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her to do so.

30th October, 1680. I went to London to be private,
my birthday being the next day, and I now arrived at
my sixtieth year; on which I began a more solemn sur-
vey of my whole life, in order to the making and con-
firming my peace with God, by an accurate scrutiny of
all my actions past, as far as I was able to call them to
mind. How difficult and uncertain, yet how necessary a
work! The Lord be merciful to me, and accept me!

*Pope Alexander VII., of the family of Chighi, at Sienna.



152 DIARY OF LONDON

Who can tell how oft he offendeth ? Teach me, there-
fore, so to number my days, that I may apply my heart
unto wisdom, and make my calling and election sure.
Amen, Lord Jesus!

31st October, 16S0. I spent this whole day in exer-
cises. A stranger preached at Whitehall * on Luke xvi.
30, 31. I then went to St. Martin's, where the Bishop
of St. Asaph preached on i Peter iii. 15; the Holy Com-
munion followed, at which I participated, humbly im-
ploring God's assistance in the great work I was entering
into. In the afternoon, I heard Dr. Sprat, at St. Mar-
garet's, on Acts xvii. 11.

I began and spent the whole week in examining my
life, begging pardon for my faults, assistance and bless-
ing for the future, that I might, in some sort, be pre-
pared for the time that now drew near, and not have the
great work to begin, when one can work no longer. The
Lord Jesus help and assist me! I therefore stirred little
abroad till the 5th of November, when I heard Dr. Tenison,
the now vicar of St. Martin's ; Dr. Lloyd, the former in-
cumbent, being made Bishop of St. Asaph.

7th November, 1680. I participated of the blessed
Communion, finishing and confirming my resolutions of
giving myself up more entirely to God, to whom I had now
most solemnly devoted the rest of the poor remainder of
life in this world; the Lord enabling me, who am an un-
profitable servant, a miserable sinner, yet depending on
his infinite goodness and mercy accepting my endeavors.

15th November, 1680. Came to dine with us Sir Rich-
ard Anderson, his lady, son and wife, sister to my daugh-
ter-in-law.

30th November, 1680. The anniversary election at the
Royal Society brought me to London, where was chosen
President that excellent person and great philosopher,
Mr. Robert Boyle, who indeed ought to have been the
ver}' first; but neither his infirmity nor his modesty
could now any longer excuse him. I desired I might for
this year be left out of the Council, by reason my dwell-
ing was in the country. The Society according to cus-
tom dined together.

The signal day begun the trial (at which I was present)

* Probably to the King's household, very early in the morning, as the
custom was.



i68o JOHN EVELYN 153

of my Lord Viscount Stafford, (for conspiring the death
of the King), second son to my Lord Thomas Howard,
Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal of England,
and grandfather to the present Duke of Norfolk, whom
I so well knew, and from which excellent person I re-
ceived so many favors. It was likewise his birthday.
The trial was in Westminster Hall, before the King,
Lords, and Commons, just in the same manner as, forty
years past, the great and wise Earl of Strafford (there
being but one letter differing their names) received
his trial for pretended ill government in Ireland, in the
very same place, this Lord Stafford's father being then
High Steward. The place of sitting was now exalted
some considerable height from the paved floor of the
hall, with a stage of boards. The throne, woolsacks for
the Judges, long forms for the Peers, chair for the Lord
Steward, exactly ranged, as in the House of Lords. The
sides on both hands scaffolded to the very roof for the
members of the House of Commons. At the upper end,
and on the right side of the King's state, was a box for
his Majesty, and on the left others for the great ladies,
and over head a gallery for ambassadors and public min-
isters. At the lower end, or entrance, was a bar, and place
for the prisoner, the Lieutenant of the Tower of London,
the ax-bearer and guards, my Lord Stafford's two daughters,
the Marchioness of Winchester being one ; there was like-
wise a box for my Lord to retire into. At the right
hand, in another box, somewhat higher, stood the wit-
nesses; at the left, the managers, in the name of the
Commons of England, namely, Serjeant Maynard (the
great lawyer, the same who prosecuted the cause against
the Earl of Strafford forty years before, being now near
eighty years of age), Sir William Jones, late Attorney-
General, Sir Francis Winnington, a famous pleader, and
Mr. Treby, now Recorder of London, not appearing in
their gowns as lawyers, but in their cloaks and swords,
as representing the Commons of England: to these were
joined Mr. Hampden, Dr. Sacheverell, Mr. Poule, Colonel
Titus, Sir Thomas Lee, all gentlemen of quality, and
noted parliamentary men. The first two days, in which
were read the commission and impeachment, were but a
tedious entrance into matter of fact, at which I was but
little present. But, on Thursday, I was commodiously



154 DIARY OF London

seated among the Commons, when the witnesses were
sworn and examined. The principal witnesses were Mr.
Dates (w^ho called himself Dr.), Mr. Dugdale, and Turber-
ville. Gates swore that he delivered a commission to
Viscount Stafford from the Pope, to be Paymaster-
General to an army intended to be raised; Dugdale, that
being at Lord Aston 's, the prisoner dealt with him plainly
to murder his Majesty; and Turberville, that at Paris he
also proposed the same to him.

3d December, 1680. The depositions of my Lord's
witnesses \vere taken, to invalidate the King's witnesses;
the)'- were very slight persons, but, being fifteen or six-
teen, they took up all that day, and in truth they rather
did my Lord more injury than service.

4th December, 1680. Came other witnesses of the
Commons to corroborate the King's, some being Peers,
some Commons, with others of good quality, who took off
all the former day s objections, and set the King's wit-
nesses recti in curia.

6th December, 16S0. Sir William Jones summed up the
evidence ; to him succeeded all the rest of the managers,
and then Mr. Henry Poule made a vehement oration.
After this iny Lord, as on all occasions, and often during
the trial, spoke in his ovv^ defense, denying the charge
altogether, and that he had never seen Gates, or Turber-
ville, at the time and manner affirmed: in truth, their
testimony did little wxigh with me; Dugdale's only
seemed to press hardest, to which my Lord spoke a great
while, but confusedly, without any method.

Gne thing my Lord said as to Gates, which I confess
did exceedingly affect me : That a person who during his
depositions should so vauntingly brag that though he
went over to the Church of Rome, yet he was never a
Papist, nor of their religion, all the time that he seemed
to apostatize from the Protestant, but only as a spy;
though he confessed he took their sacrament; worshiped
images, went through all their oaths and discipline of
their proselytes, swearing secrecy and to be faithful, but
wath intent to come over again and betray them; that
such a hypocrite, that had so deeply prevaricated as
even to turn idolater (for so v/e of the Church of Eng-
land termed it), attesting God so solemnly that he was
entirely theirs and devoted to their interest, and conse-



i68o JOHN EVELYN 155

quently (as he pretended) trusted; I say, that the wit-
ness of such a profligate wretch should be admitted
against the life of a peer, — this my Lord looked upon as
a monstrous thing, and such as must needs redound to
the dishonor of our religion and nation. And verily I
am of his Lordship's opinion: such a man's testimony
should not be taken against the life of a dog. But the
merit of something material which he discovered against
Coleman, put him in such esteem with the Parliament,
that now, I fancy, he stuck at nothing, and thought every-
body was to take what he said for Gospel. The consid-
eration of this, and some other circumstances, began to
stagger me ; particularly how it was possible that one who
went among the Papists on such a design, and pretended
to be intrusted with so many letters and commissions
from the Pope and the party, — nay, and delivered them to
so many great persons, — should not reserve one of them
to show, nor so much as one copy of any commission,
which he who had such dexterity in opening letters
might certainly have done, to the undeniable conviction
of those whom he accused; but, as I said, he gained
credit on Coleman. But, as to others whom he so madly
flew upon, I am little inclined to believe his testimony,
he being so slight a person, so passionate, ill bred, and of
such impudent behavior; nor is it likely that such pierc-
ing politicians as the Jesuits should trust him with so
high and so dangerous secrets.

7th December, 1680. On Tuesday, I v\ras again at the
trial, when judgment was demanded ; and, after my Lord
had spoken what he could in denying the fact, the man-
agers answering the objections, the Peers adjourned to
their House, and within two hours returned again. There
was, in the meantime, this question put to the judges,



Online LibraryMichael DraytonUniversal classics library (Volume 10) → online text (page 15 of 34)