries bordering on it (Savoy and Berne) affording one of the most delightful prospects in the world, the Alps covered with snow, though at a great distance, yet showing their aspiring tops. Through this lake, the river Rhodanus passes with that velocity as not to mingle with its exceeding deep waters, which are very clear, and breed the most celebrated trout for largeness and goodness of any in Europe. I have ordinarily seen one of three feet in length sold in the market for a small price, and such we had in the lodging where we abode, which was at the White Cross. All this while, I held up tolerably; and the next morning having a letter for Signor John Diodati, the famous Italian minister and translator of the Holy Bible into that language, I went to his house, and had a great deal of discourse with that learned person. He told me he had been in England, driven by tempest into Deal, while sailing for Holland, that he had seen London, and was exceedingly taken with the civilities he received. He so much approved of our Church-government by Bishops, that he told me the French Protestants would make no scruple to submit to it and all its pomp, had they a king of the Reformed religion as we had. He exceedingly deplored the difference now between his Majesty and the Parliament. After dinner, came one Monsieur Saladine, with his little pupil, the Earl of Caernarvon, to visit us, offering to carry us to the principal places of the town; but, being now no more able to hold up my head, I was constrained to keep my chamber, imagining that my very eyes would have dropped out; and this night I felt such a stinging about me, that I could not sleep. In the morning, I was very ill, but sending for a doctor, he persuaded me to be bled. He was a very learned old man, and, as he said, he had been physician to Gustavus the Great, King of Sweden, when he passed this way into Italy, under the name of Monsieur Gars, the initial letters of Gustavus Adolphus Rex Sueciæ, and of our famous Duke of Buckingham, on his returning out of Italy. He afterward acknowledged that he should not have bled me, had he suspected the smallpox, which broke out a day after. He afterward purged me, and applied leeches, and God knows what this would have produced, if the spots had not appeared, for he was thinking of bleeding me again. They now kept me warm in bed for sixteen days, tended by a vigilant Swiss matron, whose monstrous throat, when I sometimes awakened out of unquiet slumbers, would affright me. After the pimples were come forth, which were not many, I had much ease as to pain, but infinitely afflicted with heat and noisomeness. By God's mercy, after five weeks' keeping my chamber, I went abroad. Monsieur Saladine and his lady sent me many refreshments. Monsieur Le Chat, my physician, to excuse his letting me bleed, told me it was so burnt and vicious as it would have proved the plague, or spotted fever, had he proceeded by any other method. On my recovering sufficiently to go abroad, I dined at Monsieur Saladine's, and in the afternoon went across the water on the side of the lake, and took a lodging that stood exceedingly pleasant, about half a mile from the city for the better airing; but I stayed only one night, having no company there, save my pipe; so, the next day, I caused them to row me about the lake as far as the great stone, which they call Neptune's Rock, on which they say sacrifice was anciently offered to him. Thence, I landed at certain cherry gardens and pretty villas by the side of the lake, and exceedingly pleasant. Returning, I visited their conservatories of fish; in which were trouts of six and seven feet long, AS THEY AFFIRMED.
Evelyn's Diary. 06 Mar 1652. Saw the magnificent funeral of that arch-rebel, Ireton, carried in pomp from Somerset House [Map] to Westminster [Map], accompanied with divers regiments of soldiers, horse and foot; then marched the mourners, General Cromwell (age 52) (his father-in-law), his mock-parliament-men, officers, and forty poor men in gowns, three led horses in housings of black cloth, two led in black velvet, and his charging horse, all covered over with embroidery and gold, on crimson velvet; then the guidons, ensigns, four heralds, carrying the arms of the State (as they called it), namely, the red cross and Ireland, with the casque, wreath, sword, spurs, etc.; next, a chariot canopied of black velvet, and six horses, in which was the corpse; the pall held up by the mourners on foot; the mace and sword, with other marks of his charge in Ireland (where he died of the plague), carried before in black scarfs. Thus, in a grave pace, drums covered with cloth, soldiers reversing their arms, they proceeded through the streets in a very solemn manner. This Ireton was a stout rebel, and had been very bloody to the King's (age 21) party, witness his severity at Colchester, when in cold blood he put to death those gallant gentlemen, Sir Charles Lucas (age 39) and Sir George Lisle. My cousin, R. Fanshawe (age 43), came to visit me, and informed me of many considerable affairs. Sir Henry Herbert (age 57) presented me with his brother, my Lord Cherbury's book, "De Veritate"..
Pepy's Diary. 15 Jul 1661. Then with Dr. Fairbrother (whom I met there) to the Rose tavern [Map], and called for some wine, and there met fortunately with Mr. Turner of our office, and sent for his wife, and were very merry (they being come to settle their son here), and sent also for Mr. Sanchy, of Magdalen, with whom and other gentlemen, friends of his, we were very merry, and I treated them as well as I could, and so at noon took horse again, having taken leave of my cozen Angier, and rode to Impington, where I found my old uncle (age 78)1 sitting all alone, like a man out of the world: he can hardly see; but all things else he do pretty livelyly.
Note 1. Talbot Pepys (age 78), sixth son of John Pepys of Impington, was born 1583, and therefore at this time he was seventy-eight years of age. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1605. He was M.P. for Cambridge in 1625, and Recorder of Cambridge from 1624 to 1660, in which year he was succeeded by his son Roger (age 44). He died of the plague, March, 1666, aged eighty-three.
Pepy's Diary. 19 Oct 1663. After being a little with the Duke (age 30), and being invited to dinner to my Lord Barkeley's (age 61), and so, not knowing how to spend our time till noon, Sir W. Batten (age 62) and I took coach, and to the Coffee-house in Cornhill [Map]1; where much talk about the Turk's proceedings, and that the plague is got to Amsterdam, brought by a ship from Argier; and it is also carried to Hambrough. The Duke says the King (age 33) purposes to forbid any of their ships coming into the river. The Duke also told us of several Christian commanders (French) gone over to the Turks to serve them; and upon inquiry I find that the King of France (age 25) do by this aspire to the Empire, and so to get the Crown of Spayne also upon the death of the King (age 33), which is very probable, it seems.
Note 1. This may be the Coffee House in Exchange Alley, which had for a sign, Morat the Great, or The Great Turk, where coffee was sold in berry, in powder, and pounded in a mortar. There is a token of the house, see "Boyne's Tokens", ed. Williamson, vol. i., p. 592.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Oct 1663. The Queene (age 53) continues lightheaded, but in hopes to recover. The plague is much in Amsterdam, and we in fears of it here, which God defend1. The Turke goes on mightily in the Emperor's dominions, and the Princes cannot agree among themselves how to go against him. Myself in pretty good health now, after being ill this month for a week together, but cannot yet come to.... well, being so costive, but for this month almost I have not had a good natural stool, but to this hour am forced to take physic every night, which brings me neither but one stool, and that in the morning as soon as I am up, all the rest of the day very costive. My father has been very ill in the country, but I hope better again now. I am lately come to a conclusion with Tom Trice to pay him £100, which is a great deale of money, but I hope it will save a great deale more. But thus everything lessens, which I have and am like to have, and therefore I must look about me to get something more than just my salary, or else I may resolve to live well and die a beggar.
Note 1. Defend is used in the sense of forbid. It is a Gallicism from the French "defendre"..
Pepy's Diary. 16 Jun 1664. He being gone I to the 'Change [Map], Mr. Creed with me, after we had been by water to see a vessell we have hired to carry more soldiers to Tangier, and also visited a rope ground, wherein I learnt several useful things. The talk upon the 'Change [Map] is, that De Ruyter (age 57) is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales: that the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Jun 1664. At noon to the 'Change [Map] and Coffee-house, where great talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships. The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land. From the 'Change [Map] to dinner to Trinity House [Map] with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, where a very good dinner. Here Sir G. Ascue (age 48) dined also, who I perceive desires to make himself known among the seamen.
Pepy's Diary. 03 Aug 1664. Thence to White Hall to meet with Sir G. Carteret (age 54) about hiring some ground to make our mast docke at Deptford [Map], but being Council morning failed, but met with Mr. Coventry (age 36), and he and I discoursed of the likeliness of a Dutch warr, which I think is very likely now, for the Dutch do prepare a fleet to oppose us at Guinny, and he do think we shall, though neither of us have a mind to it, fall into it of a sudden, and yet the plague do increase among them, and is got into their fleet, and Opdam's own ship, which makes it strange they should be so high.
Pepy's Diary. 24 Sep 1664. So home and to my office, and business being done home to supper and so to bed, my head and throat being still out of order mightily. This night Prior of Brampton came and paid me £40, and I find this poor painful man is the only thriving and purchasing man in the town almost. We were told to-day of a Dutch ship of 3 or 400 tons, where all the men were dead of the plague, and the ship cast ashore at Gottenburgh.
Pepy's Diary. 02 Oct 1664. Lord's Day. My wife not being well to go to church I walked with my boy through the City, putting in at several churches, among others at Bishopsgate, and there saw the picture usually put before the King's book, put up in the church, but very ill painted, though it were a pretty piece to set up in a church. I intended to have seen the Quakers, who, they say, do meet every Lord's day at the Mouth at Bishopsgate; but I could see none stirring, nor was it fit to aske for the place, so I walked over Moorefields [Map], and thence to Clerkenwell church, and there, as I wished, sat next pew to the fair Butler, who indeed is a most perfect beauty still; and one I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty, she having the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life.
In 1665 the last great bubonic plague occurred in England killing a quarter of London's population, between 60000 and 120000 people died, in around eighteen months.
Pepy's Diary. 07 Jun 1665. This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.
Pepy's Diary. 10 Jun 1665. In the evening home to supper; and there, to my great trouble, hear that the plague is come into the City (though it hath these three or four weeks since its beginning been wholly out of the City); but where should it begin but in my good friend and neighbour's, Dr. Burnett, in Fanchurch Street [Map]: which in both points troubles me mightily.
Pepy's Diary. 17 Jun 1665. My wife come to bed about one in the morning. I up and abroad about Tangier business, then back to the office, where we sat, and at noon home to dinner, and then abroad to Mr. Povy's (age 51), after I and Mr. Andrews had been with Mr. Ball and one Major Strange, who looks after the getting of money for tallys and is helping Mr. Andrews. I had much discourse with Ball, and it may be he may prove a necessary man for our turns. With Mr. Povy (age 51) I spoke very freely my indifference as to my place of Treasurer, being so much troubled in it, which he took with much seeming trouble, that I should think of letting go so lightly the place, but if the place can't be held I will. So hearing that my Lord Treasurer (age 58) was gone out of town with his family because of the sicknesse, I returned home without staying there, and at the office find Sir W. Pen (age 44) come home, who looks very well; and I am gladder to see him than otherwise I should be because of my hearing so well of him for his serviceablenesse in this late great action.
Pepy's Diary. 17 Jun 1665. To the office late, and then home to bed. It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from my Lord Treasurer's (age 58) down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and come down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly struck very sicke, and almost blind, he could not see; so I 'light and went into another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man and trouble for myself, lest he should have been struck with the plague, being at the end of the towne that I took him up; but God have mercy upon us all! Sir John Lawson (age 50), I hear, is worse than yesterday: the King (age 35) went to see him to-day most kindly. It seems his wound is not very bad; but he hath a fever, a thrush, and a hickup, all three together, which are, it seems, very bad symptoms.
Pepy's Diary. 20 Jun 1665. So I home and to supper and to bed, my wife come home when I come from the office. This day I informed myself that there died four or five at Westminster of the plague in one alley in several houses upon Sunday last, Bell Alley, over against the Palace-gate; yet people do think that the number will be fewer in the towne than it was the last weeke! The Dutch are come out again with 20 sail under Bankert; supposed gone to the Northward to meete their East India fleete.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Jun 1665. Up pretty betimes, and in great pain whether to send my another into the country to-day or no, I hearing, by my people, that she, poor wretch, hath a mind to stay a little longer, and I cannot blame her, considering what a life she will through her own folly lead when she comes home again, unlike the pleasure and liberty she hath had here. At last I resolved to put it to her, and she agreed to go, so I would not oppose it, because of the sicknesse in the towne, and my intentions of removing my wife. So I did give her money and took a kind leave of her, she, poor wretch, desiring that I would forgive my brother John (age 24), but I refused it to her, which troubled her, poor soul, but I did it in kind words and so let the discourse go off, she leaving me though in a great deal of sorrow.
Pepy's Diary. 28 Jun 1665. After dinner to White Hall, thinking to speak with my Lord Ashly (age 43), but failed, and I whiled away some time in Westminster Hall [Map] against he did come, in my way observing several plague houses in King's Street and [near] the Palace. Here I hear Mrs. Martin is gone out of town, and that her husband, an idle fellow, is since come out of France, as he pretends, but I believe not that he hath been. I was fearful of going to any house, but I did to the Swan [Map], and thence to White Hall, giving the waterman a shilling, because a young fellow and belonging to the Plymouth.
Pepy's Diary. 29 Jun 1665. Up and by water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and people ready to go out of towne. To the Harp and Ball, and there drank and talked with Mary, she telling me in discourse that she lived lately at my neighbour's, Mr. Knightly, which made me forbear further discourse. This end of the towne every day grows very bad of the plague. The Mortality Bill is come to 2671 which is about ninety more than the last: and of these but four in the City, which is a great blessing to us.
Pepy's Diary. 01 Jul 1665. Thence to Westminster, where I hear the sicknesse encreases greatly, and to the Harp and Ball with Mary talking, who tells me simply her losing of her first love in the country in Wales, and coming up hither unknown to her friends, and it seems Dr. Williams do pretend love to her, and I have found him there several times.
Pepy's Diary. 09 Jul 1665. About three o'clock I, leaving my wife there, took boat and home, and there shifted myself into my black silke suit, and having promised Harman (age 28) yesterday, I to his house, which I find very mean, and mean company. His wife very ill; I could not see her. Here I, with her father and Kate Joyce, who was also very ill, were godfathers and godmother to his boy, and was christened Will. Mr. Meriton christened him. The most observable thing I found there to my content, was to hear him and his clerk tell me that in this parish of Michell's, Cornhill [Map], one of the middlemost parishes and a great one of the towne, there hath, notwithstanding this sickliness, been buried of any disease, man, woman, or child, not one for thirteen months last past; which [is] very strange. And the like in a good degree in most other parishes, I hear, saving only of the plague in them, but in this neither the plague nor any other disease.
Pepy's Diary. 11 Jul 1665. At 6 o'clock up and to Westminster (where and all the towne besides, I hear, the plague encreases), and, it being too soon to go to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), I to the Harp and Ball, and there made a bargain with Mary to go forth with me in the afternoon, which she with much ado consented to.
Pepy's Diary. 12 Jul 1665. After doing what business I could in the morning, it being a solemn fast-day1 for the plague growing upon us, I took boat and down to Deptford [Map], where I stood with great pleasure an houre or two by my Lady Sandwich's (age 40) bedside, talking to her (she lying prettily in bed) of my Lady Jemimah's being from my Lady Pickering's (age 39) when our letters come to that place; she being at my Lord Montagu's, at Boughton. The truth is, I had received letters of it two days ago, but had dropped them, and was in a very extraordinary straite what to do for them, or what account to give my Lady, but sent to every place; I sent to Moreclacke, where I had been the night before, and there they were found, which with mighty joy come safe to me; but all ending with satisfaction to my Lady and me, though I find my Baroness Carteret (age 63) not much pleased with this delay, and principally because of the plague, which renders it unsafe to stay long at Deptford [Map].
Note 1. "A form of Common Prayer; together with an order for fasting for the averting of God's heavy visitation upon many places of this realm. The fast to be observed within the cities of London and Westminster and places adjacent, on Wednesday the twelfth of this instant July, and both there and in all parts of this realm on the first Wednesday in every month during the visitation" ("Calendar of State Papers", Domestic, 1664-65, p. 466).
Pepy's Diary. 13 Jul 1665. There come to dinner, they haveing dined, but my Lady caused something to be brought for me, and I dined well and mighty merry, especially my Lady Slaning and I about eating of creame and brown bread, which she loves as much as I Thence after long discourse with them and my Lady alone, I and [my] wife, who by agreement met here, took leave, and I saw my wife a little way down (it troubling me that this absence makes us a little strange instead of more fond), and so parted, and I home to some letters, and then home to bed. Above 700 died of the plague this week.
Pepy's Diary. 18 Jul 1665. Up and to the office, where all the morning, and so to my house and eat a bit of victuals, and so to the 'Change [Map], where a little business and a very thin Exchange [Map]; and so walked through London to the Temple [Map], where I took water for Westminster to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), to wait on him, and so to Westminster Hall [Map], and there paid for my newes-books, and did give Mrs. Michell, who is going out of towne because of the sicknesse, and her husband, a pint of wine, and so Sir W. Warren coming to me by appointment we away by water home, by the way discoursing about the project I have of getting some money and doing the King (age 35) good service too about the mast docke at Woolwich [Map], which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Jul 1665. Back to White Hall, and by and by comes the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), and there, after a little discourse, I by coach home, not meeting with but two coaches, and but two carts from White Hall to my own house, that I could observe; and the streets mighty thin of people. I met this noon with Dr. Burnett, who told me, and I find in the newsbook this week that he posted upon the 'Change [Map], that whoever did spread the report that, instead of the plague, his servant was by him killed, it was forgery, and shewed me the acknowledgment of the master of the pest-house, that his servant died of a bubo on his right groine, and two spots on his right thigh, which is the plague.
Pepy's Diary. 25 Jul 1665. At noon to the 'Change [Map], which was very thin, and thence homeward, and was called in by Mr. Rawlinson (age 51), with whom I dined and some good company very harmlessly merry. But sad the story of the plague in the City, it growing mightily. This day my Lord Bruncker (age 45) did give me Mr. Grant's' (age 45) book upon the Bills of Mortality, new printed and enlarged.
Pepy's Diary. 26 Jul 1665. Thence mighty full of the honour of this day, I took coach and to Kate Joyce's, but she not within, but spoke with Anthony, who tells me he likes well of my proposal for Pall to Harman (age 28), but I fear that less than £500 will not be taken, and that I shall not be able to give, though I did not say so to him. After a little other discourse and the sad news of the death of so many in the parish of the plague, forty last night, the bell always going, I back to the Exchange [Map], where I went up and sat talking with my beauty, Mrs. Batelier, a great while, who is indeed one of the finest women I ever saw in my life. After buying some small matter, I home, and there to the office and saw Sir J. Minnes (age 66) now come from Portsmouth [Map], I home to set my Journall for these four days in order, they being four days of as great content and honour and pleasure to me as ever I hope to live or desire, or think any body else can live. For methinks if a man would but reflect upon this, and think that all these things are ordered by God Almighty to make me contented, and even this very marriage now on foot is one of the things intended to find me content in, in my life and matter of mirth, methinks it should make one mightily more satisfied in the world than he is. This day poor Robin Shaw at Backewell's died, and Backewell himself now in Flanders. The King (age 35) himself asked about Shaw, and being told he was dead, said he was very sorry for it. The sicknesse is got into our parish this week, and is got, indeed, every where; so that I begin to think of setting things in order, which I pray God enable me to put both as to soul and body.
Pepy's Diary. 30 Jul 1665. Will was with me to-day, and is very well again. It was a sad noise to hear our bell to toll and ring so often to-day, either for deaths or burials; I think five or six times. At night weary with my day's work, but full of joy at my having done it, I to bed, being to rise betimes tomorrow to go to the wedding at Dagenhams.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Jul 1665. Thus we end this month, as I said, after the greatest glut of content that ever I had; only under some difficulty because of the plague, which grows mightily upon us, the last week being about 1700 or 1800 of the plague. My Lord Sandwich (age 40) at sea with a fleet of about 100 sail, to the Northward, expecting De Ruyter (age 58), or the Dutch East India fleet. My Lord Hinchingbrooke (age 17) coming over from France, and will meet his sister at Scott's-hall. Myself having obliged both these families in this business very much; as both my Lady, and Sir G. Carteret (age 55) and his Lady (age 63) do confess exceedingly, and the latter do also now call me cozen, which I am glad of. So God preserve us all friends long, and continue health among us.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Jul 1665. Up, and very betimes by six o'clock at Deptford [Map], and there find Sir G. Carteret (age 55), and my Lady (age 63) ready to go: I being in my new coloured silk suit, and coat trimmed with gold buttons and gold broad lace round my hands, very rich and fine. By water to the Ferry, where, when we come, no coach there; and tide of ebb so far spent as the horse-boat could not get off on the other side the river to bring away the coach. So we were fain to stay there in the unlucky Isle of Doggs, in a chill place, the morning cool, and wind fresh, above two if not three hours to our great discontent. Yet being upon a pleasant errand, and seeing that it could not be helped, we did bear it very patiently; and it was worth my observing, I thought, as ever any thing, to see how upon these two scores, Sir G. Carteret (age 55), the most passionate man in the world, and that was in greatest haste to be gone, did bear with it, and very pleasant all the while, at least not troubled much so as to fret and storm at it. Anon the coach comes: in the mean time there coming a News thither with his horse to go over, that told us he did come from Islington [Map] this morning; and that Proctor the vintner of the Miter in Wood-street, and his son, are dead this morning there, of the plague; he having laid out abundance of money there, and was the greatest vintner for some time in London for great entertainments. We, fearing the canonicall hour would be past before we got thither, did with a great deal of unwillingness send away the license and wedding ring. So that when we come, though we drove hard with six horses, yet we found them gone from home; and going towards the church, met them coming from church, which troubled us. But, however, that trouble was soon over; hearing it was well done: they being both in their old cloaths; my Lord Crew (age 67) giving her, there being three coach fulls of them. The young lady mighty sad, which troubled me; but yet I think it was only her gravity in a little greater degree than usual. All saluted her, but I did not till my Lady Sandwich (age 40) did ask me whether I had saluted her or no.
Pepy's Diary. 02 Aug 1665. Up, it being a publique fast, as being the first Wednesday of the month, for the plague; I within doors all day, and upon my monthly accounts late, and there to my great joy settled almost all my private matters of money in my books clearly, and allowing myself several sums which I had hitherto not reckoned myself sure of, because I would not be over sure of any thing, though with reason I might do it, I did find myself really worth £1900, for which the great God of Heaven and Earth be praised! At night to the office to write a few letters, and so home to bed, after fitting myself for tomorrow's journey.
Pepy's Diary. 03 Aug 1665. Up, and betimes to Deptford [Map] to Sir G. Carteret's (age 55), where, not liking the horse that had been hired by Mr. Uthwayt for me, I did desire Sir G. Carteret (age 55) to let me ride his new £40 horse, which he did, and so I left my 'hacquenee'1 behind, and so after staying a good while in their bedchamber while they were dressing themselves, discoursing merrily, I parted and to the ferry, where I was forced to stay a great while before I could get my horse brought over, and then mounted and rode very finely to Dagenhams; all the way people, citizens, walking to and again to enquire how the plague is in the City this week by the Bill; which by chance, at Greenwich [Map], I had heard was 2,020 of the plague, and 3,000 and odd of all diseases; but methought it was a sad question to be so often asked me.
Note 1. Haquenee = an ambling nag fitted for ladies' riding.
Pepy's Diary. 10 Aug 1665. By and by to the office, where we sat all the morning; in great trouble to see the Bill this week rise so high, to above 4,000 in all, and of them above 3,000 of the plague. And an odd story of Alderman Bence's stumbling at night over a dead corps in the streete, and going home and telling his wife, she at the fright, being with child, fell sicke and died of the plague.
Pepy's Diary. 20 Aug 1665. Lord's Day. Sir G. Carteret (age 55) come and walked by my bedside half an houre, talking and telling me how my Lord is in this unblameable in all this ill-successe, he having followed orders; and that all ought to be imputed to the falsenesse of the King (age 35) of Denmarke, who, he told me as a secret, had promised to deliver up the Dutch ships to us, and we expected no less; and swears it will, and will easily, be the ruine of him and his kingdom, if we fall out with him, as we must in honour do; but that all that can be, must be to get the fleete out again to intercept De Witt, who certainly will be coming home with the East India ships, he being gone thither. He being gone, I up and with Fenn, being ready to walk forth to see the place; and I find it to be a very noble seat in a noble forest, with the noblest prospect towards Windsor, and round about over many countys, that can be desired; but otherwise a very melancholy place, and little variety save only trees. I had thoughts of going home by water, and of seeing Windsor Chappell [Map] and Castle [Map], but finding at my coming in that Sir G. Carteret (age 55) did prevent me in speaking for my sudden return to look after business, I did presently eat a bit off the spit about 10 o'clock, and so took horse for Stanes, and thence to Brainford to Mr. Povy's (age 51), the weather being very pleasant to ride in. Mr. Povy (age 51) not being at home I lost my labour, only eat and drank there with his lady, and told my bad newes, and hear the plague is round about them there. So away to Brainford [Map]; and there at the inn that goes down to the water-side, I 'light and paid off my post-horses, and so slipped on my shoes, and laid my things by, the tide not serving, and to church, where a dull sermon, and many Londoners. After church to my inn, and eat and drank, and so about seven o'clock by water, and got between nine and ten to Queenhive, very dark. And I could not get my waterman to go elsewhere for fear of the plague.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Aug 1665. Up, and after much pleasant talke and being importuned by my wife and her two mayds, which are both good wenches, for me to buy a necklace of pearle for her, and I promising to give her one of £60 in two years at furthest, and in less if she pleases me in her painting, I went away and walked to Greenwich [Map], in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in an open close belonging to Coome farme, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it; but only set a watch there day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence, which is a most cruel thing: this disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs.
Pepy's Diary. 25 Aug 1665. Up betimes to the office, and there, as well as all the afternoon, saving a little dinner time, all alone till late at night writing letters and doing business, that I may get beforehand with my business again, which hath run behind a great while, and then home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that Dr. Burnett, my physician, is this morning dead of the plague; which is strange, his man dying so long ago, and his house this month open again. Now himself dead. Poor unfortunate man!
Evelyn's Diary. 28 Aug 1665. The contagion still increasing, and growing now all about us, I sent my wife (age 30) and whole family (two or three necessary servants excepted) to my brother's at Wotton, Surrey [Map], being resolved to stay at my house myself, and to look after my charge, trusting in the providence and goodness of God.
Pepy's Diary. 30 Aug 1665. Up betimes and to my business of settling my house and papers, and then abroad and met with Hadley, our clerke, who, upon my asking how the plague goes, he told me it encreases much, and much in our parish; for, says he, there died nine this week, though I have returned but six: which is a very ill practice, and makes me think it is so in other places; and therefore the plague much greater than people take it to be.
Pepy's Diary. 03 Sep 1665. Church being done, my Lord Bruncker (age 45), Sir J. Minnes (age 66), and I up to the Vestry at the desire of the justices of the Peace, Sir Theo. Biddulph (age 53) and Sir W. Boreman (age 53) and Alderman Hooker (age 53), in order to the doing something for the keeping of the plague from growing; but Lord! to consider the madness of the people of the town, who will (because they are forbid) come in crowds along with the dead corps to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for the prevention thereof.
Pepy's Diary. 04 Sep 1665. Writing letters all the morning, among others to my Baroness Carteret (age 63), the first I have wrote to her, telling her the state of the city as to health and other sorrowfull stories, and thence after dinner to Greenwich [Map], to Sir J. Minnes (age 66), where I found my Lord Bruncker (age 45), and having staid our hour for the justices by agreement, the time being past we to walk in the Park with Mr. Hammond and Turner, and there eat some fruit out of the King's garden and walked in the Parke, and so back to Sir J. Minnes (age 66), and thence walked home, my Lord Bruncker (age 45) giving me a very neat cane to walk with; but it troubled me to pass by Coome farme where about twenty-one people have died of the plague, and three or four days since I saw a dead corps in a coffin lie in the Close unburied, and a watch is constantly kept there night and day to keep the people in, the plague making us cruel, as doggs, one to another.
Pepy's Diary. 06 Sep 1665. Thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle's (age 56): all the way fires on each side of the Thames, and strange to see in broad daylight two or three burials upon the Bankeside, one at the very heels of another: doubtless all of the plague; and yet at least forty or fifty people going along with every one of them.
Evelyn's Diary. 07 Sep 1665. Came home, there perishing near 10,000 poor creatures weekly; however, I went all along the city and suburbs from Kent Street to St James', a dismal passage, and dangerous to see so many coffins exposed in the streets, now thin of people; the shops shut up, and all in mournful silence, not knowing whose turn might be next. I went to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56) for a pest-ship, to wait on our infected men, who were not a few. See Great Plague of London.
Pepy's Diary. 07 Sep 1665. Up by 5 of the clock, mighty full of fear of an ague, but was obliged to go, and so by water, wrapping myself up warm, to the Tower [Map], and there sent for the Weekely Bill, and find 8,252 dead in all, and of them 6,878 of the plague; which is a most dreadfull number, and shows reason to fear that the plague hath got that hold that it will yet continue among us.
Pepy's Diary. 14 Sep 1665. Up, and walked to Greenwich [Map], and there fitted myself in several businesses to go to London, where I have not been now a pretty while. But before I went from the office newes is brought by word of mouth that letters are now just now brought from the fleete of our taking a great many more of the Dutch fleete, in which I did never more plainly see my command of my temper in my not admitting myself to receive any kind of joy from it till I had heard the certainty of it, and therefore went by water directly to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), where I find a letter of the Lath from Solebay [Map], from my Lord Sandwich (age 40), of the fleete's meeting with about eighteen more of the Dutch fleete, and his taking of most of them; and the messenger says, they had taken three after the letter was wrote and sealed; which being twenty-one, and the fourteen took the other day, is forty-five sail; some of which are good, and others rich ships, which is so great a cause of joy in us all that my Lord and everybody is highly joyed thereat. And having taken a copy of my Lord's letter, I away back again to the Beare [Map] at the bridge foot, being full of wind and out of order, and there called for a biscuit and a piece of cheese and gill of sacke, being forced to walk over the Bridge [Map], toward the 'Change [Map], and the plague being all thereabouts.
Pepy's Diary. 20 Sep 1665. But, Lord! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the River; and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets! And, which is worst of all, the Duke (age 31) showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor; that it is encreased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to all our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season. For the whole general number is 8,297, and of them the plague 7,165; which is more in the whole by above 50, than the biggest Bill yet; which is very grievous to us all.
Pepy's Diary. 04 Oct 1665. This night comes Sir George Smith to see me at the office, and tells me how the plague is decreased this week 740, for which God be praised! but that it encreases at our end of the town still, and says how all the towne is full of Captain Cocke's (age 48) being in some ill condition about prize-goods, his goods being taken from him, and I know not what. But though this troubles me to have it said, and that it is likely to be a business in Parliament, yet I am not much concerned at it, because yet I believe this newes is all false, for he would have wrote to me sure about it.
Pepy's Diary. 05 Oct 1665. Round about and next door on every side is the plague, but I did not value it, but there did what I would 'con elle', and so away to Mr. Evelyn's (age 44) to discourse of our confounded business of prisoners, and sick and wounded seamen, wherein he and we are so much put out of order1. And here he showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life2.
Note 1. Each of the Commissioners for the Sick and Wounded was appointed to a particular district, and Evelyn's district was Kent and Sussex. On September 25th, 1665, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: "my Lord Admiral being come from ye fleete to Greenewich, I went thence with him to ye Cockpit [Map] to consult with the Duke of Albemarle (age 56). I was peremptory that unlesse we had £10,000 immediately, the prisoners would starve, and 'twas proposed it should be rais'd out of the E. India prizes now taken by Lord Sandwich (age 40). They being but two of ye Commission, and so not impower'd to determine, sent an expresse to his Majesty and Council to know what they should do".
Note 2. Evelyn (age 44) purchased Sayes Court [Map], Deptford, in 1653, and laid out his gardens, walks, groves, enclosures, and plantations, which afterwards became famous for their beauty. When he took the place in hand it was nothing but an open field of one hundred acres, with scarcely a hedge in it.
Pepy's Diary. 07 Oct 1665. Thence back the back way to my office, where very late, very busy. But most of all when at night come two waggons from Rochester [Map] with more goods from Captain Cocke (age 48); and in houseing them at Mr. Tooker's lodgings come two of the Custome-house to seize them, and did seize them but I showed them my 'Transire'. However, after some hot and angry words, we locked them up, and sealed up the key, and did give it to the constable to keep till Monday, and so parted. But, Lord! to think how the poor constable come to me in the dark going home; "Sir", says he, "I have the key, and if you would have me do any service for you, send for me betimes to-morrow morning, and I will do what you would have me". Whether the fellow do this out of kindness or knavery, I cannot tell; but it is pretty to observe. Talking with him in the high way, come close by the bearers with a dead corpse of the plague; but, Lord! to see what custom is, that I am come almost to think nothing of it.
Pepy's Diary. 16 Oct 1665. Thence I walked to the Tower [Map]; but, Lord! how empty the streets are and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets full of sores; and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, every body talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that, in Westminster, there is never a physician and but one apothecary left, all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week: God send it!
Pepy's Diary. 31 Oct 1665. Thus we end the month merrily; and the more for that, after some fears that the plague would have increased again this week, I hear for certain that there is above 400 [less], the whole number being 1,388, and of them of the plague, 1,031. Want of money in the Navy puts everything out of order. Men grow mutinous; and nobody here to mind the business of the Navy but myself. At least Sir W. Batten (age 64) for the few days he has been here do nothing. I in great hopes of my place of Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling, which will bring me £300 per annum.
Pepy's Diary. 08 Nov 1665. Thence after dinner to the office again, and thence am sent for to the King's Head [Map] by my Lord Rutherford, who, since I can hope for no more convenience from him, his business is troublesome to me, and therefore I did leave him as soon as I could and by water to Deptford [Map], and there did order my matters so, walking up and down the fields till it was dark night, that 'je allais a la maison of my valentine, [Bagwell's wife] and there 'je faisais whatever je voudrais avec' [I did whatever I wanted with] her, and, about eight at night, did take water, being glad I was out of the towne; for the plague, it seems, rages there more than ever, and so to my lodgings, where my Lord had got a supper and the mistresse of the house, and her daughters, and here staid Mrs. Pierce to speake with me about her husband's business, and I made her sup with us, and then at night my Lord and I walked with her home, and so back again.
Pepy's Diary. 14 Nov 1665. Called up by break of day by Captain Cocke (age 48), by agreement, and he and I in his coach through Kent-streete (a sad place through the plague, people sitting sicke and with plaisters about them in the street begging) to Viner's (age 34) and Colvill's about money business, and so to my house, and there I took £300 in order to the carrying it down to my Lord Sandwich (age 40) in part of the money I am to pay for Captain Cocke (age 48) by our agreement. So I took it down, and down I went to Greenwich [Map] to my office, and there sat busy till noon, and so home to dinner, and thence to the office again, and by and by to the Duke of Albemarle's (age 56) by water late, where I find he had remembered that I had appointed to come to him this day about money, which I excused not doing sooner; but I see, a dull fellow, as he is, do sometimes remember what another thinks he mindeth not. My business was about getting money of the East India Company; but, Lord! to see how the Duke himself magnifies himself in what he had done with the Company; and my Lord Craven (age 57) what the King (age 35) could have done without my Lord Duke, and a deale of stir, but most mightily what a brave fellow I am.
Pepy's Diary. 15 Nov 1665. But, they being gone, the lady and I very civilly sat an houre by the fireside observing the folly of this Robinson (age 50), that makes it his worke to praise himself, and all he say and do, like a heavy-headed coxcombe. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased 400; making the whole this week but 1300 and odd; for which the Lord be praised!
Pepy's Diary. 22 Nov 1665. I heard this day that Mr. Harrington is not dead of the plague, as we believed, at which I was very glad, but most of all, to hear that the plague is come very low; that is, the whole under 1,000, and the plague 600 and odd: and great hopes of a further decrease, because of this day's being a very exceeding hard frost, and continues freezing.
Pepy's Diary. 30 Nov 1665. In the afternoon to the office, and there very late writing letters and then home, my wife and people sitting up for me, and after supper to bed. Great joy we have this week in the weekly Bill, it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague; so that we are encouraged to get to London soon as we can. And my father writes as great news of joy to them, that he saw Yorke's waggon go again this week to London, and was full of passengers; and tells me that my aunt Bell hath been dead of the plague these seven weeks.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Dec 1665. Up betimes and finished my journall for five days back, and then after being ready to my Lord Bruncker (age 45) by appointment, there to order the disposing of some money that we have come into the office, and here to my great content I did get a bill of imprest to Captain Cocke (age 48) to pay myself in part of what is coming to me from him for my Lord Sandwich's (age 40) satisfaction and my owne, and also another payment or two wherein I am concerned, and having done that did go to Mr. Pierce's, where he and his wife made me drink some tea, and so he and I by water together to London. Here at a taverne in Cornhill [Map] he and I did agree upon my delivering up to him a bill of Captain Cocke's (age 48), put into my hand for Pierce's use upon evening of reckonings about the prize goods, and so away to the 'Change [Map], and there hear the ill news, to my great and all our great trouble, that the plague is encreased again this week, notwithstanding there hath been a day or two great frosts; but we hope it is only the effects of the late close warm weather, and if the frosts continue the next week, may fall again; but the town do thicken so much with people, that it is much if the plague do not grow again upon us. Off the 'Change [Map] invited by Sheriff Hooker (age 53), who keeps the poorest, mean, dirty table in a dirty house that ever I did see any Sheriff of London; and a plain, ordinary, silly man I think he is, but rich; only his son, Mr. Lethulier (age 32), I like, for a pretty, civil, understanding merchant; and the more by much, because he happens to be husband to our noble, fat, brave lady in our parish, that I and my wife admire so.
Pepy's Diary. 17 Dec 1665. After dinner back again and to Deptford [Map] to Mr. Evelyn's (age 45), who was not within, but I had appointed my cozen Thos. Pepys of Hatcham to meet me there, to discourse about getting his £1000 of my Lord Sandwich (age 40), having now an opportunity of my having above that sum in my hands of his. I found this a dull fellow still in all his discourse, but in this he is ready enough to embrace what I counsel him to, which is, to write importunately to my Lord and me about it and I will look after it. I do again and again declare myself a man unfit to be security for such a sum. He walked with me as far as Deptford [Map] upper towne, being mighty respectfull to me, and there parted, he telling me that this towne is still very bad of the plague.
Pepy's Diary. 20 Dec 1665. So I away home, and was there sat up for to be spoken with my young Mrs. Daniel, to pray me to speake for her husband to be a Lieutenant. I had the opportunity here of kissing her again and again, and did answer that I would be very willing to do him any kindnesse, and so parted, and I to bed, exceedingly pleased in all my matters of money this month or two, it having pleased God to bless me with several opportunities of good sums, and that I have them in effect all very well paid, or in my power to have. But two things trouble me; one, the sicknesse is increased above 80 this weeke (though in my owne parish not one has died, though six the last weeke); the other, most of all, which is, that I have so complexed an account for these last two months for variety of layings out upon Tangier, occasions and variety of gettings that I have not made even with myself now these 3 or 4 months, which do trouble me mightily, finding that I shall hardly ever come to understand them thoroughly again, as I used to do my accounts when I was at home.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Dec 1665. Thence to my lodging, making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days, and so my mind being eased of it, I to supper and to bed. The weather hath been frosty these eight or nine days, and so we hope for an abatement of the plague the next weeke, or else God have mercy upon us! for the plague will certainly continue the next year if it do not.
Pepy's Diary. 27 Dec 1665. Up, and with Cocke (age 48), by coach to London, there home to my wife, and angry about her desiring a mayde yet, before the plague is quite over. It seems Mercer is troubled that she hath not one under her, but I will not venture my family by increasing it before it be safe.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Dec 1665. Thus ends this year, to my great joy, in this manner. I have raised my estate from £1300 in this year to £4400. I have got myself greater interest, I think, by my diligence, and my employments encreased by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyour of the Victualls. It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich [Map], and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge at Greenwich [Map], and a mayde at London; but I hope the King (age 35) will give us some satisfaction for that. But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. I have never lived so merrily (besides that I never got so much) as I have done this plague time, by my Lord Bruncker's (age 45) and Captain Cocke's (age 48) good company, and the acquaintance of Mrs. Knipp, Coleman and her husband, and Mr. Laneare, and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife) at my lodgings. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich (age 40), whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent (for a little palliating it) Embassador into Spayne, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle (age 57) goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him1. My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cozen Sarah's, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague's decrease! for that keeps the Court away from the place of business, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.
Pepy's Diary. 03 Jan 1666. Up, and all the morning till three in the afternoon examining and fitting up my Pursers' paper and sent it away by an Expresse. Then comes my wife, and I set her to get supper ready against I go to the Duke of Albemarle (age 57) and back again; and at the Duke's with great joy I received the good news of the decrease of the plague this week to 70, and but 253 in all; which is the least Bill hath been known these twenty years in the City. Through the want of people in London is it, that must make it so low below the ordinary number for Bills.
Pepy's Diary. 10 Jan 1666. Thence to the 'Change [Map], and there hear to our grief how the plague is encreased this week from seventy to eighty-nine. We have also great fear of our Hambrough fleete, of their meeting the Dutch; as also have certain newes, that by storms Sir Jer. Smith's fleet is scattered, and three of them come without masts back to Plymouth, Devon [Map], which is another very exceeding great disappointment, and if the victualling ships are miscarried will tend to the losse of the garrison of Tangier.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Jan 1666. Home with his Lordship to Mrs. Williams's, in Covent-Garden [Map], to dinner (the first time I ever was there), and there met Captain Cocke (age 49); and pretty merry, though not perfectly so, because of the fear that there is of a great encrease again of the plague this week. And again my Lord Bruncker (age 46) do tell us, that he hath it from Sir John Baber; who is related to my Lord Craven (age 57), that my Lord Craven (age 57) do look after Sir G. Carteret's (age 56) place, and do reckon himself sure of it.
Pepy's Diary. 16 Jan 1666. So home late at my letters, and so to bed, being mightily troubled at the newes of the plague's being encreased, and was much the saddest news that the plague hath brought me from the beginning of it; because of the lateness of the year, and the fear, we may with reason have, of its continuing with us the next summer. The total being now 375, and the plague 158.
Evelyn's Diary. 06 Feb 1666. My wife (age 31) and family returned to me from the country, where they had been since August, by reason of the contagion, now almost universally ceasing. Blessed be God for his infinite mercy in preserving us! I, having gone through so much danger, and lost so many of my poor officers, escaping still myself that I might live to recount and magnify his goodness to me.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Feb 1666. I away home, and there at the office all the afternoon till late at night, and then away home to supper and to bed. Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week, and in many places else about the towne, and at Chatham [Map] and elsewhere. This day my wife wanting a chambermaid with much ado got our old little Jane to be found out, who come to see her and hath lived all this while in one place, but is so well that we will not desire her removal, but are mighty glad to see the poor wench, who is very well and do well.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Feb 1666. Thence to my Lord Sandwich's (age 40), but he not within, but goes to-morrow. My wife to Mrs. Hunt's, who is lately come to towne and grown mighty fat. I called her there, and so home and late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed. We are much troubled that the sicknesse in general (the town being so full of people) should be but three, and yet of the particular disease of the plague there should be ten encrease.
Pepy's Diary. 01 Mar 1666. Up, and to the office and there all the morning sitting and at noon to dinner with my Lord Bruncker (age 46), Sir W. Batten (age 65) and Sir W. Pen (age 44) at the White Horse in Lombard Street [Map], where, God forgive us! good sport with Captain Cocke's (age 49) having his mayde sicke of the plague a day or two ago and sent to the pest house, where she now is, but he will not say anything but that she is well.
Pepy's Diary. 05 Apr 1666. After dinner home, where I find my wife hath on a sudden, upon notice of a coach going away to-morrow, taken a resolution of going in it to Brampton, we having lately thought it fit for her to go to satisfy herself and me in the nature of the fellow that is there proposed to my sister. So she to fit herself for her journey and I to the office all the afternoon till late, and so home and late putting notes to "It is decreed, nor shall thy fate, &c". and then to bed. The plague is, to our great grief, encreased nine this week, though decreased a few in the total. And this encrease runs through many parishes, which makes us much fear the next year.
Pepy's Diary. 08 Apr 1666. The Court full this morning of the newes of Tom Cheffin's (age 66) death, the King's closett-keeper. He was well last night as ever, flaying at tables in the house, and not very ill this morning at six o'clock, yet dead before seven: they think, of an imposthume in his breast. But it looks fearfully among people nowadays, the plague, as we hear, encreasing every where again.
Pepy's Diary. 10 Apr 1666. Up betimes, and many people to me about business. To the office and there sat till noon, and then home and dined, and to the office again all the afternoon, where we sat all, the first time of our resolution to sit both forenoons and afternoons. Much business at night and then home, and though late did see some work done by the plasterer to my new window in the boy's chamber plastered. Then to supper, and after having my head combed by the little girle to bed. Bad news that the plague is decreased in the general again and two increased in the sickness.
Pepy's Diary. 23 Apr 1666. Being mighty weary last night, lay long this morning, then up and to the office, where Sir W. Batten (age 65), Lord Bruncker (age 46) and I met, and toward noon took coach and to White Hall, where I had the opportunity to take leave of the Prince (age 46), and again of the Duke of Albemarle (age 57); and saw them kiss the King's (age 35) hands and the Duke's (age 32); and much content, indeed, there seems to be in all people at their going to sea, and [they] promise themselves much good from them. This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter. The plague, I hear, encreases in the towne much, and exceedingly in the country everywhere.
Pepy's Diary. 25 Apr 1666. So home, and with my wife and Mercer spent our evening upon our new leads by our bedchamber singing, while Mrs. Mary Batelier looked out of the window to us, and we talked together, and at last bid good night. However, my wife and I staid there talking of several things with great pleasure till eleven o'clock at night, and it is a convenience I would not want for any thing in the world, it being, methinks, better than almost any roome in my house. So having, supped upon the leads, to bed. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased sixteen this week.
Pepy's Diary. 12 May 1666. So home by water, and there hard till 12 at night at work finishing the great letter to the Duke of Yorke (age 32) against to-morrow morning, and so home to bed. This day come home again my little girle Susan, her sicknesse proving an ague, and she had a fit soon almost as she come home. The fleete is not yet gone from the Nore. The plague encreases in many places, and is 53 this week with us.
Pepy's Diary. 06 Aug 1666. Thence to Sir Ph. Warwicke (age 56) and my Lord Treasurer's (age 59), but failed in my business; so home and in Fenchurch-streete [Map] met with Mr. Battersby; says he, "Do you see Dan Rawlinson's (age 52) door shut up?" (which I did, and wondered). "Why", says he, "after all the sickness, and himself spending all the last year in the country, one of his men is now dead of the plague, and his wife and one of his mayds sicke, and himself shut up"; which troubles me mightily.
Pepy's Diary. 09 Aug 1666. In the evening to Lumbard-streete [Map] about money, to enable me to pay Sir G. Carteret's (age 56) £3000, which he hath lodged in my hands, in behalf of his son and my Lady Jemimah, toward their portion, which, I thank God, I am able to do at a minute's warning. In my [way] I inquired, and find Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her mayde continues mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house. I met also with Mr. Evelyn (age 45) in the streete, who tells me the sad condition at this very day at Deptford [Map] for the plague, and more at Deale [Map] (within his precinct as one of the Commissioners for sick and wounded seamen), that the towne is almost quite depopulated.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Sep 1666. Up, and down to Tower Wharfe [Map]; and there, with Batty and labourers from Deptford [Map], did get my goods housed well at home. So down to Deptford [Map] again to fetch the rest, and there eat a bit of dinner at the Globe, with the master of the Bezan with me, while the labourers went to dinner. Here I hear that this poor towne do bury still of the plague seven or eight in a day.
Pepy's Diary. 20 Nov 1666. He gone, and Sheply, I to the office a little, and then to church, it being thanksgiving-day for the cessation of the plague; but, Lord! how the towne do say that it is hastened before the plague is quite over, there dying some people still1, but only to get ground for plays to be publickly acted, which the Bishops would not suffer till the plague was over; and one would thinke so, by the suddenness of the notice given of the day, which was last Sunday, and the little ceremony. The sermon being dull of Mr. Minnes, and people with great indifferency come to hear him.
Note 1. According to the Bills of Mortality seven persons died in London of the plague during the week November 20th to 27th; and for some weeks after deaths continued from this cause.
Pepy's Diary. The plague, it seems, grows more and more at Amsterdam; and we are going upon making of all ships coming from thence and Hambrough, or any other infected places, to perform their Quarantine (for thirty days as Sir Rd. Browne expressed it in the order of the Council, contrary to the import of the word, though in the general acceptation it signifies now the thing, not the time spent in doing it) in Holehaven, a thing never done by us before.
Pepy's Diary. 15 Jun 1665. So late back, and to the office, wrote letters, and so home to supper and to bed. This day the Newes book upon Mr. Moore's showing L'Estrange1 (Captain Ferrers's letter) did do my Lord Sandwich (age 39) great right as to the late victory. The Duke of Yorke (age 31) not yet come to towne. The towne grows very sickly, and people to be afeard of it; there dying this last week of the plague 112, from 43 the week before, whereof but [one] in Fanchurch-streete [Map], and one in Broad-streete, by the Treasurer's office.
Note 1. "The Public Intelligencer", published by Roger L'Estrange, the predecessor of the "London Gazette"..
Evelyn's Diary. 10 Oct 1666. This day was ordered a general Fast through the Nation, to humble us on the late dreadful conflagration, added to the plague and war, the most dismal judgments that could be inflicted; but which indeed we highly deserved for our prodigious ingratitude, burning lusts, dissolute court, profane and abominable lives, under such dispensations of God's continued favor in restoring Church, Prince, and People from our late intestine calamities, of which we were altogether unmindful, even to astonishment. This made me resolve to go to our parish assembly, where our Doctor preached on Luke xix. 41: piously applying it to the occasion. After which, was a collection for the distressed losers in the late fire.
Evelyn's Diary. 16 Sep 1683. At the elegant villa and garden of Mr. Bohun, at Lee. He showed me the zinnar tree, or platanus, and told me that since they had planted this kind of tree about the city of Ispahan, in Persia, the plague, which formerly much infested the place, had exceedingly abated of its mortal effects, and rendered it very healthy.
Hall's Chronicle 1492. In this war and tumultuous business in Italy, which was the most terrible and sorest plague, that any man can remember of that nation, there was no person, no place, no private house, no noble family, no captain or prince, but he was oppressed either with the heaps of the dead carcasses, or with the blood of his friends or subjects, or else sutired some affliction injury or detriment. And in some wise at one time or another, every man did taste and suffer all the mischiefs that appertained to the victory gotten by their enemies. The which defacing and blotting of the beauty of that country, sometime called the Queen of the Earth, and flower of the world, chanced not of her own self of hearing cause or desert, but the Italians her own sucking children opened the gap, and made the way of her destruction. For at that time thus it chanced, that when the potentates and seignories of Italy perceived, that all things under them succeeded, even as they would desire and wish, to their great exultation and rejoicing by reason whereof they sat still at home like sloggardes (as women be accustomed to do) scolding and brawling, exercising and practising privy displeasure and malice, not against their enemies as they were accustomed, but among themselves one against another, casting out of memory drowning their ancient renown, glory and honour with desire of rule and appetite to be revenged, and so destroyed the common weal, and subverted the olde monuments and acts of their forefathers and predecessors. And because some of them, thinking themselves, not of force and puissance sufficient enough to bring their purpose to effect, and to revenge their quarrel, they enticed, stirred and procured with gifts, rewards and promises, strangers and foreign nations to their aide and assistance. The other seeing them so desirous to have their help, partly moved with their gifts, partly with desire of rule, spoils, prayes, gathered together a great company and entered into Italy, and there destroyed, spoiled and possessed the better part of it. And so the Italians, as men out of their wit, where as they thought one to noye and hurt another with hateful warring, they destroyed their native country, being of nature enclosed and munyte with high hills and the main sea round about, and opened the way to strangers to their utter ignominy and final destruction, which they might have kept out of all danger, if they had bene their own friends, and loved their own wealth and commodity. Therefore, I may say: O progeny, as well wicked as ungodly, hath discord and dissention pleased the so much that thou wouldest utterly extinguish and confound the glory and honour of thy native country? And in conclusion, thou thyself art come to the deepest pit of wretchedness, because that thou perceiving the ruin that thou hast caused and procured, thou art more repentant for the beginning of it, then glad to desist and cause it, and so according to thy desert thou hast thy penance and guardon. The grand captain and beginner of this mischief was Sforcia, which at that time ruled at his will the duchy of Milan under Duke John Galeas his nephew: but for a truth this Louis ruled all, and the Duke did nothing. Wherefore Alphons Duke of Calabria, and after King of Naples, grudging that this Duke John his son in law, should be defrauded of his superiority and dominance, threatened sore this Louis Sforcia. Where he fearing to be put from his authority, solicited and by great entreaty procured Charles the French King to invade the realm of Naples. By reason of which procurement, Alphonse duke of Calabre, which succeeded his father Ferdinand in the Kingdom of Naples (which also as you have heard, was made Knight of the Garter) was first deprived of his Kingdom by the said King Charles, and shortly after of his life. But Louis’ force had no long joy after the death of his enemy, for he was betrayed and taken by the Swytzers which warred under King Louis the twelfth, then being French King, and carried into France, where he in the Castell of Loches miserably finished his life, according to the saying of the Gospel, woo be to him by whom a slander begins. Thys mischief began at that time when Charles came thither, and continued yet, which is the yere of our Lord MDXLIII for an example to other, the strangers invited to a prosperous country be loath to depart from the sweet savour once thereof tasted.