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with his Majesty's taking away the Seals from Lord
Sunderland, and of her being with the Queen to inter-
cede for him. It is conceived that he had of late grown
remiss in pursuing the interest of the Jesuitical counsels;
some reported one thing, some another; but there was
doubtless some secret betrayed, which time may discover.

There was a Council called, to which were summoned
the Archbishop of Canterbur)'-, the Judges, the Lord
Mayor, etc. The Queen Dowager, and all the ladies and
lords who were present at the Queen Consort's labor,
were to give their testimony upon oath of the Prince of
Wales's birth, recorded both at the Council Board and at
the Chancery a day or two after. This procedure was
censured by some as below his Majesty to condescend to,
on the talk of the people. It was remarkable that on
this occasion the Archbishop, Marquis of Halifax, the
Earls of Clarendon and Nottingham, refused to sit at the
Council table among Papists, and their bold telling his
Majesty that whatever was done while such sat among
them was unlawful and incurred prcstnunire; — at least,
if what I heard be true.

30th October, 1688. I dined with Lord Preston, made
Secretary of State, in the place of the Earl of Sunder-

Visited Mr. Boyle, when came in the Duke of Hamil-
ton and Earl of Burlington. The Duke told us many
particulars of Mary Queen of Scots, and her amours with
the Italian favorite, etc.

31st October, 1688. My birthday, being the 68th year
of my age. O blessed Lord, grant that as I grow in
years, so may I improve in grace! Be thou my pro-
tector this following year, and preserve me and mine
from those dangers and great confusions that threaten a
sad revolution to this sinful nation ! Defend thy church,
our holy religion, and just laws, disposing his Majesty
to listen to sober and healing counsels, that if it be thy
blessed will, we may still enjoy that happy tranquility
which hitherto thou hast continued to us! Amen, Amen!

ist November, 1688. Dined with Lord Preston, with
other company, at Sir Stephen Fox's. Continual alarms

i688 JOHN EVELYN 281

of the Prince of Orange, but no certainty. Reports of
his great losses of horse in the storm, but without any
assurance. A man was taken with divers papers and
printed manifestoes, and carried to Newgate, after ex-
amination at the Cabinet Council. There was likewise a
declaration of the States for satisfaction of all public
ministers at The Hague, except to the English and the
French. There was in that of the Prince's an expres-
sion, as if the Lords both spiritual and temporal had in-
vited him over, with a deduction of the causes of his
enterprise. This made his Majesty convene my Lord of
Canterbury and the other Bishops now in town, to give
an account of what was in the manifesto, and to enjoin
them to clear themselves by some public writing of this
disloyal charge.

2d November, 1688. It was now certainly reported by
some who saw the fleet, and the Prince embark, that
they sailed from the Brill on Wednesday morning, and
that the Princess of Orange was there to take leave of
her husband.

4th November, 1688. Fresh reports of the Prince be-
ing landed somewhere about Portsmouth, or the Isle of
Wight, whereas it was thought it would have been north-
ward. The Court in great hurry.

5th November, 1688. I went to London; heard the
news of the Prince having landed at Torbay, coming
with a fleet of near 700 sail, passing through the Chan-
nel with so favorable a wind, that our navy could not
intercept, or molest them. This put the King and Court
into great consternation, they were now employed in
forming an army to stop their further progress, for they
were got into Exeter, and the season and ways very im-
proper for his Majesty's forces to march so great a dis-

The Archbishop of Canterbury and some few of the
other Bishops and Lords in London, were sent for to
Whitehall, and required to set forth their abhorrence of
this invasion. They assured his Majesty that they had
never invited any of the Prince's party, or were in the
least privy to it, and would be ready to show all testi-
mony of their loyalty; but, as to a public declaration,
being so few, they desired that his Majesty would call
the rest of their brethren and Peers, that they might


consult what was fit to be done on this occasion, not
thinking it right to publish anything without them, and
till they had themselves seen the Prince's manifesto, in
which it was pretended he was invited in by the Lords,
spiritual and temporal. This did not please the King;
so they departed.

A declaration was published, prohibiting all persons to
see or read the Prince's manifesto, in which was set forth
at large the cause of his expedition, as there had been one
before from the States.

These are the beginnings of sorrow, unless God in his
mercy prevent it by some happy reconciliation of all dis-
sensions among us. This, in all likelihood, nothing can
effect except a free Parliament; but this we cannot hope
to see, while there are any forces on either side. I pray
God to protect and direct the King for the best and
truest interest of his people! — I saw his Majesty touch
for the evil, Piten the Jesuit, and Warner officiating.

14th November, 1688. The Prince increases every day
in force. Several Lords go in to him. Lord Cornbury
carries some regiments, and marches to Honiton, the
Prince's headquarters. The city of London in disorder;
the rabble pulled down the nunnery newly bought by the
Papists of Lord Berkeley, at St. John's. The Queen pre-
pares to go to Portsmouth for safety, to attend the issue
of this commotion, which has a dreadful aspect.

1 8th November, 1688. It was now a very hard frost.
The King goes to Salisbury to rendezvous the army, and
return to London. Lord Delainere appears for the Prince
in Cheshire. The nobility meet in Yorkshire. The Arch-
bishop of Canterbury and some Bishops, and such Peers
as were in London, address his Majesty to call a Parlia-
ment. The King invites all foreign nations to come
over. The French take all the Palatinate, and alarm the
Germans more than ever.

29th November, 1688. I went to the Royal Society.
We adjourned the election of a President to 23d of April,
by reason of the public commotions, yet dined together
as of custom this day.

2d December, 1688. Dr. Tenison preached at St. Mar-
tin's on Psalm xxxvi. 5, 6, 7, concerning Providence. I
received the blessed Sacrament. Afterward, visited my
Lord Godolphin, then going with the Marquis of Halifax

i688 JOHN EVELYN 283

and Earl of Nottingham as Commissioners to the Prince
of Orange ; he told me they had little power. Plymouth
declared for the Prince. Bath, York, Hull, Bristol, and
all the eminent nobility and persons of quality through
England, declare for the Protestant religion and laws, and
go to meet the Prince, who every day sets forth new
Declarations against the Papists. The great favorites at
Court, Priests and Jesuits, fly or abscond. Everything,
till now concealed, flies abroad in public print, and is
cried about the streets. Expectation of the Prince com-
ing to Oxford. The Prince of Wales and great treasure
sent privily to Portsmouth, the Earl of Dover being Gov-
ernor. Address from the Fleet not grateful to his Maj-
esty. The Papists in offices lay down their commissions,
and fly. Universal consternation among them ; it looks
like a revolution.

7th December, 1688. My son went toward Oxford. I
returned home.

9th December, 1688. Lord Sunderland meditates flight.
The rabble demolished all Popish chapels, and several
Papist lords and gentlemen's houses, especially that of
the Spanish Ambassador, which they pillaged, and burned
his library.

13th December, 1688. The King flies to sea, puts in at
Faversham for ballast; is rudely treated by the people;
comes back to Whitehall.

The Prince of Orange is advanced to Windsor, is invited
by the King to St. James's, the messenger sent was the
Earl of Faversham, the General of the Forces, who going
without trumpet, or passport, is detained prisoner by the
Prince, who accepts the invitation, but requires his Majesty
to retire to some distant place, that his own guards may
be quartered about the palace and city. This is taken
heinously and the King goes privately to Rochester; is
persuaded to come back; comes on the Sunday; goes to
mass, and dines in public, a Jesuit saying grace (I was

17th December, 1688. That night was a Counci/; his
Majesty refuses to assent to all the proposals; goes away
again to Rochester.

1 8th December, 1688. I saw the King take barge to
Gravesend at twelve o'clock — a sad sight! The Prince
comes to St. James's, and fills Whitehall with Dutch

284 DIARY OF London

g-uards. A Council of Peers meet about an expedient to
call a Parliament; adjourn to the House of Lords. The
Chancellor, Earl of Peterborough, and divers others taken.
The Earl of Sunderland flics; Sir Edward Hale, Walker,
and others, taken and secured.

All the world go to see the Prince at St. James's, where
there is a great Court. There I saw him, and several of
my acquaintance who came over with him. He is very-
stately, serious and reserved. The English soldiers sent
out of town to disband them; not well pleased.

24th December, 1688. The King passes into France,
whither the Queen and child were gone a few days before.

26th December, 1688. The Peers and such Common-
ers as were members of the Parliament at Oxford, being
the last of Charles II. meeting, desire the Prince of
Orange to take on him the disposal of the public reve-
nue till a convention of Lords and Commons should meet
in full body, appointed by his circular letters to the
shires and boroughs, 2 2d of January. I had now quartered
upon me a Lieutenant-Colonel and eight horses.

30th December, 1688. This day prayers for the Prince
of Wales were first left off in our Church.

7th January, 1688-89. ^ ^^^S f^'o^t and deep snow; the
Thames almost frozen over.

15th January. 1689. I visited the Archbishop of Can-
terbury, where I found the Bishops of St. Asaph, Ely,
Bath and Wells, Peterborough, and Chichester, the Earls
of Aylesbury and Clarendon, Sir George Mackenzie, Lord-
Advocate of Scotland, and then came in a Scotch Arch-
bishop, etc. After prayers and dinner, divers serious
matters were discoursed, concerning the present state of
the Public, and sorry I was to find there was as yet no
accord in the judgments of those of the Lords and Com-
mons who were to convene ; some would have the Princess
made Queen without any more dispute, others were for
a Regency; there was a Tory party (then so called), who
were for inviting his Majesty again upon conditions; and
there were Republicans who would make the Prince of
Orange like a Stadtholder. The Romanists were busy
among these several parties to bring them into confu-
sion: most for ambition or other interest, few for con-
science and moderate resolutions. I found nothtng of all
this in this> assembly of Bishops, who were pleased to

1688-89 JOHN EVELYN 285

admit me into their discourses; they were all for a Re-
gency, thereby to salve their oaths, and so all public
matters to proceed in his Majesty's name, by that to
facilitate the calling of Parliament, according to the laws
in being. Such was the result of this meeting.

My Lord of Canterbury gave me great thanks for the
advertisement I sent him in October, and assured me
they took my counsel in that particular, and that it came
very seasonably.

I found by the Lord- Advocate that the Bishops of Scot-
land (who were indeed little worthy of that character, and
had done much mischief in that Church) were now com-
ing about to the true interest, in this conjuncture which
threatened to abolish the whole hierarchy in that kingdom ;
and therefore the Scottish Archbishop and Lord-Advocate
requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to use his best
endeavors with the Prince to maintain the Church there
in the same state, as by law at present settled.

It now growing late, after some private discourse with
his Grace, I took my leave, most of the Lords being

The trial of the bishops was now printed.

The great convention being assembled the day before,
falling upon the question about the government, resolved
that King James having by the advice of the Jesuits and
other wicked persons endeavored to subvert the laws of
the Church and State, and deserted the kingdom, carry-
ing away the seals, etc., without any care for the man-
agement of the government, had by demise abdicated
himself and wholly vacated his right; they did therefore
desire the Lords' concurrence to their vote, to place the
crown on the next heir, the Prince of Orange, for his
life, then to the Princess, his wife, and if she died with-
out issue, to the Princess of Denmark, and she failing,
to the heirs of the Prince, excluding forever all possi-
bility of admitting a Roman Catholic.

27th January, 1689. I dined at the Admiralty, where
was brought in a child not twelve years old, the son of
one Dr. Clench, of the most prodigious maturity of knowl-
edge, for I cannot call it altogether memory, but some-
thing more extraordinary. Mr. Pepys and myself
examined him, not in any method, but with promiscuous
questions, which required judgment and discernment to


answer so readily and pertinently. There was not any-
thing in chronology, history, geography, the several sys-
tems of astronomy, courses of the stars, longitude, latitude,
doctrine of the spheres, courses and sources of rivers,
creeks, harbors, eminent cities, boundaries and bearings
of countries, not only in Europe, but in an)' other part
of the earth, which he did not readily resolve and dem-
onstrate his knowledge of, readily drawing out with a
pen anything he would describe. He was able not only
to repeat the most famous things which are left us in
any of the Greek or Roman histories, monarchies, re-
publics, wars, colonies, exploits by sea and land, but all
the sacred stories of the Old and New Testament; the
succession of all the monarchies, Babylonian, Persian,
Greek, Roman, with all the lower Emperors, Popes,
Heresiarchs, and Councils, what they were called about,
what they determined, or in the controversy about Easter,
the tenets of the Gnostics, Sabellians, Arians, Nestorians;
the difference between St. Cyprian and Stephen about re-
baptism, the schisms. We leaped from that to other
things totally different, to Olympic years, and synchro-
nisms ; we asked him questions which could not be resolved
without considerable meditation and judgment, nay of
some particulars of the Civil Laws, of the Digest and
Code. He gave a stupendous account of both natural
and moral philosophy, and even in metaphysics.

Having thus exhausted ourselves rather than this won-
derful child, or angel rather, for he was as beautiful and
lovely in countenance as in knowledge, we concluded with
asking him if, in all he had read or heard of, he had
ever met with anything which was like this expedition of
the Prince of Orange, with so small a force to obtain
three great kingdoms without any contest. After a little
thought, he told us that he knew of nothing which did
more resemble it than the coming of Constantine the
Great out of Britain, through France and Italy, so te-
dious a march, to meet Maxentius, whom he overthrew at
Pons Milvius with very little conflict, and at the very
gates of Rome, which he entered and was received with
triumph, and obtained the empire, not of three king-
doms only, but of all the then known world. He was
perfect in the Latin authors, spoke French naturally,
and gave us a description of France, Italy, Savoy, Spain,

1689 JOHN EVELYN 287

ancient and modernly divided; as also of ancient Greece,
Scythia, and northern countries and tracts: we left ques-
tioning further. He did this without any set or formal
repetitions, as one who had learned things without book,
but as if he minded other things, going about the room,
and toying with a parrot there, and as he was at din-
ner ( tanquam aliua agens^ as it were ) seeming to be full
of play, of a lively, sprightly temper, always smiling,
and exceedingly pleasant, without the least levity, rude-
ness, or childishness.

His father assured us he never imposed anything to
charge his memory by causing him to get things by
heart, not even the rules of grammar; but his tutor
(who was a Frenchman) read to him, first in French,
then in Latin; that he usually played among other boys
four or five hours every day, and that he was as earnest
at his play as at his study. He was perfect in arithme-
tic, and now newly entered into Greek. In sum {hor-
resco referens), I had read of divers forward and precocious
youths, and some I have known, but I never did either
hear or read of anything like to this sweet child, if it be
right to call him child who has more knowledge than
most men in the world. I counseled his father not to
set his heart too much on this jewel,

*'' Immodicis brevis est est as, et rara senecius,^^

as I myself learned by sad experience in my most dear
child Richard, many years since, who, dying before he
was six years old, was both in shape and countenance
and pregnancy of learning, next to a prodigy.

29th January, 1689. The votes of the House of Com-
mons being carried up by Mr. Hampden, their chairman,
to the Lords, I got a station by the Prince's lodgings at
the door of the lobby to the House, and heard much of
the debate, which lasted very long. Lord Derby was
in the chair ( for the House was resolved into a grand
committee of the whole House); after all had spoken, it
came to the question, which was carried by three voices
against a Regency, which 51 were for, 54 against; the
minority alleging the danger of dethroning Kings, and
scrupling many passages and expressions in the vote of
the Commons, too long to set down particularly. Some
were for sending to his Majesty with conditions: others

288 DIARY OF London

that the King- could do no wrong, and that the mal-
administration was chargeable on his ministers. There
were not more than eight or nine bishops, and but two
against the Regency; the archbishop was absent, and
the clergy now began to change their note, both in pulpit
and discourse, on their old passive obedience, so as
people began to talk of the bishops being cast out of
the House. In short, things tended to dissatisfaction on
both sides; add to this, the morose temper of the Prince
of Orange, who showed little countenance to the noble-
men and others, who expected a more gracious and
cheerful reception when they made their court. The
English army also was not so in order, and firm to
his interest, nor so weakened but that it might give
interruption. Ireland was in an ill posture as well as
Scotland. Nothing was yet done toward a settlement.
God of his infinite mercy compose these things, that we
may be at last a Nation and a Church under some fixed
and sober establishment!

30th January, 1689. The anniversary of King Charles
I.'s martyrdom; but in all the public offices and pulpit
prayers, the collects, and litany for the King and
Queen were curtailed and mutilated. Dr. Sharp preached
before the Commons, but was disliked, and not thanked
for his sermon.

31st Januar)^ 1689. At our church (the next day
being appointed a thanksgiving for deliverance by the
Prince of Orange, with prayers purposely composed),
our lecturer preached in the afternoon a very honest
sermon, showing our duty to God for the many signal
deliverances of our Church, without touching on politics.

6th February, 1689. The King's coronation day was
ordered not to be observed, as hitherto it had been.

The Convention of the Lords and Commons now declare
the Prince and Princess of Orange King and Queen of
England, France, and Ireland ( Scotland being an inde-
pendent kingdom), the Prince and Princess being to
enjoy it jointly during their lives; but the executive
authority to be vested in the Prince during life, though
all proceedings to run in both names, and that it should
descend to their issue, and for want of such, to the
Princess Anne of Denmark and her issue, and in want
of such, to the heirs of the body of the Prince, if he

t689 JOHN EVELYN 289

survive, and that failing, to devolve to the Parliament,
as they should think fit. These produced a conference
with the Lords, when also there was presented heads of
such new laws as were to be enacted. It is thought on
these conditions they will be proclaimed.

There was much contest about the King's abdication,
and whether he had vacated the government. The Earl
of Nottingham and about twenty Lords, and many Bishops,
entered their protests, but the concurrence was great
against them.

The Princess hourly expected. Forces sending to Ireland,
that kingdom being in great danger by the Earl of Tyrcon-
nel's army, and expectations from France coming to assist
them, but that King was busy in invading Flanders, and
encountering the German Princes. It is likely that this
will be the most remarkable summer for action, which
has happened in many years.

2ist February, 1689. Dr. Burnet preached at St. James's
on the obligation to walk worthy of God's particular and
signal deliverance of the nation and church.

I saw the new Queen and King proclaimed the very
next day after her coming to Whitehall, Wednesday, 13th
February, with great acclamation and general good re-
ception. Bonfires, bells, guns, etc. It was believed that
both, especially the Princess, would have shown some
(seeming) reluctance at least, of assuming her father's
crown, and made some apology, testifying by her regret
that he should by his mismanagement necessitate the
nation to so extraordinary a proceeding, which would have
shown very handsomely to the world, and according to
the character given of her piety; consonant also to her
husband's first declaration, that there was no intention of
deposing the King, but of succoring the nation ; but noth-
ing of all this appeared; she came into Whitehall laugh-
ing and jolly, as to a wedding, so as to seem quite
transported. She rose early the next morning, and in her
undress, as it was reported, before her women were up,
went about from room to room to see the convenience
of Whitehall ; lay in the same bed and apartment where
the late Queen lay, and within a night or two sat down
to play at basset, as the Queen, her predecessor used to
do. She smiled upon and talked to everybody, so that
no change seemed to have taken place at Court since her


last going- away, save that infinite crowds of people
thronged to see her, and that she went to our prayers.
This carriage was censured by many. She seems to be
of a good nature, and that she takes nothing to heart:
while the Prince, her husband, has a thoughtful counte-
nance, is wonderfully serious and silent, and seems to treat
all persons alike gravely, and to be very intent on affairs:
Holland, Ireland, and France calling for his care.

Divers Bishops and Noblemen are not at all satisfied
with this so sudden assumption of the Crown, without any
previous sending, and offering some conditions to the ab-
sent King; or on his not returning, or not assenting to
those conditions, to have proclaimed him Regent; but
the major part of both Houses prevailed to make them
King and Queen immediately, and a crown was tempt-
ing. This was opposed and spoken against with such
vehemence by Lord Clarendon (her own uncle), that it
put him by all preferment, which must doubtless have
been as great as could have been given him. My Lord
of Rochester, his brother, overshot himself, by the same
carriage and stiffness, which their friends thought they
might have well spared when they saw how it was like
to be overruled, and that it had been sufficient to have
declared their dissent with less passion, acquiescing in
due time.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and some of the rest,
on scruple of conscience and to salve the oaths they had
taken, entered their protests and hung off, especially the
Archbishop, who had not all this while so much as ap-
peared out of Lambeth. This occasioned the wonder of
many who observed with what zeal they contributed to
the Prince's expedition, and all the while also rejecting
any proposals of sending again to the absent King; that
they should now raise scruples, and such as created
much division among the people, greatly rejoicing the
old courtiers, and especially the Papists.

Another objection was, the invalidity of what was done

Online LibraryMichael DraytonUniversal classics library (Volume 10) → online text (page 27 of 34)