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John Evelyn's Diary 1641
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Jan
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Jan. 02 Jan 1641. It was a sad and lugubrious beginning of the year, when, on the 2nd of January, 1640-1, we at night followed the mourning hearse to the church at Wotton; when, after a sermon and funeral oration by the minister, my father was interred near his formerly erected monument, and mingled with the ashes of our mother, his dear wife. Thus we were bereft of both our parents in a period when we most of all stood in need of their counsel and assistance, especially myself, of a raw, vain, uncertain, and very unwary inclination; but so it pleased God to make trial of my conduct in a conjuncture of the greatest and most prodigious hazard that ever the youth of England saw; and, if I did not amidst all this impeach my liberty nor my virtue with the rest who made shipwreck of both, it was more the infinite goodness and mercy of God than the least providence or discretion of mine own, who now thought of nothing but the pursuit of vanity, and the confused imaginations of young men.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Apr
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Apr. On the 15th I repaired to London to hear and see the famous trial of the Earl of Strafford, Lord-Deputy of Ireland (48), who, on the 22nd of March, had been summoned before both Houses of Parliament, and now appeared in Westminster Hall, which was prepared with scaffolds for the Lords and Commons, who, together with the King (40), Queen (31), Prince (10), and flower of the noblesse, were spectators and auditors of the greatest malice and the greatest innocency that ever met before so illustrious an assembly. It was Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey (54), Earl Marshal of England, who was made High Steward upon this occasion; and the sequel is too well known to need any notice of the event.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Apr. On the 27th [April], came over out of Holland the young Prince of Orange (14), with a splendid equipage, to make love to his Majesty's eldest daughter (9), the now Princess Royal.
That evening, was celebrated the pompous funeral of the Duke of Richmond, who was carried in efigy, with all the ensigns of that illustrious family, in an open chariot, in great solemnity, through London to Westminster Abbey.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. On the 12th of May, I beheld on Tower Hill the fatal stroke which severed the wisest head in England from the shoulders of the Earl of Strafford (48), whose crime coming under the cognizance of no human law, or statute, a new one was made, not to be a precedent, but his destruction. With what reluctancy the King signed the execution, he has sufficiently expressed; to which he imputes his own unjust suffering — to such exorbitancy were things arrived.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. On the 24th, I returned to Wotton; and, on the 28th of June, I went to London with my sister Jane, and the day after sat to one Vanderborcht for my picture in oil, at Arundel House, whose servant that excellent painter was, brought out of Germany when the Earl returned from Vienna (whither he was sent Ambassador-extraordinary, with great pomp and charge, though without any effect, through the artifice of the Jesuited Spaniard, who governed all in that conjuncture). With Vanderborcht, the painter, he brought over Winceslaus Hollar, the sculptor, who engraved not only this unhappy Deputy's trial in Westminster Hall, but his decapitation; as he did several other historical things, then relating to the accidents happening during the Rebellion in England, with great skill, besides many cities, towns, and landscapes, not only of this nation, but of foreign parts, and divers portraits of famous persons then in being; and things designed from the best pieces of the rare paintings and masters of which the Earl of Arundel was possessor, purchased and collected in his travels with incredible expense; so as, though Hollar's were but etched in aqua-fortis, I account the collection to be the most authentic and useful extant. Hollar was the son of a gentleman near Prague, in Bohemia, and my very good friend, perverted at last by the Jesuits at Antwerp to change his religion; a very honest, simple, well-meaning man, who at last came over again into England, where he died. We have the whole history of the king^s reign, from his trial in Westminster-hall and before, to the restoration of King Charles II., represented in several sculptures, with that also of Archbishop Laud (67), by this indefatigable artist, besides innumerable sculptures in the works of Dugdale, Ashmole, and other historical and useful works. I am the more particular upon this for the fruit of that collection, which I wish I had entire.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. 24 May 1641. This picture [his portrait] I presented to my sister, being at her request, on my resolution to absent myself from this ill face of things at home, which gave umbrage to wiser than myself, that the medal was reversing, and our calamities but yet in their infancy; so that, on the 15th of July, having procured a pass at the Custom-house, where I repeated my oath of allegiance, I went from London to Gravesend, accompanied with one Mr. Caryll, a Surrey gentleman, and our servants, where we arrived by six o'clock that evening, with a purpose to take the first opportunity of a passage for Holland. But the wind as yet not favourable, we had time to view the Block-house of that town, which answered to another over against it at Tilbury, famous for the rendezvous of Queen Ehzabeth, in the year 1588, which we found stored with twenty pieces of cannon, and other ammunition proportionable.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. On the 19th, we made a short excursion to Rochester, and having seen the cathedral, went to Chatham to see the Royal Sovereign, a glorious vessel of burden lately built there, being for defence and ornament, the richest that ever spread cloth before the wind. She carried an hundred brass cannon, and was 1200 tons; a rare sailer, the work of the famous Phineas Pett, inventor of the frigate-fashion of building, to this day practised. But what is to be deplored as to this vessel is, that it cost his Majesty the affections of his subjects, perverted by the malcontent great ones, who took occasion to quarrel for his having raised a very slight tax for the building of this, and equipping the rest of the navy without an act of Parliament; though, by the suffrages of the major part of the Judges, the King might legally do in times of imminent danger, of which his Majesty was best apprised. But this not satisfying a jealous party, it was condemned as unprecedential, and not justifiable as to the Royal prerogative; and, accordingly, the Judges were Removed out of their places, fined, and imprisoned.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. 21 May 1641. We returned again this evening, and on the 21st embarked in a Dutch frigate, bound for Flushing, convoyed and accompanied by five other stout vessels, whereof one was a man-of-war. The next day, at noon, we landed at Flushing. Being desirous to overtake the Leagure, which was then before Genep, ere the summer should be too far spent, we went this evening from Flushing to Middleburg, another fine town in this island, to De Vere, whence the most ancient and illustrious Earls of Oxford derive their family, who have spent so much blood in assisting the state during their wars. From De Vere we passed over many towns, houses, and ruins of demolished suburbs, &c., which have formerly been swallowed up by the sea; at what time no less eight of those islands had been irrecoverably lost.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. The next day, we arrived at Dort, the first town of Holland, furnished with all German commodities, and especially Rhenish wines and timber. It hath almost at the extremity a very spacious and venerable church; a stately senate-house, wherein was holden that famous synod against the Arminians in 1618, and in that hall hangeth a picture of The Passion, an exceeding rare and much-esteemed piece.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. 23 May 1641. From Dort, being desirous to hasten towards the army, I took waggon this afternoon to Rotterdam, whither we were hurried in less than an hour, though it be ten miles distant; so furiously do these foremen drive. I went first to visit the great church, the Doole, the Bourse, and the public statue of the learned Erasmus, of brass. They showed us his house, or rather the mean cottage, wherein he was bom, over which there are extant these lines, in capital letters: "DIBUS HIS ORTUS, MUNDUM DECORAVIT ERASMUS ARTIBUS, INGENIO, RELIGIONE, FIDE.".
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. The 26th, I passed by a straight and commodious river through Delft to the Hague; in which journey I observed divers leprous poor creatures dwelling in sohtary huts on the brink of the water, and permitted to ask the charity of passengers, which is conveyed to them in a floating box that they cast out.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. 27 May 1641. Arrived at the The Hague[Hague], I went first to the Queen of Bohemia's (44) Court, where I had the honour to kiss her Majesty's (44) hand, and several of the Princesses' her daughters. Prince Maurice (20) was also there, newly come out of Germany, and my Lord Finch (19), not long before fled out of England from the fury of the Parliament. It was a fasting-day with the Queen for the unfortunate death of her husband, and the presence-chamber had been hung with black velvet ever since his decease.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. The 28th I went to Leyden; and the 29th to Utredit, being thirty English miles distant, (as they reckon by hours). It was now Kermas, or a fair, in this town, the streets swarming with boors and rudeness, so that early the next morning, having visited the ancient Bishop's court, and the two famous churches, I satisfied my curiosity till my return, and better leisure. We then came to Hynen, where the Queen of Bohemia hath a neat and •well-built palace^ or country-house, after the Itahan manner, as I remember; and so, crossing the Rhine, upon which this villa is situated, lodged that night in a countryman's house.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 May. The 31st to Nimeguen: and on the 2nd of August we arrived at the League, where was then the whole army encamped about Genep, a very strong castle situated on the river Waal; but, being taken four or five days before, we had only a sight of the demolitions. The next Sunday was the thanksgiving sermons performed in Colonel Goring's (32) regiment (eldest son of the since Earl of Norwich) by Mr. Goffe (36), his chaplain (now turned Roman, and father-conFessor to the Queen-mother). The evening was spent in firing cannon and other expressions of military triumphs.
Now, according to the compliment, I was received a volunteer in the company of Captain Apsley (25), of whose Captain-lieutenant, Honywood, (Apsley being absent,) T received many civilities.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 3rd August, at night, we rode about the lines of circumvallation, the general being then in the field. The next day, I was accommodated with a very spacious and commodious tent for my lodging, as before I was with a horse, which I had at command, and a hut, which during the excessive heats was a great convenience; for the sun piercing the canvass of the tent, it was during the day tmsufferable, and at night not seldom infested with mists and fog, which ascended from the river.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 06 Aug 1641. As the turn came about, we were ordered to watch on a hornwork near our quarters, and trail a pike, being the next morning relieved by a company of French. This was our continual duty till the castle was re-fortified, and all danger of quitting that station secured; whence I went to see a Convent of Franciscan Friars, not far from our quarters, where we found both the chapel and refectory full, crowded with the goods of such poor people as at the approach of the army had fled with them thither for sanctuary. On the day following, I went to view all the trenches, approaches, and mines of the besiegers; and, in particular, I took special notice of the wheel-bridge, which engine his Excellency had made to run over the moat when they stormed the castle, as it is since described (with all the other particulars of this siege) by the author of "Hollandia Illustrata". The walls and ramparts of earth, which a mine had broken and crumbled, were of prodigious thickness.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Upon the 8th, I dined in the horse-quarters with Sir Robert Stone and his lady, Sir William Stradling, and divers cavaliers, where there was very good cheer, but hot service for a young drinker, as then I was; so that being pretty well satisfied with the confusion of armies and sieges (if such that of the United Provinces may be called, where their quarters and encampments are so admirably regular, and orders so exactly observed, as few cities, the best governed in time of peace, exceed it for all conveniences), I took my leave of the Leagure and Camerades; and, on the 12th of August, I embarked on the Waal, in company with three grave divines, who entertained us a great part of our passage with a long dispute concerning the lawfulness of church-music. We now sailed by Teil,. where we landed some of our freight, and about five o'clock we touched at a pretty town named Bommell, that had divers English in garrison. It stands upon Contributionland, which subjects the environs to the Spanish incursions. We sailed also by an exceeding strong fort called Lovestein,* famous for the escape of the learned Hugo Grotius, who, being in durance as a capital offender, as was the unhappy Barneveldt, by the stratagem of his lady, was conveyed in a trunk supposed to be filled vnth books only. We lay at Gorcum, a very strong and considerable frontier.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 13th. We arrived late at Rotterdam, where was their annual mart or fair, so furnished with pictures, (especially landscapes and drolleries, as they call those clownish representations,) that I was amazed. Some of these I bought, and sent into England. The reason of this store of pictures, and their cheapness, proceeds from their want of land to employ their stock, so that it is an ordinary thing to find a common farmer lay out two or three thousand pounds in this commodity. Their houses are full of them, and they vend them at their fairs to very great gains. Here I first saw an elephant, who was extremely well disciplined and obedient. It was a beast of a monstrous size, yet as flexible and nimble in the joints, contrary to the vulgar tradition, as could be imagined from so prodigious a bulk and strange fabric; but I most of all admired the dexterity and strength of its proboscis, on which it was able to support two or three men, and by which it took and reached whatever was offered to it; its teeth were but short, being a female, and not old. I was also shown a pelican, or onocratulas of Pliny,with its large gullets, in which he kept his reserve of fish : the plumage was white, legs red, flat, and film-footed : likewise a cock with four legs, two rumps and vents; also a hen which had two large spurs growing out of her sides, penetrating the feathers of her wings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 17th. I passed again through Delft, and visited the church in which was the monument of Prince William of Nassau, — the first of the Williams, and saviour (as they call him) of their liberty, which cost him his life by a vile assassination. It is a piece of rare art, consisting of several figures, as big as the life, in copper. There is in the same place a magnificent tomb of his son and successor, Maurice. The Senate-house hath a very stately portico, supported with choice columns of black marble, as I remember, of one entire stone. Within, there hangs a weighty vessel of wood, not unlike a butter-churn, which the adventurous woman that hath two husbands at one time is to wear on her shoulders, her head peeping out at the top only, and so led about the town, as a penance for her incontinence. From hence, we went the next day to Itvswick, a stately country-house of the Prince of Orange, for nothing more remarkable than the delicious walks planted with lime trees, and the modern paintings within.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 19th. We returned to the Hague, and went to visit the Hoff, or Prince's Court, with the adjoining gardens full of ornament, close walks, statues, marbles, grots, fountains, and artificial music. There is to this palace a stately hall, not much inferior to ours of Westminster Hall, hung round with colours and other trophies taken from the Spaniards; and the sides below are furnished with shops.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Next day (the 20th) I returned to Delft, thence to Rotterdam, the Hague, and Leyden, where immediately I mounted a waggon, which that night, late as it was, brought us to Haerlem. About seven in the morning, after I came to Amsterdam, where being provided with a lodging, the first thing I went to see was a Synagogue of the Jews (being Saturday), whose ceremonies, ornaments, lamps, law, and schools, afforded matter for my contemplation. The women were secluded from, the men, being seated in galleries above, shut with lattices, having their heads muffled with linen, after a fantastical and somewhat extraordinary fashion; the men, wearing a large calico mantle, yellow coloured, over their hats, all the while waving their bodies, whilst at their devotions. From thence, I went to a place without the town, called Overkirk, where they have a spacious field assigned them to bury their dead, full of sepulchres with Hebraic inscriptions, some of them stately and costly. Looking through one of these monuments, where the stones were disjointed, I perceived divers books and papers lie about a corpse; for it seems, when any learned Rabbi dies, they bury some of his books with him. With the help of a stick, I raked out several, written in Hebrew characters, but much impaired. As we returned, we stepped in to see the Spinhouse, a kind of bridewell, where incorrigible and lewd women are kept in discipine and labour, but all neat. We were showed an hospital for poor travellers and pilgrims, built by Queen Elizabeth of England; and another maintained by the city.
The State or Senate-house of this town, if the design be perfected, will be one of the most costly and magnificent pieces of architecture in Europe, especially for the materials and the carvings. In the Doole is painted, on a very large table, the bust of Marie de Medicis, supported by four royal, diadems, the work of one Vanderdall, who hath set his name thereon, 1st September, 1638.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Sunday, I heard an English sermon at the Presbyterian congregation, where they had chalked upon a slate the psalms that were to be sung, so that all the congregation might see it without the bidding of a clerk. I was told, that after such an age no minister was permitted to preach, but had his maintenance continued during life.
I purposely changed my lodgings, being desirous to converse with the sectaries that swarmed in this city, out of whose spawn came those almost innumerable broods in England afterwards. It was at a Brownist^s house, where we had an extraordinary good table. There was in pension with us my Lord Keeper, Finch (19), and one Sir J. Fotherbee. Here I also found an English Carmelite, who was going through Germany with an Irish gentleman. I now went to see the Weesehouse, a foundation like our Charterhouse, for the education of decayed persons, orphans, and poor children, where they are taught several occupations. The girls are so well brought up to housewifery, that men of good worth, who seek that chiefly in a woman, frequently take their wives from this hospital. Thence to the Hasphouse, where the lusty knaves are compelled to work; and the rasping of brasil and logwood for the dyers is very hard labour. To the Doolhouse, for madmen and fools. But none did I so much admire, as an hospital for their lame and decrepit soldiers and seamen, where the accommodations are very great, the building answerable; and, indeed, for the like public charities the provisions are admirable in this country, where, as no idle vagabonds are suffered (as in England they are), there is hardly a child of four or five years old, but they find some employment for it.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Sunday. It was on a Sunday morning that I went to the Bourse, or Exchange, after their sermons were ended, to see the Dog-market, which lasts till two in the afternoon, in this place of convention of merchants from all parts of the world: the building is not comparable to that of London, built by that worthy citizen, Sir Thomas Gresham, yet in one respect exceeding it, that vessels of considerable burthen ride at the very quay contiguous to it; and indeed it is by extraordinary industry that as well this city as generally all the towns of Holland, are so accommodated with graffs, cuts, sluices, moles, and rivers, made by hand, that nothing is more frequent, than to see a whole navy, belonging to this mercantile people, riding at anchor before their very doors; and yet their streets even, straight, and well paved, the houses so uniform and planted with lime trees, as nothing can be more beautiful.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Sunday. The next day, we were entertained at a kind of tavern, called the Briloft, appertaining to a rich Anabaptist, where, in the upper rooms of the house, were divers pretty waterworks, rising 108 feet from the ground. Here were many quaint devices, fountains, artificial music, noises of beasts, and chirping of birds; but what pleased me most was a large pendant candlestick, branching into several sockets, furnished all with ordinary candles to appearance, out of the wicks spouting out streams of water, instead of flames. This seemed then and was a rarity, before the philosophy of compressed air made it intelligible. There was like-wise a cylinder that entertained the company with a variety of chimes, the hammers striking upon the brims of porcelain dishes, suited to the tones and notes, without cracking any of them. Many other water-works were shown.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 23 Aug 1641. The Keiser's, or Emperor's Graft, which is an ample and long street, appearing like a city in a forest; the lime trees planted just before each house, and at the margin of that goodly aqueduct so curiously wharfed with Klincard brick, which likewise paves the streets, than which nothing can be more useful and neat. This part of Amsterdam is built and gained upon the main sea, supported by piles at an immense charge, and fitted for the most busy concourse of traffickers and people of commerce beyond any place, or mart, in the world. Nor must I forget the port of entrance into and issue of this town, composed of very magnificent pieces of architecture, some of the ancient and best manner; as are divers churches.
The turrets, or steeples, are adorned after a particular manner and invention; the chimes of bells are so rarely managed, that being curious to know whether the motion was from any engine, I went up to that of St. Nicholas, where I found one who played all sorts of compositions from the tablature before him, as if he had fingered an organ; for so were the hammers fastened with wires to several keys put into a frame twenty feet below the bells, upon which (by help of a wooden instrument, not much unlike a weaver's shuttle, that guarded his hand) he struck on the keys and played to admiration: all this while, through the clattering of the wires, din of the too nearly sounding bells, and noise that his wooden gloves made, the confusion was so great, that it was impossible for the musician, or any that stood near him, to hear any thing himself; yet, to those at a distance, and especially in the streets the harmony and the time were the most exact and agreeable.
The south church is richly paved with black and white marble, — the west is a new fabric; and generally all the churches in Holland are furnished with organs, lamps, and monuments, carefully preserved from the fury and impiety of popular reformers, whose zeal has foolishly transpoi'ted them in other places rather to act like madmen than religious.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. Upon St. Bartholomew's day, I went amongst the booksellers, and visited the famous Hondius and Bleaw's shop, to buy some maps, atlases, and other works of that kind. At another shop, I furnished myself with some shells and Indian curiosities; and so, towards the end of August, I returned again to Haerlem by the river, ten miles in length, straight as a line, and of competent breadth for ships to sail by one another. They showed us a cottage where, they told us, dwelt a woman who had been married to her twenty-fifth husband, and being now a widow, was prohibited to marry in future; yet it could not be proved that she had ever made away with any of her husbands, though the suspicion had brought her divers times to trouble.
Haerlem is a very delicate town, and hath one of the fairest churches of the Gothic design I had ever seen. There hang in the steeple, which is very high, two silver bells, said to have been brought from Damietta, in Egypt, by an Earl of Holland, in memory of whose success they are rung out every evening. In the nave, hang the goodliest branches of brass for tapers that I have seen, esteemed of great value for the curiosity of the work-manship; also a fair pair of organs, which I could not find they made use of in diviae service, or so much as to assist them in singing psalms, but only for show, and to recreate the people before and after their devotions, whilst the burgomasters were walking and conferring about their affairs. Near the west window hang two models of ships, completely equipped, in memory of that invention of saws under their keels, with which they cut through the chain of booms, which barred the port of Damietta. Having visited this church, the fish-market, and made some inquiry about the printing-house, the invention whereof is said to liave been in this town, I returned to Leyden.
At Leyden, I was carried up to the castle, or Pyrgus, built on a very steep artificial mount, cast up (as reported) by Hengist the Saxon, on his return out of England,, as a place to retire to, in case of any sudden inundations. The churches are many and fair; in one of them lies buried the learned and illustrious Joseph Scaliger, without any extraordinary inscription, who, having left the world a monument of his worth more lasting than marble, needed nothing more than his own name; which I think is all engraven on his sepulchre. He left his libraiy to this University.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Aug. 28th. I went to see the college and schools, which are nothing extraordinary, and was complimented with a matricula by the maynificus ProFessor, who first in Latin demanded of me where my lodging in the town was, my name, age, birth, and to what Faculty I addicted myself; then, recording my answers in a book, he administered an oath to me that I should observe the statutes and orders of the University whilst I stayed, and then delivered me a ticket, by virtue whereof I was made excise-free; for all which worthy privileges, and the pains of writing, he accepted of a rix-dollar.
Here was now the famous Dan. Heinsius, whom I so longed to see, as well as the no less famous printer, Elzevir's printing house and shop, renowned for the politeness of the character and editions of what he has published through Europe. Hence to the physic-garden, well stored with exotic plants, if the catalogue presented to me by the gardener be a faithful register.
But, amongst all the rarities of this place, I was much pleased with a sight of their anatomy-school, theatre, and repository adjoining, which is well furnished with natural curiosities; skeletons from the whale and elephant to the fly and spider, which last is a very delicate piece of art; to see how the bones (if I may so call them of so tender an insect) could be separated from the mucilaginous parts of that minute animal. Amongst a great variety of other things, I was shown the knife newly taken out of a drunken Dutchman's guts, by an incision in his side, after it had slipped from his fingers into his stomach. The pictures of the chirurgeon and his patient, both living, were there.
There is without the town a fair Mall, curiously planted.
Returning to my lodging, I was shewed the statue, cut in stone, of the happy monk, whom they report to have been the first inventor of typography, set over the door; but this is much controverted by others who strive for the glory of it, besides John Guttemburgh. I was brought acquainted with a Burgundian Jew, who had married an apostate Kentish woman. I asked him. divers questions; he told me, amongst other things, that the World should never end, that our souls transmigrated, and that even those of the most holy persons did penance in the bodies of brutes after death, — and so he interpreted the banishment and savage life of Nebuchadnezzar; that all the Jews should rise again, and be led to Jerusalem; that the Romans only were the occasion of our Saviour^s death, whom he affirmed (as the Turks do) to be a great prophet, but not the Messiah. He shewed me several books of their devotion, which he had translated into English, for the instruction of his wife; he told me that when the Messiah came, all the ships, barks, and vessels of Holland should, by the power of certain strange whirlwinds, be loosed from their anchors, and transported in a moment to all the desolate ports and havens throughout the world, wherever the dispersion was, to convey their brethren and tribes to the Holy City; with other such like stuff. He was a merry drunken fellow, but would by no means handle any money (for something I purchased of him), it being Saturday; but desired me to leave it in the window, meaning to receive it on Sunday morning.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 1st September. I went to Delft and Rotterdam, and two days after back to the Hague, to bespeak a suit of horseman's armour, which I caused to be made to fit me. I now rode out of town to see the monument of the woman, pretended to have been a Countess of Holland, reported to have had as many children at one birth, as there are days in the year. The basins were hung up in which they were baptized, together with a large description of the matter-of-fact in a frame of carved work, in the church of Lysdun, a desolate place. As I returned, I diverted to see one of the prince's Palaces, called the Hoff Van Hounslers Dyck, a very fair cloistered and quadrangular building. The gallery is prettily painted with several huntings and at one end a Gordian knot, with rustical instruments so artificially represented, as to deceive an accurate eye to distinguish it from actual rehevo. The ceiling of the staircase is painted with the Rape of Ganymede, and other pendent figures, the work of F. Covenberg, of whose hand I bought an excellent drollery, which I afterwards parted with to my brother George of Wotton, where it now hangs. To this palace join a fair garden and park, curiously planted with limes.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 08 Sep 1641. Returned to Rotterdam, through Delftshaven and Sedan, where were at that time Colonel Goring's (33) winter quarters. This town has heretofore been very much talked of for witches.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 10th. I took waggon for Dort, to be present at the reception of the Queen-mother, Marie de Medicis (66), Dowager of France, widow of Henry the Great, and mother to the French King, Louis XIII (39), and the Queen of England (31), whence she newly arrived, tossed to and fro by the various fortune of her life. From this city, she designed for Cologne, conducted by the Earl of Arundel (14) and the Herr Van Bredrod. At this interview, I saw the Princess of Orange (39), and the lady her daughter (13), afterwards married to the House of Brandenburgh. There was little remarkable in this reception befitting the greatness of her person; but an universal discontent, which accompanied that unlucky woman wherever she went.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 12th. I went towards Bois-le-Duc, where we arrived on the 16th, at the time when the new citadel was advancing with innumerable hands, and incomparable inventions for draining off the waters out of the fens and morasses about it, being by buckets, mills, cochleas, pumps, and the like; in which the Hollanders are the most expert in Europe. Here were now sixteen companies and nine troops of horse. They were also cutting a new river, to pass from the town to a castle not far from it. Here we split our skiff, falling foul upon another through negligence of the master, who was fain to run aground, to our no little hazard. At our arrival, a soldier conveyed us to the Governor, where our names were taken, and our persons examined very strictly.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 17th. I was permitted to walk the round and view the works, and to visit a convent of religious women of the order of St. Clara, who by the capitulation were allowed to enjoy their monastery and maintenance undisturbed, at the surrender of the town twelve years since, where we had a collation and very civil entertainment. They had a neat chapel, in which the heart of the Duke of Cleves, their founder, lies inhumed under a plate of brass. Within the cloister is a garden, and in the middle of it an overgrown lime-tree, out of whose stem, near the root, issue five upright and exceeding tall suckers, or bolls, the hke whereof for evenness and height I had not observed.
The chief church of this city is curiously carved within and without, furnished with a pair of organs, and a most magnificent font of copper.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 18th. I went to see that most impregnable town and fort of Hysdune, where I was exceedingly obliged to one Colonel Crombe, the Keutenant-govemor, who would needs make me accept the honour of being captain of the watch, and to give the word this night. The fortification is very irregular, but esteemed one of the most considerable for strength and situation in the Netherlands. We departed towards Gorcum. Here Sir Kenelm Digby (38), travelling towards Cologne, met us.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. The next morning, the 19th, we arrived at Dort, passing by the Decoys, where they catch innumerable quantities of fowl.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 22nd. I went again to Rotterdam to receive a pass which I expected from Brussels, securing me through Brabant and Flanders, designing to go into England through those countries. The Cardinal Infante (32), brother to the king of Spain (36), was then governor. By this pass, having obtained another from the Prince of Orange, upon the 24th of September I departed through DortWilliamstadt, a place garrisoned by the English, where the Governor had a fair house. The works, and especially the counterscarp, are curiously hedged with quick, and planted with a stately row of limes on the rampart. The church is of a round structure, with a cupola, and the town belongs entirely to the Prince of Orange, as does that of Breda, and some other places.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Sep. 28th [Sep 1641]. Failing of an appointment, I was constrained to return to Dort for a bill of exchange; but it was the 1st of October ere I could get back. At Keele, I numbered 141 vessels, who durst not yet venture out; but, animated by the master of a stout barque, after a small encounter of weather, we arrived by four that evening at Steenbergen. In the passage we sailed over a sea called the Plaats, an exceeding dangerous water, by reason of two contrary tides which meet there very impetuously. Here, because of the many shelves, we were forced to tide it along the Channel; but, ere we could gain the place, the ebb was so far spent, that we were compelled to foot it at least two long miles, through a most pelting shower of rain.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 2nd October. With a gentleman of the Rhyngraves, I went in a cart, or tumbrel (for it was no better; no other accommodation could be procured) of two wheels and one horse, to Bergen-op-Zoona, meeting by the way divers parties of his Highness's army now retiring towards their winter quarters; the convoy skiffs riding by thousands along the harbour. The fort was heretofore built by the English.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. The next morning, I embarked for Lillo, having refused a convoy of horse which was offered me. The tide being against us, we landed short of the fort on the beach, where we marched half leg deep in mud, ere we could gain the dyke, which being five or six miles from Lillo, we were forced to walk on foot very wet and discomposed; and then entering a boat we passed the ferry, and came to the castle. Being taken before the Governor, he demanded my pass, to which he set his hand, and asked two rix-dollars for a fee, which methought appeared very exorbitant in a soldier of his quality. I told him that I had already purchased my pass of the commissaries at Rotterdam; at which, in a great fury, snatching the paper out of my hand, he flung it scornfully under the table, and bade me try whether I could get to Antwerp without his permission; but, I had no sooner given him the dollars, than he returned the passport surlily enough, and made me pay fourteen Dutch shillings to the Cantone, or searcher, for my contempt, which I was glad to do for fear of further trouble, should he have discovered my Spanish pass, in which the States were therein treated by the name of rebels. Besides all these exactions, I gave the commissary six shillings, to the soldiers something, and, ere perfectly clear of this frontier, thirty-one stivers to the man-of-war, who lay blocking up the river betwixt Lillo and the opposite sconce called Lifkinshoeck.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 4th. We sailed by several Spanish forts, out of one of which, St. Mary's port, came a Don onboard us, to whom I showed my Spanish pass, which he signed, and civilly dismissed us. Hence, sailing by another man-of-war, to which we lowered our topsails, we at length arrived at Antwerp.
The lodgings here are very handsome and convenient. I lost little time; but, with the aid of one Mr. Lewkner, our conductor, we visited divers churches, colleges, and monasteries. The Church of the Jesuits is most sumptuous and magnificent; a glorious fabric without and within, wholly incrusted with marble, inlaid and polished into divers representations of histories, landscapes, and flowers. On the high altar is placed the statue of the Blessed Virgin and our Saviour in white marble, with a boss in the girdle set mth very fair and rich sapphires, and divers other stones of price. The choir is a glorious piece of architecture; the pulpit supported by four angels, and adorned with other carvings, and rare pictures by Rubens, now lately dead, and divers votive tables and relics. Hence, to the Vrou Kirk, or N6tre Dame of Antwerp: it is a very venerable fabric, built after the Gothic manner, especially the tower, which I ascended, the better to take a view of the country adjacent; which, happening on a day when the sun shone exceedingly bright, and darted his rays without any interruption, afforded so bright a reflection to us who were above, and had a full prospect of both land and water about it, that I was much confirmed in my opinion of the moon's being of some such substance as this earthly globe. Perceiving all the subjacent country, at so small an horizontal distance, to repercuss such a light as I could hardly look against, save where the river and other large water within our view, appeared of a more dark and uniform colour, resembling those spots in the moon supposed to be seas there, according to Hevelius, and as they appear in our late telescopes. I numbered in this church thirty privileged altars, that of St. Sebastian adorned with a painting of his martyrdom.
We went to see the Jerusalem Church, affirmed to have been founded by one who, upon divers great wagers, passed to and fro between that city and Antwerp on foot, by which he procured large sums of money, which he bestowed on this pious structure. Hence, to St. Mary's Chapel, where I had some conference wdth two Enghsh Jesuits, conFessors to Colonel Jaye's regiment. These fathers conducted us to the Cloister of Nuns, where we heard a Dutch sermon upon the exposure of the Host. The Senate-house of this city is a very spacious and magnificent building.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 15th. I visited the Jesuits' School, which, for the fame of their method, I greatly desired to see. They were divided into four classes, with several inscriptions over each : as, first. Ad majorem Dei gloriam; over the second, Princeps diligenticB; the third, Imperator Byzantiorum; over the fourth and uppermost, Imperator Romanorum. Under these, the scholars and pupils had their places, or forms, with titles and priority according to their proficiency. Their dormitory and lodgings above were exceedingly neat. They have a prison for the offenders and less diligent; and, in an ample court, to recreate themselves in, is an aviary, and a yard where eagles, vultures, foxes, monkeys, and other animals are kept, to divert the boys withal at their hours of remission. To this school join the music and mathematical schools, and lastly a pretty, neat chapel. The great street is built after the Italian mode, in the middle whereof is erected a glorious crucifix of white and black marble, greater than the life. This is a very fair and noble street, clean, well paved, and sweet to admiration.
The Oesters house, belonging to the East India Company, is a stately palace, adorned with more than 300 windows. From hence walking into the Gungarden, I was allowed to see as much of the citadel as is permitted to strangers. It is a matchless piece of modern fortification, accommodated with lodgments for the soldiers and magazines. The graff's, ramparts, and platforms are stupendous. Returning by the shop of Plantine, I bought some books, for the namesake only of that famous printer.
But there was nothing about this city which more ravished me than those delicious shades and walks of stately trees, which render the fortified works of the town one of the sweetest places in Europe; nor did I ever observe a more quiet, clean, elegantly built, and civil place, than this magnificent and famous city of Antwerp. In the evening, I was invited to Signor Duerte's, a Portuguese by nation, an exceeding rich merchant, whose palace I found to be furnished hke a prince's. His three daughters entertained us with rare music, vocal and instrumental, which was finished with a handsome collation. I took leave of the ladies and of sweet Antwerp, as late as it was, embarking for Brussels on the Scheldt in a vessel, which delivered us to a second boat (in another river) drawn or towed by horses. In this passage, we frequently changed our barge, by reason of the bridges thwarting our course. Here I observed numerous families inhabiting their vessels and floating dwellings, so built and divided by cabins, as few houses on land enjoyed better accommodation, stored with all sorts of utensils, neat chambers, a pretty parlour, and kept so sweet, that nothing could be more refreshing. The rivers on which they are drawn are very clear and still waters, and pass through a most pleasant country on both the banks. We had in our boat a very good ordinary, and excellent company. The cut is straight as a line for twenty English miles. What I much admired was, near the midway, another artificial river, which intersects this at right angles, but on an eminence of ground, and is carried in an aqueduct of stone so far above the other, as that the waters neither mingle, nor hinder one another's passage.
We came to a town called Villefrow, where all the passengers went on shore to wash at a fountain issuing out of a pillar, and then came aboard again. On the margin of this long tract, are abundance of shrines and images, defended from the injuries of the weather by niches of stone wherein they are placed.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 7th. We arrived at Brussels at nine in the morning. The Stadthouse, near the market-place, is, for the carving in freestone, a most laborious and finished piece, well worthy observation. The flesh-shambles are also built of stone. I was pleased with certain small engines, by which a girl, or boy, was able to draw up, or let down, great bridges, which in divers parts of this city crossed the channel for the benefit of passengers. The walls of this town are very entire, and full of towers at competent distances. The cathedral is built upon a very high and exceeding steep ascent, to which we mounted by fair steps of stone. Hence I walked to a convent of English Nuns, with whom I sat discoursing most part of the afternoon.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 8th. Being the morning I came away, I went to see the Prince's Court, an ancient, confused building, not much unlike the Hofft, at the Hague: there is here likewise a very large Hall, where they vend all sorts of wares. Through this we passed by the chapel, which is indeed rarely arched, and in the middle of it was the hearse, or catafalco, of the late Archduchess, the wise and pious Clara Eugenia. Out of this we were conducted to the lodgings, tapestried with incomparable arras, and adorned with many excellent pieces of Rubens, old and young Breugel, Titian, and Stenwick, with stories of most of the late actions in the Netherlands.
By an accident, we could not see the library. There is a fair terrace which looks to the vineyard, in which, on Pedestals, are fixed the statues of all the Spanish kings of the house of Austria. The opposite walls are painted by Rubens, being an history of the late tumults in Belgia : in the last piece, the Archduchess shuts a great pair of gates upon Mars, who is coming out of hell, armed, and in a menacing posture; which, with that other of the Infanta taking leave of Don Philip the Fourth, is a most incomparable table.
From hence, we walked into the park, which for being entirely within the walls of the city is particularly remarkable; nor is it less pleasant than if in the most solitary Recesses; so naturally is it furnished with whatever may render it agreeable, melancholy, and country-like. Here is a stately heronry, divers springs of water, artificial cascades, rocks, grots, one whereof is composed of the extravagant roots of trees cunningly built and hung together with wires. In this park are both fallow and red deer.
From hence, we were led into the Menage, and out of that into a most sweet and dehcious garden, where was another grot of more neat and costly materials, full of noble statues, and entertaining us with artificial music; but the hedge of water, in form of lattice-work, which the fountaineer caused to ascend out of the earth by degrees, exceedingly pleased and surprised me; for thus with a pervious wall, or rather a palisade hedge of water, was the whole parterre environed.
There is likewise a fair aviary; and in the court next it are kept divers sorts of animals, rare and exotic fowl, as eagles, cranes, storks, bustards, pheasants of several kinds, and a duck having four wings. In another division of the same close are rabbits of an almost perfect yellow colour.
There was no Court now in the palace, the Infante Cardinal (32), who was the governor of Flanders, being dead but newly, and every one in deep mourning.
At near eleven o'clock, I repaired to his Majesty's agent. Sir Henry De Vic (42), who very courteously received me, and accommodated me with a coach and six horses, which carried me from Brussels to Ghent, where it was to meet my Lord of Arundel (55), Earl Marshal of England, who had requested me when I was at Antwerp to send it for him, if I went not thither myself.
Thus taking leave of Brussels and a sad Court, yet full of gallant persons, (for in this small city, the acquaintance being universal, ladies and gentlemen, I perceived, had great diversions and frequent meetings,) I hasted towards Ghent. On the way, 1 met with divers little waggons, prettily contrived and full of peddling merchandises, dravm by mastiff-dogs, harnessed completely like so many coachhorses; in some four, in others six, as in Brussels itself I had observed. In Antwerp I saw, as I remember, four dogs draw five lusty children in a chariot: the master commands them whither he pleases, crying his wares about the streets. After passing through Ouse, by six in the evening, I arrived at Ghent. This is a city of so great a circumference, that it is reported to be seven leagues round; but there is not half of it now built, much of it remaining in fields and desolate pastures even within the walls, which have strong gates towards the west, and two fair churches.
Here I beheld the Palace wherein John of Gaunt and Charles V were born; whose statue stands in the market-place, upon a high pillar, with his sword drawn, to which (as I was told) the magistrates and burghers were wont to repair upon a certain day every year with ropes about their necks, in token of submission and penance for an old rebellion of theirs; but now the hemp is changed into a blue ribbon. Here is planted the basilisco, or great gun, so much talked of. The Lys and the Scheldt meeting in this vast city, divide it into twenty-six islands, which are united by many bridges, somewhat resembling Venice. This night I supped with the Abbot of Andoyne, a pleasant and courteous priest.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. Date obscured but after 08 Oct 1641. I passed by boat to Bruges, taking in at a redoubt a convoy of fourteen musketeers, because the other side of the river, being Contribution-land, was subject to the inroads and depredations of the bordering States. This river was cut by the famous Marquis Spinola, and is in my judgment a wonderful piece of labour, and a worthy public work, being in some places forced through the main rock, to an incredible depth, for thirty miles. At the end of each mile, is built a small redoubt, which communicates a line to the next, and so the whole way, from whence we received many volleys of shot, in compliment to my Lord Marshal (55), who was in our vessel, a passenger with us. At five that evening, we were met by the magistrates of Bruges, who came out to convey my Lord to his lodgings, at whose cost he was entertained that night.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. The morning after we went to see the Stadt house and adjoining aqueduct, the church, and market-place, where we saw cheeses and butter piled up in heaps; also the fortifications and graffs, which are extremely large.
The 9th we arrived, at Ostend by a straight and artificial river. Here, with leave of the captain of the watch, I was carried to survey the river and harbour, with fortifications on one side thereof: the east and south are mud and earth walls. It is a very strong place, and lately stood a memorable siege three years, three months, three weeks, and three days. I went to see the church of St. Peter, and the cloisters of the Franciscans.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 10th. I went by waggon, accompanied with a jovial commissary, to Dunkirk, the journey being made all on the sea-sands. On our arrival, we first viewed the court of guards, the works, the town-house, and the new church; the latter is very beautiful within; and another, wherein they showed us an excellent piece of Our Saviour's bearing the Cross. The harbour, in two channels, coming up to the town, was choked vrith a multitude of prizes.
From hence, the next day, I marched three, English miles towards the packet-boat, being a pretty frigate of six guns, which embarked us for England about three in the afternoon.
At our going off, the fort, against which our pinnace anchored, saluted my Lord Marshal (55) with twelve gi'eat guns, which we answered with three. Not having the wind favourable, we anchored that night before Calais. About midnight, we weighed; and, at four in the morning, though not far from Dover, we could not make the pier till four that afternoon, the wind proving contrary and driving us westward; but at last we got on shore, October the 12th.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 Oct. 11th. From Dover, I that night rode post to Canterbury. Here I visited the Canterbury Cathedral, then in great splendour, those famous windows being entire, since demolished by the fanatics. The next morning, by Sittingbourne, I came to Rochester, and thence to Gravesend, where a light-horseman (as they call it) taking us in, we spent our tide as far as Greenwich. From hence, after we had a little refreshed ourselves at the College, (for by reason of the contagion then in London we balked the inns,) we came to London landing at Arundel-stairs, Arundel House. Here I took leave of his Lordship (55), and retired to my lodgings in the Middle Temple, Temple, being about two in the morning, the 14th of October.