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about the placing and structure thereof, a worthy and
laudable design. He told me there were thirty or forty
young men in Orders in his parish, either governors to

i684 JOHN EVELYN 195

young gentlemen or chaplains to noblemen, who being-
reproved by him on occasion for frequenting taverns or
coffeehouses, told him they would study or employ their
time better, if they had books. This put the pious Doc-
tor on this design ; and indeed a great reproach it is that
so great a city as London should not have a public library
becoming it. There ought to be one at St. Paul's; the
west end of that church (if ever finished) would be a
convenient place.

23d February, 1684. I went to Sir John Chardin, who
desired my assistance for the engraving the plates, the
translation, and printing his History of that wonderful
Persian Monument near Persepolis, and other rare an-
tiquities, which he had caused to be drawn from the
originals in his second journey into Persia, which we now
concluded upon. Afterward, I went with Sir Christopher
Wren to Dr. Tenison, where we made the drawing and
estimate of the expense of the library, to be begun this
next spring near the Mews.

Great expectation of the Prince of Orange's attempts
in Holland to bring those of Amsterdam to consent to
the new levies, to which we were no friends, by a pseudo-
politic adherence to the French interest.

26th February, 1684. Came to visit me Dr. Turner,
our new Bishop of Rochester.

28th February, 1684. I dined at Lady Tuke's, where
I heard Dr. Walgrave (physician to the Duke and Duchess)
play excellently on the lute

7th March, 1684. Dr. Meggot, Dean of Winchester,
preached an incomparable sermon (the King being now
gone to Newmarket), on Heb. xii. 15, showing and
pathetically pressing the care we ought to have lest we
come short of the grace of God. Afterward, I went to
visit Dr. Tenison at Kensington, whither he was retired
to refresh, after he had been sick of the smallpox.

15th March, 1684. At Whitehall preached Mr. Henry
Godolphin, a prebend of St. Paul's, and brother to my
dear friend Sydney, on Isaiah Iv. 7. I dined at the Lord
Keeper's, and brought him to Sir John Chardin, who
showed him his accurate drafts of his travels in Persia.

28th March, 1684. There was so great a concourse of
people with their children to be touched for the Evil,
that six or seven were crushed to death by pressing at


the chirurg; con's door for tickets. The weather began to
be more mild and tolerable ; but there was not the least
appearance of any spring,

30th March, 1684. Easter day. The Bishop of Roches-
ter preached before the King; after which his Majesty,
accompanied with three of his natural sons, the Dukes
of Northumberland, Richmond, and St. Alban (sons of
Portsmouth, Cleveland, and Nelly), went up to the altar;
the three boys entering before the King within the rails,
at the right hand, and three bishops on the left: London
(who officiated), Durham, and Rochester, with the sub-
dean. Dr. Holder. The King, kneeling before the altar,
making his offering, the Bishops first received, and then
his Majesty; after which he retired to a canopied seat on
the right hand. Note, there was perfume burned before
the office began. I had received the Sacrament at White-
hall early with the Lords and household, the Bishop of
London officiating. Then went to St. Martin's, where
Dr. Tenison preached (recovered from the smallpox) ;
then went again to Whitehall as above. In the after-
noon, went to St. Martin's again.

4th April, 1684. I returned home with my family to
my house at Sayes Court, after five months' residence in
London; hardly the least appearance of any spring,

30th April, 1684. A letter of mine to the Royal Soci-
ety concerning the terrible effects of the past winter being
read, they desired it might be printed in the next part
of their " Transactions. *^

loth May, 1684. I went to visit my brother in Surrey.
Called by the way at Ashted, where Sir Robert Howard
(Auditor of the Exchequer) entertained me very civilly
at his newly-built house, which stands in a park on the
Down, the avenue south ; though down hill to the house,
which is not great, but with the outhouses very conven-
ient. The staircase is painted by Verrio with the story
of Astrea; among other figures is the picture of the
painter himself, and not unlike him; the rest is well
done, only the columns did not at all please me; there
is also Sir Robert's own picture in an oval; the whole in
fresco. The place has this great defect, that there is no
water but what is drawn up by horses from a very deep well.

nth May, 1684. Visited Mr. Higham, who was ill,
and died three days after. His grandfather and father

i684 JOHN EVELYN 197

(who christened me), with himself, had now been rectors
of this parish loi years, viz, from May, 1583.

12th May, 1684. I returned to London, where I found
the Commissioners of the Admiralty abolished, and the
office of Admiral restored to the Duke, as to the dispos-
ing and ordering all sea business ; but his Majesty signed
all petitions, papers, warrants, and commissions, that the
Duke, not acting as admiral by commission or office,
might not incur the penalty of the late Act against Pa-
pists and Dissenters holding offices, and refusing the oath
and test. Every one was glad of this change, those in
the late Commission being utterly ignorant in their duty,
to the great damage of the Navy.

The utter ruin of the Low Country was threatened by
the siege of Luxemburg, if not timely relieved, and by
the obstinacy of the Hollanders, who refused to assist the
Prince of Orange, being corrupted by the French.

1 6th May, 1684. I received ;^6oo of Sir Charles Bick-
erstaff for the fee farm of Pilton, in Devon.

26th May, 1684. Lord Dartmouth was chosen Master
of the Trinity Company, newly returned with the fleet
from blowing up and demolishing Tangier. In the ser-
mon preached on this occasion. Dr. Can observed that,
in the 27th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the cast-
ing anchor out of the fore ship had been caviled at as
betraying total ignorance: that it is very true our seamen
do not do so; but in the Mediterranean their ships were
built differently from ours, and to this day it was the
practice to do so there.

Luxemburg was surrendered to the French, which
makes them master of all the Netherlands, gives them
entrance into Germany, and a fair game for universal
monarchy; which that we should suffer, who only and
easily might have hindered, astonished all the world.
Thus is the poor Prince of Orange ruined, and this nation
and all the Protestant interest in Europe following, unless
God in his infinite mercy, as by a miracle, interpose,
and our great ones alter their counsels. The French
fleet were now besieging Genoa, but after burning much
of that beautiful city with their bombs, went off with

nth June, 1684. My cousin, Verney, to whom a very
great fortune was fallen, came to take leave of us, going into


the country; a very worthy and virtuous young gentle-

1 2th June, 1684. I went to advise and give directions
about the building of two streets in Berkeley Garden, re-
serving the house and as much of the garden as the
breadth of the house. In the meantime, I could not but
deplore that sweet place (by far the most noble gardens,
courts, and accommodations, stately porticos, etc., any-
where about the town) should be so much straitened
and turned into tenements. But that magnificent pile
and gardens contiguous to it, built by the late Lord
Chancellor Clarendon, being all demolished, and designed
for piazzas and buildings, was some excuse for my Lady
Berkeley's resolution of letting out her ground also for
so excessive a price as was offered, advancing near
^1,000 per annum in mere ground rents; to such a mad
intemperance was the age come of building about a city,
by far too disproportionate already to the nation:* I hav-
ing in my time seen it almost as large again as it was
within my memory.

2 2d June, 1684. Last Friday, Sir Thomas Armstrong
was executed at Tyburn for treason, without trial, having
been outlawed and apprehended in Holland, on the con-
spiracy of the Duke of Monmouth, Lord Russell, etc.,
which gave occasion of discourse to people and lawyers,
in regard it was on an outlawry that judgment was given
and execution, f

2d July, 1684. I went to the Observatory at Green-
wich, where Mr. Flamsted took his observations of the
eclipse of the sun, now almost three parts obscured.

There had been an excessively hot and dry spring, and
such a drought still continued as never was in my mem-

13th July, 1684. Some small sprinkling of rain; the
leaves dropping from the trees as in autumn.

*What would Evelyn think if he could see what is now called Lon-

f When brought up for judgment, Armstrong insisted on his right to
atrial, the act giving that right to those who came in within a year,
and the year not having expired. Jefferies refused it ; and when Arm-
strong insisted that he asked nothing but law, Jefferies told him he
should have it to the full, and ordered his execution in six days. When
Jefferies went to the King at Windsor soon after, the King took a ring
from his finger and gave it to Jefferies. Burnet, ii. 989.



25th July, 1684. I dined at Lord Falkland's, Treasurer
of the Navy, where after dinner we had rare music, there
being- among others, Signor Pietro Reggio, and Signor
John Baptist, both famous, one for his voice, the other
for playing on the harpsichord, few if any in Europe ex-
ceeding him. There was also a Frenchman who sung an
admirable bass.

26th July, 1684. I returned home, where I found my
Lord Chief Justice [Jefferies], the Countess of Clarendon,
and Lady Catherine Fitzgerald, who dined with me.

loth August, 1684. We had now rain after such a
drought as no man in England had known.

24th August, 1684. Excessively hot. We had not had
above one or two considerable showers, and those storms,
these eight or nine months. Many trees died for the want
of refreshment.

31st August, 1684. Mr. Sidney Godolphin was made
Baron Godolphin.

26th September, 1684. The King being returned from
Winchester, there was a numerous Court at Whitehall.

At this time the Earl of Rochester was removed from
the Treasury to the Presidentship of the Council ; Lord
Godolphin was made first Commissioner of the Treasury in
his place. Lord Middleton (a Scot) made Secretary of
State, in the room of Lord Godolphin. These alterations
being very unexpected and mysterious, gave great occa-
sion of discourse.

There was now an Ambassador from the King of Siam,
in the East Indies, to his Majesty.

2 2d October, 1684. I went with Sir William Godolphin
to see the rhinoceros, or unicorn, being the first that I
suppose was ever brought into England. She belonged
to some East India merchants, and was sold (as I re-
member) for above ;^2,ooo. At the same time, I went to
see a crocodile, brought from some of the West India
Islands, resembling the Egyptian crocodile.

24th October, 1684. I dined at Sir vStephen Fox's with
the Duke of Northumberland. He seemed to be a young
gentleman of good capacity, well bred, civil and modest :
newly come from travel, and had made his campaign at
the siege of Luxemburg. Of all his Majesty's children
(of which he had now six Dukes) this seemed the most
accomplished and worth the owning. He is extraordi-


narily handsome and well shaped. What the Dukes of
Richmond and St. Alban's will prove, their youth does
not yet discover; they are very pretty boys.

26th October, 1684. Dr. Goodman preached before the
King on James ii. 12, concerning the law of liberty: an
excellent discourse and in good method. He is author
of ** The Prodigal Son, '^ a treatise worth reading, and
another of the old religion.

27th October, 1684. I visited the Lord Chamberlain,
where dined the black Baron and Monsieur Flamerin,
who had so long been banished from France for a duel,

28th October, 1684. I carried Lord Clarendon through
the city amid all the squibs and bacchanalia of the Lord
Mayor's show, to the Royal Society, where he was pro-
posed a member; and then treated him at dinner.

I went to St. Clement's, that prettily built and contrived
church where a 5^oung divine gave us an eloquent ser-
mon on I Cor. vi. 20, inciting to gratitude and glorify-
ing God for the fabric of our bodies and the dignity of
our nature.

2d November, 1684. A sudden change from temperate
warm weather to an excessive cold rain, frost, snow, and
storm, such as had seldom been known. This winter
weather began as early and fierce as the past did late;
till about Christmas there then had been hardly any

4th November, 1684. Dr. Turner, now translated from
Rochester to 'Ely upon the death of Dr. Peter Gunning,
preached before the King at Whitehall on Romans iii. 8,
a very excellent sermon, vindicating the Church of Eng-
land against the pernicious doctrines of the Church of
Rome. He challenged the producing but of five clergy-
men who forsook our Church and went over to that of
Rome, during all the troubles and rebellion in England,
which lasted near twenty years ; and this was to my cer-
tain observation a great truth.

15th November, 1684. Being the Queen's birthday,
there were fireworks on the Thames before Whitehall,
with pageants of castles, forts, and other devices of gir-
andolas, serpents, the King and Queen's arms and mot-
toes, all represented in fire, such as had not been seen
here. But the most remarkable was the several fires and
skirmishes in the very water, which actually moved a

l684 JOHN EVELYN 201

long way, iDurning under the water, now and then ap-
pearing above it, giving reports like muskets and cannon,
with grenades and innumerable other devices. It is said
it cost ^1,500. It was concluded with a ball, where all
the young ladies and gallants danced in the great hall.
The court had not been seen so brave and rich in apparel
since his Majesty's Restoration.

30th November, 1684. In the morning. Dr. Fiennes,
son of the Lord Say and Seale, preached before the King
on Joshua xxi. 11.

3d December, 1684. I carried Mr. Justell and Mr.
Slingsby (Master of the Mint), to see Mr. Sheldon's
collection of medals. The series of Popes was rare, and
so were several among the moderns, especially that of
John Huss's martyrdom at Constance; of the Roman
Emperors, Gonsulars some Greek, etc., in copper, gold,
and silver; not many truly antique; a medallion of
Otho Paulus ^milius, etc., ancient. They were held
at a price of ^1,000; but not worth, I judge, above


7th December, 1684. I went to see the new church at
St. James's, elegantly built; the altar was especially
adorned, the white marble mclosure curiously and richly
carved, the flowers and garlands about the walls by
Mr. Gibbons, in wood: a pelican with her young at
her breast; just over the altar in the carved compart-
ment and border environing the purple velvet fringed
with I. H. S. richly embroidered, and most noble plate,
were given by Sir R. Geere, to the value ( as was said )
of ^200. There was no altar anywhere in England, nor
has there been any abroad, more handsomely adorned.

17th December, 1684. Early in the morning I went
into St. James's Park to see three Turkish, or Asian
horses, newly brought over, and now first shown to his
Majesty. There were four, but one of them died at sea,
being three weeks coming from Hamburg. They
were taken from a Bashaw at the siege of Vienna, at
the late famous raising that leaguer. I never beheld
so delicate a creature as one of them was, of somewhat
a bright bay, two white feet, a blaze; such a head,
eyes, ears, neck, breast, belly, haunches, legs, pasterns,
and feet, in all regards, beautiful, and proportioned to
admiration; spirited, proud, nimble, making halt, turning


with that swiftness, and in so small a compass, as was
admirable. With all this so gentle and tractable as
called to mind what I remember Busbequius, speaks of
them, to the reproach of our grooms in Europe, who
bring up their horses so churlishly, as makes most of
them retain their ill habits. They trotted like does, as
if they did not feel the ground. Five hundred guineas
was demanded for the first ; 300 for the second ; and
200 for the third, which was brown. All of them were
choicely shaped, but the two last not altogether so perfect
as the first.

It was judged by the spectators, among whom was the
King, Prince of Denmark, Duke of York, and several of
the Court, noble persons skilled in horses, especially Mon-
sieur Faubert and his son (provost masters of the Acad-
emy, and esteemed of the best in Europe), that there
were never seen any horses in these parts to be compared
with them. Add to all this, the furniture consisting of
embroidery on the saddle, housings, quiver, bow, arrows,
scymitar, sword, mace, or battle-ax, h la Turcisq; the
Bashaw's velvet mantle furred with the most perfect
ermine I ever beheld; all which, ironwork in common
furniture being here of silver, curiously wrought and
double gilt to an incredible value. Such and so extraor-
dinary was the embroidery, that I never saw anything
approaching it. The reins and headstall were of crimson
silk, covered with chains of silver gilt. There was also
a Turkish royal standard of a horse's tail, together with
all sorts of other caparisons belonging to a general's
horse, by which one may estimate how gallantly and
magnificently those infidels appear in the field; for noth-
ing could be seen more glorious. The gentleman (a Ger-
man) who rode the horse, was in all this garb. They were
shod with iron made round and closed at the heel, with
a hole in the middle about as wide as a shilling. The
hoofs most entire.

1 8th December, 1684. I went with Lord Cornwallis to
see the young gallants do their exercise. Mr. Faubert
having newly railed in a manage, and fitted it for the
academy. There were the Dukes of Norfolk and North-
umberland, Lord Newburgh, and a nephew of (Duras)
Earl of Feversham. The exercises were, i, running at
the ring; 2, flinging a javelin at a Moor's head; 3, dis-

1684-85 JOHN EVELYN 203

charging a pistol at a mark; lastly taking up a gauntlet
with the point of a sword; all these performed in full
speed. The Duke of Northumberland hardly missed of
succeeding in every one, a dozen times, as I think. The
Duke of Norfolk did exceeding bravely. Lords Newburgh
and Duras seemed nothing so dexterous. Here I saw
the difference of what the French call ** bel homme a chcval,^'*
and ^'^ bon homme a chevaP^ ; the Duke of Norfolk being the
first, that is rather a fine person on a horse, the Duke
of Northumberland being both in perfection, namely, a
graceful person and an excellent rider. But the Duke of
Norfolk told me he had not been at this exercise these
twelve years before. There were in the field the Prince
of Denmark, and the Lord Lansdowne, son of the Earl
of Bath, who had been made a Count of the Empire last
summer for his service before Vienna.

20th December, 1684. A villainous murder was perpe-
trated by Mr. St. John, eldest son to Sir Walter St. John,
a worthy gentleman, on a knight of quality, in a tavern.
The offender was sentenced and reprieved. So many
horrid murders and duels were committed about this time
as were never before heard of in England; which gave
much cause of complaint and murmurings.

ist January, 1684-85. It proved so sharp weather, and
so long and cruel a frost, that the Thames was frozen
across, but the frost was often dissolved, and then froze again.

nth January, 1685. A young man preached upon St.
Luke xiii. 5, after the Presbyterian tedious method and

24th January, 1685. I dined at Lord Newport's, who
had some excellent pictures, especially that of Sir Thomas
Hanmer, by Vandyke, one of the best he ever painted;
another of our English Dobson's painting; but, above
all, Christ in the Virgin's lap, by Poussin, an admirable
piece; with something of most other famous hands.

25th January, 1685. Dr. Dove preached before the
King. I saw this evening such a scene of profuse gam-
ing, and the King in the midst of his three concubines,
as I have never before seen вАФ luxurious dallying and

27th January, 1685. I dined at Lord Sunderland's, be-
ing invited to hear that celebrated voice of Mr. Pordagc,
newly come from Rome ; his singing was after the Vene-

204 DIARY OF London

tian recitative, as masterly as could be, and with an ex-
cellent voice both treble and bass; Dr. Walgrave
accompanied it with his theorbo lute, on which he per-
formed beyond imagination, and is doubtless one of the
greatest masters in Europe on that charming instrument.
Pordage is a priest, as Mr. Bernard Howard told me in

There was in the room where we dined, and in his
bedchamber, those incomparable pieces of Columbus, a
Flagellation, the Grammar school, the Venus and Adonis
of Titian ; and of Vandyke's that picture of the late Earl
of Digby (father of the Countess of Sunderland), and
Earl of Bedford, Sir Kenelm Digby, and two ladies of
incomparable performance ; besides that of Moses and the
burning bush of Bassano, and several other pieces of the
best masters. A marble head of M. Brutus, etc.

28th January, 1685. I was invited to my Lord Arundel's,
of Wardour (now newly released of his six years' con-
finement in the Tower on suspicion of the plot called
Oates's Plot), where after dinner the same Mr. Pordage
entertained us with his voice, that excellent and stupen-
dous artist, Signor John Baptist, playing to it on the
harpsichord. My daughter Mary being with us, she also
sang to the great satisfaction of both the masters, and a
world of people of quality present.

She did so also at my Lord Rochester's the evening
following, where we had the French boy so famed for
his singing, and indeed he had a delicate voice, and had
been well taught. I also heard Mrs. Packer (daughter
to my old friend) sing before his Majesty and the Duke,
privately, that stupendous bass, Gosling, accompanying
her, but hers was so loud as took away much of the
sweetness. Certainly never woman had a stronger or
better ear, could she possibly have governed it. She
would do rarely in a large church among the nuns.

4th February, 1685. I w^ent to London, hearing his
Majesty had been the Monday before (2d February) sur-
prised in his bedchamber with an apoplectic fit, so that
if, by God's providence. Dr. King (that excellent chirur-
geon as well as physician) had not been accidentally
present to let him bleed (having his lancet in his pocket),
his Majesty had certainly died that moment; which might
have been of direful consequence, there being nobody else

i685 JOHN EVELYN 205

present with the King save this Doctor and one more, as
I am assured. It was a mark of the extraordinary dex-
terity, resolution, and presence of mind in the Doctor, to
let him bleed in the very paroxysm, without staying the
coming of other physicians, which regularly should have
been done, and for want of which he must have a regular
pardon, as they tell me. This rescued his Majesty for the
instant, but it was only a short reprieve. He still com-
plained, and was relapsing, often fainting, with sometimes
epileptic symptoms, till Wednesday, for which he was
cupped, let bleed in both jugulars, and both vomit and
purges, which so relieved him, that on Thursday hopes of
recovery were signified in the public "Gazette,*^ but that
day about noon, the physicians thought him feverish.
This they seemed glad of, as being more easily allayed
and methodically dealt with than his former fits; so as they
prescribed the famous Jesuit's powder; but it made him
worse, and some very able doctors who were present did
not think it a fever, but the effect of his frequent bleed-
ing and other sharp operations used by them about his
head, so that probably the powder might stop the circula-
tion, and renew his former fits, which now made him very
weak. Thus he passed Thursday night with great diffi-
culty, when complaining of a pain in his side, they drew
twelve ounces more of blood from him ; this was by six in
the morning on Friday, and it gave him relief, but it did
not continue, for being now in much pain, and struggling
for breath, he lay dozing, and, after some conflicts, the
physicians despairing of him, he gave up the ghost at half
an hour after eleven in the morning, being the sixth of

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