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1605-6. 3rd January. I supped in Nonesuch House,1 whither the office of the Exchequer was transferred during the plague, at my good friend's Mr. Packer's, and took an exact view of the plaster statues and bass-relievos inserted betwixt the timbers and puncheons of the outside walls of the Court; which must needs have been the work of some celebrated Italian. I much admired how they had lasted Bo well and entire since the time of Henry VIII., exposed as they are to the air; and pity it is they are not token out and preserved in some dry place; a gallery would become them. There are some mezzo-relievos as big as the life; the story is of the Heathen Gods, emblems, compartments, &c. The palace consists of two courts, of which the first is of stone, castle like, by the Lord Luinlevs (of whom it was purchased), the other of timber, a Gothic fabric, but these walls incomparably beautified. I observed that the appearing timber-puncheons, entreliees, &c., were all so covered with scales of slate, that it seemed carved in the wood and painted, the slate fastened on the timber in pretty figures,
1 Of this famous rammer residence of Quern Elizabeth not a vestige remains, but "the avenue planted with row* of fair elms." There is a •mall print of Nonesuch in Speed's Map of Surrey, but a larger one is given by Uoefnagle in his "Collection of Views, some in England, but chiefly abroad." Lysons has copied the latter in his F.nrirom tf London, edit. 1796, 153. Pepys mentions the Exchequer money being removed to Nonesuch, and describes the park and house as they then appeared. The building was subsequently pulled down, and its contests disposed. A modern structure has been raised on its site.
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that has, like a coat of armour, preserved it from rotting. There stand in the garden two handsome stone pyramids, and the avenue planted with rows of fair elms, but the rest of these goodly trees, both of this and of Worcester Park adjoining, were felled by those destructive and avaricious rebels in the late war, which defaced one of the stateliest seats his Majesty had.
12th January. After much, and indeed extraordinary mirth and cheer, all my brothers, our wives, and children, being together, and after much sorrow and trouble during this contagion, which separated our families as well as others, I returned to my house, but my wife went back to Wotton. I not as yet willing to adventure her, the contagion, though exceedingly abated, not as yet wholly extinguished amongst us.
29th. I went to wait on his Majesty, now returned from Oxford to Hampton-Court, where the Duke of Albemarle presented me to him; he ran towards me, and in a most gracious manner gave me his hand to kiss, with many thanks for my care and faithfulness in his service in a time of such great danger, when every body fled their employments; he told me he was much obliged to me, and said he was several times concerned for me, and the peril I underwent, and did receive my service most acceptably (though in truth I did but do my duty, and O that I bad performed it as I ought!) After this, his Majesty was pleased to talk with me alone, near an hour, of several particulars of my employment, and ordered me to attend him again on the Thursday following at Whitehall. Then the Duke came towards me, and embraced me with much kindness, telling me if be had thought my danger would have been so great, he would not have suffered his Majesty to employ me in that station. Then came to salute me my Lord of St. Albans, Lord Arlington, Sir William Coventry, and several great persona; after which, I got bome, not being very well in health.
The Court was now in deep mourning for the French Queen-Mother.
2nd February. To London; his Majesty now come to Whitehall, where I heard and saw my Lord Mayor (and brethren) make his speech of welcome, and the two Sheriff* were knighted.
6ih February. My wife 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 Hi a 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.
8th. I had another gracious reception by his Majesty, who called me into his bed-chamber, to lay before and describe to him my project of an Infirmary, which 1 read to him, who, with great approbation, recommended it to his Royal Highness.
20M. To the Commissioners of the Navy who, having seen the project of the Infirmary, encouraged the work, and were very earnest it should be set about immediately; but I saw no money, though a very moderate expense would have saved thousands to his Majesty, and been much more commodious for the cure and quartering of our sick and wounded, than the dispersing them into private houses, where many more cbirurgeons and attendants were necessary, and the people tempted to debauchery.
21*/. Went to my Lord Treasurer for an assignment of 40,000/. upon the two last quarters for support of the next year's charge. Next day, to Duke of Albemarle and Secretary of State, to desire them to propose it to the Council.
1st March. To London, and presented his Majesty my book intituled, " The pernicious Consequences of the new Heresy of the Jesuits against Kings and States."1
7th. Dr. Bancroft, since Archbishop of Canterbury, preached before the King about the identity and immutability of God, on Psalm cii. 27.
13ih. To Chatham, to view a place designed for an Infirmary.
15th. My charge now amounted to near 7000/. [weekly].
22nd. The Royal Society re-assembled, after the dispersion from the contagion.
24th. Sent 2000/. to Chatham.
1*/ April. To London, to consult about ordering the natural rarities belonging to the repository of the Royal Society; referred to a Committee.
1 Ante, Tol i. p. 410.