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 44 of 46)
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fell to it with their swords, both which the Spaniards received without
removing one jot from their stations.

During this demcsle (in which the French received some repulse, and were
put to a second stand) a bold and dexterous fellow, and, as most affirm, with
a particular instrument as well as address, stooping under the bellies of the
French Ambassador's coach-horses, cut the ham-strings of two of them, and
wounded a third, which immediately falling, the coach for the present was
disabled from advancing farther, the coachman forced out of his box, and
the postillion mortally wounded, who, falling into the arms of an English
gentleman that stepped in to his succour, was by a Spaniard pierced through
his thigh. This disorder (wherein several were wounded and some slain)
caused those in the French coach to alight, and so enraged their party, that
it occasioned a second brisk assault both of horse and foot, which being
received with extraordinary gallantry, many of their horses retreated, and
wheeled off towards St. Katharine's.

It was in this skirmish that some brickbats were thrown from the edge of
the wharf, which by a mistake are said to have been provided by the Spanish
Ambassador's order the day before.

In this interim, then (which was near half an hour) the Spanish coach went
forward after his Majesty's with about twenty of his retinue following, who
still kept their countenance towards the French as long as they abode on the
wharf, and that narrow part of the bulwark (where the contest was very
fierce) without disorder ; so as the first which appeared on Tower-hill, where
now they were entering, was his Majesty's coach followed by the Swede's
Ambassador's, and next by that of Spain, with about twenty-four or thirty
of his liveries still disputing it with a less number of French, who came after
them in the rear.

And here, besides what were slain with bullets on the wharf and near the
bulwark whereof one was a valet de chambre of the Spanish Ambassador's,
and six more, amongst which were a poor English plasterer, and near forty
wounded, fell one of the French, who was killed just before his Highness's
life-guard. No one person of the numerous spectators intermeddling,
or so much as making the least noise or tumult, people or soldiers, whereof
there were three companies of foot, which stood on the hill opposite to the
Guards of Horse, 'twixt whom the antagonists lightly skirmished, some fresh
parties of French coming out of several places and protected by the English,
amongst whom they found shelter till the Spanish Ambassador's coach hav-
ing gained and passed the chain which leads in Crutched Friars, they desisted
and gave them over.

Near half an hour after this, came the French coach (left all this while in
disorder on the wharf), with two horses and a coachman, who had a cara-
bine by his side, and, as the officers think, only a footman in the coach, and a
loose horse running by. Next to him, went the Holland Ambassador's coach,
then the Swede's second coach. These being all advanced upon the hill, the
Duke of Albemarle's coach, with the rest of the English, were stopped by
interposition of his Royal Highness's Life-guard, which had express order to
march immediately after the last Ambassador's coach ; and so they went on,
without any farther interruption.

This is the most accurate relation of what passed, as to matter of fact,
from honourable, most ingenuous, and disinterested eye-witnesses ; as by his
Majesty's command it was taken, and is here set down.

But there is yet something behind which was necessary to be inserted into
this Narrative, in reference to the preamble ; and, as it tends to the utter


dissolving of those oblique suspicions, which have any aspect on his Majesty's
subjects, whether spectators, or others : and therefore it is to be taken notice,
that, at the arrival of the Venetian Ambassador, some months since, the
Ambassadors of France and Spain, intending to send both their coaches to
introduce him, the Ambassador of Spain having before agreed with the
Count de Soissons that they should assist at no public ceremonies, but, upon
all such casual encounters, pass on their way as they fortuned to meet ; it
had been wished that this expedient might still have taken place. But
Monsieur de Strade having, it seems, received positive commands from his
master, that notwithstanding any such accord, he should nothing abate of his
pretence, or the usual respect showed upon all such occasions, he insisted on
putting this injunction of the king his master in execution, at arrival of the
Swedish Ambassador. His Majesty, notwithstanding all the just pretences
which he might have taken, reflecting on the disorders that might possibly
arise in this city, in which for several nights he had been forced to place
extraordinary guards ; and, because he would not seem to take upon him the
decision of this punctilio, in prejudice of either Ambassador, as his charitable
interposition might be interpreted ; his Majesty declaring himself withal no
umpire in this unpleasing and invidious controversy, permitted that, both
their coaches going, they might put their servants and dependents into such
a posture as they should think fittest, and most becoming their respective
pretences : but in the meantime commanded (upon pain of his highest dis-
pleasure), that none of his Majesty's subjects, of what degree soever, should
presume to interpose in their differences. But, in truth, the care of his offi-
cers, and especially that of Sir Charles Barclay, captain of his Royal High-
ness's life-guard (which attended this service), was so eminent and particular,
that they permitted not a man of the spectators so much as with a switch in
his hand, whom they did not chastise severely.

As to that which some have refined upon, concerning the shower of bricks
which fell in this contest (whether industriously placed there or no, for some
others of the Spanish party assigned to that post), 'tis affirmed by the con-
current suffrage of all the spectators, that none of them were cast by any of
his Majesty's subjects, till, being incensed by the wounds which they received
from the shot which came in amongst them (and whereof some of them 'tis
said, are since dead), and not divining to what farther excess this new and
unexpected compliment might rise, a few of the rabble, and such as stood on
that side of the wharf, were forced to defend themselves with what they found
at hand ; and to which, 'tis reported, some of them were animated by a fresh
remembrance of the treatment they received at Chelsea, and not long since
in Covent-garden, which might very well qualify this article from having any-
thing of design that may reflect on their superiors ; nor were it reasonable
that they should stand charged for the rudeness of such sort of people, as in
all countries upon like occasions, and in such a confusion is inevitable.
Those who observed the armed multitudes of French which rushed in near
the chain on Tower-hill, issuing out of several houses there, and corning in
such a tumultuous and indecent manner amongst the peaceable spectators,
would have seen that, but for the temper of the officers, and presence of the
Guards, into how great an inconveniency they had engaged themselves. Nor
have they at all to accuse any for the ill success which attended, if the French
would a little reflect upon the several advantages which their antagonists had
consulted, to equal that by stratagem which they themselves had gained by
numbers, and might still have preserved, with the least of circumspection.

It was evidently the conduct of the Spaniards, not their arms, which was
decisive here ; nor had his Majesty, or his people, the least part in it, but
what the French have infinite obligations to ; since, without this extraordi-
nary indulgence and care to protect them, they had, in all probability, drawn


a worse inconveniency upon them, by appearing with so little respect to the
forms which are used upon all such occasions.

There need, then, no other arguments to silence the mistakes which fly
about, that his Majesty's subjects should have had so much as the least
temptation to mingle in this contest, not only because they knew better what is
their duty, for reverence to his Majesty's commands (which were now most
express) . and whose Guards were ready to interpose where any such inclina-
tion had in the least appeared, so as to do right to the good people spectators
(whose curiosity on all such occasions compose no small part of these solem-
nities), that report which would signify their misbehaviour is an egregious
mistake, and worthy to be reproved. Nor becomes it the French (of all the
nations under Heaven) to suspect his Majesty of partiality in this affair,
whose extraordinary civility to them, ever since his happy restoration, has
appeared so signal, and is yet the greatest ingredient to this declaration,
because, by the disquisition of these impartial truths, he endeavours still to
preserve it most inviolable.

Written by Mr. Evelyn wndemeath.

This, Sir, is what I was able to collect of that contest, by his Majesty's spe-
cial command, from the Right Honourable Sir W. Compton, Master of the
Ordnance of the Tower, and of his major present, of Sir Charles Barclay, and
several others, all there present, and from divers of the inhabitants and other
spectators, whom I examined from house to house, from the spot where the
dispute began, to Crutched Friars, where it ended. The rest of the reflections
were special hints from his Majesty's own mouth, the first time I read it to
him, which was the second day after the contest.

Indorsed by Mr. Evelyn. The Contest 'twixt the French and Spanish
Ambassadors on Tower-hill for Precedency. Note, That copies of this were
dispatched to the Lord Ambassador in France, who was my Lord of St.
Alban's. Also, another was written to be laid up and kept in the Paper
Oflice, at Whitehall.



VoL I., p. 310, second note, for Off Alley," read " Of Alley.'
p. 328, second note, dele a fine."
p. 363, second note, for " 1668," read 1688."

Vol. II., p. 129, for Gray," read " Grey."

New and^ Revised Edition, with Numerous Passages now restored from th
Original Manuscript, and many additional Notes.

Now complete, in live vols. post 8vo. with Portraits, &c., price 10s. Gel. each, bound,






The authority of PEPYS, as an historian and illustrator of a considerable
portion of the seventeenth century, has been so fully acknowledged by
every scholar and critic, that it is now scarcely necessary even to remind
the reader of the advantages he possessed for producing the most com-
plete and trustworthy record of events, and the most agreeable picture
of society and manners, to be found in the literature of any nation. In
confidential communication with the reigning sovereigns, holding high
official employment, placed at the head of the Scientific and Learned of
a period remarkable for intellectual impulse, mingling in every circle,
and observing everything and everybody whose characteristics were
worth noting down ; and possessing, moreover, an intelligence peculiarly
fitted for seizing the most graphic points in whatever he attempted to
delineate, PEPYS may be considered the most valuable as well as the
most entertaining of our National Historians.

A New Edition of this work, comprising the restored passages so
much desired, with such additional annotations as have been called for
by the vast advances in antiquarian and historical knowledge during the
last twenty years, will doubtless be regarded as one of the most im-
portant, as well as most agreeable, additions that could be made to the
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" Pepys' Diary makes us comprehend the great historical events of the age, and the
people who here a part in them, and gives us more clear glimpses into the true English
life of the times than all the other memorials of them that have come down to our own."

Edinburgh Review.

' " Pepys' Diary now appears in iU integral state. This, the third edition of the best book
of its kind in the Eng'isli language, is therefore the only true edition of the book. The new
matter is extremely curirus, and occasionally far more characteristic and entertaining than
the old. The writer is seen in a clearer light, and the reader is taken into his inmost soul.
Pepys' Diary is the ablest picture of the age in which the writer lived, and a work of
standard importance in English literature." Athenceum.





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New and Revised Edition, with numerous Passages now restored from the Original Manu-
script, and many Additional Notes, complete in 5 vols., post 8vo., with Portraits, &e.,
price 10s. Gd. each, bound.

" Pepys' Diary is now to appear in its integral state. This, the third edition of the
best book of its kind in the English language, is therefore the only true edition of the
book. The new matter is extremely curious, and occasionally far more characteristic and
entertaining 'than the old. The writer is seen in a clearer light, and the reader is taken
into his inmost soul. Pepys' Diary is the ablest picture of the age in which the writer lived,
and a work of standard importance in English literature." Affienceum.

" Pepys' Diary makes us comprehend the great historical events of the ago, and the
people who bore a part in them, and gives us more clear glimpses into the true English life
of the times, than all the other memorials of them that have come down to our own."
Edinburgh Review.

" There is much in Pepys' Diary that throws a distinct and vivid light over the picture
of England and its government during the period succeeding the Restoration. If, quitting
the broad path of historv, we look for minute information concerning ancient manners and
customs, the progress of arts and sciences, and the various branches of antiquity, we have
never seen a mine so rich as these volumes. The variety of Pepys' tastes and pursuits led
him into almost every department of life. He was a man of business, a man of informa-
tion, a man of whim, and, to a certain degree, a man of pleasure. He was a statesman,
a bel-esprit, a virtuoso, and a connoisseur. His curiosity made him an unwearied, as well
as an universal, learner, and whatever he saw found its way into his tables." Quarterly

" We owe Pepys a debt of gratitude for the rare and curious information he has
bequeathed to us in this most amusing and interesting work. His Diary is valuable, as
depicting to us many of the most important characters of the times. Its author has

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 44 of 46)