Michael Drayton.

Universal classics library (Volume 10) online

. (page 8 of 34)
Online LibraryMichael DraytonUniversal classics library (Volume 10) → online text (page 8 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


day, making his provisionary sermon for the Sunday fol-
lowing, he went well to bed; but was taken suddenly ill
and expired before help could come to him.



76 DIARY OF London

Never had a parish a greater loss, not only as he was
an excellent preacher, and fitted for our great and vulgar
auditory, but for his excellent life and charity, his meek-
ness and obliging nature, industrious, helpful, and full of
good works. He left near ^^400 to the poor in his will,
and that what children of his should die in their minor-
ity, their portion shotild be so employed. I lost in par-
ticular a special friend, and one that had an extraordinary
love for me and mine.

25th February, 1672. To London, to speak with the
Bishop, and Sir John Cutler, our patron, to present Mr.
Frampton (afterward Bishop of Gloucester).

ist March, 1672. A full Council of Plantations, on the
danger of the Leeward Islands, threatened by the French,
who had taken some of our ships, and began to interrupt
our trade. Also in debate, whether the new Governor
of St. Christopher should be subordinate to the Governor
of Barbadoes. The debate was serious and long.

12th March, 1672. Now was the first blow given by
us to the Dutch convoy of the Smyrna fleet, by Sir Robert
Holmes and Lord Ossory, in which we received little
save blows, and a worthy reproach for attacking our
neighbors ere any war was proclaimed, and then pre-
tending the occasion to be, that some time before, the
Merlin yacht chancing to sail through the whole Dutch
fleet, their Adm.iral did not strike to that trifling vessel.
Surely, this was a quarrel slenderly grounded, and not
becoming Christian neighbors. We are likely to thrive,
accordingly. Lord Ossory several times deplored to me
his being engaged in it; he had more justice and honor
than in the least to approve of it, though he had been
over-persuaded to the expedition. There is no doubt but
we should have surprised this exceeding rich fleet, had
not the avarice and ambition of Holmes and Spragge
separated themselves, and willfully divided our fleet, on
presumption that either of them was strong enough to
deal with the Dutch convoy without joining and mutual
help; but they so warmly plied our divided fleets, that
while in conflict the merchants sailed away, and got safe
into Holland.

A few days before this, the Treasurer of the House-
hold, Sir Thomas Clifford, hinted to me, as a confidant,
that his Majesty would shut up the exchequer (and,



1672 JOHN EVELYN ^^

accordingly, his Majesty made use of infinite treasure
there, to prepare for an intended rupture ) ; but, says he,
it will soon be open again, and everybody satisfied; for
this bold man, who had been the sole adviser of the
King to invade that sacred stock (though some pretend
it was Lord Ashley's counsel, then Chancellor of the
Exchequer), was so over-confident of the success of this
unworthy design against the Smyrna merchants, as to
put his Majesty on an action which not only lost the
hearts of his subjects, and ruined many widows and
orphans, whose stocks were lent him, but the reputation
of his Exchequer forever, it being before in such credit,
that he might have commanded half the wealth of the nation.

The credit of this bank being thus broken, did exceed-
ingly discontent the people, and never did his Majesty's
affairs prosper to any purpose after it, for as it did not
supply the expense of the meditated war, so it melted
away, I know not how.

To this succeeded the King's declaration for an uni-
versal toleration; Papists and swarms of Sectaries, now
boldly showing themselves in their public meetings. This
was imputed to the same council, Clifford warping to
Rome as was believed, nor was Lord Arlington clear of
suspicion, to gratify that party, but as since it has proved,
and was then evidently foreseen, to the extreme weaken-
ing of the Church of England and its Episcopal Govern-
ment, as it was projected. I speak not this as my own
sense, but what was the discourse and thoughts of others,
who were lookers-on; for I think there might be some
relaxations without the least prejudice to the present
establishment, discreetly limited, but to let go the reins
in this manner, and then to imagine they could take
them up again as easily, was a false policy, and greatly
destructive. The truth is, our Bishops slipped the occa-
sion ; for, had they held a steady hand upon his Majesty's
restoration, as they might easily have done, the Church
of England had emerged and flourished, without interrup-
tion; but they were then remiss, and covetous after
advantages of another kind while his Majesty suffered
them to come into a harvest, with which, without any
injustice he might have remunerated innumerable gallant
gentlemen for their services who had ruined themselves
in the late rebellion.



78 DIARY OF Rochester

2ist March, 1672. I visited the coasts in my district
of Kent, and divers wounded and languishing poor men,
that had been in the Smyrna conflict. I went over to see
the new-begim Fort of Tilbury; a royal work, indeed,
and such as will one day bridle a great city to the pur-
pose, before they are aware.

23d March, 1672. Captain Cox, one of the Commis-
sioners of the Navy, furnishing me with a yatch, I sailed
to Sheerness to see that fort also, now newly finished;
several places on both sides the Swale and Medway to
Gillingham and Upnore, being also provided with re-
doubts and batteries to secure the station of our men-of-
war at Chatham, and shut the door when the steeds
were stolen.

24th March, 1672. I saw the chirurgeon cut off the
leg of a wounded sailor, the stout and gallant man en-
during it with incredible patience, without being bound
to his chair, as usual on such painful occasions. I had
hardly courage enough to be present. Not being cut off
high enough the gangrene prevailed, and the second
operation cost the poor creature his life.

Lord! what miseries are mortal men subject to, and
what confusion and mischief do the avarice, anger, and
ambition of Princes, cause in the world!

25th March, 1672. I proceeded to Canterbury, Dover,
Deal, the Isle of Thanet, by Sandwich, and so to Margate.
Here we had abundance of miserably wounded men, his
Majesty sending his chief chirurgeon. Sergeant Knight, to
meet me, and Dr. Waldrond had attended me all the
journey. Having taken order for the accommodation of
the wounded, I came back through a country the best
cultivated of any that in my life I had anywhere seen,
every field lying as even as a bowling-green, and the
fences, plantations, and husbandry, in such admirable
order, as infinitely delighted me, after the sad and afflict-
ing spectacles and objects I was come from. Observing
almost every tall tree to have a weathercock on the top
bough, and some trees half-a-dozen, I learned that, on a
certain holyday, the farmers feast their servants; at
which solemnity, they set up these cocks, in a kind of
triumph.

Being come back toward Rochester, I went to take order
respecting the building a strong and high wall about a



i672 JOHN EVELYN 79

house I had hired of a gentleman, at a place called Hart-
lip, for a prison, paying ^2^50 yearly rent. Here I settled
a Provost-Marshal and other officers, returning by Fever-
sham. On the 30th heard a sermon in Rochester cathe-
dral, and so got to Sayes Court on the first of April

4th April, 1672. I went to see the fopperies of the
Papists at Somerset- House and York- House, where now
the French Ambassador had caused to be represented our
Blessed Savior at the Pascal Supper with his disciples,
in figures and puppets made as big as the life, of wax-
work, curiously clad and sitting round a large table, the
room nobly hung, and shining with innumerable lamps
and candles: this was exposed to all the world; all the
city came to see it. Such liberty had the Roman Catho-
lics at this time obtained.

1 6th April, 1672. Sat in Council, preparing Lord Wil-
loughby's commission and instructions as Governor of
Barbadoes and the Caribbee Islands.

17th April, 1672. Sat on business in the Star Chamber.

19th April, 1672. At Council, preparing instructions for
Colonel Stapleton, now to go Governor of St. Christopher's ,
and heard the complaints of the Jamaica merchants
against the Spaniards, for hindering them from cutting
logwood on the mainland, where they have no pretense.

2 1 St April, 1672. To my Lord of Canterbury, to entreat
him to engage Sir John Cutler, the patron, to provide us
a grave and learned man, in opposition to a novice.

30th April, 1672. Congratulated Mr. Treasurer Clifford's
new honor, being made a Baron.

2d May, 1672. My son, John, was specially admitted of
the Middle Temple by Sir Francis North, his Majesty's
Solicitor-General, and since Chancellor. I pray God bless
this beginning, my intention being that he should seri-
ously apply himself to the study of the law.

loth May, 1672. I was ordered, by letter from the
Council, to repair forthwith to his Majesty, whom I found
in the Pall-Mall, in St. James's Park, where his Majesty
coming to me from the company, commanded me to go
immediately to the seacoast, and to observe the motion of
the Dutch fleet and ours, the Duke and so many of the
flower of our nation being now under sail, coming from
Portsmouth, through the Downs, where it was believed
there might be an encounter.



8o DIARY OF Margate

nth May, 1672. Went to Chatham. 12th. Heard a
sermon in Rochester Cathedral.

13th May, 1672. To Canterbury; visited Dr. Bargrave,
my old fellow-traveler in Italy, and great virtuoso.

14th May, 1672. To Dover; but the fleet did not appear
till the 1 6th, when the Duke of York with his and the
French squadron, in all 170 ships (of which above 100
were men-of-war), sailed by, after the Dutch, who were
newly withdrawn. Such a gallant and formidable navy
never, I think, spread sail upon the seas. It was a goodly
yet terrible sight, to behold them as I did, passing east-
ward by the straits between Dover and Calais in a
glorious day. The wind was yet so high, that I could
not well go aboard, and they were soon got out of sight.
The next day, having visited our prisoners and the Castle,
and saluted the Governor, I took horse for Margate.
Here, from the North Foreland Lighthouse top (which is
a pharos, built of brick, and having on the top a cradle
of iron, in which a man attends a great sea-coal fire all
the year long, when the nights are dark, for the safeguard
of sailors), we could see our fleet as they lay at anchor.
The next morning, they weighed, and sailed out of sight
to the N.E.

19th May, 1672. Went to Margate; and, the following
day, was carried to see a gallant w4dow, brought up a
farmeress, and I think of gigantic race, rich, comely,
and exceedingly industrious. She put me in mind of
Deborah and Abigail, her house was so plentifully stored
with all manner of country provisions, all of her own
growth, and all her conveniences so substantial, neat, and
well understood; she herself so jolly and hospitable; and
her land so trim and rarely husbanded, that it struck me
with admiration at her economy.

This town much consists of brewers of a certain heady
ale, and they deal much in malt, etc. For the rest, it is
raggedly built, and has an ill haven, with a small fort of
little concernment, nor is the island well disciplined; but
as to the husbandry and rural part, far exceeding any
part of England for the accurate culture of their ground,
in which they exceed, even to curiosity and emulation.

We passed by Rickborough, and in sight of Reculvers,
and so through a sweet garden, as it were, to Canter-
bury.



i672 JOHN EVELYN 8i

24th May, 1672. To London and gave his Majesty an
account of my journey, and that I had put all things in
readiness upon all events, and so returned home suffi-
ciently wearied.

31st May, 1672. I received another command to repair
to the seaside; so I went to Rochester, where I found
many wounded, sick, and prisoners, newly put on shore
after the engagement on the 28th, in which the Earl of
Sandwich, that incomparable person and my particular
friend, and divers more whom I loved, were lost. My
Lord (who was Admiral of the Blue) was in the ** Prince,"
which was burnt, one of the best men-of-war that ever
spread canvas on the sea. There were lost with this
brave man, a son of Sir Charles Cotterell ( Master of the
Ceremonies), and a son of Sir Charles Harbord (his
Majesty's Surveyor-General), two valiant and most ac-
complished youths, full of virtue and courage, who might
have saved themselves; but chose to perish with my
Lord, whom they honored and loved above their own
lives.

Here, I cannot but make some reflections on things
past. It was not above a day or two that going to
Whitehall to take leave of his Lordship, who had his
lodgings in the Privy-Garden, shaking [me by the hand
he bid me good-by, and said he thought he would see
me no more, and I saw, to my thinking, something bod-
ing in his countenance : *^ No, * says he, *^ they will not
have me live. Had I lost a fleet ( meaning on his return
from Bergen when he took the East India prize ) I should
have fared better; but, be as it pleases God вАФ I must do
something, I know not what, to save my reputation.*
Something to this effect, he had hinted to me ; thus I took
my leave. I well remember that the Duke of Albemarle,
and my now Lord Clifford, had, I know not why, no
great opinion of his courage, because, in former conflicts,
being an able and experienced seaman ( which neither
of them were ), he always brought off his Majesty's ships
without loss, though not without as many marks of true
courage as the stoutest of them ; and I am a witness that,
in the late war, his own ship was pierced like a colander.
But the business was, he was utterly against this war
from the beginning, and abhorred the attacking of the
Smyrna fleet; he did not favor the heady expedition of
6



82 DIARY OF ROCHESTER

Clififord at Bergen, nor was he so furious and confident
as was the Duke of Albemarle, who believed he could van-
quish the Hollanders with one squadron. My Lord Sand-
wich was prudent as well as valiant, and always governed his
affairs with success and little loss; he was for delibera-
tion and reason, they for action and slaughter without
either; and for this, whispered as if my Lord Sandwich
was not so gallant, because he was not so rash, and knew
how fatal it was to lose a fleet, such as was that under
his conduct, and for which these very persons would
have censured him on the other side. This it was, I am
confident, grieved him, and made him enter like a lion,
and fight like one too, in the midst of the hottest service,
where the stoutest of the rest seeing him engaged, and so
many ships upon him, dared not, or would not, come to
his succor, as some of them, whom I know, might have
done. Thus, this gallant person perished, to gratify the
pride and envy of some I named.

Deplorable was the loss of one of the best accomplished
persons, not only of this nation, but of any other. He
was learned in sea affairs, in politics, in mathematics, and
in music: he had been on divers embassies, was of a
sweet and obliging temper, sober, chaste, very ingenious,
a true nobleman, an ornament to the Court and his Prince ;
nor has he left any behind him who approach his many
virtues.

He had, I confess, served the tyrant Cromwell, when a
young man, but it was without malice, as a soldier of for-
tune; and he readily submitted, and that with joy, bring-
ing an entire fleet with him from the Sound, at the first
tidings of his Majesty's restoration. I verily believe him
as faithful a subject as any that were not his friends. I
am yet heartily grieved at this mighty loss, nor do I call
it to my thoughts without emotion.

2d June, 1672. Trinity Sunday, I passed at Rochester;
and, on the 5th, there was buried in the Cathedral Mon-
sieur Rabini6re, Rear Admiral of the French squadron, a
gallant person, who died of the wounds he received in
the fight. This ceremony lay on me, which I performed
with all the decency I could, inviting the Mayor and
Aldermen to come in their formalities. Sir Jonas Atkins
was there with his guards; and the Dean and Preben-
daries : one of his countrymen pronouncing a funeral ora-



i672 JOHN EVELYN 83

tion at the brink of his grave, which I caused to be dug
in the choir. This is more at large described in the
" Gazette ^^ of that day ; Colonel Reymes, my colleague in
commission, assisting, who was so kind as to accompany
me from London, though it was not his district; for
indeed the stress of both these wars lay more on me by
far than on any of my brethren, who had little to do in
theirs. I went to see Upnore Castle, which I found
pretty well defended, but of no great moment.

Next day I sailed to the fleet, now riding at the buoy
of the "Nore,*^ where I met his Majesty, the Duke, Lord
Arlington, and all the great men, in the ^^ Charles, '^ lying
miserably shattered; but the miss of Lord Sandwich re-
doubled the loss to me, and showed the folly of hazard-
ing so brave a fleet, and losing so many good men, for
no provocation but that the Hollanders exceeded us in
industry, and in all things but envy.

At Sheerness, I gave his Majesty and his Royal High-
ness an account of my charge, and returned to Queen-
borough; next day dined at Major Dorel's, Governor of
Sheerness; thence, to Rochester; and the following day,
home

12th June, 1672. To London to his Majesty, to solicit
for money for the sick and wounded, which he promised
me

19th June, 1672. To London again, to solicit the same.

2ist June, 1672. At a Council of Plantations. Most of
this week busied with the sick and wounded.

3d July, 1672. To Lord Sandwich's funeral, which was
by water to Westminster, in solemn pomp.

31st July, 1672. I entertained the Maids of Honor
(among whom there was one I infinitely esteemed for her
many and extraordinary virtues*) at a comedy this after-
noon, and so went home.

I St August, 1672. I was at the betrothal of Lord Ar-
lington's only daughter (a sweet child if ever there was
anyf) to the Duke of Grafton, the King's natural son by

*Mrs. Blagg whom Evelyn never tires of instancing and charac-
terizing as a rare example of piety and virtue, in so rare a wit,
beauty, and perfection, in a licentious court, and depraved age. She
was afterward married to Mr. Godolphin, and her life, written by
Evelyn, has been edited and published by the Bishop of Oxford.

f She was then only fifteen years old.



84 DIARY OF London

the Duchess of Cleveland; the Archbishop of Canterbury
officiating-, the King and the grandees being present. I
had a favor given me by my Lady; but took no great
joy at the thing for many reasons.

i8th August, 1672. Sir James Hayes, Secretary to
Prince Rupert, dined with me ; after dinner I was sent to
Gravesend to dispose of no fewer than 800 sick men.
That night I got to the jfleet at the buoy of the



Online LibraryMichael DraytonUniversal classics library (Volume 10) → online text (page 8 of 34)