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John Evelyn's Diary 1654
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jan
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jan. 20 Jan 1654. Come to see my old acquaintance and the most incomparable player on the Irish harp, Mr. Clark,48 after his travels. He was an excellent musician, a discreet gentleman, born in Devonshire (as I remember). Such music before or since did I never hear, that instrument being neglected for its extraordinary difficulty; but, in my judgment, far superior to the lute itself, or whatever speaks with strings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jan. 25 Jan 1654. Died my son, J. Stansfield, of convulsion fits; buried at Deptford on the east corner of the St Paul's Church, Deptford, near his mother's great-grandfather, and other relatives.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Feb
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Feb. 08 Feb 1654. Ash Wednesday. In contradiction to all custom and decency, the usurper, Cromwell (54), feasted at the Lord Mayor's, riding in triumph through the city.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Feb. 14 Feb 1654. I saw a tame lion play familiarly with a lamb; he was a huge beast, and I thrust my hand into his mouth and found his tongue rough like a cat's; a sheep also with six legs, which made use of five of them to walk; a goose that had four legs, two crops, and as many vents.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Mar
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Mar. 29 Mar 1654. That excellent man, Mr. Owen, preached in my Sayes Court, Deptford on Matt. xxviii. 6, a resurrection sermon, and after it we all received the Holy Communion.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Apr
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Apr. 15 Apr 1654. I went to London to hear the famous Jeremy Taylor (since Bishop of Down and Connor) at St. Gregory's (near St. Paul's) on Matt. vi, 48, concerning evangelical perfection.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 05 May 1654. I bound my lackey, Thomas Headly, apprentice to a carpenter, giving with him five pounds and new clothing; he thrived very well, and became rich.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 08 May 1654. I went to Hackney, to see Lady Brook's garden, which was one of the neatest and most celebrated in England, the house well furnished, but a despicable building. Returning, visited one Mr. Tomb's garden; it has large and noble walks, some modern statues, a vineyard, planted in strawberry borders, staked at ten feet distances, the banqueting-house of cedar, where the couch and seats were carved à l'antique; some good pictures in the house, especially one of Vandyke's, being a man in his shirt; also some of Stenwyck. I also called at Mr. Ducie's, who has indeed a rare collection of the best masters, and one of the largest stories of H. Holbein. I also saw Sir Thomas Fowler's aviary, which is a poor business.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 10 May 1654. My Lady Gerrard treated us at Mulberry Garden, now the only place of refreshment about the town for persons of the best quality to be exceedingly cheated at; Cromwell and his partisans having shut up and seized on Spring Garden, which, till now, had been the usual rendezvous for the ladies and gallants at this season.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 11 May 1654. I now observed how the women began to paint themselves, formerly a most ignominious thing, and used only by prostitutes.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 14 May 1654. There being no such thing as church anniversaries in the parochial assemblies, I was forced to provide at home for Whit Sunday.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 May. 15 May 1654. Came Sir Robert Stapylton, the translator of "Juvenal," to visit me.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jun
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jun. 08 Jun 1654. . My wife and I set out in a coach and four horses, in our way to visit relations of hers in Wiltshire, and other parts, where we resolved to spend some months. We dined at Windsor, saw the Castle and Chapel of St. George, where they have laid our blessed Martyr, King Charles, in the vault just before the alter. The church and workmanship in stone is admirable. The Castle itself is large in circumference; but the rooms melancholy, and of ancient magnificence. The keep, or mount, hath, besides its incomparable prospect, a very profound well; and the terrace toward Eton, with the park, meandering Thames, and sweet meadows, yield one of the most delightful prospects. That night, we lay at Reading. Saw my Lord Craven's (46) house at Causam [Caversham], now in ruins, his goodly woods felling by the Rebels.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jun. 09 Jun 1654. . Dined at Marlborough, which having been lately fired, was now new built. At one end of this town, we saw my Lord Seymour's (64) house, but nothing observable save the Mount, to which we ascended by windings for near half a mile. It seems to have been cast up by hand. We passed by Colonel Popham's (49), a noble seat, park, and river. Thence, to Newbury, a considerable town, and Donnington, famous for its battle, siege, and castle, this last had been in the possession of old Geoffrey Chaucer. Then to Aldermaston, a house of Sir Humphrey Forster's, built à la moderne. Also, that exceedingly beautiful seat of my Lord Pembroke (33), on the ascent of hill, flanked with wood, and regarding the river, and so, at night, to Cadenham, the mansion of Edward Hungerford, Esq., uncle to my wife, where we made some stay. The rest of the week we did nothing but feast and make good cheer, to welcome my wife.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jun. 27 Jun 1654. . We all went to see Bath, where I bathed in the cross bath. Among the rest of the idle diversions of the town, one musician was famous for acting a changeling, which indeed he personated strangely.
The facciáta of this Bath Abbey, Bath is remarkable for its historical carving. The King's Bath is esteemed the fairest in Europe. The town is entirely built of stone, but the streets narrow, uneven and unpleasant. Here, we trifled and bathed, and intervisited with the company who frequent the place for health, till the 30th, and then went to Bristol, a city emulating London, not for its large extent, but manner of building, shops, bridge, traffic, exchange, market-place, etc. The governor showed us the castle, of no great concernment. The city wholly mercantile, as standing near the famous Severn, commodiously for Ireland, and the Western world. Here I first saw the manner of refining sugar and casting it into loaves, where we had a collection of eggs fried in the sugar furnace, together with excellent Spanish wine. But, what appeared most stupendous to me, was the rock of St. Vincent, a little distance from the town, the precipice whereof is equal to anything of that nature I have seen in the most confragose cataracts of the Alps, the river gliding between them at an extraordinary depth. Here, we went searching for diamonds, and to the Hot Wells, at its foot. There is also on the side of this horrid Alp a very romantic seat: and so we returned to Bath in the evening, and July 1st to Cadenham.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 04 Jul 1654. On a letter from my wife's (19) uncle, Mr. Pretyman, I waited back on her to London, passing by Hungerford, a town famous for its trouts, and the next day arrived at Deptford, which was 60 miles, in the extremity of heat.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 06 Jul 1654. I went early to London, and the following day met my wife (19) and company at Oxford, the eve of the Act.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 08 Jul 1654. Was spent in hearing several exercises in the schools; and, after dinner, the Proctor opened the Act at St. Mary's (according to custom), and the Prevaricators, their drollery. Then, the Doctors disputed. We supped at Wadham College.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 09 Jul 1654. Dr. French preached at St. Mary's, on Matt. xii. 42, advising the students the search after true wisdom, not to be had in the books of philosophers, but in the Scriptures alone. In the afternoon, the famous Independent, Dr. Owen, perstringing Episcopacy. He was now Cromwell's Vice-Chancellor. We dined with Dr. Ward (37), Mathematical ProFessor (since Bishop of Sarum), and at night supped in Baliol College Hall, where I had once been student and fellow-commoner, and where they made me extraordinarily welcome.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 10 Jul 1654. On Monday, I went again to the schools, to hear the several faculties, and in the afternoon tarried out the whole Act in St. Mary's, the long speeches of the Proctors, the Vice-Chancellor, the several ProFessors, creation of Doctors, by the cap, ring, kiss, etc., those ancient ceremonies and institution being as yet not wholly abolished. Dr. Kendal, now Inceptor among others, performing his Act incomparably well, concluded it with an excellent oration, abating his Presbyterian animosities, which he withheld, not even against that learned and pious divine, Dr. Hammond. The Act was closed with the speech of the Vice-Chancellor, there being but four in theology, and three in medicine, which was thought a considerable matter, the times considered. I dined at one Monsieur Fiat's, a student of Exeter College, and supped at a magnificent entertainment of Wadham Hall, invited by my dear and excellent friend, Dr. Wilkins, then Warden (after, Bishop of Chester).
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 11 Jul 1654. Was the Latin sermon, which I could not be at, though invited, being taken up at All Souls, where we had music, voices, and the orbos, performed by some ingenious scholars. After dinner, I visited that miracle of a youth, Mr. Christopher Wren, nephew to the Bishop of Ely. Then Mr. Barlow (since Bishop of Lincoln), bibliothecarius of the Bodleian Library, my most learned friend. He showed us the rarities of that most famous place, manuscripts, medals, and other curiosities. Among the MSS. an old English Bible, wherein the Eunuch mentioned to be baptized by Philip, is called the Gelding: "and Philip and the Gelding went down into the water," etc. The original Acts of the Council of Basil 900 years since, with the bulla, or leaden affix, which has a silken cord passing through every parchment; a MS. of Venerable Bede of 800 years antiquity; the old Ritual secundum usum Sarum exceeding voluminous; then, among the nicer curiosities, the "Proverbs of Solomon," written in French by a lady, every chapter of a several character, or hand, the most exquisite imaginable; an hieroglyphical table, or carta, folded up like a map, I suppose it painted on asses' hide, extremely rare; but, what is most illustrious, there were no less than 1,000 MSS. in nineteen languages, especially Oriental, furnishing that new part of the library built by Archbishop Laud, from a design of Sir Kenelm Digby (51) and the Earl of Pembroke (33). In the closet of the tower, they show some Indian weapons, urns, lamps, etc., but the rarest is the whole Alcoran, written on one large sheet of calico, made up in a priest's vesture, or cope, after the Turkish and Arabic character, so exquisitely written, as no printed letter comes near it; also, a roll of magical charms, divers talismans, and some medals.
Then, I led my wife (19) into the Convocation House, finely wainscoted; the Divinity School, and Gothic carved roof; the Physic, or Anatomy School, adorned with some rarities of natural things; but nothing extraordinary save the skin of a jackal, a rarely-colored jackatoo, or prodigious large parrot, two humming birds, not much bigger than our bumblebee, which indeed I had not seen before, that I remember.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 12 Jul 1654. We went to St. John's, saw the library and the two skeletons, which are finely cleansed and put together; observable is here also the store of mathematical instruments, chiefly given by the late Archbishop Laud, who built here a handsome quadrangle.
Thence we went to New College, where the chapel was in its ancient garb, notwithstanding the scrupulosity of the times. Thence, to Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, in whose library was shown us an Office of Henry VIII., the writing, miniatures, and gilding whereof is equal, if not surpassing, any curiosity I had seen of that kind; it was given by their founder, Cardinal Wolsey. The glass windows of the cathedral (famous in my time) I found much abused. The ample hall and column, that spreads its capital to sustain the roof as one goes up the stairs, is very remarkable.
Next we walked to Magdalen College, where we saw the library and chapel, which was likewise in pontifical order, the altar only I think turned tablewise, and there was still the double organ, which abominations (as now esteemed) were almost universally demolished; Mr. Gibbon, that famous musician, giving us a taste of his skill and talents on that instrument.
Hence, to the Physic Garden, where the sensitive plant was shown us for a great wonder. There grew canes, olive trees, rhubarb, but no extraordinary curiosities, besides very good fruit, which, when the ladies had tasted, we returned in our coach to our lodgings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 13 Jul 1654. We all dined at that most obliging and universally-curious Dr. Wilkins's, at Wadham College. He was the first who showed me the transparent apiaries, which he had built like castles and palaces, and so ordered them one upon another, as to take the honey without destroying the bees. These were adorned with a variety of dials, little statues, vanes, etc.; and, he was so abundantly civil, finding me pleased with them, to present me with one of the hives which he had empty, and which I afterward had in my garden at Sayes Court, where it continued many years, and which his Majesty came on purpose to see and contemplate with much satisfaction. He had also contrived a hollow statue, which gave a voice and uttered words by a long, concealed pipe that went to its mouth, while one speaks through it at a good distance. He had, above in his lodgings and gallery, variety of shadows, dials, perspectives, and many other artificial, mathematical, and magical curiosities, a waywiser, a thermometer, a monstrous magnet, conic, and other sections, a balance on a demi-circle; most of them of his own, and that prodigious young scholar Mr. Christopher Wren, who presented me with a piece of white marble, which he had stained with a lively red, very deep, as beautiful as if it had been natural.
Thus satisfied with the civilities of Oxford, we left it, dining at Farringdon, a town which had been newly fired during the wars; and, passing near the seat of Sir Walter Pye, we came to Cadenham.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 16 Jul 1654. We went to another uncle and relative of my wife's, Sir John Glanville (68), a famous lawyer, formerly Speaker of the House of Commons; his seat is at Broad Hinton, where he now lived but in the gate-house, his very fair dwelling house having been burnt by his own hands, to prevent the rebels making a garrison of it. Here, my cousin William Glanville's eldest son showed me such a lock for a door, that for its filing, and rare contrivances was a masterpiece, yet made by a country blacksmith. But, we have seen watches made by another with as much curiosity as the best of that proFession can brag of; and, not many years after, there was nothing more frequent than all sorts of ironwork more exquisitely wrought and polished than in any part of Europe, so as a door lock of a tolerable price was esteemed a curiosity even among foreign princes.
Went back to Cadenham, and, on the 19th, to Sir Edward Baynton's at Spie Park, a place capable of being made a noble seat; but the humorous old knight has built a long single house of two low stories on the precipice of an incomparable prospect, and landing on a bowling-green in the park. The house is like a long barn, and has not a window on the prospect side. After dinner, they went to bowls, and, in the meantime, our coachmen were made so exceedingly drunk, that in returning home we escaped great dangers. This, it seems, was by order of the knight, that all gentlemen's servants be so treated; but the custom is barbarous, and much unbecoming a knight still less a Christian.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 20 Jul 1654. We proceeded to Salisbury; the Salisbury Cathedral I take to be the most complete piece of Gothic work in Europe, taken in all its uniformity. The Pillars, reputed to be cast, are of stone manifestly cut out of the quarry; most observable are those in the chapter house. There are some remarkable monuments, particularly the ancient Bishops, founders of the Church, Knights Templars, the Marquis of Hertford's, the cloisters of the palace and garden, and the great mural dial.
In the afternoon we went to Wilton, a fine Wilton House, Wilton of the Earl of Pembroke, in which the most observable are the dining room in the modern-built part toward the garden, richly gilded and painted with story, by De Crete; also some other apartments, as that of hunting landscapes, by Pierce; some magnificent chimney-pieces, after the best French manner; a pair of artificial winding stairs of stone, and divers rare pictures. The garden, heretofore esteemed the noblest in England, is a large handsome plain, with a grotto and waterworks, which might be made much more pleasant, were the river that passes through cleansed and raised; for all is effected by a mere force. It has a flower garden, not inelegant. But, after all, that which renders the seat delightful is, its being so near the downs and noble plains about the country contiguous to it. The stables are well ordered and yield a graceful front, by reason of the walks of lime trees, with the court and fountain of the stables adorned with the Cæsars' heads.
We returned this evening by the plain, and fourteen-mile race, where out of my lord's hare warren we were entertained with a long course of a hare for near two miles in sight. Near this, is a pergola, or stand, built to view the sports; and so we came to Salisbury, and saw the most considerable parts of the city. The market place, with most of the streets, are watered by a quick current and pure stream running through the middle of them, but are negligently kept, when with a small charge they might be purged and rendered infinitely agreeable, and this made one of the sweetest towns, but now the common buildings are despicable, and the streets dirty.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 22 Jul 1654. We departed and dined at a farm of my Uncle Hungerford's, called Darnford Magna, situated in a valley under the plain, most sweetly watered, abounding in trouts caught by spear in the night, when they come attracted by a light set in the stern of a boat.
After dinner, continuing our return, we passed over the goodly plain, or rather sea of carpet, which I think for evenness, extent, verdure, and innumerable flocks, to be one of the most delightful prospects in nature, and reminded me of the pleasant lives of shepherds we read of in romances.
Now we arrived at Stonehenge, Amesbury, indeed a stupendous monument, appearing at a distance like a castle; how so many and huge Pillars of stone should have been brought together, some erect, others transverse on the tops of them, in a circular area as rudely representing a cloister or heathen and more natural temple, is wonderful. The stone is so exceedingly hard, that all my strength with a hammer could not break a fragment; which hardness I impute to their so long exposure. To number them exactly is very difficult, they lie in such variety of postures and confusion, though they seemed not to exceed 100; we counted only 95. As to their being brought thither, there being no navigable river near, is by some admired; but for the stone, there seems to be the same kind about 20 miles distant, some of which appear above ground. About the same hills, are divers mounts raised, conceived to be ancient intrenchments, or places of burial, after bloody fights. We now went by Devizes, a reasonable large town, and came late to Caversham, Reading.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 27 Jul 1654. To the hunting of a sorel deer, and had excellent chase for four or five hours, but the venison little worth.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 29 Jul 1654. I went to Langford to see my Cousin Stephens. I also saw Dryfield, the house heretofore of Sir John Pretyman, grandfather to my wife (19), and sold by her uncle; both the seat and house very honorable and well built, much after the modern fashion.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Jul. 31 Jul 1654. Taking leave of Caversham, Reading, where we had been long and nobly entertained, we went a compass into Leicestershire, where dwelt another relation of my wife's (19); for I indeed made these excursions to show her the most considerable parts of her native country, who, from her childhood, had lived altogether in France, as well as for my own curiosity and information.
About two miles before coming to Gloucester, we have a prospect from woody hills into a most goodly vale and country. Gloucester is a handsome city, considerable for the church and monuments. The Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester is indeed a noble fabric. The whispering gallery is rare, being through a passage of twenty-five yards in a many-angled cloister, and was, I suppose, either to show the skill of the architect, or some invention of a cunning priest, who, standing unseen in a Recess in the middle of the chapel, might hear whatever was spoken at either end. This is above the choir, in which lies buried King Stephen under a monument of Irish oak, not ill carved considering the age. The new library is a noble though a private design. I was likewise pleased with the Severn gliding so sweetly by it. The Duke's house, the castle works, are now almost quite dismantled; nor yet without sad thoughts did I see the town, considering how fatal the siege had been a few years before to our good King.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 01 Aug 1654. We set out toward Worcester, by a way thickly planted with cider fruit. We deviated to the Holy Wells, trickling out of a valley through a steep declivity toward the foot of the great Malvern Hills; they are said to heal many infirmities, as king's evil, leprosy, sore eyes, etc. Ascending a great height above them to the trench dividing England from South Wales, we had the prospect of all Herefordshire, Radnor, Brecknoch, Monmouth, Worcester, Gloucester_Shropshire, Warwick_Derbyshires, and many more. We could discern Tewkesbury, King's road, toward Bristol, etc.; so as I esteem it one of the goodliest vistas in England.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 02 Aug 1654. This evening we arrived at Worcester, the Judges of Assize and Sheriff just entering as we did. Viewing the town the next day, we found the Cathedral much ruined by the late wars, otherwise a noble structure. The town is neatly paved and very clean, the goodly river Severn running by it, and standing in a most fertile country.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 03 Aug 1654. We passed next through Warwick, and saw the Warwick Castle, the dwelling house of the Lord Brook (15), and the furniture noble. It is built on an eminent rock which gives prospect into a most goodly green, a woody and plentifully watered country; the river running so delightfully under it, that it may pass for one of the most surprising seats one should meet with. The gardens are prettily disposed; but might be much improved. Here they showed us Sir Guy's great two-handed sword, staff, horse-arms, pot, and other relics of that famous knight-errant. Warwick is a fair old town, and hath one church full of ancient monuments.
Having viewed these, I went to visit my worthy friend, Sir H. Puckering (36), at the Abbey, and though a melancholy old seat, yet in a rich soil.
Hence to Sir Guy's grot, where they say he did his penances, and died. It is a squalid den made in the rock, crowned yet with venerable oaks and looking on a goodly stream, so as, were it improved as it might be, it were capable of being made a most romantic and pleasant place. Near this, we were showed his chapel and gigantic statue hewn out of the solid rock, out of which there are likewise divers other caves cut, and some very capacious.
The next place to Coventry. The cross is remarkable for Gothic work and rich gilding, comparable to any I had ever seen, except that of Cheapside in London, now demolished. This city has many handsome churches, a beautiful wall, a fair free school and library to it; the streets full of great shops, clean and well paved. At going forth the gate, they show us the bone, or rib, of a wild boar, said to have been killed by Sir Guy, but which I take to be the chine of a whale.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 04 Aug 1654. Hence, riding through a considerable part of Leicestershire, an open, rich, but unpleasant country, we came late in the evening to Horninghold, a seat of my wife's (19) uncle.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 07 Aug 1654. Went to Uppingham, the shire town of Rutland, pretty and well built of stone, which is a rarity in that part of England, where most of the rural parishes are but of mud; and the people living as wretchedly as in the most impoverished parts of France, which they much resemble, being idle and sluttish. The country (especially Leicestershire) much in common; the gentry free drinkers.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 09 Aug 1654. To the old and ragged city of Leicester, large and pleasantly seated, but despicably built, the chimney flues like so many smiths' forges; however, famous for the tomb of the tyrant, Richard III, which is now converted to a cistern, at which (I think) cattle drink. Also, here in one of the churches lies buried the magnificent Cardinal Wolsey. John of Gaunt has here also built a large but poor hospital, near which a wretch has made him a house out of the ruins of a stately church. Saw the ruins of an old Roman Temple, thought to be of Janus. Entertained at a very fine collection of fruits, such as I did not expect to meet with so far North, especially very good melons. We returned to my uncle's.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 14 Aug 1654. I took a journey into the Northern parts, riding through Oakham, a pretty town in Rutlandshire, famous for the tenure of the Barons (Ferrers), who hold it by taking off a shoe from every nobleman's horse that passes with his lord through the street, unless redeemed with a certain piece of money. In token of this, are several gilded shoes nailed up on the castle gate, which seems to have been large and fair. Hence, we went by Brook, a very sweet seat and park of the old Lady Camden's. Next, by Burghley House, Stamford, belonging to the Duke of Buckingham, and worthily reckoned among the noblest seats in England, situate on the brow of a hill, built à la moderne near a park walled in, and a fine wood at the descent.
Now we were come to Cottesmore, a pretty seat belonging to Mr. Heath, son of the late Lord Chief Justice of that name. Here, after dinner, parting with the company that conducted us thus far, I passed that evening by Belvoir Castle, Belvoir, built on a round mount at the point of a long ridge of hills, which affords a stately prospect, and is famous for its strenuous resistance in the late civil war.
Went by Newark on Trent, a brave town and garrison. Next, by Wharton House, belonging to the Lord Chaworth, a handsome seat; then by Home, a noble place belonging to the Marquis of Dorchester (48), and passed the famous River Trent, which divides the South from the North of England; and so lay that night at Nottingham.
This whole Nottingham and county seems to be but one entire rock, as it were, an exceedingly pleasant shire, full of gentry. Here, I observed divers to live in the rocks and caves, much after the manner as about Tours, in France. The church is well built on an eminence; there is a fair house of the Lord Clare's, another of Pierrepont's; an ample market place; large streets, full of crosses; the relics of an ancient castle, hollowed beneath which are many caverns, especially that of the Scots' King, and his work while there.
This place is remarkable for being the place where his Majesty first erected his standard at the beginning of our late unhappy differences. The prospects from this city toward the river and meadows are most delightful.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 15 Aug 1654. We passed next through Sherwood Forest, accounted the most extensive in England. Then, Papplewick Moor, Sherwood, an incomparable vista with the pretty castle near it. Thence, we saw Newstead Abbey, Newstead, belonging to the Lord Byron (48), situated much like Fontainebleau in France, capable of being made a noble seat, accommodated as it is with brave woods and streams; it has yet remaining the front of a glorious abbey church. Next, by Mansfield town; then Welbeck Abbey, the house of the Marquis of Newcastle (61), seated in a bottom in a park, and environed with woods, a noble yet melancholy seat. The palace is a handsome and stately building. Next to Worksop Priory, Worksop, almost demolished; the church has a double flat tower entire, and a pretty gate. The manor belongs to the Earl of Arundel (27), and has to it a fair house at the foot of a hill in a park that affords a delicate prospect. Tickel, a town and castle, has a very noble prospect. All these in Nottinghamshire.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 17 Aug 1654. Passed through Pontefract; therichard castle famous for many sieges both of late and ancient times, and the death of that unhappy King murdered in it, was now demolishing by the Rebels; it stands on a mount, and makes a goodly show at a distance. The Queen (44) has a house here, and there are many fair seats near it, especially Mr. Pierrepont's (48), built at the foot of a hill out of the castle ruins. We all alighted in the highway to drink at a crystal spring, which they call Robin Hood's Well; near it, is a stone chair, and an iron ladle to drink out of, chained to the seat. We rode to Tadcaster, at the side of which we have prospect of the Archbishop's Palace (which is a noble seat), and in sight of divers other gentlemen's fair houses. This tract is a goodly, fertile, well-watered, and wooded country, abounding with pasture and plenty of provisions.
To York, the second city of England, fairly walled, of a circular form, watered by the brave River Ouse, bearing vessels of considerable burden on it; over it is a stone bridge emulating that of London, and built on; the middle arch is larger than any I have seen in England, with a wharf of hewn stone, which makes the river appear very neat. But most remarkable and worth seeing is York Minster, York, which of all the great churches in England had been best preserved from the fury of the sacrilegious, by composition with the Rebels when they took the city, during the many incursions of Scotch and others. It is a most entire magnificent piece of Gothic architecture. The screen before the choir is of stone carved with flowers, running work and statues of the old kings. Many of the monuments are very ancient. Here, as a great rarity in these days and at this time, they showed me a Bible and Common Prayer Book covered with crimson velvet, and richly embossed with silver gilt; also a service for the altar of gilt wrought plate, flagons, basin, ewer, plates, chalices, patins, etc., with a gorgeous covering for the altar and pulpit, carefully preserved in the vestry, in the hollow wall whereof rises a plentiful spring of excellent water. I got up to the tower, whence we had a prospect toward Durham, and could see Ripon, North Yorkshire, part of Lancashire, the famous and fatal Marston Moor, the Spas of Knaresborough, and all the environs of that admirable country. Sir —— Ingoldsby has here a large house, gardens, and tennis court; also the King's house and church near the castle, which was modernly fortified with a palisade and bastions. The streets are narrow and ill-paved, the shops like London.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 18 Aug 1654. We went to Beverley, a large town with two stately churches, Beverley Minster, Beverley and St. Mary's, not much inferior to the best of our cathedrals. Here a very old woman showed us the monuments, and, being above 100 years of age, spoke the language of Queen Mary's days, in whose time she was born; she was widow of a sexton who had belonged to the church a hundred years.
Hence, we passed through a fenny but rich country to Kingston upon Hull, East Riding , situated like Calais, modernly and strongly fortified with three block-houses of brick and earth. It has a good market place and harbor for ships. Famous also (or rather infamous) is this town for Hotham's refusing entrance to his Majesty. The water-house is worth seeing. And here ends the south of Yorkshire.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 19 Aug 1654. We pass the Humber, an arm of the sea of about two leagues breadth. The weather was bad, but we crossed it in a good barge to Barton on Humber, the first town in that part of Lincolnshire. All marsh ground till we came to Brigg, famous for the plantations of licorice, and then had brave pleasant riding to Lincoln, much resembling Salisbury Plain. Lincoln is an old confused town, very long, uneven, steep, and ragged; formerly full of good houses, especially churches and abbeys. The Minster almost comparable to that of York itself, abounding with marble Pillars, and having a fair front (herein was interred Queen Eleanora, the loyal and loving wife who sucked the poison out of her husband's wound); the abbot founder, with rare carving in the stone; the great bell, or Tom, as they call it. I went up the steeple, from whence is a goodly prospect all over the country. The soldiers had lately knocked off most of the brasses from the gravestones, so as few inscriptions were left; they told us that these men went in with axes and hammers, and shut themselves in, till they had rent and torn off some barge loads of metal, not sparing even the monuments of the dead; so hellish an avarice possessed them: beside which, they exceedingly ruined the city.
Here, I saw a tall woman six feet two inches high, comely, middle-aged, and well-proportioned, who kept a very neat and clean alehouse, and got most by people's coming to see her on account of her height.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 20 Aug 1654. From hence we had a most pleasant ride over a large heath open like Salisbury Plain, to Grantham, a pretty town, so well situated on the side of a bottom which is large and at a distance environed with ascending grounds, that for pleasure I consider it comparable to most inland places of England; famous is the steeple for the exceeding height of the shaft, which is of stone.
About eighteen miles south, we pass by a noble seat, and see Boston at a distance. Here, we came to a parish of which the parson had tithe ale.
Thence through Rutland, we brought night to Horninghold, from whence I set out on this excursion.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 22 Aug 1654. I went a setting and hawking, where we had tolerable sport.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 25 Aug 1654. To see Kirby Hall, Gretton, a very noble house of my Lord Hatton's (49), in Northamptonshire, built à la moderne; the garden and stables agreeable, but the avenue ungraceful, and the seat naked: returned that evening.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 27 Aug 1654. Mr. Allington preached an excellent discourse from Romans vi. 19. This was he who published those bold sermons of the members warring against the mind, or the Jews crucifying Christ, applied to the wicked regicides; for which he was ruined. We had no sermon in the afternoon.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 30 Aug 1654. Taking leave of my friends, who had now feasted me more than a month, I, with my wife, etc., set our faces toward home, and got this evening to Peterborough, passing by a stately palace (Thorpe) of St. John's (one deep in the blood of our good king), built out of the ruins of the Bishop's palace and cloister. The church is exceeding fair, full of monuments of great antiquity. Here lies Queen Catherine, the unhappy wife of Henry VIII, and the no less unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots. On the steeple, we viewed the fens of Lincolnshire, now much inclosed and drained with infinite expense, and by many sluices, cuts, mounds, and ingenious mills, and the like inventions; at which the city and country about it consisting of a poor and very lazy sort of people, were much displeased.
Peterborough is a handsome town, and hath another well-built church.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 Aug. 31 Aug 1654. Through part of Huntingdonshire, we passed that Huntingdon, fair and ancient, a river running by it. The country about it so abounds in wheat that, when any King of England passes through it, they have a custom to meet him with a hundred plows.
This evening, to Cambridge; and went first to St John's College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, well built of brick, and library, which I think is the fairest of that University. One Mr. Benlowes has given it all the ornaments of pietra commessa, whereof a table and one piece of perspective is very fine; other trifles there also be of no great value, besides a vast old song-book, or Service, and some fair manuscripts. There hangs in the library the picture of John Williams, Archbishop of York, sometime Lord Keeper, my kinsman, and their great benefactor.