John Evelyn.

Diary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn EvelynDiary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 46)
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of his Gospel light for the prodigious impiety of the age.

llth October. My son, John Stansfield, was born, being
my second child, and christened by the name of my
mother's father, that name now quite extinct, being of
Cheshire. Christened by Mr. Owen, in my library at
Sayes Court, where he afterwards churched my wife, I
always making use of him on these occasions, because the
parish minister durst not have officiated according to the
form and usage of the Church of England, to which I
always adhered.

25th. Mr. Owen preached in my library at Sayes Court
on Luke, xviii. 7, 8, an excellent discourse on the unjust
judge, showing why Almighty God would sometimes be
compared by such similitudes. He afterwards adminis-
tered to us all the Holy Sacrament.

28th. Went to London, to visit my Lady Gerrard, where
I saw that cursed woman called the Lady Norton, of whom
it was reported that she spit in our King's face as he went
to the scaffold. Indeed, her talk and discourse was like an
impudent woman.

21st November. I went to London, to speak with Sir
John Evelyn, my kinsman, about. the purchase of an
estate of Mr. Lambard's at Westeram, which afterwards
Sir John himself bought for his son-in-law, Leech.

4th December. Going this day to our church, I was
surprised to see a tradesman, a mechanic, step up ; I was
resolved yet to stay and see what he would make of it.
His text was from 2 Sam. xxiii. 20 : " And Benaiah
went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in the
time of snow ; " the purport was, that no danger was to be

1654.] JOHN EVELYN. 287

thought difficult when God called for shedding of blood,
inferring that now the saints were called to destroy tem-
poral governments ; with such feculent stuff; so dangerous
a crisis were things grown to !

25th. Christmas-day. No churches, or public assembly.
I was fain to pass the devotions of that Blessed day with
my family at home.

1653-4. 20th January. Came to see me my old ac-
quaintance and the most incomparable player on the Irish
harp, Mr. Clarke,* after his travels. He was an excellent
musician, a discreet gentleman, born in Devonshire (as I
remember). Such music before or since did I never hear,
that instrument being neglected for its extraordinary dif-
ficulty; but, in my judgment, far superior to the lute itself,
or whatever speaks with strings.

25th. Died my son, J. Standsfield, of convulsion-fits;
buried at Deptford on the east corner of the church, near
his mother's great-grandfather, and other relatives.

8th February. Ash- Wednesday. In contradiction to all
custom and decency, the usurper, Cromwell, feasted at the
Lord Mayor's, riding in triumph through the city.

14th. I saw a tame lion play familiarly with a lamb ; he
was a huge beast, and I thrust my hand into his mouth
and found his tongue rough like a cat's ; a sheep also with
six legs, which made use of five of them to walk ; a goose
that had four legs, two crops, and as many vents.

29th March. That excellent man, Mr. Owen, preached
in my library on Matt, xxviii. 6, a resurrection-sermon, and
after it we all received the Holy Communion.

6th April. Came my Lord Herbert, Sir Kenelm Digby,
Mr. Denham, and other friends, to see me.

15th. I went to London, to hear the famous Dr. Jeremy
Taylor (since Bishop of Down and Connor) at St. Gre-
gory's (near St. Paul's) on Matt. vi. 48, concerning
evangelical perfection.

5th May. I bound my lackey, Thomas Headly, appren-
tice to a carpenter, giving with him five pounds and new
clothing ; he thrived very well, and became rich.

8th. I went to Hackney, to see Lady Brook's garden,
which was one of the neatest and most celebrated in Eng-
land, the house well furnished, but a despicable building.

* See under the year 1668, November.


Returning, visited one Mr. Tomb's garden ; it has large
and noble walks, some modern statues, a vineyard, planted
in strawberry borders, staked at ten feet distances ; the
banqueting-house of cedar, where the couch and scats were
carved a V antique ; some good pictures in the house, espe-
cially one of Vandyke's, being a man in his shirt ; also
some of Stenwyck. I also called at Mr. Ducie's, who has
indeed a rare collection of the best masters, and one of
the largest stories of H. Holbein. I also saw Sir Thomas
Fowler's aviary, which is a poor business.

10th. My Lady Gerrard treated us at Mulberry Gar-
den,* now the only place of refreshment about the town
for persons of the best quality to be exceedingly cheated
at ; Cromwell and his partisans having shut up and seized
on Spring Garden, which, till now, had been the usual
rendezvous for the ladies and gallants at this season.

llth. I now observed how the women began to paint
themselves, formerly a most ignominious thing, and used
only by prostitutes.

14th. There being no such thing as church-annivers-
aries in the parochial assemblies, I was forced to provide at
home for Whit Sunday.

15th. Came Sir Robert Stapylton, the translator of
" Juvenal/' to visit me.

8th June. My wife and I set out in a coach and four
horses, in our way to visit relations of hers in Wiltshire,
and other parts, where we resolved to spend some months.
We dined at Windsor, saw the Castle and Chapel of
St. George, where they have laid our blessed Martyr, King
Charles, in the vault just before the altar. The church and
workmanship in stone is admirable. The Castle itself is
large in circumference ; but the rooms melancholy, and of
ancient magnificence. The keep, or mount, hath, besides
its incomparable prospect, a very profound well ; and the
terrace towards Eaton, with the park, meandering Thames,
and sweet meadows, yield one of the most delightful pros-
pects. That night, we lay at Reading. Saw my Lord

Buckingham House (now the Royal Palace) was built on the site of these
gardens : see Dr. King, III. 73, ed. 1776 ; Malcolm's Londinium Redivivum,
IV. 263 ; but the latter afterwards, p. 327, says that the piece of ground
called the Mulberry Garden was granted by Charles II., in 1 672, to Henry,
Earl of Arlington ; in that case, it would be what is now called Arlington
Street, unless it extended up to the Royal Palace.

1634.] JOHN EVELYN. 89

Craven's house at Causam Caversham, now in ruins, his
goodly woods felling by the Rebels.

9th. Dined at Marlborough, which having been lately
fired, was now new built. At one end of this town, we
saw my Lord Seymour's house,* but nothing observable
save the Mount, to which we ascended by windings for
near half a mile. It seems to have been cast up by hand.
We passed by Colonel Popham's, a noble seat, park, and
river. Thence, to Newbury, a considerable town, and
Donnington, famous for its battle, siege, and castle : this
last had been in the possession of old Geoffrey Chaucer.
Then to Aldermaston, a house of Sir Humphry Forster's,
built a la moderne. Also, that exceedingly beautiful seat
of my Lord Pembroke, on the ascent of a hill, flanked
with wood, and regarding the river; and so, at night, to
Cadenham, the mansion of Edward Hungerford, Esq.,
uncle to my wife, where we made some stay. The rest of
the week we did nothing but feast and make good cheer,
to welcome my wife.

27th. We all went to see Bath, where I bathed in the
cross bath. Amongst the rest of the idle diversions of the
town, one musician was famous for acting a changeling,
which indeed he personated strangely.

The facciata of this cathedral is remarkable for its his-
torical carving. The King's Bath is esteemed the fairest
in Europe. The town is entirely built of stone, but the
streets narrow, uneven, and unpleasant. Here, we trifled
and bathed, and inter-visited with the company who fre-
quent the place for health, till the 30th, and then went to
Bristol, a city emulating London, not for its large extent,
but manner of building, shops, bridge, traffic, exchange,
market-place, &c. The governor showed us the castle, of
no great concernment. The city wholly mercantile, as
standing near the famous Severn, commodiously for Ireland,
and the Western world. Here, I first saw the manner
of refining sugar and casting it into loaves, where we had
a collation of eggs fried in the sugar furnace, f together
with excellent Spanish wine. But, what appeared most

* Now the famous inn there.

f A kind of entertainment like that we have of eating beef-steaks drest
on the stoker's shovel, and drinking porter at the famous brewhouses in



stupendous to me, was the rock of St. Vincent, a little dis-
tance from the town, the precipice whereof is equal to any-
thing of that nature I have seen in the most confragose
cataracts of the Alps, the river gliding between them at an
extraordinary depth. Here, we went searching for diamonds,
and to the Hot Wells, at its foot. There is also on the side
of this horrid Alp a very romantic seat : and so we returned
to Bath in the evening, and July 1 to Cadenham.

4th July. On a letter from my wife's uncle, Mr.
Pretyman, I waited back on her to London, passing by
Hungerford, a town famous for its trouts, and the next day
arrived at Deptford, which was 60 miles, in the extremity
of heat. f

6th. I went early to London, and the following day met
my wife and company at Oxford, the eve of the Act.

8th. Was spent in hearing several exercises in the
schools ; and, after dinner, the Proctor opened the Act at
St. Mary's (according to custom), and the Prevaricators,
their drollery. Then, the Doctors disputed. We supped
at Wadham College.

9th. Dr. French preached at St. Mary's, on Matt. xii.
42, advising the students the search after true wisdom,
not to be had in the books of philosophers, but in the
Scriptures alone. In the afternoon, the famous Inde-
pendent, Dr. Owen, perstringing Episcopacy. He was now
Cromwell's Vice-Chancellor. We dined with Dr. Ward,
Mathematical Professor (since Bishop of Sarum), and at
night supped in Baliol College Hall, where I had once
been student and fellow-commoner, and where they made
me extraordinarily welcome.

10th. On Monday, I went again to the schools, to hear
the several faculties, and in the afternoon tarried out the
whole Act in St. Mary's, the long speeches of the Proctors,
the Vice-Chancellor, the several Professors, creation of
Doctors, by the cap, ring, kiss, &c., those ancient ceremo-
nies and institution being as yet not wholly abolished.
Dr. Kendal, now Inceptor amongst others, performing his
Act incomparably well, concluded it with an excellent
oration, abating his Presbyterian animosities, which he
withheld, not even against that learned and pious divine,
Dr. Hammond. The Act was closed with the speech of
the Vice-Chancellor, there being but four in theology, and

1654.] JOHN EVELYN. 291

three in medicine, which was thought a considerable
matter, the times considered. I dined at one Monsieur
Fiat's, a student of Exeter College, and supped at a mag-
nificent entertainment at Wadham Hall, invited by my
dear and excellent friend, Dr. Wilkins, then Warden
(after, Bishop of Chester).

llth. Was the Latin sermon, which I could not be at,
though invited, being taken up at All Souls, where we had
music, voices, and theorbos, performed by some ingenious
scholars. After dinner, I visited that miracle of a youth,
Mr. Christopher Wren, nephew to the Bishop of Ely.
Then Mr. Barlow (since Bishop of Lincoln), bibliothecarius
of the Bodleian Library, my most learned friend. He
showed us the rarities of that most famous place, manu-
scripts, medals, and other curiosities. Amongst the MSS.
an old English Bible, wherein the Eunuch mentioned to
be baptized by Philip, is called the Gelding : " and Philip
and the Gelding went down into the water," &c. The
original Acts of the Council of Basil 900 years since, with
the bulla, or leaden affix, which has a silken cord passing
through every parchment; a MS. of Venerable Bede of
800 years' antiquity ; the old Ritual secundum usum Sarum,
exceeding voluminous; then, among the nicer curiosities,
the Proverbs of Solomon, written in French by a lady,*
every chapter of a several character, or hand, the most
exquisite imaginable; an hieroglyphical table, or carta,
folded up like a map ; I suppose it painted on asses' hide,
extremely rare ; but, what is most illustrious, there were no
less than 1000 MSS., in nineteen languages, especially
oriental, furnishing that new part of the library built by
Archbishop Laud, from a design of Sir Kenelm Digby and
the Earl of Pembroke. In the closet of the tower, they
show some Indian weapons, urns, lamps, &c., but the
rarest is the whole Alcoran, written on one large sheet of
calico, made up in a priest's vesture, or cope, after the
Turkish and Arabic character, so exquisitely written, as no
printed letter comes near it ; also, a roll of magical charms,
divers talismans, and some medals.

Then, I led my wife into the Convocation-House, finely

* Mrs. Esther Inglish, married to Bartholomew Kello, rector of Willing-
hall Spain, in Essex. See an account of her curious penmanship, in Massey'a
Origin and Progress of Letters.

17 2


wainscoted; the Divinity School and Gothic carved roof;
the Physic, or Anatomy School, adorned with some rarities
of natural things ; but nothing extraordinary save the skin
of a jackal, a rarely-coloured jacatoo, or prodigious large
parrot, two humming birds, not much bigger than our
humble-bee, which indeed I had not seen before, that I

1 2th. We went to St. John's, saw the library and the
two skeletons, which are finely cleansed and put together ;
observable is here also the store of mathematical instru-
ments, chiefly given by the late Archbishop Laud, who
built here a handsome quadrangle.

Thence, we went to New College, where the chapel was
in its ancient garb, notwithstanding the scrupulosity of
the times. Thence, to Christ's Church, in whose library
was showed us an Office of Henry VIII., the writing,
miniatures, and gilding whereof is equal, if not surpassing,
any curiosity I had seen of that kind ; it was given by
their founder, Cardinal Wolsey. The glass windows of
the cathedral (famous in my time) I found much abused.
The ample hall and column, that spreads its capital to
sustain the roof as one goes up the stairs, is very

Next, we walked to Magdalen College, where we saw
the library and chapel, which was likewise in pontifical
order, the altar only I think turned tablewise, and there
was still the double organ, which abominations (as now
esteemed) were almost universally demolished; Mr. Gibbon,
that famous musician, giving us a taste of his skill and
talents on that instrument.

Hence, to the Physic Garden, where the sensitive plant
was showed us for a great wonder. There grew canes,
olive-trees, rhubarb, but no extraordinary curiosities, besides
very good fruit, which, when the ladies had tasted, we
returned in our coach to our lodgings.

13th. We all dined at that most obliging and universally-
curious Dr. Wilkins's, at Wadham College. He was the
first who showed me the transparent apiaries, which he
had built like castles and palaces, and so ordered them one
upon another, as to take the honey without destroying the
bees. These were adorned with a variety of dials, little
statues, vanes, &c. ; and, he was so abundantly civil, find-

1C54.] JOHN EVELYN. 293

ing me pleased with them, to present me with one of the
hives which he had empty, and which I afterwards had in
my garden at Sayes Court, where it continued many years,
and which his Majesty came on purpose to see and con-
template with much satisfaction. He had also contrived a
hollow statue, which gave a voice and uttered words by a
long concealed pipe that went to its mouth,* whilst one
speaks through it at a good distance. He had, above in
his lodgings and gallery, variety of shadows, dials, perspec-
tives, and many other artificial, mathematical, and magical
curiosities, a way-wiser, a thermometer, a monstrous mag-
net, conic, and other sections, a balance on a demi-circle,
most of them of his own, and that prodigious young scholar
Mr. Christopher Wren, who presented me with a piece of
white marble, which he had stained with a lively red, very
deep, as beautiful as if it had been natural.

Thus satisfied with the civilities of Oxford, we left it,
dining at Farringdon, a town which had been newly fired
during the wars ; and, passing near the seat of Sir Walter
Pye,f we came to Cadenham.

16th. We went to another uncle and relative of my
wife's, Sir John Glanville, a famous lawyer, formerly
Speaker of the House of Commons ; his seat is at Broad-
Hinton, where he now lived, but in the Gatehouse, his
very fair dwelling-house having been burnt by his own
hands, to prevent the rebels making a garrison of it. Here,
my cousin William Glanville's eldest son showed me such
a lock for a door, that for its filing and rare contrivances
was a master-piece, yet made by a country-blacksmith.
But, we have seen watches made by another with as much
curiosity as the best of that profession can brag of; and,
not many years after, there was nothing more frequent
than all sorts of iron-work more exquisitely wrought and
polished than in any part of Europe, so as a door-lock of a
tolerable price was esteemed a curiosity even among foreign

Went back to Cadenham, and, on the 19th, to Sir Edward
Baynton's at Spie Park, a place capable of being made a
noble* seat ; but the humorous old Knight has built a long

* This reminds us of the speaking figures so long exhibited in Spring
Gardens, and in Leicester Fields, many years ago.
f Ancestor of the Poet-Laureate.


single house of two low stories on the precipice of an in-
comparable prospect, and landing on a bowling-green in
the park. The house is like a long barn, and has not a
window on the prospect side. After dinner, they went to
bowls, and, in the meantime, our coachmen were made so
exceeding drunk, that in returning home we escaped great
dangers. This, it seems, was by order of the Knight, that
all gentlemen's servants be so treated ; but the custom is
barbarous, and much unbecoming a Knight, still less a

20th. We proceeded to Salisbury ; the cathedral I take
to be the completest piece of Gothic work in Europe,
taken in all its uniformity. The pillars, reputed to be
cast, are of stone manifestly cut out of the quarry ; most
observable are those in the chapter-house. There are
some remarkable monuments, particularly the ancient
Bishops, founders of the Church, Knights Templars, the
Marquis of Hertford's, the cloisters of the palace and
garden, and the great mural dial.

In the afternoon, we went to Wilton, a fine house of the
Earl of Pembroke, in which the most observable are the
dining-room in the modern-built part towards the garden,
richly gilded and painted with story, by De Creete ; also,
some other apartments, as that of hunting-landscapes, by
Pierce ; some magnificent chimney-pieces, after the best
French manner ; a pair of artificial winding-stairs, of stone,
and divers rare pictures. The garden, heretofore esteemed
the noblest in England, is a large handsome plain, with a
grotto and water-works, which might be made much more
pleasant, were the river that passes through cleansed and
raised ; for all is effected by a mere force. It has a flower
garden, not inelegant. But, after all, that which renders
the seat delightful is, its being so near the downs and noble
plains about the country contiguous to it. The stables
are well ordered and yield a graceful front, by reason of
the walks of lime-trees, with the court and fountain of the
stables adorned with the Caesar's heads.

We returned this evening by the plain, and 14-mile
race, where out of my lord's hare-warren we were enter-
tained with a long course of a hare for near two miles in
sight. Near this, is a pergola, or stand, built to view the
sports: and so we came to Salisbury, and saw the most

1C54.] JOHN EVELYN. , 295

considerable parts of the city. The market-place, with
most of the streets, are watered by a quick current and
pure stream running through the middle of them, but are
negligently kept, when with small charge they might be
purged and rendered infinitely agreeable, and this made
one of the sweetest towns, but now the common buildings
are despicable, and the streets dirty.

22nd. We departed and dined at a farm of my Uncle
Hungerford's, called Darneford Magna, situate in a valley
under the plain, most sweetly watered, abounding in trouts
catched by spear in the night, when they come attracted
by a light set in the stern of a boat.

After dinner, continuing our return, we passed over the
goodly plain, or rather sea of carpet, which I think for
evenness, extent, verdure, and innumerable flocks, to be
one of the most delightful prospects in nature, and re-
minded me of the pleasant lives of shepherds we read of
in romances.

Now we were arrived at Stone-henge, indeed a stupend-
ous monument, appearing at a distance like a castle ; how
so many and huge pillars of stone should have been
brought together, some erect, others transverse on the tops
of them, in a circular area as rudely representing a cloister
or heathen and more natural temple, is wonderful. The
stone is so exceeding hard, that all my strength with a
hammer could not break a fragment ; which hardness I
impute to their so long exposure. To number them ex-
actly is very difficult, they lie in such variety of postures
and confusion, though they seemed not to exceed 100 ;
we counted only 95. As to their being brought thither,
there being no navigable river near, is by some admired ;
but for the stone, there seems to be the same kind about
20 miles distant, some of which appear above ground.
About the same hills, are divers mounts raised, conceived
to be ancient intrenchments, or places of burial, after bloody
fights. We now went by the Devizes, a reasonable large
town, and came late to Cadenham.

27th. To the hunting of a sorel deer, and had excellent
chace for four or five hours, but the venison little worth.

29th. I went to Langford, to see my cousin, Stephens.
I also saw Dryfield, the house heretofore of Sir John
Pretyman, grandfather to my wife, and sold by her uncle ;


both the seat and house very honourable and well-built,
much after the modern fashion.

31st. Taking leave of Cadenham, where we had been
long and nobly entertained, we went a compass into Leices-
tershire, where dwelt another relation of my wife's; for
I indeed made these excursions to show her the most con-
siderable parts of her native country, who, from her child-
hood, had lived altogether in France, as well as for my own
curiosity and information.

About two miles before coming to Gloucester, we have
a prospect from woody hills into a most goodly vale and
country. Gloucester is a handsome city, considerable for
the church and monuments. The Minster is indeed a
noble fabric. The whispering gallery is rare, being through
a passage of twenty-five yards, in a many-angled cloister,
and was, I suppose, either to show the skill of the architect,
or- some invention of a cunning priest, who, standing un-
seen in a recess in the middle of the chapel, might hear
whatever was spoken at either end. This is above the
choir, in which lies buried King Stephen* under a monu-
ment of Irish oak, not ill carved considering the age. The
new library is a noble though a private design. I was
likewise pleased with the Severn gliding so sweetly by it.
The Duke's house, the castle works, are now almost quite
dismantled ; nor yet without sad thoughts did I see the
town, considering how fatal the siege had been a few years,
before to our good King.

1st August. We set out towards Worcester, by a way
thick planted with cider-fruit. We deviated to the Holy
Wells, trickling out of a valley through a steep declivity
towards the foot of the great Malvern Hills ; they are said
to heal many infirmities, as king's evil, leprosy, sore
eyes, &c. Ascending a great height above them to the
trench dividing England from South Wales, we had the
prospect of all Herefordshire, Radnor, Brecknock, Mon-
mouth, Worcester, Gloucester, Shropshire, Warwick, Derby
shires, and many more. We could discern Tewkesbury,,
Kings-road, towards Bristol, &c. ; so as I esteem it one of
the goodliest vistas in England.

2nd. This evening, we arrived at Worcester, the Judges

* King Stephen was buried at Feversham. The effigy here alluded to is.

Online LibraryJohn EvelynDiary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 46)