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 4 of 46)
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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.

10th of May. I was admitted a Fellow-commoner of
Baliol College, Oxford ; and, on the 29th, I was matricu-
lated in the vestry of St. Mary's, where I subscribed the
Articles, and took the oaths ; Dr. Baily, head of St. John's,
being vice-chancellor, afterwards bishop. It appears by
a letter of my father's, that he was upon treaty with one
Mr. Bathurst (afterwards Doctor and President), of
Trinity College, who should have been my tutor ; but, lest
my brother's tutor, Dr. Hobbs, more zealous in his life
than industrious to his pupils, should receive it as an
affront, and especially for that Fellow-commoners in Baliol
were no more exempt from exercise than the meanest
scholars there, my father sent me thither to one Mr.
George Bradshaw (nomen invisum ! yet the son of an excel-
lent father, beneficed in Surrey).* I ever thought my
tutor had parts enough ; but, as his ambition made him
much suspected of the College, so his grudge to Dr.
Lawrence, the governor of it (whom he afterwards sup-
planted), took up so much of his time, that he seldom or
never had the opportunity to discharge his duty to his
scholars. This I perceiving, associated myself with one
Mr. James Thicknesse (then a young man of the founda-
tion, afterwards a Fellow of the house), by whose learned
and friendly conversation I received great advantage. At

* Rector of Ockham.


my first arrival, Dr. Parkhurst was Master ; and, after his
decease, Dr. Lawrence, a chaplain of his Majesty's and
Margaret Professor, succeeded, an acute and learned per-
son; nor do I much reproach his severity, considering
that the extraordinary remissness of discipline had (till
his coming) much detracted from the reputation of that

There came in my time to the College one Nathaniel
Conopios, out of Greece, from Cyrill, the patriarch of
Constantinople, who, returning many years after, was made
(as I understand) Bishop of Smyrna. He was the first
I ever saw drink coffee ; which custom came not into
England till thirty years after.

After I was somewhat settled there in my formalities,
(for then was the University exceedingly regular, under
the exact discipline of William Laud, Archbishop of Can-
terbury, then Chancellor,) I added, as benefactor to the
library of the College, these books, "ex dono Johannis
Evelyni hujus Coll. Socio-Commensalis, filii Richardi
Evelyni, e com. Surrice, armig r ."

Zanchii Opera, vols. 1, 2, 3.

Granado in Thomarh Aquinatem, vols. 1, 2, 3.

Novarini Electa Sacra, and Cresolii Anthologia Sacra;
authors, it seems, much desired by the students of
divinity there.

Upon the 2nd of July, being the first Sunday of the
month, I first received the blessed Sacrament of the Lord's
Supper, in the college chapel, one Mr. Cooper, a Fellow
of the house, preaching; and at this time was the Church
of England in her greatest splendour, all things decent,
and becoming the Peace, and the persons that governed.
The most of the following week I spent in visiting the
Colleges, and several rarities of the University, which do
very much affect young comers.

18th July. I accompanied my eldest brother, who
then quitted Oxford, into the country ; and, on the 9th of
August, went to visit my friends at Lewes, whence I re-
turned the 12th to Wotton. On the 17th of September,
I received the blessed Sacrament at Wotton church, and
23rd of October went back to Oxford.

5th November. I received again the Holy Communion
in our college chapel, one Prouse, a Fellow (but a mad
one), preaching.

1638.] JOHN EVELYN. ]_]_

December 9th. I offered at my first exercise in the Hall,
and answered my opponent ; and, upon the llth following,
declaimed in the chapel before the Master, Fellows, and
Scholars, according to the custom. The 15th after, I first
of all opposed in the Hall.

The Christmas ensuing, being at a Comedy which the
gentlemen of Exeter College presented to the Univer-
sity, and standing, for the better advantage of seeing,
upon a table in the Hall, which was near to another,
in the dark, being constrained by the extraordinary press
to quit my station, in leaping down to save myself I
dashed my right leg with such violence against the sharp
edge of the other board, as gave me a hurt which held
me in cure till almost Easter, and confined me to my

1638. 22nd January. I would needs be admitted into
the dancing and vaulting schools ; of which late activity
one Stokes, the master, did afterwards set forth a pretty
book, which was published, with many witty elogies
before it.*

February 4th. One Mr. Warmer preached in our
chapel ; and, on the 25th, Mr. Wentworth, a kinsman ot
the Earl of Strafford; after which followed the blessed

April 13th. My father ordered that I should begin to
manage my own expenses, which till then my tutor had
done ; at which I was much satisfied.

9th July. I went home to visit my friends, and, on
the 26th, with my brother and sister to Lewes, where
we abode till the 31st ; and thence to one Mr. Michael's,
of Houghton, near Arundel, where we were very well
treated ; and, on the 2nd of August, to Portsmouth, and
thence, having surveyed the fortifications (a great rarity
in that blessed halcyon time in England), we passed

* It having now become extremely scarce, the title of it is here given :
" The Vaulting Master, or the Art of Vaulting ; reduced to a method com-
prized under certain rules. Illustrated by examples, and now primarily
set forth, by Will. Stokes. Printed for Richard Davis, in Oxon, 1665. 5 '
A small oblong quarto, with the author's portrait prefixed, and a number of
plates beautifully engraved, (most probably by Glover,) representing feats
of activity on horseback, that appear extraordinary ones at this time of
day. (From the communication of James Bindley, Esq., a gentleman whose
collection of scarce and valuable books is perhaps hardly to be equalled.)


into the Isle of Wight, to the house of my Lady Richards,
in a place called Yaverland; but we returned the following
day to Chichester, where, having viewed the city and fair
cathedral, we returned home.

About the beginning of September, I was so afflicted
with a quartan ague, that I could by no means get rid of
it till the December following. This was the fatal year
wherein the rebellious Scots opposed the King, upon the
pretence of the introduction of some new ceremonies
and the Book of Common Prayer, and madly began our
confusions, and their own destruction, too, as it proved in

January 14th, 1639. I came back to Oxford, after my
tedious indisposition, and to the infinite loss of my time ;
and now I began to look upon the rudiments of music,
in which I afterwards arrived to some formal knowledge,
though to small perfection of hand, because I was so
frequently diverted with inclinations to newer trifles.

20th May. Accompanied with one Mr. J. Crafford
(who afterwards being my fellow-traveller in Italy, there
changed his religion), I took a journey of pleasure to see
the Somersetshire baths, Bristol, Cirencester, Malmesbury,
Abingdon, and divers other towns of lesser note; and
returned the 25th.

8th October. I went back to Oxford.

14th December. According to injunctions from the
Heads of Colleges, I went (amongst the rest) to the
Confirmation in St. Mary's, where, after sermon, the
Bishop of Oxford laid his hands upon us, with the usual
form of benediction prescribed : but this, received (I fear)
for the more part out of curiosity, rather than with that
due preparation and advice which had been requisite,
could not be so effectual as otherwise that admirable and
useful institution might have been, and as I have since
deplored it.

1640, January 21st. Came my brother, Richard, from
school, to be my chamber-fellow at the University. He
was admitted the next day, and matriculated the 31st.

llth April. I went to London to see the solemnity of
his Majesty's riding through the city in state to the short
Parliament, which began the 13th following, a very
glorious and magnificent sight, the King circled with his

140.] JOHN EVELYN. 13

royal diadem and the affections of his people; but the day
after I returned to Wotton again, where I stayed, my
father's indisposition suffering great intervals, till April
27th, when I was sent to London to be first resident at
the Middle Temple ; so as my being at the University, in
regard of these avocations, was of very small benefit to
me. Upon May the 5th following, was the Parliament
unhappily dissolved; and, on the 20th, I returned with
my brother, George, to Wotton, who, on the 28th of the
same month, was married at Albury to Mrs. Caldwell
(an heiress of an ancient Leicestershire family *), where
part of the nuptials was celebrated.

10th June. I repaired with my brother to the Term, to
go into our new lodgings (that were formerly in Essex-
court), being a very handsome apartment just over
against the Hall-court, but four pair of stairs high,
which gave us the advantage of the fairer prospect ; but
did not much contribute to the love of that impolished
study, to which (I suppose) my father had designed
me, when he paid 145/. to purchase our present lives,
and assignments afterwards.

London, and especially the Court, were at this period in
frequent disorders, and great insolences were committed
by the abused and too happy City; in particular, the
Bishop of Canterbury's Palace at Lambeth was assaulted
by a rude rabble from South wark, my Lord Chamber-
lain imprisoned, and many scandalous libels and invec-
tives scattered about the streets, to the reproach of
Government, and the fermentation of our since distrac-
tions : so that, upon the 25th of June, I was sent for to
Wotton, and the 27th after, my father's indisposition
augmenting, by advice of the physicians, he repaired to

7th July. My brother George and I, understanding the
peril my father was in upon a sudden attack of his in-
firmity, rode post from Guildford towards him, and found
him extraordinary weak; yet so as that, continuing his
course, he held out till the 8th of September, when I
returned home with him in his litter.

* A daughter of Daniel Caldwell, Esq., by Mary, daughter of George
Duncomb, Esq., of Albury. She died 15th May, 1644, and he afterwards
married the widow of Sir John Cotton.


15th October. I went to the Temple, it being Mi-
chaelmas Term.*

30th. I saw his Majesty (coming from his northern
expedition) ride in pomp and a kind of ovation, with all
the marks of a happy peace, restored to the affections
of his people, being conducted through London with a
most splendid cavalcade ; and, on the 3rd November
following (a day never to be mentioned without a curse),
to that long ungrateful, foolish, and fatal Parliament, the
beginning of all our sorrows for twenty years after, and
the period of the most happy monarch in the world:
Quis taliafando I f

But my father being by this time entered into a dropsy,
an indisposition the most unsuspected, being a person so
exemplarily temperate, and of admirable regimen, hastened
me back to Wotton, December the 12th ; where, the 24th
following, between twelve and one o'clock at noon, departed
this life that excellent man and indulgent parent, retain-
ing his senses and piety to the last, which he most tenderly
expressed in blessing us, whom he now left to the world
and the worst of times, whilst he was taken from the evil
to come.

1641. It was a sad and lugubrious beginning of the
year, when, on the 2nd of January, 1640-1, we at night
followed the mourning hearse to the church at Wotton ;
when, after a sermon and funeral oration by the minister,
my father was interred near his formerly erected monu-
ment, and mingled with the ashes of our mother, his dear
wife. Thus we were bereft of both our parents in a
period when we most of all stood in need of their counsel
and assistance, especially myself, of a raw, vain, uncertain,
and very unwary inclination; but so it pleased God to
make trial of my conduct in a conjuncture of the greatest
and most prodigious hazard that ever the youth of England
saw ; and, if I did not amidst all this impeach my liberty
nor my virtue with the rest who made shipwreck of both,
it was more the infinite goodness and mercy of God than
the least providence or discretion of mine own, who now

* The Term then be#an in October.

f Notwithstanding this expression, it will afterwards appear, that Mr.
Evelyn by 110 means approved of arbitrary, or tyrannical measures.

1641.] JOHN EVELYN. 15

thought of nothing but the pursuit of vanity, and the
confused imaginations of young men.

15th. I repaired to London to hear and see the famous
trial of the Earl of Strafford, Lord-Deputy of Ireland, who,
on the 22nd of March, had been summoned before both
Houses of Parliament, and now appeared in Westminster-
hall, which was prepared with scaffolds for the Lords and
Commons, who, together with the King, Queen, Prince,
and flower of the noblesse, were spectators and auditors of
the greatest malice and the greatest innocency that ever
met before so illustrious an assembly. It was Thomas
Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal of England,
who was made High Steward upon this occasion ; and the
sequel is too well known to need any notice of the event.

On the 27th, came over out of Holland the young
Prince of Orange, with a splendid equipage, to make love
to his Majesty's eldest daughter, the now Princess Royal.

That evening, was celebrated the pompous funeral of
the Duke of Richmond, who was carried in effigy, with all
the ensigns of that illustrious family, in an open chariot,
in great solemnity, through London to Westminster

On the 12th of May, I beheld on Tower-hill the fatal
stroke which severed the wisest head in England from the
shoulders of the Earl of Strafford, whose crime coming
under the cognizance of no human law, or statute, a new
one was made, not to be a precedent, but his destruction.
With what reluctancy the King signed the execution,
he has sufficiently expressed; to which he imputes his
own unjust suffering to such exorbitancy were things

On the 24th, I returned to Wotton; and, on the 28th of
June, I went to London with my sister Jane, and the day
after sat to one Vanderborcht for my picture in oil, at
Arundel-house, whose servant that excellent painter was,
brought out of Germany when the Earl returned from
Vienna (whither he was sent Ambassador-extraordinary,
with great pomp and charge, though without any effect,
through the artifice of the Jesuited Spaniard, who governed
all in that conjuncture) . With Vanderborcht, the painter,
he brought over Winceslaus Hollar, the sculptor, who
engraved not only this unhappy Deputy's trial in West-


minster-hall, but his decapitation ; as he did several other
historical things, then relating to the accidents happening
during the Rebellion in England, with great skill, besides
many cities, towns, and landscapes, not only of this nation,
but of foreign parts, and divers portraits of famous persons
then in being; and things designed from the best pieces
of the rare paintings and masters of which the Earl of
Arundel was possessor, purchased and collected in his
travels with incredible expense; so as, though Hollar's
were but etched in aqua-fortis, I account the collection to
be the most authentic and useful extant. Hollar was the
son of a gentleman near Prague, in Bohemia, and my very
good friend, perverted at last by the Jesuits at Antwerp to
change his religion ; a very honest, simple, well-meaning
man, who at last came over again into England, where he
died. We have the whole history of the king's reign, from
his trial in Westminster-hall and before, to the restoration
of King Charles II., represented in several sculptures,
with that also of Archbishop Laud, by this indefatigable
artist, besides innumerable sculptures in the works of
Dugdale, Ashmole, and other historical and useful works.
I am the more particular upon this for the fruit of that
collection, which I wish I had entire.

This picture* I presented to my sister, being at her
request, on my resolution to absent myself from this ill
face of things at home, which gave umbrage to wiser
than myself, that the medal was reversing, and our cala-
mities but yet in their infancy; so that, on the 15th
of July, having procured a pass at the Custom-house,
where I repeated my oath of allegiance, I went from
London to Gravesend, accompanied with one Mr. Caryll,
a Surrey gentleman, and our servants, where we arrived
by six o'clock that evening, with a purpose to take the
first opportunity of a passage for Holland. But the
wind as yet not favourable, we had time to view the
Block-house of that town, which answered to another
over against it at Tilbury, famous for the rendezvous
of Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1588, which we found
stored with twenty pieces of cannon, and other ammuni-
tion proportionable. On the 19th, we made a short excur-
sion to Rochester, and having seen the cathedral, went

His own portrait.

1641.] JOHN EVELYN. J7

to Chatham to see the Royal Sovereign, a glorious vessel
of burden lately built there, being for defence and orna-
ment, the richest that ever spread cloth before the wind.*
She carried an hundred brass cannon, and was 1200 tons;
a rare sailer, the work of the famous Phineas Pett, in-
ventor of the frigate-fashion of building, to this day
practised. But what is to be deplored as to this vessel is,
that it cost his Majesty the affections of his subjects,
perverted by the malcontent great ones, who took occasion
to quarrel for his having raised a very slight tax for the
building of this, and equipping the rest of the navy with-
out an act of Parliament ; though, by the suffrages of the
major part of the Judges, the King might legally do in
times of imminent danger, of which his Majesty was best
apprised. But this not satisfying a jealous party, it was
condemned as unprecedential, and not justifiable as to the
Royal prerogative; and, accordingly, the Judges were
removed out of their places, fined, and imprisoned.

"We returned again this evening, and on the 21st em-
barked in a Dutch frigate, bound for Flushing, convoyed
and accompanied by five other stout vessels, whereof one
was a man-of-war. The next day, at noon, we landed at

Being desirous to overtake the Leagure,t which was
then before Genep,J ere the summer should be too far
spent, we went this evening from Flushing to Middleburg,
another fine town in this island, to De Vere, whence the
most ancient and illustrious Earls of Oxford derive their
family, who have spent so much blood in assisting the
state during their wars. From De Vere we passed over
many towns, houses, and ruins of demolished suburbs, &c.,
which have formerly been swallowed up by the sea; at
what time no less than eight of those islands had been
irrecoverably lost.

Accidentally burnt at Chatham, in 1696.

f Mr. Evelyn means by this expression, to be in time to witness the
siege, &c.

On the Waal, a place which, having been greatly strengthened by the
Cardinal Infante D. Fernando, in 1635, was at this time besieged by the
French and Dutch. There is a full account of the siege hi the great work
of Aitzema, a man who with extraordinary patience compiled materials
for the history of the United Provinces, during the greater part of the
seventeenth century. One of his brothers was mortally wounded at this siege.



The next day, we arrived at Dort, the first town of
Holland, furnished with all German commodities, and
especially Rhenish wines and timber. It hath almost at
the extremity a very spacious and venerable church ; a
stately senate-house, wherein was holden that famous
synod against the Armmians in 1618, and in that hall
hangeth a picture of The Passion, an exceeding rare and
much-esteemed piece.

Prom Dort, being desirous to hasten towards the army,
I took waggon this afternoon to Rotterdam, whither we
were hurried in less than an hour, though it be ten miles
distant ; so furiously do these foremen drive. I went first
to visit the great church, the Doole, the Bourse, and the
public statue of the learned Erasmus, of brass. They
showed us his house, or rather the mean cottage, wherein
he was born, over which there are extant these lines, in
capital letters :


The 26th, I passed by a straight and commodious river
through Delft to the Hague; in which journey I observed
divers leprous poor creatures dwelling in solitary huts on
the brink of the water, and permitted to ask the charity
of passengers, which is conveyed to them in a floating box
that they cast out.

Arrived at the Hague, I went first to the Queen of
Bohemia's Court, where I had the honour to kiss her
Majesty's hand, and several of the Princesses' her daugh-
ters. Prince Maurice was also there, newly come out of
Germany, and my Lord Pinch, not long before fled out
of England from the fury of the Parliament. It was a
fasting-day with the Queen for the unfortunate death of
her husband, and the presence-chamber had been hung
with black velvet ever since his decease.

The 28th I Avent to Leyden ; and the 29th to Utrecht,
being thirty English miles distant, (as they reckon by
hours). It was now Kermas, or a fair, in this town, the
streets swarming with boors and rudeness, so that early
the next morning, having visited the ancient Bishop's
court, and the two famous churches, I satisfied my curiosity
till my return, and better leisure. We then came to

1641.] JOHN EVELYN. 19

Rynen, where the Queen of Bohemia hath a neat and
well-built palace, or country-house, after the Italian man-
ner, as I remember; and so, crossing the Rhine, upon
which this villa is situated, lodged that night in a coun-
tryman's house. The 31st to Nimeguen: and on the
2nd of August we arrived at the Leagure, where was then
the whole army encamped about Genep, a very strong
castle situated on the river Waal ; but, being taken four
or five days before, we had only a sight of the demolitions.
The next Sunday was the thanksgiving sermons per-
formed in Colonel Goring* s regiment (eldest son of the since
Earl of Norwich) by Mr. Goffe, his chaplain (now turned
Roman, and father-confessor to 'the Queen-mother) . The
evening was spent in firing cannon, and other expressions
of military triumphs.

Now, according to the compliment, I was received a
volunteer in the company of Captain Apsley, of whose
Captain-lieutenant, Honywood, (Apsley being absent,) I
received many civilities.

3rd August, at night, we rode about the lines of circum-
vallation, the general being then in the field. The next
day, I was accommodated with a very spacious and com-
modious tent for my lodging, as before I was with a horse,
which I had at command, and a hut, which during the
excessive heats was a great convenience ; for the sun
piercing the canvass of the tent, it \ras during the day
unsufferable, and at night not seldom infested with mists
and fog, which ascended from the river.

6th . As the turn came about, we were ordered
to watch on a horn- work near our quarters, and trail a
pike, being the next morning relieved by a company of
French. This was our continual duty till the castle was
re-fortified, and all danger of quitting that station secured;
whence I went to see a Convent of Franciscan Friars, not
far from our quarters, where we found both the chapel and
refectory full, crowded with the goods of such poor people
as at the approach of the army had fled with them thither
for sanctuary. On the day following, I went to view all
the trenches, approaches, and mines of the besiegers ; and,
in particular, I took special notice of the wheel-bridge,
which engine his Excellency had made to run over the
moat when they stormed the castle, as it is since described



(with all the other particulars of this siege) by the author
of " Hollandia Illustrata." The walls and ramparts of
earth, which a mine had broken and crumbled, were of
prodigious thickness.

Upon the 8th, I dined in the horse-quarters with Sir
Robert Stone and his lady, Sir William Stradling, and
divers cavaliers, where there was very good cheer, but hot

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 4 of 46)