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 2) online

. (page 4 of 38)
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 2) → online text (page 4 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Arteries, and Nerves, which great curiosity I had caused
to be made in Italy, out of the natural human bodies, by a
learned physician, and the help of Veslingius (professor at
Padua), from whence I brought them, in 1646.* For this
I received the public thanks of the Society ; and they are
hanging up in their Repository with an inscription.

9th December. To visit the late Lord-Chancellor. I
found him in his garden at his new-built palace, sitting
in his gout wheel-chair, and seeing the gates setting up

* See vol I., page 217.


towards the north and the fields. He looked and spake
very disconsolately. After some while deploring his con-
dition to me, I took my leave. Next morning, I heard he
was gone ; though I am persuaded that, had he gone
sooner, though but to Cornbury, and there lain quiet, it
would have satisfied the Parliament. That which exaspe-
rated them was his presuming to stay and contest the
accusation as long as it was possible : and they were on
the point of sending him to the Tower.

10th. I went to the funeral of Mrs. Heath, wife of my
worthy friend and schoolfellow.

21st. I saw one Carr pilloried at Charing-cross for a
libel, which was burnt before him by the hangman.

1667-8. 8th January. I saw deep and prodigious gaming
at the Groom-Porter's, vast heaps of gold squandered away
in a vain and profuse manner. This I looked on as a
horrid vice, and unsuitable in a Christian Court.

9th. Went to see the revels at the Middle Temple, which
is also an old riotous custom, and has relation neither to
virtue nor policy.

10th. To visit Mr. Povey, where were divers great
Lords to see his well-contrived cellar, and other ele-

24th. We went to stake out ground for building a
college for the Royal Society at Arundel House, but did
not finish it, which we shall repent of.

4th February. I saw the tragedy of " Horace " (written
by the virtuous Mrs. Phillips) acted before their Majesties.
Betwixt each act a masque and antique dance. The
excessive gallantry of the ladies was infinite, those especially
on that . . . Castlemaine, esteemed at 40,OOOJ. and more,
far outshining the Queen.

15th. I saw the audience of the Swedish Ambassador,
Count Donna, in great state in the banqueting-house.

3rd March. Was launched at Deptford, that goodly
vessel, The Charles. I was near his Majesty. She is longer
than the Sovereign, and carries 110 brass cannon; she was
built by old Shish, a plain honest carpenter, master-
builder of this dock, but one who can give very little
account of his art by discourse, and is hardly capable of

* See vol. I., p. 380.

1668.] JOHN EVELYN. 33

reading,* yet of great ability in his calling. The family
have been ship-carpenters in this yard above 100 years.

12th. Went to visit Sir John Cotton, who had me into
his library, full of good MSS. Greek and Latin, but most
famous for those of the Saxon and English Antiquities,
collected by his grandfather.

2nd April. To the Royal Society, where I subscribed
50,000 bricks, towards building a college. Amongst other
libertine libels, there was one now printed and thrown

about, a bold petition of the poor w s to Lady


9th. To London, about finishing my grand account of
the sick and wounded, and prisoners at war, amounting to
above 34,000.

I heard Sir R. Howard impeach Sir William Penn, in
the House of Lords, for breaking bulk, and taking away
rich goods out of the East India prizes, formerly taken by
Lord Sandwich.

28th. To London, about the purchase of Ravensbourne
Mills, and land around it, in Upper Deptford, of one Mr.

30th. We sealed the Deeds in Sir Edward Thurland's
chambers in the Inner Temple. I pray God bless it to me,
it being a dear pennyworth ; but the passion Sir R. BroAvne
had for it, and that it was contiguous to our other grounds,
engaged me !

13th May. Invited by that expert commander, Captain
Cox, master of the lately built Charles the Second, now the
best vessel of the fleet, designed for the Duke of York, I
went to Erith, where we had a great dinner.

16th. Sir Richard Edgecombe, of Mount Edgecombe,
by Plymouth, my relation, came to visit me ; a very virtuous
and worthy gentleman.

19th June. To a new play with several of my relations,
" The Evening Lover," J a foolish plot, and very profane;

* This was the case of Mr. Brindley, who executed such great works for
the Duke of Bridgewatcr, towards the end of the eighteenth century.

t Perhaps Mr. Evelyn knew the author.

J There is no play extant with this name ; it may perhaps be a second
title to one ; Mr. Evelyn frequently mentions only one name of a play that
has two. Or it may be Dryden's comedy of " An Evening's Love, or, The
Mock Astrologer," which is indeed sufficiently licentious.



it afflicted me to see how the stage was degenerated and
polluted by the licentious times.

2nd July. Sir Samuel Tuke, Bart., and the lady he had
married this day, came and bedded at night at my house,
many friends accompanying the bride.

23rd. At the Royal Society, were presented divers glossa
petra's, and other natural curiosities, found in digging to
build the fort at Sheerness. They were just the same as
they bring from Malta, pretending them to be viper's teeth,
whereas, in truth, they are of a shark, as we found by
comparing them with one in our Repository.

3rd August. Mr. Bramstone (son to Judge B.) my old
fellow-traveller, now Reader at the Middle Temple, invited
me to his feast, which was so very extravagant and great
as the like had not been seen at any time. There were
the Duke ofOrmond, Privy Seal, Bedford, Belasis, Halifax,
and a world more of Earls and Lords.

14th. His Majesty was pleased to grant me a lease of a
slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court,
for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into
other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships,
instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new
yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty the perpetual
motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne ; and then
came in Monsieur Colbert, the French Ambassador.

19th. I saw the magnificent entry of the French
Ambassador Colbert, received in the Banqueting House. I
had never seen a richer coach than that which he came in
to Whitehall. Standing by his Majesty at dinner in the
presence, there was of that rare fruit called the King-pine,
growing in Barbadoes and the West Indies ; the first of
them I had ever seen.* His Majesty having cut it up,
was pleased to give me a piece off his own plate to taste
of; but, in my opinion, it falls short of those ravishing
varieties of deliciousness described in Captain Ligon's
History, and others; but possibly it might, or certainly
was, much impaired in coming so far; it has yet a grateful
acidity, but tastes more like the quince and melon than of
any other fruit he mentions.

* See before, the Queen-pine, volume I. p. 353.

16G8.] JOHN EVELYN. 35

28th. Published my book of " The perfection of Paint-
ing/'* dedicated to Mr. Howard.

17th September. I entertained Signor Muccinigo, the
Venetian Ambassador, of one of the noblest families of
the State, this being the day of making his public entry,
setting forth from my house with several gentlemen of
Venice and others in a very glorious train. He staid
with me till the Earl of Anglesea and Sir Charles Cotterell
(Master of the Ceremonies) came with the King's barge to
carry him to the Tower, where the guns were fired at his
landing; he then entered his Majesty's coach, followed by
many others of the nobility. I accompanied him to his
house, where there was a most noble supper to all the
company, of course. After the extraordinary compliments
to me and my wife, for the civilities he received at my
house, I took leave and returned. He is a very accomplished
person. He is since Ambassador at Rome.

29th. I had much discourse with Signor Pietro Cisij, a
Persian gentleman, abotit the affairs of Turkey, to my great
satisfaction. I went to see Sir Elias Leighton's project of
a cart with iron axle-trees.

8th November. Being at dinner, my sister Evelyn, sent
for me to come up to London to my continuing sick

14th. To London, invited to the consecration of that
excellent person, the Dean of Ripon, Dr. Wilkins, now
made Bishop of Chester ; it was at Ely-House, the Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cosin, Bishop of Durham, the
Bishops of Ely, Salisbury, Rochester, and others officiating.
Dr. Tillotson preached. Then, we went to a sumptuous
dinner in the hall, where were the Duke of Buckingham,
Judges, Secretaries of State, Lord-Keeper, Council, Noble-
men, and innumerable other company, who were honourers
of this incomparable man, universally beloved by all who
knew him.

This being the Queen's birth-day, great was the gal-
lantry at Whitehall, and the night celebrated with very
fine fire- works.

My poor brother continuing ill, I went not from him

* Re-printed in Evelyn's "Miscellaneous Writings," 4to, 1825, pp. 553

D 2


till the 17th, when, dining at the Groom Porters, I heard
Sir Edward Sutton play excellently on the Irish harp ; he
performs genteelly, but not approaching my worthy friend,
Mr. Clark, a gentleman of Northumberland, who makes it
execute lute, viol, and all the harmony an instrument is
capable of; pity it is that it is not more in use ; but,
indeed, to play well, takes up the whole man, as Mr. Clark
has assured me, who, though a gentleman of quality and
parts, was yet brought up to that instrument from five
years old, as I remember he told me.

25th. I waited on Lord Sandwich, who presented me
with a Sembrador he brought out of Spain, showing me
his two books of observations made during his embassy
and stay at Madrid ; in which were several rare things he
promised to impart to me.

27th. I dined at my Lord Ashley's (since Earl of
Shaftesbury), when the match of my niece * was proposed
for his only son, in which my assistance was desired for
my Lord.

28th. Dr. Patrick preached at Covent Garden, on
Acts xvii. 31, the certainty of Christ's coming to judg-
ment, it being Advent ; a most suitable discourse.

19th December. I went to see the old play of " Cata-
line " acted, having been now forgotten almost forty

20th. I dined with my Lord Cornbury, at Clarendon-
House, now bravely furnished, especially with the pictures
of most of our ancient and modern wits, poets, philosophers,
famous and learned Englishmen ; which collection of the
Chancellor's I much commended, and gave his Lordship a
catalogue of more to be added, f

* Probably the daughter of his Brother, Richard, of Epsom, but who mar-
ried Mr. Montagu.

fin a letter to the Lord Chancellor, dated 18th March, 1666-7, Mr.
Evelyn says :

" My Lord, your Lordship inquires of me what pictures might be added
to the Assembly of the Learned and Heroic persons of England which your
Lordship has already collected ; the design of which I do infinitely more
magnify than the most famous heads of foreigners, which do not concern the
glory of our country ; and it is in my opinion the most honourable ornament,
the most becoming and obliging, which your Lordship can think of to adorn
your palace withal, such, therefore, as seem to be wanting, I shall range
under these three heads :

1669.] JOHN EVELYN. 37

31st. I entertained my kind neighbours, according to
custom, giving Almighty God thanks for His gracious
mercies to me the past year.

1668-9. 1st January. Imploring His blessing for the


Sir Hen. Saville. Geo.Ripley.

Abp. of Armagh. Win. of Occam.

Dr. Harvey. Hadrian 4th.

Sir H. Wotton. Alex. Ales.

Sir T. Bodley. Yen. Bede.

G. Buchanan. Jo. Duns Scotus.

Jo. Barclay Alcuinus.

Ed. Spencer. Ridley, ~\

-iir T -i T * r martyrs.

Wm. Lily. Latimer, J

Wm. Hooker. Roger Ascham.

Dr. Sanderson. Sir J. Checke.

Wm. Oughtred. . J Eliz. Joan Westou,*

M. Philips. Ladies \ Jaue Grey.

Rog. Bacon.


Sir. Fra. Walsingham. Card. Wolsey.

Earl of Leicester. Sir T. Smith.

Sir W. Raleigh. Card. Pole.


Sir Fra. Drake. Earl of Essex.

Sir J. Hawkins. Talbot.

Sir Martin Frobisher. Sir F. Greville.

Tho. Cavendish. Hor. E. of Oxford.

Sir Ph. Sidney.

" Some of which, though difficult to procure originals of, yet haply copies
might be found out upon diligent inquiry. The rest, I think, your Lordship
has already in good proportion."

Mr. Evelyn, in a letter to Mr. Pepys, dated 12th August, 1689, tells him
that the Lord Chancellor, Clarendon, had collected Portraits of very many of
our great men ; and puts them down promiscuously as he recollected them.
Mr. Evelyn also there gives a list of Portraits which he recommended to be
added, a little different from the list contained in the preceding letter to the
Lord Chancellor ; and remarks that " When Lord Clarendon's design of
making this collection was known, everybody who had any of the portraits,
or could purchase them at any price, strove to make their court by present-
ing them. By this means, he got many excellent pieces of Vandyke, and other
originals by Lely and other the best of our modern masters."

* For an account of her see Ballard's Learned Ladies. There is a very
scarce volume of Latin Poems by her, printed at Prague, 1606. Mr. Evelyn
mentions her in his Numismata. She is much celebrated by the writers of
her time.


year entering, I went to church, where our Doctor preached
ou Psalm Ixv. 12, apposite to the season, and beginning
a new year.

3rd. About this time, one of Sir William Penn's sons
had published a blasphemous book against the Deity of
our Blessed Lord.

29th. I went to see a tall gigantic woman, who measured

6 feet 10 inches high,* at 21 years old, born in the Low

13th February. I presented his Majesty with my " His-
tory of the Four Impostors ; JJ t be told me of other like
cheats. I gave my book to Lord Arlington, to whom I
dedicated it. It was now that he began to tempt me about
writing " the Dutch War."

15th. Saw Mrs. Phillips' s " Horace" acted again.

18th. To the Royal Society, when Signor Malpighi, an
Italian physician and anatomist, sent this learned body
the incomparable History of the Silkworm.

1st March. Dined at Lord Arlington's at Goring House,
with the Bishop of Hereford.

4th. To the Council of the Royal Society, about disposing
my Lord Howard's library, now given to us.

16th. To London, to place Mr. Christopher Wase about
my Lord Arlington.

1 8th. I went with Lord Howard of Norfolk, to visit Sir
William Ducie at Charlton, where we dined ; the servants
made our coachmen so drunk, that they both fell off their
boxes on the heath, where we were fain to leave them, and
were driven to London by two servants of my Lord's.
This barbarous custom of making the masters welcome by
intoxicating the servants, had now the second time hap-
pened to my coachman.

My son came finally from Oxford.

2nd April. Dined at Mr. Treasurer's, where was (with
many noblemen) Colonel Titus of the bed-chamber, author
of the famous piece against Cromwell, "Killing no Murder."

I now placed Mr. Wase with Mr. Williamson, Secretary
to the Secretary of State, and Clerk of the Papers.

Some years back, there was living in England a gentlewoman, who was

7 feet 5 inches high. She died about the age of 27.

t Re-printed in Evelyn's "Miscellaneous Writings," 4to, 1825, pp. 563

1C69.] JOHN EVELYN. 39

14th. I dined with tlie Archbishop of Canterbury, at
Lambeth, and saw the library which was not very con-

19th May. At a Council of the Royal Society our grant
was finished, in which his Majesty gives us Chelsea College,
and some land about it. It was ordered that five should
be a quorum for a Council. The Vice-President was then
sworn for the first time, and it was proposed how we
should receive the Prince of Tuscany, who desired to visit
the Society.

20th. This evening, at 10 o'clock, was born my third
daughter, who was baptized on the 25th by the name of

3rd June. Went to take leave of Lord Howard, going
Ambassador to Morocco. Dined at Lord Arlington's,
where were the Earl of Berkshire, Lord Saint John, Sir
Robert Howard, and Sir R. Holmes.

10th. Came my Lord Cornbury, Sir William Pulteney,
and others, to visit me. I went this evening to London,
to carry Mr. Pepys to my Brother Richard, now exceed-
ingly afflicted with the stone, who had been successfully
cut, and carried the stone as big as a tennis-ball, to show
him and encourage his resolution to go through the

30th. My wife went a journey of pleasure down the
river as far as the sea, with Mrs. Howard, and her daughter,
the Maid of Honour, and others, amongst whom that
excellent creature, Mrs. Blagge.

7th July. I went towards Oxford ; lay at Little Wycomb.
8th. Oxford.

9th. In the morning, was celebrated the Encaenia of
the New Theatre, so magnificently built by the munificence
of Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, in
which was spent 25,000, as Sir Christopher Wren, the
architect, (as I remember), told me ; and yet it was never
seen hy the benefactor, my Lord Archbishop having told me
that he never did nor ever would see it. It is, in truth, a
fabric comparable to any of this kind of former ages, and
doubtless exceeding any of the present, as this University
does for colleges, libraries, schools, students and order, all
the Universities in the world. To the theatre is added
he famous Sheldonian printing-house. This being at the


Act and the first time of opening the Theatre (Acts being
formerly kept in St. Mary's church, which might be
thought indecent, that being a place set apart for the im-
mediate worship of God, and was the inducement for
building this noble pile), it was now resolved to keep the
present Act in it, and celebrate its dedication with the
greatest splendour and formality that might be; and,
therefore, drew a world of strangers, and other company,
to the "University, from all parts of the nation.

The Vice-Chancellor, Heads of Houses, and Doctors,
being seated in magisterial seats, the Vice-Chancellor's
chair and desk, Proctors, &c., covered with brocatelle (a
kind of brocade) and cloth of gold ; the University Regis-
trar read the founder's grant and gift of it to the University
for their scholastic exercises upon these solemn occasions.
Then followed Dr. South, the University's orator, in an
eloquent speech, which was very long, and not without
some malicious and indecent reflections on the Royal
Society, as underminers of the University ; which was very
foolish and untrue, as well as unseasonable. But, to let
that pass from an ill-natured man, the rest was in praise
of the Archbishop and the ingenious architect. This
ended, after loud music from the corridor above, where an
organ was placed, there followed divers panegyric speeches,
both in prose and verse, interchangeably pronounced by
the young students placed in the rostrums, in Pindarics,
Eclogues, Heroics, &c., mingled with excellent music,
vocal and instrumental, to entertain the ladies and the
rest of the company. A speech was then made in praise
of academical learning. This lasted from eleven in the
morning till seven at night, which was concluded with
ringing of bells, and universal joy and feasting.

10th. The next day, began the more solemn lectures in
all the faculties, which were performed in their several
schools, where all the Inceptor-Doctors did their exercises,
the Professors having first ended their reading. The
assembly now returned to the Theatre, where the Terrce
filius (the University Buffoon] entertained the auditory with
a tedious, .abusive, sarcastical rhapsody, most unbecoming
the gravity of the University, and that so grossl}-, that
unless it be suppressed, it will be of ill consequence, as I
afterwards plainly expressed my sense of it both to the


Vice-Chancellor and several Heads of Houses, who were
perfectly ashamed of it, and resolved to take care of it
in future. The old facetious way of rallying upon the
questions was left off, falling wholly Tipoii persons, so that
it was rather licentious lying and railing than genuine
and noble wit. In my life, I was never witness of so
shameful entertainment.

After this ribaldry, the Proctors made their speeches.
Then, began the music art, vocal and instrumental, above
in the balustrade corridor opposite to the Vice-Chancellor's
seat. Then, Dr. Wallis, the mathematical Professor, made
his oration, and created one Doctor of music according to
the usual ceremonies of gown (which was of white damask),
cap, ring, kiss, &c. Next, followed the disputations of the
Inceptor-Doctors in Medicine, the speech of their Pro-
fessor, Dr. Hyde, and so in course their respective creations.
Then disputed the Inceptors of Law, the speech of their
Professor, and creation. Lastly, Inceptors of Theology:
Dr. Compton (brother to the Earl of Northampton) being
junior, began with great modesty and applause ; so the
rest. After which, Dr. Tillotson, Dr. Sprat, &c., and then
Dr. Allestree's speech, the King's Professor, and their
respective creations. Last of all, the Vice-Chancellor,
shutting up the whole in a panegyrical oration, celebrating
their benefactor and the rest, apposite to the occasion.

Thus was the Theatre dedicated by the scholastic exer-
cises in all the Faculties with great solemnity ; and the
night, as the former, entertaining the new Doctors' friends
in feasting and music. I was invited by Dr. Barlow, the
worthy and learned Provost of Queen's College.

llth. The Act sermon was this forenoon preached by
Dr. Hall, in St. Mary's, in an honest practical discourse
against Atheism. In the afternoon, the church was so
crowded, that not coming early I could not approach to

12th. Monday. Was held the Divinity- Act in the
Theatre again, when proceeded seventeen Doctors, in all
Faculties some.

13th. I dined at the Vice-Chancellor's, and spent the
afternoon in seeing the rarities of the public libraries, and
visiting the noble marbles and inscriptions, now inserted
in the walls that compass the area of the Theatre, which


were 150 of the most ancient and worthy treasures of that
kind in the learned world. Now, observing that people
approach them too near, some idle persons began to scratch
and injure them, I advised that a hedge of holly should be
planted at the foot of the wall, to be kept breast-high only
to protect them ; which the Vice-Chancellor promised to
do the next season.

14th. Dr. Fell,* Dean of Christ-church and Vice-
Chancellor, with Dr. Allestree Professor, with beadles
and maces before them, came to visit me at my lodg-
ing. I went to visit Lord Howard's sons at Magdalen

15th. Having two days before had notice, that the
University intended me the honour of Doctorship, I was
this morning attended by the beadles belonging to the
Law, who conducted me to the Theatre, where I found the
Duke of Ormond (now Chancellor of the University) with
the Earl of Chesterfield and Mr. Spencer (brother to the
late Earl of Sunderland). Thence, we marched to the
Convocation-House, a convocation having been called on
purpose ; here, being all of us robed in the porch in scarlet
with caps and hoods, we were led in by the Professor of
Laws, and presented respectively by name, with a short
eulogy, to the Vice- Chancellor, who sate in the chair, with
all the Doctors and Heads of Houses and masters about
the room, which was exceeding full. Then, began the
Public Orator his speech, directed chiefly to the Duke of
Ormond, the Chancellor; but in which I had my com-
pliment, in course. This ended, we were called up, and
created Doctors according to the form, and seated by the
Vice-Chancellor amongst the Doctors, on his right hand ;
then, the Vice-Chancellor made a short speech, and so,
saluting our brother Doctors, the pageantry concluded,
and the convocation was dissolved. So formal a creation
of honorary Doctors had seldom been seen, that a con-
vocation should be called on purpose, and speeches made
by the Orator ; but they could do no less, their Chancellor
being to receive, or rather do them, this honour. I should
have been made Doctor with the rest at the public Act,
but their expectation of their Chancellor made them defer

* Afterwards, Bishop of Oxford.

1669.] JOHN EVELYN. 4,3

it. I was then led with my brother Doctors to an extra-
ordinary entertainment at Dr. Mewes', head of St. John's

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 2) → online text (page 4 of 38)