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with pintado^ full of figures great and small, prettily
representing sundry trades and occupations of the Indians,
with their habits; here supped also Dr. Duke, a learned
and facetious gentleman.

31st December, 1665. Now blessed be God for his
extraordinary mercies and preservation of me this year,
when thousands, and ten thousands, perished, and were
swept away on each side of me, there dying in our parish
this year 406 of the pestilence !

3d January, 1665-66. I supped in Nonesuch House, *
whither the office of the Exchequer was transferred
during the plague, at my good friend Mr. Packer's, and
took an exact view of the plaster statues and bass-relievos
inserted between the timbers and puncheons of the out-
side walls of the Court; which must needs have been the
work of some celebrated Italian. I much admired how
they had lasted so well and entire since the time of Henry
VIII., exposed as they are to the air; and pity it is they
are not taken out and preserved in some dry place ; a
gallery would become them. There are some mezzo-
relievos as big as the life; the story is of the Heathen

* Of this famous summer residence of Queen Elizabeth not a ves-
tige remains.



12 DIARY OF LONDON

Gods, emblems, compartments, etc. The palace consists
of two courts, of which the first is of stone, castle like,
by the Lord Lumleys (of whom it was purchased), the
other of timber, a Gothic fabric, but these walls incom-
parably beautiful. I observed that the appearing timber-
puncheons, cntrclices, etc., were all so covered with scales
of slate, that it seemed carved in the wood and painted,
the slate fastened on the timber in pretty figures, that
has, like a coat of armor, preserved it from rotting.
There stand in the garden two handsome stone pyramids,
and the avenue planted with rows of fair elms, but the
rest of these goodly trees, both of this and of Worcester
Park adjoining, were felled by those destructive and ava-
ricious rebels in the late v/ar, which defaced one of the
stateliest seats his Majesty had.

1 2th Januar}-, 1666. After much, and indeed extraor-
dinary mirth and cheer, all my brothers, our wives, and
children, being together, and after much sorrow and
trouble during this contagion, which separated our fam-
ilies as well as others, I returned to my house, but my
wife went back to Wotton. I, not as yet willing to
adventure her, the contagion, though exceedingly abated,
not as yet wholly extinguished among us.

29th January, 1666. I went to wait on his Majesty,
now returned from Oxford to Hampton- Court, where the
Duke of Albemarle presented me to him; he ran toward
me, and in a most gracious manner gave me his hand to
kiss, with many thanks for my care and faithfulness in
his service in a time of such great danger, when every-
body fled their employments; he told me he was much
obliged to me, and said he was several times concerned
for me, and the peril I underwent, and did receive my
service most acceptably (though in truth I did but do my
duty, and O that I had performed it as I ought ! ) After
this, his Majesty was pleased to talk with me alone, near
an hour, of several particulars of my employment, and
ordered me to attend him again on the Thursday follow-
ing at Whitehall. Then the Duke came toward me, and
embraced me with much kindness, telling me if he had
thought my danger would have been so great, he would
not have suffered his Majesty to employ me in that
station. Then came to salute me my Lord of St. Albans,
Lord Arlington, Sir William Coventry, and several great



i666 JOHN EVELYN 13

persons; after which, I got home, not being very well in
health.

The Court was now in deep mourning for the French
Queen-Mother.

2d February, 1666. To London; his Majesty now come
to Whitehall, where I heard and saw my Lord Mayor
(and brethren) make his speech of welcome, and the two
Sheriffs were knighted.

6th February, 1666. My wife and family returned to
me from the country, where they had been since August,
by reason of the contagion, now almost universally ceas-
ing. Blessed be God for his infinite mercy in preserving
lis! I, having gone through so much danger, and lost so
many of my poor officers, escaping still myself that I might
live to recount and magnify his goodness to me.

8th February, 1666. I had another gracious reception
by his Majesty, who called me into his bed-chamber, to
lay before and describe to him my project of an Infirmary,
which I read to him, who with great approbation, recom-
mended it to his Royal Highness.

20th February, 1666. To the Commissioners of the Navy
who, having seen the project of the Infirmary, encouraged
the work, and were very earnest it should be set about
immediately; but I saw no money, though a very moderate
expense would have saved thousands to his Majesty, and
been much more commodious for the cure and quartering
of our sick and wounded, than the dispersing them into
private houses, where many more chirurgeons and attend-
ants were necessary, and the people tempted to debauch-
ery.

2ist February, 1666. Went to my Lord Treasurer for
an assignment of ^^40,000 upon the last two quarters for
support of the next year's charge. Next day, to Duke of
Albemarle and Secretary of State, to desire them to pro-
pose it to the Council.

I St March, 1666; To London, and presented his Majesty
my book intitled, * The Pernicious Consequences of the
new Heresy of the Jesuits against Kings and States.*^

7th March, 1666. Dr. Sancroft, since Archbishop of
Canterbury, preached before the King about the identity
and immutability of God, on Psalm cii. 27.

13th March, 1666. To Chatham, to view a place designed
for an Infirmary.



14 DIARY OF LONDON

15th March, 1666. My charjj^c now amounted to near
^7,000 [weekly].

2 2(1 March, 1666. The Royal Society reassembled, after
the dispersion from the contagion.

24th March, 1666. Sent ^2,000 to Chatham.

1st April. 1666. To London, to consult about ordering
the natural rarities belonging to the repository of the Royal
Society; referred to a Committee.

loth April, 1666. Visited Sir William D'Oyly, surprised
with a fit of apoplexy, and in extreme danger.

nth April, 1666. Dr. Bathurst preached before the
King, from " I say unto you all, watch '^ — a seasonable and
most excellent discourse. When his Majesty came from
chapel, he called to mc in the lobby, and told me he must
now have me sworn for a Justice of Peace (having long
since made me of the Commission) ; which I declined as
inconsistent with the other service I was engaged in, and
humbly desired to be excused. After dinner, waiting on
him, I gave him the first notice of the Spaniards referring
the umpirage of the peace between them and Portugal to
the French King, which came to me in a letter from France
before the Secretaries of State had any news of it. After
this, his Majesty again asked me if I had found out any
able person about our parts that might supply my place
of Justice of Peace (the office in the world I had most
industriously avoided, in regard of the perpetual trouble
thereof in these numerous parishes) ; on which I nominated
one, whom the King commanded me to give immediate
notice of to my Lord Chancellor, and I should be excused ;
for which I rendered his Majesty many thanks. From
thence, I went to the Royal Society, where I was chosen
by twenty-seven voices to be one of their Council for the
ensuing year; but, upon my earnest suit in respect of my
other affairs, I got to be excused — and so home.

15th April, 1666. Our parish was now more infected
with the plague than ever, and so was all the country
about, though almost quite ceased at London.

24th April, 1666. To London about our Mint-Commis-
sion, and sat in the inner Court of Wards.

8th May, 1666. To Queensborough, where finding the
Richmond frigate, I sailed to the buoy of the Nore to my
Lord-General and Prince Rupert, where was the Rendez-
vous of the most glorious fleet in the world, now prepar-



i666 JOHN EVELYN 15

ing to meet the Hollander, Went to visit my cousin,
Hales, at a sweetly-watered place at Chilston, near Bock-
ton. The next morning, to Leeds Castle, once a famous
hold, now hired by me of my Lord Culpeper for a prison.
Here I flowed the dry moat, made a new drawbridge,
brought spring water into the court of the Castle to an
old fountain, and took order for the repairs.

2 2d May, 1666. Waited on my Lord Chancellor at his
new palace; and Lord Berkeley's built next to it.

24th May, 1666. Dined with Lord Cornbury, now made
Lord Chamberlain to the Queen; who kept a very honor-
able table.

ist June, 1666. Being in my garden at 6 o'clock in the
evening, and hearing the great guns go thick off, I took
horse and rode that night to Rochester; thence next day
toward the Downs and seacoast, but meeting the Lieu-
tenant of the Hampshire frigate, who told me what
passed, or rather what had not passed, I returned to Lon-
don, there being no noise, or appearance at Deal, or on
that coast of any engagement. Recounting this to his
Majesty, whom I found at St. James's Park, impatiently
expecting, and knowing that Prince Rupert was loose
about three at St. Helen's Point at N. of the Isle of
Wight, it greatly rejoiced him; but he was astonished
when I assured him they heard nothing of the guns in
the Downs, nor did the Lieutenant who landed there by
five that morning.

3d June, 1666. Whitsunday. After sermon came news
that the Duke of Albemarle was still in fight, and had
been all Saturday, and that Captain Harman's ship (the
Henry) was like to be burnt. Then a letter from Mr.
Bertie that Prince Rupert was come up with his squadron
(according to my former advice of his being loose and in
the way), and put new courage into our fleet, now in a
manner yielding ground; so that now we were chasing
the chasers; that the Duke of Albemarle was slightly
wounded, and the rest still in great danger. So, having
been much wearied with my journey, I slipped home, the
guns still roaring very fiercely.

5th June, 1666. I went this morning to London, where
came several particulars of the fight.

6th June, 1666. Came Sir Daniel Harvey from the
General and related the dreadful encounter, on which his



i6 DIARY OF LONDON

Majesty commanded me to dispatch an extraordinary
physician and more chirurgeons. It was on the solemn
Fast-day when the news came; his Majesty being in the
chapel made a sudden stop to hear the relation, which
being with much advantage on our side, his Majesty com-
manded that public thanks should immediately be given
as for a victory. The Dean of the chapel going down to
give notice of it to the other Dean officiating; and notice
was likewise sent to St. Paul's and Westininster Abbey.
But this was no sooner over, than news came that our
loss was very great both in ships and men; that the
Prince frigate was burnt, and as noble a vessel of ninety
brass guns lost; and the taking of Sir George Ayscue,
and exceeding shattering of both fleets; so as both being
obstinate, both parted rather for want cf ammunition and
tackle than courage; our General retreating like a lion;
which exceedingly abated of our former joy. There were,
however, orders given for bonfires and bells; but, God
knows, it was rather a deliverance than a triumph. So
much it pleased God to humble our late overconfidence
that nothing could withstand the Duke of Albemarle,
who, in good truth, made too forv/ard a reckoning of his
success now, because he had once beaten the Dutch in
another quarrel; and being ambitious to outdo the Earl of
Sandwnch, whom he had prejudicated as deficient in courage.

7th June, 1666. I sent more chirurgeons, linen, medica-
ments, etc., to the several ports in my district.

8th June, 1666. Dined with me Sir Alexander Fraser,
prime physician to his Majesty; afterward, went on board
his Majesty's pleasure-boat, when I saw the London frigate
launched, a most stately ship, built by the City to supply
that which was burnt by accident some time since; the
King, Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, being there with great
banquet.

nth June, 1666. Trinity Monday, after a sermon,
applied to the remeeting of the Corporation of the Trinity-
House, after the late raging and wasting pestilence: I
dined with them in their new room in Deptford, the first
time since it was rebuilt.

15th June, 1666. I went to Chatham. — i6th. In the
Jemmy yacht (an incomparable sailer) to sea, arrived by
noon at the fleet at the Buoy at the Nore, dined with
Prince Rupert and the General.



i666 • JOHN EVELYN 17

17th June, 1666. Came his Majesty, the Duke, and many
Noblemen, After Council, we went to prayers. My busi-
ness being dispatched, I returned to Chatham, having lain
but one night in the Royal Charles; we had a tempestu-
ous sea. I went on shore at Sheerness, where they were
building an arsenal for the fleet, and designing a royal
fort with a receptacle for great ships to ride at anchor;
but here I beheld the sad spectacle, more than half that
gallant bulwark of the kingdom miserably shattered, hardly
a vessel entire, but appearing rather so many wrecks and
hulls, so cruelly had the Dutch mangled us. The loss of
the Prince, that gallant vessel, had been a loss to be uni-
versally deplored, none knowing for what reason we first
engaged in this ungrateful war; we lost besides nine or
ten more, and near 600 men slain and 1,100 wounded,
2,000 prisoners; to balance vv^hich, perhaps we might de-
stroy eighteen or twenty of the enemy's ships, and 700 or
800 poor men.

i8th June, 1666. "Weary of this sad sight, I returned
home.

2d July, 1666. Came Sir John Duncomb and Mr. Thomas
Chicheley, both Privy Councillors and Coinmissioners of
His Majesty's Ordnance, to visit me, and let me know
that his Majesty had in Council, nominated me to be one
of the Commissioners for regulating the farming and making
of saltpetre through the whole kingdom, and that we were
to sit in the Tower the next day. When they were gone,
came to see me Sir John Cotton, heir to the famous
antiquary. Sir Robert Cotton: a pretended great Grecian,
but had by no means the parts, or genius of his grand-
father.

3d July, 1666. I went to sit with the Commissioners at
the Tower, where our commission being read, we made
some progress in business, our Secretary being Sir George
Wharton, that famous mathematician who wrote the yearly
Almanac during his Majesty's troubles. Thence, to
Painters' Hall, to our other commission, and dined at my
Lord Mayor's.

4th July, 1666. The solemn Fast-day. Dr. Meggot
preached an excellent discourse before the King on the
terrors of God's judgments. After sermon, I waited on
my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Win-
chester, where the Dean of Westminster spoke to m.e



1 8 DIARY OF LONDON

about puttins: into my hands the disposal of fifty pounds,
which the charitable people of Oxford had sent to be
distributed among the sick and wounded seamen since the
battle. Hence, I went to the Lord Chancellor's to joy
him of his Royal Highness's second son, now born at St.
James's; and to desire the use of the Star-chamber for
our Commissioners to meet in, Painters' Hall not being
so convenient.

12th July, 1666. We sat the first time in the Star-
chamber. There was now added to our commission Sir
George Downing (one that had been a great
against his Majesty, but now insinuated into his favor;
and, from a pedagogue and fanatic preacher, not worth a
g^oat, had become excessively rich), to inspect the hospi-
tals and treat about prisons.

14th July, 1666. Sat at the Tower with Sir J. Duncomb
and Lord Berkeley, to sign deputations for undertakers to
furnish their proportions of saltpetre.

17th July, 1666. To London, to prepare for the next
engagement of the fleets, now gotten to sea again.

2 2d July, 1666. Our parish still infected with the
contagion.

25th July, 1666. The fleets engaged. I dined at Lord
Berkeley's, at St. James's, where dined my Lady Harri-
etta Hyde, Lord Arlington, and Sir John Duncomb.

29th July, 1666. The pestilence now fresh increasing in
our parish, I forbore going to church. In the afternoon
came tidings of our victory over the Dutch, sinking some,
and driving others aground, and into their ports.

I St August, 1666. I went to Dr. Keffler, who married
the daughter of the famous chemist, Drebbell,* inventor
of the bodied scarlet. I went to see his iron ovens, made
portable ( formerly ) for the Prince of Orange's army : sup-
ped at the Rhenish Wine- House with divers Scots gen-
tlemen.

6th August, 1666. Dined with Mr. Povey, and then went

♦Cornelius Van Drebbell, born at Alkmaar, in Holland, in 1572;
but in the reign of Charles I. settled in London, where he died in 1634.
He was famous for other discoveries in science besides that mentioned
by Evelyn — the most important of which was the thermometer. He
also made improvements in microscopes and telescopes; and though,
like many of his scientific contemporaries, something of an empiric,
possessed a considerable knowledge of chemistry and of different
branches of natural philosophy.



i666 JOHN EVELYN 19

with him to see a country house he had bought near Brent-
ford; returning by Kensington; which house stands to a
very graceful avenue of trees, but it is an ordinary build-
ing, especially one part.

8th August, 1666. Dined at Sir Stephen Fox's with sev-
eral friends and, on the loth, with Mr. Odart, Secretary of
the Latin tongue.

17th August, 1666. Dined with the Lord Chancellor,
whom I entreated to visit the Hospital of the Savoy, and
reduce it ( after the great abuse that had been continued )
to its original institution for the benefit of the poor, which
he promised to do.

25th August, 1666. Waited on Sir William D'Oyly, now
recovered, as it were, miraculously. In the afternoon, vis-
ited the Savoy Hospital, where I stayed to see the miserably
dismembered and wounded men dressed, and gave some
necessary orders. Then to my Lord Chancellor, who had,
with the Bishop of London and others in the commission,
chosen me one of the three surveyors of the repairs of
Paul's, and to consider of a model for the new building,
or, if it might be, repairing of the steeple, which was most
decayed.

26th August, 1666. The contagion still continuing, we
had the Church service at home.

27th August, 1666. I went to St. Paul's church, where,
with Dr Wren, Mr. Pratt, Mr. May, Mr. Thomas Chicheley,
Mr. Slingsby, the Bishop of London, the Dean of St. Paul's,
and several expert workmen, we went about to survey the
general decays of that ancient and venerable church, and
to set down in writing the particulars of what was fit to
be done, with the charge thereof, giving our opinion from
article to article. Finding the main building to recede
outward it was the opinion of Chicheley and Mr. Pratt
that it had been so built ab origine for an effect in per-
spective, in regard of the height; but I was, with Dr.
Wren, quite of another judgment, and so we entered it;
we plumbed the uprights in several places. When we
came to the steeple, it was deliberated whether it were
not well enough to repair it only on its old foundation,
with reservation to the four pillars; this Mr. Chicheley and
Mr. Pratt were also for, but we totally rejected it, and per-
sisted that it required a new foundation , not only in regard
of the necessity, but for that the shape of what stood was

\




20 DIARY OF LONDON

very mean, and we had a mind to build it with a noble
cupola, a form of chnrch-biiilding not as yet known in
England, but of wonderful grace. For this purpose, we
offered to bring in a plan and estimate, which after much
contest, was at last assented to, and that we should nom-
inate a committee of able workmen to examine the present
foundation. This concluded, we drew all up in writing,
and so went with my Lord Bishop to the Dean's.

aSth August, 1666. Sat at the Star-chamber. Next day,
to the Royal Society, where one Mercator, an excellent
mathematician, produced his rare clock and new motion
to perform the equations, and j\Ir. Rooke, his new pen-
dulum.

2d September, 1666. This fatal night, about ten,
began the deplorable fire, near Fish street, in London.

3d September, 1666. I had public prayers at home.
The fire continuing, after dinner, I took coach with my
wife and son, and went to the Bankside in Southwark,
where we beheld that dismal spectacle, the whole city in
dreadful flames near the waterside ; all the houses from
the Bridge, all Thames street, and upward toward
Cheapside, down to the Three Cranes, were now consumed ;
and so returned, exceedingly astonished what would become
of the rest.

The fire having continued all this night (if I may call
that night which was light as day for ten miles round
about, after a dreadful manner), when conspiring with a
fierce eastern wind in a very dry season, I went on foot
to the same place; and saw the whole south part of the
city burning from Cheapside to the Thames, and all along
Cornhill (for it likewise kindled back against the wand as
well as forward), Tower street, Fenchurch street. Gracious
street, and so along to Baynard's Castle, and was now
taking hold of St. Paul's church, to which the scaffolds
contributed exceedingly. The conflagration was so uni-
versal, and the people so astonished, that, from the begin-
ning, I know not by what despondency, or fate, they
hardly stirred to quench it; so that there was nothing
heard, or seen, but crying out and lamentation, running
about like distracted creatures, without at all attempting
to save even their goods; such a strange consternation
there was upon them, so as it burned both in breadth and
length, the churches, public halls, Exchange, hospitals,



i666 JOHN EVELYN 21

monuments, and ornaments; leaping after a prodigious
manner, from house to house, and street to street, at great
distances one from the other. For the heat, with a long
set of fair and warm weather, had even ignited the air,
and prepared the materials to conceive the fire, which
devoured, after an incredible manner, houses, furniture,
and every thing. Here, we saw the Thames covered with
goods floating, all the barges and boats laden with what
some had time and courage to save, as, on the other side,
the carts, etc., carrying out to the fields, which for many
miles were strev/n with movables of all sorts, and tents
erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could
get away. Oh, the miserable and calamitous spectacle!
such as haply the world had not seen since the foundation
of it, nor can be outdone till the tmiversal conflagration
thereof. All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of
a burning oven, and the light seen above forty miles
round about for many nights. God grant mine eyes may
never behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses
all in one flame ! The noise and cracking and thunder of
the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women and chil-
dren, the hurry of people, the fall of towers, houses, and
churches, was like a hideous storm; and the air all
about so hot and inflamed, that at the last one was not
able to approach it, so that they were forced to stand
still, and let the flames burn on, which they did, for near
two miles in length and one in breadth. The clouds also
of smoke were dismal, and reached, upon computation,
near fifty miles in length. Thus, I left it this afternoon
burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day. It
forcibly called to my mind that passage —



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