Biography of Mary Browne 1635-1708
John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. He died at his house in London, 27th February 1705-6, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and was buried at Wotton. His lady survived him nearly three years, dying 9th February 1709, in her seventy-fourth year, and was buried near him at Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. He was happy in a wife of congenial dispositions with his own, of an enlightened mind, who had read much, and was skilled in etching and painting, yet attentive to the domestic concerns of her household, and a most affectionate mother.
John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. As to his answer to Sir George Mackenzie's panegyric on Solitude, in which Mr. Evelyn takes the opposite part and urges the preference to which public employment and an active life is entitled,—it may be considered as the playful essay of one who, for the sake of argument, would controvert another's position, though in reality agreeing with his own opinion; if we think him serious in two letters to Mr. Abraham Cowley, dated 12th March and 24th August 1666, in the former of which he writes: You had reason to be astonished at the presumption, not to name it affront, that I, who have so highly celebrated recess, and envied it in others, should become an advocate for the enemy, which of all others it abhors and flies from. I conjure you to believe that I am still of the same mind, and that there is no person alive who does more honor and breathe after the life and repose you so happily cultivate and advance by your example; but, as those who praised dirt, a flea, and the gout, so have I public employment in that trifling Essay, and that in so weak a style compared with my antagonist's, as by that alone it will appear I neither was nor could be serious, and I hope you believe I speak my very soul to you.
'Sunt enim Musis sua ludicra mista Camœnis.
In the other, he says, "I pronounce it to you from my heart as oft as I consider it, that I look on your fruitions with inexpressible emulation, and should think myself more happy than crowned heads, were I, as you, the arbiter of mine own life, and could break from those gilded toys to taste your well-described joys with such a wife and such a friend, whose conversation exceeds all that the mistaken world calls happiness." But, in truth, Mr. Evelyn's mind was too active to admit of solitude at all times, however desirable it might appear to him in theory.
John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. Evelyn was buried in the Dormitory adjoining Wotton Church.
On a white marble, covering a tomb shaped like a coffin, raised about three feet above the floor, is inscribed:.
Here lies the Body.
of John Evelyn, Esq,.
of this place, second son.
of Richard Evelyn, Esq;.
who having serv'd the Publick.
in several employments, of which that.
of Commissioner of the Privy-Seal in the.
Reign of King James the 2d was most.
honourable, and perpetuated his fame.
by far more lasting monuments than.
those of Stone or Brass, his learned.
and usefull Works, fell asleep the 27 day.
of February 1705-6, being the 86 year.
of his age, in full hope of a glorious.
Resurrection, thro' Faith in Jesus Christ.
Living in an age of extraordinary.
Events and Revolutions, he learnt.
(as himself asserted) this Truth,.
which pursuant to his intention.
is here declared—.
That all is vanity which is not honest,.
and that there is no solid wisdom.
but in real Piety.
Of five Sons and three Daughters.
born to him from his most.
vertuous and excellent Wife,.
Mary, sole daughter and heiress.
of Sir Rich. Browne of Sayes.
Court near Deptford in Kent,.
onely one daughter, Susanna,.
married to William Draper.
Esq, of Adscomb in this.
County, survived him; the.
two others dying in the.
flower of their age, and.
all the Sons very young, except.
one named John, who.
deceased 24 March 1698-9,.
in the 45 year of his age,.
leaving one son, John, and.
one daughter, Elizabeth.
Before 1635 [her father] Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683 and [her mother] Elizabeth Prettyman 1610-1652 were married.
In 1635 Mary Browne 1635-1708 was born to [her father] Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683 (30) and [her mother] Elizabeth Prettyman 1610-1652 (25).
John Evelyn's Diary 1647 September. 10 Sep 1647. Being called into England, to settle my affairs after an absence of four years, I took leave of the Prince (17) and Queen (37), leaving my wife (12), yet very young, under the care of an excellent lady and prudent mother (37).
John Evelyn's Diary 1647 October. 14 Oct 1647. To Sayes Court, at Deptford, in Kent (since my house), where I found Mr. Pretyman, my wife's (12) uncle, who had charge of it and the estate about it, during my father-in-law's residence in France. On the 15th, I again occupied my own chambers in the Middle Temple.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 February. 16 Feb 1649. Paris being now strictly besieged by the Prince de Condé (27), my wife (14) being shut up with her father (44) and mother (39), I wrote a letter of consolation to her: and, on the 22d, having recommended Obadiah Walker (33), a learned and most ingenious person, to be tutor to, and travel with, Mr. Hillyard's two sons, returned to Sayes Court.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 February. 27 Feb 1649. Came out of France my wife's (14) uncle (Paris still besieged), being robbed at sea by the Dunkirk pirates: I lost, among other goods, my wife's (14) picture, painted by Monsieur Bourdon.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 March. 21 Mar 1649. I received letters from Paris from my wife (14), and from Sir Richard [Browne], with whom I kept up a political correspondence, with no small danger of being discovered.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 August. 01 Aug 1649. At three in the afternoon we came to St. Denis, saw the rarities of the church and treasury; and so to Paris that evening.
The next day, came to welcome me at dinner the Lord High Treasurer Cottington (70), Sir Edward Hyde, Chancellor (40), Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary of State, Sir George Carteret, Governor of Jersey (39), and Dr. Earle (48), having now been absent from my wife (14) above a year and a half.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 September. 07 Sep 1649. Went with my wife (14) and dear Cousin to St. Germains, and kissed the Queen-Mother's (39) hand; dined with my Lord Keeper and Lord Hatton (44). Divers of the great men of France came to see the King (19). The next day, came the Prince of Condé (27). Returning to Paris, we went to see the President Maison's palace, built castle-wise, of a milk-white fine freestone; the house not vast, but well contrived, especially the staircase, and the ornaments of Putti, about it. It is environed in a dry moat, the offices under ground, the gardens very excellent with extraordinary long walks, set with elms, and a noble prospect toward the forest, and on the Seine toward Paris. Take it altogether, the meadows, walks, river, forest, corn-ground, and vineyards, I hardly saw anything in Italy to exceed it. The iron gates are very magnificent. He has pulled down a whole village to make room for his pleasure about it.
John Evelyn's Diary 1650 February. 06 Feb 1650. In the evening, came Signor Alessandro, one of the Cardinal Mazarine's (47) musicians, and a person of great name for his knowledge in that art, to visit my wife (15), and sung before divers persons of quality in my chamber.
John Evelyn's Diary 1650 May. 07 May 1650. I went with Sir Richard Browne's (45) lady and my wife (15), together with the Earl of Chesterfield (66), Lord Ossory (15) and his brother (10), to Vamber, a place near the city famous for butter; when, coming homeward, being on foot, a quarrel arose between Lord Ossory (15) and a man in a garden, who thrust Lord Ossory (15) from the gate with uncivil language; on which our young gallants struck the fellow on the pate, and bade him ask pardon, which he did with much submission, and so we parted. But we were not gone far before we heard a noise behind us, and saw people coming with guns, swords, staves, and forks, and who followed, flinging stones; on which, we turned, and were forced to engage, and with our swords, stones, and the help of our servants (one of whom had a pistol) made our retreat for near a quarter of a mile, when we took shelter in a house, where we were besieged, and at length forced to submit to be prisoners. Lord Hatton (44), with some others, were taken prisoners in the flight, and his lordship (15) was confined under three locks and as many doors in this rude fellow's master's house, who pretended to be steward to Monsieur St. Germain, one of the presidents of the Grand Chambre du Parlement, and a Canon of Nôtre Dame. Several of us were much hurt. One of our lackeys escaping to Paris, caused the bailiff of St. Germain to come with his guard and rescue us. Immediately afterward, came Monsieur St. Germain himself, in great wrath, on hearing that his housekeeper was assaulted; but when he saw the King's officers, the gentlemen and noblemen, with his Majesty's Resident and understood the occasion, he was ashamed of the accident, requesting the fellow's pardon, and desiring the ladies to accept their submission and a supper at his house. It was ten o'clock at night ere we got to Paris, guarded by Prince Griffith (a Welsh hero going under that name, and well known in England for his extravagancies), together with the scholars of two academies, who came forth to assist and meet us on horseback, and would fain have alarmed the town we received the affront from: which, with much ado, we prevented.
John Evelyn's Diary 1650 June. 27 Jun 1650. I made my will, and, taking leave of my wife (15) and other friends, took horse for England, paying the messenger eight pistoles for me and my servant to Calais, setting out with seventeen in company well-armed, some Portuguese, Swiss, and French, whereof six were captains and officers. We came the first night to Beaumont; next day, to Beauvais, and lay at Pois, and the next, without dining, reached Abbeville; next, dined at Montreuil, and proceeding met a company on foot (being now within the inroads of the parties which dangerously infest this day's journey from St. Omers and the frontiers), which we drew very near to, ready and resolute to charge through, and accordingly were ordered and led by a captain of our train; but, as we were on the speed, they called out, and proved to be Scotchmen, newly raised and landed, and few among them armed. This night, we were well treated at Boulogne. The next day, we marched in good order, the passage being now exceeding dangerous, and got to Calais by a little after two. The sun so scorched my face, that it made the skin peel off.
I dined with Mr. Booth, his Majesty's agent; and, about three in the afternoon, embarked in the packet-boat; hearing there was a pirate then also setting sail, we had security from molestation, and so with a fair S. W. wind in seven hours we landed at Dover. The busy watchman would have us to the mayor to be searched, but the gentleman being in bed, we were dismissed.
Next day, being Sunday, they would not permit us to ride post, so that afternoon our trunks were visited.
The next morning, by four, we set out for Canterbury, where I met with my Lady Catherine Scott, whom that very day twelve months before I met at sea going for France; she had been visiting Sir Thomas Peyton, not far off, and would needs carry me in her coach to Gravesend. We dined at Sittingbourne, came late to Gravesend, and so to Deptford, taking leave of my lady about four the next morning.
John Evelyn's Diary 1651 March. 20 Mar 1651. I went this night with my wife (16) to a ball at the Marquis de Crevecœur's, where were divers princes, dukes, and great persons; but what appeared to me very mean was, that it began with a puppet-play.
John Evelyn's Diary 1651 August. 02 Aug 1651. I went with my wife (16) to Conflans, where were abundance of ladies and others bathing in the river; the ladies had their tents spread on the water for privacy.
John Evelyn's Diary 1651 August. 29 Aug 1651. Was kept as a solemn fast for the calamities of our poor Church, now trampled on by the rebels. Mr. Waller (45), being at St. Germains, desired me to send him a coach from Paris, to bring my wife's (16) goddaughter to Paris, to be buried by the Common Prayer.
John Evelyn's Diary 1651 September. 06 Sep 1651. I went with my wife (16) to St. Germains, to condole with Mr. Waller's (45) loss. I carried with me and treated at dinner that excellent and pious person the Dean of St. Paul's, Dr. Stewart, and Sir Lewis Dives (52) (half-brother to the Earl of Bristol (38)) [Note. Beatrice Walcott was mother to Lewis Dyve 1599-1669 (52) and George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677 (38) by her first and second husbands respectively. At the time of writing, 1651, the Earl of Bristol was John Digby 1st Earl Bristol 1580-1653 (71); a case of Evelyn writing hi sdiary retrospectively], who entertained us with his wonderful escape out of prison in Whitehall, the very evening before he was to have been put to death, leaping down out of a jakes two stories high into the Thames at high water, in the coldest of winter, and at night; so as by swimming he got to a boat that attended for him, though he was guarded by six musketeers. After this, he went about in women's habit, and then in a small-coal-man's, traveling 200 miles on foot, embarked for Scotland with some men he had raised, who coming on shore were all surprised and imprisoned on the Marquis of Montrose's score; he not knowing anything of their barbarous murder of that hero. This he told us was his fifth escape, and none less miraculous; with this note, that the charging through 1,000 men armed, or whatever danger could befall a man, he believed could not more confound and distract a man's thoughts than the execution of a premeditated escape, the passions of hope and fear being so strong. This knight was indeed a valiant gentleman; but not a little given to romance, when he spoke of himself. I returned to Paris the same evening.
John Evelyn's Diary 1651 December. 21 Dec 1651. Came to visit my wife (16), Mrs. Lane, the lady who conveyed the King (21) to the seaside at his escape from Worcester. Mr. John Cosin, son of the Dean (57), debauched by the priests, wrote a letter to me to mediate for him with his father. I prepared for my last journey, being now resolved to leave France altogether.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 January. 01 Feb 1652. I dined at Abbeville; 2nd, dined at Montreuil, lay at Boulogne; 3rd, came to Calais, by eleven in the morning; I thought to have embarked in the evening, but, for fear of pirates plying near the coast, I dared not trust our small vessel, and stayed till Monday following, when two or three lusty vessels were to depart.
I brought with me from Paris Mr. Christopher Wase (25), sometime before made to resign his Fellowship in King's College, Cambridge, because he would not take the Covenant. He had been a soldier in Flanders, and came miserable to Paris. From his excellent learning, and some relation he had to Sir R. Browne (47), I bore his charges into England, and clad and provided for him, till he should find some better condition; and he was worthy of it. There came with us also Captain Griffith, Mr. Tyrell, brother to Sir Timothy Tyrell, of Shotover (near Oxford).
At Calais, I dined with my Lord Wentworth (39), and met with Mr. Heath, Sir Richard Lloyd, Captain Paine, and divers of our banished friends, of whom understanding that the Count de la Strade, Governor of Dunkirk, was in the town, who had bought my wife's (17) picture, taken by pirates at sea the year before (my wife (11) having sent it for me in England), as my Lord of Norwich had informed me at Paris, I made my address to him, who frankly told me that he had such a picture in his own bedchamber among other ladies, and how he came by it; seeming well pleased that it was his fortune to preserve it for me, and he generously promised to send it to any friend I had at Dover; I mentioned a French merchant there and so took my leave.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 March. 09 Mar 1652. I went to Deptford, where I made preparation for my settlement, no more intending to go out of England, but endeavor a settled life, either in this or some other place, there being now so little appearance of any change for the better, all being entirely in the rebels' hands; and this particular habitation and the estate contiguous to it (belonging to my father-in-law, actually in his Majesty's (21) service) very much suffering for want of some friend to rescue it out of the power of the usurpers, so as to preserve our interest, and take some care of my other concerns, by the advice and endeavor of my friends I was advised to reside in it, and compound with the soldiers. This I was besides authorized by his Majesty (21) to do, and encouraged with a promise that what was in lease from the Crown, if ever it pleased God to restore him, he would secure to us in fee farm. I had also addresses and cyphers, to correspond with his Majesty (21) and Ministers abroad: upon all which inducements, I was persuaded to settle henceforth in England, having now run about the world, most part out of my own country, near ten years. I therefore now likewise meditated sending over for my wife (17), whom as yet I had left at Paris.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 April. 15 Apr 1652. I wrote to the Dean, touching my buying his library, which was one of the choicest collections of any private person in England.
The Count de Strade most generously and handsomely sent me the picture of my wife (17) from Dunkirk, in a large tin case without any charge. It is of Mr. Bourdon, and is that which has the dog in it, and is to the knees, but it has been somewhat spoiled by washing it ignorantly with soapsuds.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 May. 30 May 1652. I went to obtain of my Lord Devonshire (34) that my nephew, George, might be brought up with my young Lord, his son, to whom I was recommending Mr. Wase (25). I also inspected the manner of camleting silk and grograms at one Monsieur La Dorées in Moor-fields, and thence to Colonel Morley (36), one of their Council of State, as then called, who had been my schoolfellow, to request a pass for my wife's (17) safe landing, and the goods she was to bring with her out of France; which he courteously granted, and did me many other kindnesses, that was a great matter in those days.
In the afternoon, at Charlton church, where I heard a Rabinical sermon. Here is a fair. Monument in black marble of Sir Adam Newton, who built that fair house near it for Prince Henry, and where my noble friend, Sir Henry Newton, succeeded him.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 June. 04 Jun 1652. I set out to meet her (17) now on her journey from Paris, after she (17) had obtained leave to come out of that city, which had now been besieged some time by the Prince of Condé's army in the time of the rebellion, and after she had been now near twelve years from her own country, that is, since five years of age, at which time she went over. I went to Rye to meet her, where was an embargo on occasion of the late conflict with the Holland fleet, the two nations being now in war, and which made sailing very unsafe.
On Whit Sunday, I went to the church (which is a very fair one), and heard one of the canters, who dismissed the assembly rudely, and without any blessing. Here I stayed till the 10th with no small impatience, when I walked over to survey the ruins of Winchelsea, that ancient cinq-port, which by the remains and ruins of ancient streets and public structures, discovers it to have been formerly a considerable and large city. There are to be seen vast caves and vaults, walls and towers, ruins of monasteries and of a sumptuous church, in which are some handsome. Monuments, especially of the Templars, buried just in the manner of those in the Temple at London. This place being now all in rubbish, and a few despicable hovels and cottages only standing, hath yet a Mayor. The sea, which formerly rendered it a rich and commodious port, has now forsaken it.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 June. 11 Jun 1652. About four in the afternoon, being at bowls on the green, we discovered a vessel which proved to be that in which my wife (17) was, and which got into the harbor about eight that evening, to my no small joy. They had been three days at sea, and escaped the Dutch fleet, through which they passed, taken for fishers, which was great good fortune, there being seventeen bales of furniture and other rich plunder, which I bless God came all safe to land, together with my wife (17), and my Lady Browne (42), her mother, who accompanied her. My wife (17) being discomposed by having been so long at sea, we set not forth toward home till the 14th, when, hearing the smallpox was very rife in and about London, and Lady Browne (42) having a desire to drink Tunbridge waters, I carried them thither, and stayed in a very sweet place, private and refreshing, and took the waters myself till the 23d, when I went to prepare for their reception, leaving them for the present in their little cottage by the Wells.
The weather being hot, and having sent my man on before, I rode negligently under favor of the shade, till, within three miles of Bromley, at a place called the Procession Oak, two cutthroats started out, and striking with long staves at the horse, and taking hold of the reins, threw me down, took my sword, and hauled me into a deep thicket, some quarter of a mile from the highway, where they might securely rob me, as they soon did. What they got of money, was not considerable, but they took two rings, the one an emerald with diamonds, the other an onyx, and a pair of buckles set with rubies and diamonds, which were of value, and after all bound my hands behind me, and my feet, having before pulled off my boots; they then set me up against an oak, with most bloody threats to cut my throat if I offered to cry out, or make any noise; for they should be within hearing, I not being the person they looked for. I told them that if they had not basely surprised me they should not have had so easy a prize, and that it would teach me never to ride near a hedge, since, had I been in the midway, they dared not have adventured on me; at which they cocked their pistols, and told me they had long guns, too, and were fourteen companions. I begged for my onyx, and told them it being engraved with my arms would betray them; but nothing prevailed. My horse's bridle they slipped, and searched the saddle, which they pulled off, but let the horse graze, and then turning again bridled him and tied him to a tree, yet so as he might graze, and thus left me bound. My horse was perhaps not taken, because he was marked and cropped on both ears, and well known on that road. Left in this manner, grievously was I tormented with flies, ants, and the sun, nor was my anxiety little how I should get loose in that solitary place, where I could neither hear nor see any creature but my poor horse and a few sheep straggling in the copse.
After near two hours attempting, I got my hands to turn palm to palm, having been tied back to back, and then it was long before I could slip the cord over my wrists to my thumb, which at last I did, and then soon unbound my feet, and saddling my horse and roaming a while about, I at last perceived dust to rise, and soon after heard the rattling of a cart, toward which I made, and, by the help of two countrymen, I got back into the highway. I rode to Colonel Blount's, a great justiciary of the times, who sent out hue and cry immediately. The next morning, sore as my wrists and arms were, I went to London, and got 500 tickets printed and dispersed by an officer of Goldsmiths' Hall, and within two days had tidings of all I had lost, except my sword, which had a silver hilt, and some trifles. The rogues had pawned one of my rings for a trifle to a goldsmith's servant, before the tickets came to the shop, by which means they escaped; the other ring was bought by a victualer, who brought it to a goldsmith, but he having seen the ticket seized the man. I afterward discharged him on his protestation of innocence. Thus did God deliver me from these villains, and not only so, but restored what they took, as twice before he had graciously done, both at sea and land, I mean when I had been robbed by pirates, and was in danger of a considerable loss at Amsterdam; for which, and many, many signal preservations, I am extremely obliged to give thanks to God my Savior.
On 22 Sep 1652 [her mother] Elizabeth Prettyman 1610-1652 (42) died.
John Evelyn's Diary 1653 January. 01 Jan 1653. I set apart in preparation for the Blessed Sacrament, which the next day Mr. Owen administered to me and all my family in Sayes Court, preaching on John vi. 32, 33, showing the exceeding benefits of our blessed Savior taking our nature upon him. He had christened my son and churched my wife (18) in our own house as before noticed.
John Evelyn's Diary 1653 October. 11 Oct 1653. My son, John Stansfield, was born, being my second child, and christened by the name of my mother's father, that name now quite extinct, being of Cheshire. Christened by Mr. Owen, in my library, at Sayes Court, where he afterward churched my wife (18), I always making use of him on these occasions, because the parish minister dared not have officiated according to the form and usage of the Church of England, to which I always adhered.
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 June. 08 Jun 1654. . my wife (19) 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 June. 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 (21), Esq, uncle to my wife (19), where we made some stay. The rest of the week we did nothing but feast and make good cheer, to welcome my wife (19).
John Evelyn's Diary 1654 July. 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 July. 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 (30), nephew to the Bishop of Ely. Then Mr. Barlow (46) (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 July. 16 Jul 1654. We went to another uncle and relative of my wife's (19), 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 July. 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 July. 31 Jul 1654. Taking leave of Cadenham, 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 minster 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 August. 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 August. 30 Aug 1654. Taking leave of my friends, who had now feasted me more than a month, I, with my wife (19), 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 1655 December. 25 Dec 1655. There was no more notice taken of Christmas-day in churches.
I went to London, where Dr. Wild preached the funeral sermon of Preaching, this being the last day; after which Cromwell's (56) proclamation was to take place, that none of the Church of England should dare either to preach, or administer Sacraments, teach schools, etc., on pain of imprisonment, or exile. So this was the most mournful day that in my life I had seen, or the Church of England herself, since the Reformation; to the great rejoicing of both Papist and Presbyter.54 So pathetic was his discourse, that it drew many tears from the auditory. Myself, wife (20), and some of our family, received the Communion, God make me thankful, who hath hitherto provided for us the food of our souls as well as bodies! The Lord Jesus pity our distressed Church, and bring back the captivity of Zion!.
John Evelyn's Diary 1657 December. 25 Dec 1657. I went to London with my wife (22), to celebrate Christmas-day, Mr. Gunning (43) preaching in Exeter chapel, on Micah vii. 2. Sermon ended, as he was giving us the Holy Sacrament, the chapel was surrounded with soldiers, and all the communicants and assembly surprised and kept prisoners by them, some in the house, others carried away. It fell to my share to be confined to a room in the house, where yet I was permitted to dine with the master of it, the Countess of Dorset (35), Baroness Hatton, and some others of quality who invited me. In the afternoon, came Colonel Whalley, Goffe, and others, from Whitehall, to examine us one by one; some they committed to the marshal, some to prison. When I came before them, they took my name and abode, examined me why, contrary to the ordinance made, that none should any longer observe the superstitious time of the nativity (so esteemed by them), I durst offend, and particularly be at common prayers, which they told me was but the mass in English, and particularly pray for Charles Stuart (27); for which we had no Scripture. I told them we did not pray for Charles Stuart (27), but for all Christian kings, princes, and governors. They replied, in so doing we prayed for the king of Spain, too, who was their enemy and a Papist, with other frivolous and ensnaring questions, and much threatening; and, finding no color to detain me, they dismissed me with much pity of my ignorance. These were men of high flight and above ordinances, and spoke spiteful things of our Lord's nativity. As we went up to receive the Sacrament, the miscreants held their muskets against us, as if they would have shot us at the altar; but yet suffering us to finish the office of Communion, as perhaps not having instructions what to do, in case they found us in that action. So I got home late the next day; blessed be God!.
John Evelyn's Diary 1659 October. 10 Oct 1659. I came with my wife (24) and family to London: took lodgings at the Three Feathers, in Russell Street, Covent Garden, for the winter, my son being very unwell.
Samuel Pepy's Diary 1660 January. 06 Jan 1660. Friday. This morning Mr. Sheply and I did eat our breakfast at Mrs. Harper’s, (my brother John being with me) upon a cold turkey-pie and a goose. From thence I went to my office, where we paid money to the soldiers till one o’clock, at which time we made an end, and I went home and took my wife (25) and went to my cosen, Thomas Pepys, and found them just sat down to dinner, which was very good; only the venison pasty was palpable beef, which was not handsome. After dinner I took my leave, leaving my wife (19) with my cozen Stradwick, and went to Westminster to Mr. Vines, where George and I fiddled a good while, Dick and his wife (who was lately brought to bed) and her sister being there, but Mr. Hudson not coming according to his promise, I went away, and calling at my house on the wench, I took her and the lanthorn with me to my cosen Stradwick, where, after a good supper, there being there my father (58), mother, brothers, and sister (19), my cosen Scott and his wife, Mr. Drawwater and his wife, and her brother, Mr. Stradwick, we had a brave cake brought us, and in the choosing, Pall was Queen and Mr. Stradwick was King. After that my wife (19) and I bid adieu and came home, it being still a great frost.
John Evelyn's Diary 1660 October. 23 Oct 1660. Being this day in the bedchamber of the Princess Henrietta, where were many great beauties and noblemen, I saluted divers of my old friends and acquaintances abroad; his Majesty (30) carrying my wife (25) to salute the Queen (50) and Princess, and then led her into his closet, and with his own hands showed her divers curiosities.
John Evelyn's Diary 1660 December. 22 Dec 1660. The marriage of the Chancellor's (51) daughter (23) being now newly owned, I went to see her, she being Sir Richard Browne's (55) intimate acquaintance when she waited on the Princess of Orange (29); she was now at her father's, at Worcester House, in the Strand. We all kissed her hand, as did also my Lord Chamberlain (58) (Manchester) and Countess of Northumberland (52). This was a strange change—can it succeed well?—I spent the evening at St. James's, whither the Princess Henrietta was retired during the fatal sickness of her sister, the Princess of Orange (29), now come over to salute the King (30) her brother. The Princess gave my wife (25) an extraordinary compliment and gracious acceptance, for the "Character" she had presented her the day before, and which was afterward printed.
John Evelyn's Diary 1661 March. 31 Mar 1661. This night, his Majesty (30) promised to make my wife (26) Lady of the Jewels (a very honorable charge) to the future Queen (but which he never performed).
John Evelyn's Diary 1661 May. 11 May 1661. my wife (26) presented to his Majesty (30) the Madonna she had copied in miniature from P. Oliver's painting, after Raphael, which she wrought with extraordinary pains and judgment. the King (30) was infinitely pleased with it, and caused it to be placed in his cabinet among his best paintings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1661 August. 15 Aug 1661. I went to Tunbridge Wells, my wife (26) being there for the benefit of her health. Walking about the solitudes, I greatly admired the extravagant turnings, insinuations, and growth of certain birch trees among the rocks.
John Evelyn's Diary 1662 July. 03 Jul 1662. my wife (27) met me at Woodcot, whither Mr. Howard (33) accompanied me to see my son John, who had been much brought up among Mr. Howard's (33) children at Arundel House, till, for fear of their perverting him in the Catholic religion, I was forced to take him home.
John Evelyn's Diary 1664 August. 22 Aug 1664. I went from London to Wotton, to assist at the funeral of my sister-in-law, the Lady Cotton, buried in our dormitory there, she being put up in lead. Dr. Owen made a profitable and pathetic discourse, concluding with an eulogy of that virtuous, pious, and deserving lady. It was a very solemn funeral, with about fifty mourners. I came back next day with my wife (29) to London.
John Evelyn's Diary 1665 February. 23 Feb 1665. I was invited to a great feast at Mr. Rich's (a relation of my wife's (30), now reader at Lincoln's Inn); where was the Duke of Monmouth (15), the Archbishop of Canterbury (66), Bishops of London (33) and Winchester (66), the Speaker of the House of Commons (48), divers of the Judges, and several other great men.
John Evelyn's Diary 1665 August. 28 Aug 1665. The contagion still increasing, and growing now all about us, I sent my wife (30) and whole family (two or three necessary servants excepted) to my brother's at Wotton, being resolved to stay at my house myself, and to look after my charge, trusting in the providence and goodness of God.
John Evelyn's Diary 1666 January. 12 Jan 1666. After much, and indeed extraordinary mirth and cheer, all my brothers, our wives, and children, being together, and after much sorrow and trouble during this contagion, which separated our families as well as others, I returned to my house, but my wife (31) went back to Wotton. I, not as yet willing to adventure her, the contagion, though exceedingly abated, not as yet wholly extinguished among us.
John Evelyn's Diary 1666 February. 06 Feb 1666. My wife (31) and family returned to me from the country, where they had been since August, by reason of the contagion, now almost universally ceasing. Blessed be God for his infinite mercy in preserving us! I, having gone through so much danger, and lost so many of my poor officers, escaping still myself that I might live to recount and magnify his goodness to me.
John Evelyn's Diary 1666 September. 03 Sep 1666. I had public prayers at home. The fire continuing, after dinner, I took coach with my wife (31) and son, and went to the Bankside in Southwark, where we beheld that dismal spectacle, the whole city in dreadful flames near the waterside; all the houses from the Bridge, all Thames street, and upward toward Cheapside, down to the Three Cranes, were now consumed; and so returned, exceedingly astonished what would become of the rest.
The fire having continued all this night (if I may call that night which was light as day for ten miles round about, after a dreadful manner), when conspiring with a fierce eastern wind in a very dry season, I went on foot to the same place; and saw the whole south part of the city burning from Cheapside to the Thames, and all along Cornhill (for it likewise kindled back against the wind as well as forward), Tower street, Fenchurch Street, Gracious street, and so along to Baynard's Castle, and was now taking hold of St. Paul's church, to which the scaffolds contributed exceedingly. The conflagration was so universal, and the people so astonished, that, from the beginning, I know not by what despondency, or fate, they hardly stirred to quench it; so that there was nothing heard, or seen, but crying out and lamentation, running about like distracted creatures, without at all attempting to save even their goods; such a strange consternation there was upon them, so as it burned both in breadth and length, the churches, public halls, Exchange, hospitals,. Monuments, and ornaments; leaping after a prodigious manner, from house to house, and street to street, at great distances one from the other. For the heat, with a long set of fair and warm weather, had even ignited the air, and prepared the materials to conceive the fire, which devoured, after an incredible manner, houses, furniture, and every thing. Here, we saw the Thames covered with goods floating, all the barges and boats laden with what some had time and courage to save, as, on the other side, the carts, etc., carrying out to the fields, which for many miles were strewn with movables of all sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could get away. Oh, the miserable and calamitous spectacle! such as haply the world had not seen since the foundation of it, nor can be outdone till the universal conflagration thereof. All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, and the light seen above forty miles round about for many nights. God grant mine eyes may never behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses all in one flame! The noise and cracking and thunder of the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women and children, the hurry of people, the fall of towers, houses, and churches, was like a hideous storm; and the air all about so hot and inflamed, that at the last one was not able to approach it, so that they were forced to stand still, and let the flames burn on, which they did, for near two miles in length and one in breadth. The clouds also of smoke were dismal, and reached, upon computation, near fifty miles in length. Thus, I left it this afternoon burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day. It forcibly called to my mind that passage—"non enim hic habemus stabilem civitatem"; the ruins resembling the picture of Troy. London was, but is no more! Thus, I returned.
John Evelyn's Diary 1667 April. 25 Apr 1667. Visited again the Duke of Newcastle (74), with whom I had been acquainted long before in France, where the Duchess (44) had obligation to my wife's (32) mother for her marriage there; she (44) was sister to Lord Lucas (60), and maid of honor then to the Queen-Mother (57); married in our chapel at Paris. My wife (32) being with me, the Duke (74) and Duchess (44) both would needs bring her to the very Court.
John Evelyn's Diary 1667 April. 27 Apr 1667. I had a great deal of discourse with his Majesty (36) at dinner. In the afternoon, I went again with my wife (32) to the Duchess of Newcastle (44), who received her in a kind of transport, suitable to her extravagant humor and dress, which was very singular.
John Evelyn's Diary 1667 August. 17 Aug 1667. To the funeral of Mr. Farringdon, a relation of my wife's (32).
There was now a very gallant horse to be baited to death with dogs; but he fought them all, so as the fiercest of them could not fasten on him, till the men run him through with their swords. This wicked and barbarous sport deserved to have been punished in the cruel contrivers to get money, under pretense that the horse had killed a man, which was false. I would not be persuaded to be a spectator.
John Evelyn's Diary 1668 September. 17 Sep 1668. I entertained Signor Muccinigo, the Venetian Ambassador, of one of the noblest families of the State, this being the day of making his public entry, setting forth from my house with several gentlemen of Venice and others in a very glorious train. He staid with me till the Earl of Anglesea (54) and Sir Charles Cotterell (53) (Master of the Ceremonies) came with the King's (38) barge to carry him to the Tower, where the guns were fired at his landing; he then entered his Majesty's (38) coach, followed by many others of the nobility. I accompanied him to his house, where there was a most noble supper to all the company, of course. After the extraordinary compliments to me and my wife (33), for the civilities he received at my house, I took leave and returned. He is a very accomplished person. He is since Ambassador at Rome.
Samuel Pepy's Diary 1669 May. Wednesday 12 May 1669. Up, and to Westminster Hall, where the term is, and this the first day of my being there, and here by chance met Roger Pepys (52), come to town the last night: I was glad to see him. After some talk with him and others, and among others Sir Charles Harbord (29) and Sidney Montagu (18), the latter of whom is to set out tomorrow towards Flanders and Italy, I invited them to dine with me to-morrow, and so to Mrs. Martin’s lodging, who come to town last night, and there je did hazer her, she having been a month, I think, at Portsmouth with her husband, newly come home from the Streights. But, Lord! how silly the woman talks of her great entertainment there, and how all the gentry come to visit her, and that she believes her husband is worth 6 or 700l., which nevertheless I am glad of, but I doubt they will spend it a fast. Thence home, and after dinner my wife (28) and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there, in the side balcony, over against the musick, did hear, but not see, a new play, the first day acted, "The Roman Virgin," an old play, and but ordinary, I thought; but the trouble of my eyes with the light of the candles did almost kill me. Thence to my Lord Sandwich’s (43), and there had a promise from Sidney (18) to come and dine with me to-morrow; and so my wife (34) and I home in our coach, and there find my brother John, as I looked for, come to town from Ellington, where, among other things, he tell me the first news that my sister Jackson (28) is with child, and far gone, which I know not whether it did more trouble or please me, having no great care for my friends to have children; though I love other people’s. So, glad to see him, we to supper, and so to bed.
Samuel Pepy's Diary 1669 May. Wednesday 19 May 1669. With my coach to St. James’s; and there finding the Duke of York (35) gone to muster his men, in Hyde Park, I alone with my boy thither, and there saw more, walking out of my coach as other gentlemen did, of a soldier’s trade, than ever I did in my life: the men being mighty fine, and their Commanders, particularly the Duke of Monmouth (20); but me-thought their trade but very easy as to the mustering of their men, and the men but indifferently ready to perform what was commanded, in the handling of their arms. Here the news was first talked of Harry Killigrew’s being wounded in nine places last night, by footmen, in the highway, going from the Park in a hackney-coach towards Hammersmith, to his house at Turnham Greene: they being supposed to be my Lady Shrewsbury’s (27) men, she being by, in her (27) coach with six horses; upon an old grudge of his saying openly that he had lain with her. Thence by and by to White Hall, and there I waited upon the King (38) and Queen (59) all dinner-time, in the Queen’s lodgings, she being in her white pinner and apron, like a woman with child; and she seemed handsomer plain so, than dressed. And by and by, dinner done, I out, and to walk in the Gallery, for the Duke of York’s (35) coming out; and there, meeting Mr. May (47), he took me down about four o’clock to Mr. Chevins’s (67) lodgings, and all alone did get me a dish of cold chickens, and good wine; and I dined like a prince, being before very hungry and empty. By and by the Duke of York (35) comes, and readily took me to his closet, and received my petition, and discoursed about my eyes, and pitied me, and with much kindness did give me his consent to be absent, and approved of my proposition to go into Holland to observe things there, of the Navy; but would first ask the King’s (38) leave, which he anon did, and did tell me that the King (38) would be a good master to me, these were his words, about my eyes, and do like of my going into Holland, but do advise that nobody should know of my going thither, but pretend that I did go into the country somewhere, which I liked well. Glad of this, I home, and thence took out my wife (34), and to Mr. Holliard’s (60) about a swelling in her cheek, but he not at home, and so round by Islington and eat and drink, and so home, and after supper to bed. In discourse this afternoon, the Duke of York (35) did tell me that he was the most amazed at one thing just now, that ever he was in his life, which was, that the Duke of Buckingham (41) did just now come into the Queen’s (59) bed-chamber, where the King (38) was, and much mixed company, and among others, Tom Killigrew (57), the father of Harry, who was last night wounded so as to be in danger of death, and his man is quite dead; and [Buckingham (41)] there in discourse did say that he had spoke with some one that was by (which all the world must know that it must be his whore, my Lady Shrewsbury (27)), who says that they did not mean to hurt, but beat him, and that he did run first at them with his sword; so that he do hereby clearly discover that he knows who did it, and is of conspiracy with them, being of known conspiracy with her, which the Duke of York (35) did seem to be pleased with, and said it might, perhaps, cost him his life in the House of Lords; and I find was mightily pleased with it, saying it was the most impudent thing, as well as the most foolish, that ever he knew man do in all his life.
John Evelyn's Diary 1669 June. 30 Jun 1669. my wife (34) went a journey of pleasure down the river as far as the sea, with Mrs. Howard and her daughter (18), the Maid of Honor, and others, among whom that excellent creature, Mrs. Blagg (16).
John Evelyn's Diary 1671 May. 25 May 1671. I dined at a feast made for me and my wife (36) by the Trinity House, for our passing a fine of the land which Sir R. Browne (66), my wife's (36) father, freely gave to found and build their college, or almshouses on, at Deptford, it being my wife's (36) after her father's decease. It was a good and charitable work and gift, but would have been better bestowed on the poor of that parish, than on the seamen's widows, the Trinity House being very rich, and the rest of the poor of the parish exceedingly indigent.
John Evelyn's Diary 1674 July. 22 Jul 1674. I went to Windsor with my wife (39) and son (19) to see my daughter Mary (9), who was there with my Lady Tuke and to do my duty to his Majesty (44). Next day, to a great entertainment at Sir Robert Holmes's (52) at Cranbourne Lodge, in the Forest; there were his Majesty (44), the Queen (35), Duke (40), Duchess (15), and all the Court. I returned in the evening with Sir Joseph Williamson (40), now declared Secretary of State. He was son of a poor clergyman somewhere in Cumberland, brought up at Queen's College, Oxford, of which he came to be a fellow; then traveled with ... and returning when the King (44) was restored, was received as a clerk under Mr. Secretary Nicholas. Sir Henry Bennett (56) (now Lord Arlington) succeeding, Williamson is transferred to him, who loving his ease more than business (though sufficiently able had he applied himself to it) remitted all to his man Williamson; and, in a short time, let him so into the secret of affairs, that (as his Lordship himself told me) there was a kind of necessity to advance him; and so, by his subtlety, dexterity, and insinuation, he got now to be principal Secretary; absolutely Lord Arlington's creature, and ungrateful enough. It has been the fate of this obliging favorite to advance those who soon forgot their original. Sir Joseph was a musician, could play at Jeu de Goblets, exceedingly formal, a severe master to his servants, but so inward with my Lord O'Brien (32), that after a few months of that gentleman's death, he married his widow (34), who, being sister and heir of the Duke of Richmond, brought him a noble fortune. It was thought they lived not so kindly after marriage as they did before. She was much censured for marrying so meanly, being herself allied to the Royal family.
John Evelyn's Diary 1676 April. 28 Apr 1676. My wife (41) entertained her Majesty (45) at Deptford, for which the Queen (37) gave me thanks in the withdrawing room at Whitehall.
The University of Oxford presented me with the "Marmora Oxoniensia Arundeliana"; the Bishop of Oxford writing to desire that I would introduce Mr. Prideaux, the editor (a young man most learned in antiquities) to the Duke of Norfolk (49), to present another dedicated to his Grace (49), which I did, and we dined with the Duke (49) at Arundel House, and supped at the Bishop of Rochester's (51) with Isaac Vossius.
John Evelyn's Diary 1676 October. 09 Oct 1676. I went with Mrs. Godolphin (24) and my wife (41) to Blackwall, to see some Indian curiosities; the streets being slippery, I fell against a piece of timber with such violence that I could not speak nor fetch my breath for some space; being carried into a house and let blood, I was removed to the water-side and so home, where, after a day's rest, I recovered. This being one of my greatest deliverances, the Lord Jesus make me ever mindful and thankful!.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 November. 11 Nov 1677. I was all this week composing matters between old Mrs. Howard and Sir Gabriel Sylvius, upon his long and earnest addresses to Mrs. Anne (24), her second daughter, maid of honor to the Queen (38). My friend, Mrs. Godolphin (25) (who exceedingly loved the young lady) was most industrious in it, out of pity to the languishing knight; so as though there were great differences in their years, it was at last effected, and they were married the 13th, in Henry VII.'s Chapel, by the Bishop of Rochester (52), there being besides my wife (42) and Mrs. Graham (26), her sister, Mrs. Godolphin (25), and very few more. We dined at the old lady's, and supped at Mr. Graham's (28) at St. James's.
John Evelyn's Diary 1678 September. 08 Sep 1678. While I was at church came a letter from Mr. Godolphin (33), that my dear friend his lady (26) was exceedingly ill, and desiring my prayers and assistance. My wife (43) and I took boat immediately, and went to Whitehall, where, to my inexpressible sorrow, I found she had been attacked with a new fever, then reigning this excessive hot autumn, and which was so violent, that it was not thought she could last many hours.
John Evelyn's Diary 1678 September. 09 Sep 1678. She (26) died in the 26th year of her age, to the inexpressible affliction of her dear husband (33), and all her relations, but of none in the world more than of myself, who lost the most excellent and inestimable friend that ever lived. Never was a more virtuous and inviolable friendship; never a more religious, discreet, and admirable creature, beloved of all, admired of all, for all possible perfections of her sex. She is gone to receive the reward of her signal charity, and all other her Christian graces, too blessed a creature to converse with mortals, fitted as she was, by a most holy life, to be received into the mansions above. She was for wit, beauty, good nature, fidelity, discretion, and all accomplishments, the most incomparable person. How shall I ever repay the obligations to her for the infinite good offices she did my soul by so often engaging me to make religion the terms and tie of the friendship there was between us! She was the best wife, the best mistress, the best friend, that ever husband had. But it is not here that I pretend to give her character, HAVING DESIGNED TO CONSECRATE HER WORTHY LIFE TO POSTERITY.
Her husband, struck with unspeakable affliction, fell down as dead. The King (48) himself, and all the Court, expressed their sorrow. To the poor and miserable, her loss was irreparable; for there was no degree but had some obligation to her memory. So careful and provident was she to be prepared for all possible accidents, that (as if she foresaw her end) she received the heavenly viaticum but the Sunday before, after a most solemn recollection. She put all her domestic concerns into the exactest order, and left a letter directed to her husband (33), to be opened in case she died in childbed, in which with the most pathetic and endearing expressions of the most loyal and virtuous wife, she begs his kindness to her memory might be continued by his care and esteem of those she left behind, even to her domestic servants, to the meanest of which she left considerable legacies, as well as to the poor. It was now seven years since she was maid of honor to the Queen, that she regarded me as a father, a brother, and what is more, a friend. We often prayed, visited the sick and miserable, received, read, discoursed, and communicated in all holy offices together. She was most dear to my wife (43), and affectionate to my children. But she is gone! This only is my comfort, that she is happy in Christ, and I shall shortly behold her again. She desired to be buried in the dormitory of his family, near three hundred miles from all her other friends. So afflicted was her husband (33) at this severe loss, that the entire care of her funeral was committed to me. Having closed the eyes, and dropped a tear upon the cheek of my dear departed friend, lovely even in death, I caused her corpse to be embalmed and wrapped in lead, a plate of brass soldered thereon, with an inscription, and other circumstances due to her worth, with as much diligence and care as my grieved heart would permit me; I then retired home for two days, which were spent in solitude and sad reflection.
John Evelyn's Diary 1679 November. 20 Nov 1679. I dined with Mr. Slingsby (58), Master of the Mint, with my wife (44), invited to hear music, which was exquisitely performed by four of the most renowned masters: Du Prue, a Frenchman, on the lute; Signor Bartholomeo, an Italian, on the harpsichord; Nicholao on the violin; but, above all, for its sweetness and novelty, the viol d'amore of five wire strings played on with a bow, being but an ordinary violin, played on lyre-way, by a German. There was also a flute douce, now in much request for accompanying the voice. Mr. Slingsby (58), whose son and daughter played skillfully, had these meetings frequently in his house.
John Evelyn's Diary 1680 February. 19 Feb 1680. The writings for the settling jointure and other contracts of marriage of my son (59) were finished and sealed. The lady (21) was to bring £5,000, in consideration of a settlement of £500 a year present maintenance, which was likewise to be her jointure, and £500 a year after mine and my wife's (45) decease. But, with God's blessing, it will be at the least £1,000 a year more in a few years. I pray God make him worthy of it, and a comfort to his excellent mother (45), who deserves much from him!.
John Evelyn's Diary 1680 July. 24 Jul 1680. Went with my wife (45) and daughter to Windsor, to see that stately court, now near finished. There was erected in the court the King (50) on horseback, lately cast in copper, and set on a rich pedestal of white marble, the work of Mr. Gibbons (32), at the expense of Toby Rustate, a page of the back stairs, who by his wonderful frugality had arrived to a great estate in money, and did many works of charity, as well as this of gratitude to his master, which cost him £1,000. He is very simple, ignorant, but honest and loyal creature.
We all dined at the Countess of Sunderland's (34), afterward to see Signor Verrio's (44) garden, thence to Eton College, to salute the provost, and heard a Latin speech of one of the alumni (it being at the election) and were invited to supper; but took our leave, and got to London that night in good time.
John Evelyn's Diary 1681 May. 25 May 1681. There came to visit me Sir William Walter and Sir John Elowes: and the next day, the Earl of Kildare, a young gentleman related to my wife (46), and other company. There had scarce fallen any rain since Christmas.
John Evelyn's Diary 1682 April. 12 Apr 1682. I went this afternoon with several of the Royal Society to a supper which was all dressed, both fish and flesh, in Monsieur Papin's (34) digestors, by which the hardest bones of beef itself, and mutton, were made as soft as cheese, without water or other liquor, and with less than eight ounces of coals, producing an incredible quantity of gravy; and for close of all, a jelly made of the bones of beef, the best for clearness and good relish, and the most delicious that I had ever seen, or tasted. We ate pike and other fish, bones and all, without impediment; but nothing exceeded the pigeons, which tasted just as if baked in a pie, all these being stewed in their own juice, without any addition of water save what swam about the digestor, as in balneo; the natural juice of all these provisions acting on the grosser substances, reduced the hardest bones to tenderness; but it is best descanted with more particulars for extracting tinctures, preserving and stewing fruit, and saving fuel, in Dr. Papin's (34) book, published and dedicated to our Society of which he is a member. He is since gone to Venice with the late Resident here (and also a member of our Society), who carried this excellent mechanic, philosopher, and physician, to set up a philosophical meeting in that city. This philosophical supper caused much mirth among us, and exceedingly pleased all the company. I sent a glass of the jelly to my wife (47), to the reproach of all that the ladies ever made of their best hartshorn.
The season was unusually wet, with rain and thunder.
John Evelyn's Diary 1683 February. 12 Feb 1683. This morning I received the news of the death of my father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne (78), Knt. and Bart., who died at my house at Sayes Court this day at ten in the morning, after he had labored under the gout and dropsy for nearly six months, in the 78th year of his age. The funeral was solemnized on the 19th at Deptford, with as much decency as the dignity of the person, and our relation to him, required; there being invited the Bishop of Rochester (58), several noblemen, knights, and all the fraternity of the Trinity House, of which he had been Master, and others of the country. The vicar preached a short but proper discourse on Psalm xxxix. 10, on the frailty of our mortal condition, concluding with an ample and well-deserved eulogy on the defunct, relating to his honorable birth and ancestors, education, learning in Greek and Latin, modern languages, travels, public employments, signal loyalty, character abroad, and particularly the honor of supporting the Church of England in its public worship during its persecution by the late rebels' usurpation and regicide, by the suffrages of divers Bishops, Doctors of the Church, and others, who found such an asylum in his house and family at Paris, that in their disputes with the Papists (then triumphing over it as utterly lost) they used to argue for its visibility and existence from Sir R. Browne's chapel and assembly there. Then he spoke of his great and loyal sufferings during thirteen years' exile with his present Majesty (52), his return with him in the signal year 1660; his honorable employment at home, his timely Recess to recollect himself, his great age, infirmities, and death.
He gave to the Trinity Corporation that land in Deptford on which are built those almshouses for twenty-four widows of emerited seamen. He was born the famous year of the Gunpowder Treason, in 1605, and being the last [male] of his family, left my wife (48), his only daughter, heir. His grandfather, Sir Richard Browne, was the great instrument under the great Earl of Leicester (favorite to Queen Elizabeth) in his government of the Netherland. He was Master of the Household to King James, and Cofferer; I think was the first who regulated the compositions through England for the King's (52) household, provisions, progresses,49 etc., which was so high a service, and so grateful to the whole nation, that he had acknowledgments and public thanks sent him from all the counties; he died by the rupture of a vein in a vehement speech he made about the compositions in a Parliament of King James. By his mother's side he was a Gunson, Treasurer of the Navy in the reigns of Henry VIII., Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and, as by his large pedigree appears, related to divers of the English nobility. Thus ended this honorable person, after so many changes and tossings to and fro, in the same house where he was born. "Lord teach us so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!".
By a special clause in his will, he ordered that his body should be buried in the churchyard under the southeast window of the chancel, adjoining to the burying places of his ancestors, since they came out of Essex into Sayes Court, he being much offended at the novel custom of burying everyone within the body of the church and chancel; that being a favor heretofore granted to martyrs and great persons; this excess of making churches charnel houses being of ill and irreverend example, and prejudicial to the health of the living, besides the continual disturbance of the pavement and seats, and several other indecencies. Dr. Hall, the pious Bishop of Norwich, would also be so interred, as may be read in his testament.
On 12 Feb 1683 [her father] Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683 (78) died in Sayes Court.
John Evelyn's Diary 1685 March. 07 Mar 1685. My daughter Mary (20) was taken with the small pox, and there soon was found no hope of her recovery. A very greate affliction to me : but God's holy will be done.
10 Mar 1685. She receiv'd the blessed Sacrament; after which, disposing herselfe to suffer what God should determine to inflict, she bore the remainder of her sicknesse with extraordinary patience and piety, and more than ordinary resignation and blessed frame of mind. She died the 14th, to our unspeakable sorrow and affliction, and not to ours onely, but that of all who knew her, who were many of the best quality, greatest and most virtuous persons. The justnesse of her stature, person, comelinesse of countenance, gracefull nesse of motion, unaffected tho' more than ordinary beautifull, were the least of her ornaments compared with those of her mind. Of early piety, singularly religious, spending a part of every day in private devotion, reading and other vertuous exereises; she had collected and written out many of the most usefull and judicious periods of the books she read in a kind of common-place, as out of Dr. Hammond on the New Testament, and most of the best practical treatises. She had read and digested a considerable deale of history and of places. The French tongue was as familiar to her as English; she understood Italian, and was able to render a laudable account of what she read and observed, to which assisted a most faithful memory and discernment; and she did make very prudent and discreete reflexions upon what she had observed of the conversations among which she had at any time ben, which being continualy of persons of the best quality, she thereby improved. She had an excellent voice, to which she play'd a thorough-bass on the harpsichord, in both which she arived to that perfection, that of the schollars of those two famous masters Signors Pietro and Bartholomeo she was esteem'd the best; for the sweetnesse of her voice and management of it added such an agreeablenesse to her countenance, without any constraint or concerne, that when she sung, it was as charming to the eye as to the eare; this I rather note, because it was a universal remarke, and for which so many noble and judicious persons in musiq desired to heare her, the last being at Lord Arundel's of Wardour (see above). What shall 1 say, or rather not say, of the cheerefullness and agreeablenesse of her humour ? condescending to the meanest servant in the family, or others, she still kept up respect, without the least pride. She would often reade to them, examine, instruct, and pray with them if they were sick, so as she was exceedingly beloved of every body. Piety was so prevalent an ingredient in her constitution (as I may say) that even amongst equals and superiors she no sooner became intimately acquainted, but she would endeavour to improve them, by insinuating something of religious, and that tended to bring them to a love of devotion; she had one or two confidents with whom she used to passe whole dayes In fasting, reading and prayers, especialy before the monethly communion and other solemn occasions. She abhorr'd flattery, and tho' she had aboundance of witt, the raillery was so innocent and ingenuous that it was most agreeable; she sometimes would see a play, but since the stage grew licentious, express'd herselfe weary of them, and the time spent at the theater was an unaccountable vanity. She never play'd at cards without extreame importunity and for the company, but this was so very seldome that I cannot number it among any thing she could name a fault. No one could read prose or verse better or with more judgment; and as she read, so she writ, not only most correct orthography, with that maturitie of judgment and exactnesse of the periods, choice of expressions, and familiarity of stile, that some letters of hers have astonish'd me and others to whom she has occasionally written. She had a talent of rehersing any comical part or poeme, as to them she might be decently free with was more pleasing than heard on yb theater; she daunc'd with the greatest grace I had ever seene, and so would her master say, who was Monsr Isaac; but she seldome shew'd that perfection, save in the gracefullnesse of her carriage, which was with an aire of spritely modestie not easily to be described. Nothing affected, but natural and easy as well in her deportment as in her discourse, which was always materiall, not trifling, and to which the extraordinary sweetnesse of her tone, even in familiar speaking, was very charming. Nothing was so pretty as her descending to play with little children, whom she would caresse and humour with greate delight. But she most affected to be with grave and sober men, of whom she might learne something, and improve herselfe. I have ben assisted by her in reading and praying by me; comprehensive of uncommon notions, curious of knowing every thing to some excesse, had I not sometimes repressed it. Nothing was so delightfull to her as to go into my study, where she would willingly have spent whole dayes, for as I sayd she had read aboundance of history, and all the best poets, even Terence, Plautus, Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid; all the best romances and modern poemes; she could compose happily, and put in pretty symbols, as in the Mundus Mulie bris, wherein is an enumeration of the immense variety of the modes and ornaments belonging to the sex; but all these are vaine trifles to the virtues which adorn'd her soule; she was sincerely religious, most dutifull to her parents, whom she lov'd with an affection temper'd with greate esteeme, so as we were easy and free^ and never were so well pleas'd as when she was with us, nor needed we other conversation; she was kind to her sisters, and was still improving them by her constant course of piety. Oh deare, sweete, and desireable child, how shall I part with all this goodness and virtue without the bittemesse of sorrow and reluctancy of a tender parent! Thy affection, duty, and love to me was that of a friend as well as a child. Nor lesse deare to thy mother, whose example and tender care of thee was unparellel'd, nor was thy returne to her lesse conspicuous; Oh ! how she mourns thy loss! how desolate hast thou left us! To the grave shall we both carry thy memory!.
God alone (in whose bosom thou art at rest and happy !) give us to resigne thee and all our contentments (for thou indeede wert all in this world) to his blessed pleasure ! Let him be glorified by our submission, and give us grace to blesse him for the graces he planted in thee, thy virtuous life, pious and holy death, which is indeede the onely comfort of our soules, hastening thro' the infinite love and mercy of the Lord Jesus to be shortly with thee, deare child, and with thee and those blessed saints like thee, glorifye the Redeemer of the world to all eternity ! Amen !.
It was in the 19th year of her age that this sicknesse happen'd to her. An accident contributed to this disease; she had an apprehension of it in particular, and which struck her but two days before she came home, by an imprudent gentlewoman whom she went with Lady Falkland to visite, who after they had ben a good while in the house, told them she had a servant sick of the small pox (who indeede died the next day); this my poore child acknowledg'd made an impression on her spirits. There were foure gentlemen of quality offering to treate with me about marriage, and I freely gave her her owne choice, knowing her discretion. She showed great indifference to marrying at all, for truly, says she to her mother (the other day), were I assur'd of your life and my deare father's, never would I part from you; I love you and this home, where we serve God, above all things, nor ever shall I be so happy; I know and consider the vicissitudes of the world, I have some experience of its vanities, and but for decency more than inclination, and that you judge it expedient for me, I would not change my condition, but rather add the fortune you designe me to my sisters, and keepe up the reputation of our family, This was so discreetly and sincerely utter'd that it could not but proceede from an extraordinary child, and one who lov'd her parents beyond example.
At London she tooke this fatal disease, and the occasion of her being there was this; my Lord Viscount Falkland's (29) Lady having ben our neighbour (as he was Treasurer of the Navy), she tooke so greate an affection to my daughter, that when they went back in the autumn to the Citty, nothing would satisfie their incessant importunity but letting her accompany my Lady, and staying sometime with her; it was with yc greatest reluctance I complied. Whilst she was there, my Lord (29) being musical, when I saw my Lady would not part with her till Christmas, I was not unwilling she should improve the opportunity of learning of Signr Pietro, who had an admirable way both of composure and teaching. It was the end of February before I could prevail with my Lady to part with her; but my Lord going into Oxfordshire to stand for Knight of the Shire there, she express'd her wish to come home, being tir'd of ye vain and empty conversation of the towne, ye theatres, the court, and trifling visites wch consum'd so much precious time, and made her sometimes misse of that regular course of piety that gave her ye greatest satisfaction. She was weary of this life, and I think went not thrice to Court all this time, except when her mother or I carried her. She did not affect shewing herselfe, she knew ye Court well, and pass'd one summer in it at Windsor with Lady Tuke one of the Queene's women of the bed chamber (a most virtuous relation of hers); she was not fond of that glittering scene, now become abominably licentious, though there was a designe of Lady Rochester (39) and Lady Clarendon to have made her a maid of honour to the Queene as soon as there was a vacancy. But this she did not set her heart upon, nor in deede on any thing so much as the service of God, a quiet and regular life, and how she might improve herselfe in the most necessary accomplishments, and to wch she was ariv'd at so greate a measure. This is y° little history and imperfect character of my deare child, whose piety, virtue, and incomparable endowments deserve a. Monument more durable than brasse and marble. Precious is the memorial of the just.
Much I could enlarge on every peribd of this hasty account, but that I ease and discharge my overcoming passion for the present, so many things worthy an excellent Christian and dutifull child crowding upon me. Never can I say enough, oh deare, my deare child, whose memory is so precious to me! This deare child was born at Wotton in the same house and chamber in which I first drew my breath, my wife (50) having retir'd to my brother there in the great sicknesse that yeare upon the first of that moneth, and neere the ve'ry houre that I was borne, upon the last : viz. October. 16 March. She was interr'd in the South-east end of the Church at Deptford, neere her grandmother and severall of my younger children and relations. My desire was she should have ben carried and layed among my own parents and relations at Wotton, where I desire to be interr'd myselfe, when God shall call me out of this uncertaine transitory life, but some circumstances did not permit it. Our vicar Dr. Holden preach'd her funeral sermon on 1 Phil. 21. "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gaine," upon which he made an apposite discourse, as those who heard it assur'd me (for griefe suffer'd me not to be present), concluding with a modest recital of her many virtues and signal piety, so as to draw both teares and admiration from the hearers. I was not altogether unwilling that something of this sort should be spoken, for the edification and encouragement of other young people. Divers noble persons honour'd her funeral, some in person, others sending their coaches, of wch there were six or seven with six horses, viz. the Countesse of Sunderland (39), Earle of Clarendon, Lord Godolphin (39), Sr Stephen Fox (57), Sr Wm Godolphin, Viscount Falkland, and others. There were distributed amongst her friends about 60 rings. Thus liv'd, died, and was buried the joy of my life, and ornament of her sex and of my poore family ! God Almighty of his infinite mercy grant me the grace thankfully to resigne myselfe and all I have, or had, to his Divine pleasure, and in his good time, restoring health and comfort to my family : " teach me so to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom," be prepar'd for my dissolution, and that into the hands of my blessed Saviour I may recommend my spirit ! Amen !.
On looking into her closet, it is incredible what a number of collections she had made from historians, poetes, travellers, &c. but above all devotions, contemplations, and resolutions on these contemplations, found under her hand in a booke most methodicaly dispos'd; prayers, meditations, and devotions on particular occasions, with many pretty letters to her confidants; one to a divine (not nam'd) to whom she writes that he would be her ghostly father, and would not despise her for her many errors and the imperfections of her youth, but beg of God to give her courage to acquaint him with all her faults, imploring his assistance and spiritual directions. I well remember she had often desir'd me to recommend her to such a person, but I did not think fit to do it as yet, seeing her apt to be scrupulous, and knowing the great innocency and integrity of her life. It is astonishing how one who had acquir'd such substantial and practical knowledge in other ornamental parts of education, especialy music both vocal and instrumental, In dauncing, paying and receiving visites, and necessary conversation, could accomplish halfe of what she has left; but as she never affected play or cards, which consume a world of precious time, so she was in continual exercise, which yet abated nothing of her most agreeable conversation. But she was a little miracle while she liv'd, and so she died!.
John Evelyn's Diary 1690 August. 15 Aug 1690. I was desired to be one of the bail of the Earl of Clarendon, for his release from the Tower, with divers noblemen. The Bishop of St. Asaph (62) expounds his prophecies to me and Mr. Pepys (57), etc. The troops from Blackheath march to Portsmouth. That sweet and hopeful youth, Sir Charles Tuke (19), died of the wounds he received in the fight of the Boyne, to the great sorrow of all his friends, being (I think) the last male of that family, to which my wife (55) is related. A more virtuous young gentleman I never knew; he was learned for his age, having had the advantage of the choicest breeding abroad, both as to arts and arms; he had traveled much, but was so unhappy as to fall in the side of his unfortunate King (56).
The unseasonable and most tempestuous weather happening, the naval expedition is hindered, and the extremity of wet causes the Siege of Limerick to be raised, King William (39) returned to England. Lord Sidney (41) left Governor of what is conquered in Ireland, which is near three parts [in four].
John Evelyn's Diary 1692 July. 23 Jul 1692. I went with my wife (57), son (37), and daughter (23), to Eton, to see my grandson (10), and thence to my Lord Godolphin's (47), at Cranburn, where we lay, and were most honorably entertained. The next day to St. George's Chapel, and returned to London late in the evening.
John Evelyn's Diary 1694 May. 04 May 1694. I went this day with my wife (59) and four servants from Sayes Court, removing much furniture of all sorts, books, pictures, hangings, bedding, etc., to furnish the apartment my brother (76) assigned me, and now, after more than forty years, to spend the rest of my days with him at Wotton, where I was born; leaving my house at Deptford full furnished, and three servants, to my son-in-law Draper, to pass the summer in, and such longer time as he should think fit to make use of it.
John Evelyn's Diary 1702. 31 Oct 1702. Arrived now to the 82d year of my age, having read over all that passed since this day twelvemonth in these notes, I render solemn thanks to the Lord, imploring the pardon of my past sins, and the assistance of his grace; making new resolutions, and imploring that he will continue his assistance, and prepare me for my blessed Savior's coming, that I may obtain a comfortable departure, after so long a term as has been hitherto indulged me. I find by many infirmities this year (especially nephritic pains) that I much decline; and yet of his infinite mercy retain my intellect and senses in great measure above most of my age. I have this year repaired much of the mansion house and several tenants' houses, and paid some of my debts and engagements. my wife (67), children, and family in health: for all which I most sincerely beseech Almighty God to accept of these my acknowledgments, and that if it be his holy will to continue me yet longer, it may be to the praise of his infinite grace, and salvation of my soul. Amen!.
On 27 Feb 1706 [her husband] John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706 (85) died.
On 09 Feb 1708 Mary Browne 1635-1708 (73) died.
My Recollections by Adeline Horsey Countess Cardigan 1824 1915 Chapter IV: Presented at Court. The intimate history of Society is full of unsuspected tragedy, but when the veil is torn aside, the unhappiness of many a husband and wife becomes tragedy in real earnest, and the light-hearted butterflies who sip the sweets of the good things of this life are horrified at the idea of such things happening in their midst. The grim story I am about to relate concerned particular friends of mine, and it made a great impression upon me. Constance de Burgh (22) was one of my great friends, she was a very pretty, charming girl who married Lord Ward (34), who had always been considered a great parti by mothers with marriageable daughters.
Constance (22) was not in love with her husband (34) ; he had proposed and she was told she must accept him. A dutiful daughter of rather colourless character, Constance never dreamt of opposition, and so she became Lady Ward.
Marriage frequently means disillusion, and the Ward marriage was not a success.
William Ward (34) was a pleasant man, but he had extraordinary ideas of how to treat a wife, ideas which could only be tolerated by a tactful woman who could laugh at them, and forget all the unpleasantness they entailed. Poor Constance was not tactful, and not accommodating. Her husband worshipped the beautiful ; he had selected his wife partly on account of her beauty, and he treated her like some lovely slave he had bought. He had a strange, almost barbaric passion for precious stones, and he bought quantities of them and lavished them on his wife, who appeared at great entertainments literally ablaze with diamonds.
What pleased Lord Ward more than anything was to make Constance put on all her jewels for his special benefit when they were alone. He would admire her thus for hours, delighting in her lovely unclothed figure, and contrasting the sheen of her ropes of pearls with her delicate skin, as she sat on a black satin-covered couch.
These strange proceedings at first terrified and then disgusted Constance. She appealed to her father, but her parents decided that her husband's peculiarities came within the meaning of the marriage vows, and she was told she must submit to her husband's humours.
Fate then threw Constance (22) across Lord Dupplin's (24) path, with the result that the tragedy began.
I knew Blanche Dupplin (23) very well, and often when I was lunching with her she would tell me sorrowfully about her husband's (24) infatuation. "It is useless to expostulate," said Blanche; " Dupplin will not abandon the affair, and I don't know how it will end if William Ward (34) finds out his wife's (22) infidelity.".
Matters came to a crisis at a fancy dress ball given by Lady Londonderry (22) at Holderness House, the chief feature being a quadrille danced by ladies representing famous European queens. I met the Wards there ; Constance looked delicate, and early in the evening she said she felt ill and must go home. She came over to where her husband and I were standing, and asked him whether he intended to accompany her.
" No, I shall stay," said Lord Ward (34), " I mean to have several dances with Miss de Horsey. Go home by all means if you are tired.".
Constance was enceinte, so her absence excited no comment as she was far from strong. Her husband remained until nearly 3 a.m., when he departed for his house in Park Lane — it was daylight, and, as he approached the house, he suddenly noticed a man leaving it. Their eyes met ; it was Lord Dupplin (24), who turned and ran for his life down the street.
Lord Ward entered, and startled the sleepy footman by telling him to rouse the servants and bid them assemble in the hall. He then went upstairs to his wife's bedroom.
What passed between them was told by Constance to a friend ; her husband came to her bedside and accused her of committing adultery with Lord Dupplin (24). " Get up, madame," he continued, "my house is yours no longer; arrangements shall be made for your future, but henceforth you are no wife of mine.".
Tears and entreaties were useless, and Constance was obliged to dress ; William Ward (34) then led her past the scandalised servants who were waiting downstairs, and — turned her out of doors.
The poor frightened girl managed to reach her parents' house in Grosvenor Crescent, and implored them to give her shelter, but they were as heartless as her husband, and told her they could not take her in. More dead than alive, she turned her steps to Conduit Street, where her singing-master lived, and this gentleman, full of compassion for his unfortunate pupil, allowed her to remain there until the next day, when she went to Ostend. From Ostend she went to Ems, where her child was prematurely born and the unhappy young mother died. Her husband brought her body to England, and once again Constance Ward (22) lay in her darkened bedroom..
On the evening of the day before her burial, Lord Colville came to see Lord Ward. They talked for some time and then the widower suddenly turned to his friend.
" Colville — you admired my wife ? " "Yes," replied Lord Colville, " I did." " Well, come and look your last on her," said Lord Ward, and lighting a candle he led the way upstairs.
The room was full of shadows, and the flickering light fell on the lovely face of the dead woman. Silently Lord Colville stood by her, and his heart ached when he thought of her fate. Ward was watching him attentively. "Still admiring my wife? Well, she was a pretty woman — but — you'd never credit she had such bad teeth." He put down the candle on a table as he spoke, and raised his wife's head from the pillow. With cold deliberation he wrenched the jaws apart. " I always told you she had bad teeth," he repeated, "look here, man." But Lord Colville had hurriedly left the room. He told me afterwards it was the most ghastly sight he had ever seen.
Father: Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683
GrandFather: Christopher Browne
Great GrandFather: Richard Browne Clerk 1539-1604
Mother: Elizabeth Prettyman 1610-1652
GrandFather: John Prettyman 1567-1638