John Evelyn's Diary 1670
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 February
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 February. 06 Feb 1670. Dr. John Breton, Master of Emmanuel College, in Cambridge (uncle to our vicar), preached on John i. 27; "whose shoe-latchet I am not worthy to unloose," etc. [Note. This is the King (39) James Bible translation], describing the various fashions of shoes, or sandals, worn by the Jews, and other nations: of the ornaments of the feet: how great persons had servants that took them off when they came to their houses, and bore them after them: by which pointing the dignity of our Savior, when such a person as St. John Baptist acknowledged his unworthiness even of that mean office. The lawfulness, decentness, and necessity, of subordinate degrees and ranks of men and servants, as well in the Church as State: against the late levelers, and others of that dangerous rabble, who would have all alike.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 March
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 March. 03 Mar 1670. Finding my brother (47) in such exceeding torture, and that he now began to fall into convulsion-fits, I solemnly set the next day apart to beg of God to mitigate his sufferings, and prosper the only means which yet remained for his recovery, he being not only much wasted, but exceedingly and all along averse from being cut (for the stone); but, when he at last consented, and it came to the operation, and all things prepared, his spirit and resolution failed.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 March. 06 Mar 1670. Dr. Patrick preached in Covent Garden Church. I participated of the Blessed Sacrament, recommending to God the deplorable condition of my dear brother (47), who was almost in the last agonies of death. I watched late with him this night. It pleased God to deliver him out of this miserable life, toward five o'clock this Monday morning, to my unspeakable grief. He was a brother whom I most dearly loved, for his many virtues; but two years younger than myself, a sober, prudent, worthy gentleman. He had married a great fortune, and left one only daughter, and a noble seat at Woodcot, near Epsom. His body was opened, and a stone taken out of his bladder, not much bigger than a nutmeg. I returned home on the 8th, full of sadness, and to bemoan my loss.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 March. 21 Mar 1670. We all accompanied the corpse of my dear brother to Epsom Church, where he was decently interred in the chapel belonging to Woodcot House. A great number of friends and gentlemen of the country attended, about twenty coaches and six horses, and innumerable people.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 March. 22 Mar 1670. I went to Westminster, where in the House of Lords I saw his Majesty (39) sit on his throne, but without his robes, all the peers sitting with their hats on; the business of the day being the divorce of my Lord Ross. Such an occasion and sight had not been seen in England since the time of Henry VIII.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 May
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 May. 05 May 1670. To London, concerning the office of Latin Secretary to his Majesty (39), a place of more honor and dignity than profit, the reversion of which he had promised me.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 May. 26 May 1670. Receiving a letter from Mr. Philip Howard (41), Lord Almoner to the Queen, that Monsieur Evelin, first physician to Madame (who was now come to Dover to visit the King (39) her brother), was come to town, greatly desirous to see me; but his stay so short, that he could not come to me, I went with my brother (52) to meet him at the Tower, where he was seeing the magazines and other curiosities, having never before been in England: we renewed our alliance and friendship, with much regret on both sides that, he being to return toward Dover that evening, we could not enjoy one another any longer. How this French family, Ivelin, of Evelin, Normandy, a very ancient and noble house is grafted into our pedigree, see in the collection brought from Paris, 1650.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 June
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 June. 16 Jun 1670. I went with some friends to the Bear Garden, where was cock-fighting, dog-fighting, bear and bull-baiting, it being a famous day for all these butcherly sports, or rather barbarous cruelties. The bulls did exceedingly well, but the Irish wolf dog exceeded, which was a tall greyhound, a stately creature indeed, who beat a cruel mastiff. One of the bulls tossed a dog full into a lady's lap as she sat in one of the boxes at a considerable height from the arena. Two poor dogs were killed, and so all ended with the ape on horseback, and I most heartily weary of the rude and dirty pastime, which I had not seen, I think, in twenty years before.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 June. 18 Jun 1670. Dined at Goring House, whither my Lord Arlington (52) carried me from Whitehall with the Marquis of Worcester (41); there, we found Lord Sandwich (44), Viscount Stafford (55), the Lieutenant of the Tower, and others. After dinner, my Lord communicated to me his Majesty's (40) desire that I would engage to write the history of our late war with the Hollanders, which I had hitherto declined; this I found was ill taken, and that I should disoblige his Majesty (40), who had made choice of me to do him this service, and, if I would undertake it, I should have all the assistance the Secretary's office and others could give me, with other encouragements, which I could not decently refuse.
Lord Stafford (55) rose from the table, in some disorder, because there were roses stuck about the fruit when the dessert was set on the table; such an antipathy, it seems, he had to them as once Lady Selenger also had, and to that degree that, as Sir Kenelm Digby tells us, laying but a rose upon her cheek when she was asleep, it raised a blister: but Sir Kenelm was a teller of strange things.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 June. 29 Jun 1670. To London, in order to my niece's marriage, Mary, daughter to my late brother Richard, of Woodcot, with the eldest son of Mr. Attorney Montague, which was celebrated at Southampton-House chapel, after which a magnificent entertainment, feast, and dancing, dinner and supper, in the great room there; but the bride was bedded at my sister's lodging, in Drury-Lane.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 July
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 July. 19 Jul 1670. I accompanied my worthy friend, that excellent man, Sir Robert Murray (62), with Mr. Slingsby (49), Master of the Mint, to see the latter's seat and estate at Burrow-Green in Cambridgeshire, he desiring our advice for placing a new house, which he was resolved to build. We set out in a coach and six horses with him and his lady, dined about midway at one Mr. Turner's, where we found a very noble dinner, venison, music, and a circle of country ladies and their gallants. After dinner, we proceeded, and came to Burrow-Green that night. This had been the ancient seat of the Cheekes (whose daughter Mr. Slingsby (49) married), formerly tutor to King Henry VI [NOTE. Possibly a mistake for Edward VI since John Cheke Tutor 1514-1557 was tutor to Edward VI]. The old house large and ample, and built for ancient hospitality, ready to fall down with age, placed in a dirty hole, a stiff clay, no water, next an adjoining church-yard, and with other inconveniences. We pitched on a spot of rising ground, adorned with venerable woods, a dry and sweet prospect east and west, and fit for a park, but no running water; at a mile distance from the old house.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 July. 20 Jul 1670. We went to dine at Lord Allington's (29), who had newly built a house of great cost, I believe a little less than £20,000. His architect was Mr. Pratt (50). It is seated in a park, with a sweet prospect and stately avenue; but water still defective; the house has also its infirmities. Went back to Mr. Slingsby's (49).
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 July. 22 Jul 1670. We rode out to see the great mere, or level, of recovered fen land, not far off. In the way, we met Lord Arlington (52) going to his house in Suffolk, accompanied with Count Ogniati, the Spanish minister, and Sir Bernard Gascoigne (56); he was very importunate with me to go with him to Euston, being but fifteen miles distant; but, in regard of my company, I could not. So, passing through Newmarket, we alighted to see his Majesty's (40) house there, now new-building; the arches of the cellars beneath are well turned by Mr. Samuel, the architect, the rest mean enough, and hardly fit for a hunting house. Many of the rooms above had the chimneys in the angles and corners, a mode now introduced by his Majesty (40), which I do at no hand approve of. I predict it will spoil many noble houses and rooms, if followed. It does only well in very small and trifling rooms, but takes from the state of greater. Besides, this house is placed in a dirty street, without any court or avenue, like a common one, whereas it might and ought to have been built at either end of the town, upon the very carpet where the sports are celebrated; but, it being the purchase of an old wretched house of my Lord Thomond's, his Majesty (40) was persuaded to set it on that foundation, the most improper imaginable for a house of sport and pleasure.
We went to see the stables and fine horses, of which many were here kept at a vast expense, with all the art and tenderness imaginable.
Being arrived at some meres, we found Lord Wotton and Sir John Kiviet (43) about their draining engines, having, it seems, undertaken to do wonders on a vast piece of marsh-ground they had hired of Sir Thomas Chicheley (master of the ordnance). They much pleased themselves with the hopes of a rich harvest of hemp and coleseed, which was the crop expected.
Here we visited the engines and mills both for wind and water, draining it through two rivers or graffs, cut by hand, and capable of carrying considerable barges, which went thwart one the other, discharging the water into the sea. Such this spot had been the former winter; it was astonishing to see it now dry, and so rich that weeds grew on the banks, almost as high as a man and horse. Here, my Lord and his partner had built two or three rooms, with Flanders white bricks, very hard. One of the great engines was in the kitchen, where !I saw the fish swim up, even to the very chimney hearth, by a small cut through the room, and running within a foot of the very fire.
Having, after dinner, ridden about that vast level, pestered with heat and swarms of gnats, we returned over Newmarket Heath, the way being mostly a sweet turf and down, like Salisbury Plain, the jockeys breathing their fine barbs and racers and giving them their heats.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 July. 23 Jul 1670. We returned from Burrow Green to London, staying some time at Audley End to see that fine palace. It is indeed a cheerful piece of Gothic building, or rather antico moderno, but placed in an obscure bottom. The cellars and galleries are very stately. It has a river by it, a pretty avenue of limes, and in a park.
This is in Saffron Walden parish, famous for that useful plant, with which all the country is covered.
Dining at Bishop Stortford, we came late to London.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 August
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 August. 05 Aug 1670. There was sent me by a neighbor a servant maid, who, in the last month, as she was sitting before her mistress at work, felt a stroke on her arm a little above the wrist for some height, the smart of which, as if struck by another hand, caused her to hold her arm awhile till somewhat mitigated; but it put her into a kind of convulsion, or rather hysteric fit. A gentleman coming casually in, looking on her arm, found that part powdered with red crosses, set in most exact and wonderful order, neither swelled nor depressed, about this shape, [Note. Diamond shape] not seeming to be any way made by artifice, of a reddish color, not so red as blood, the skin over them smooth, the rest of the arm livid and of a mortified hue, with certain prints, as it were, of the stroke of fingers. This had happened three several times in July, at about ten days' interval, the crosses beginning to wear out, but the successive ones set in other different, yet uniform order. The maid seemed very modest, and came from London to Deptford with her mistress, to avoid the discourse and importunity of curious people. She made no gain by it, pretended no religious fancies; but seemed to be a plain, ordinary, silent, working wench, somewhat fat, short, and high-colored. She told me divers divines and physicians had seen her, but were unsatisfied; that she had taken some remedies against her fits, but they did her no good; she had never before had any fits; once since, she seemed in her sleep to hear one say to her that she should tamper no more with them, nor trouble herself with anything that happened, but put her trust in the merits of Christ only.
This is the substance of what she told me, and what I saw and curiously examined. I was formerly acquainted with the impostorious nuns of Loudun, in France, which made such noise among the Papists; I therefore thought this worth the notice. I remember Monsieur Monconys19 (that curious traveler and a Roman Catholic) was by no means satisfied with the stigmata of those nuns, because they were so shy of letting him scrape the letters, which were Jesus, Maria, Joseph (as I think), observing they began to scale off with it, whereas this poor wench was willing to submit to any trial; so that I profess I know not what to think of it, nor dare I pronounce it anything supernatural.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 August. 20 Aug 1670. At Windsor I supped with the Duke of Monmouth (21); and, the next day, invited by Lord Arlington (52), dined with the same Duke and divers Lords. After dinner my Lord and I had a conference of more than an hour alone in his bedchamber, to engage me in the History. I showed him something that I had drawn up, to his great satisfaction, and he desired me to show it to the Treasurer (40).
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 August. 28 Aug 1670. One of the Canons preached; then followed the offering of the Knights of the Order, according to custom; first the poor Knights, in procession, then, the Canons in their formalities, the Dean and Chancellor, then his Majesty (40) (the Sovereign), the Duke of York (36), Prince Rupert (50); and, lastly, the Earl of Oxford (43), being all the Knights that were then at Court.
I dined with the Treasurer (40), and consulted with him what pieces I was to add; in the afternoon the King (40) took me aside into the balcony over the terrace, extremely pleased with what had been told him I had begun, in order to his commands, and enjoining me to proceed vigorously in it. He told me he had ordered the Secretaries of State to give me all necessary assistance of papers and particulars relating to it and enjoining me to make it a LITTLE KEEN, for that the Hollanders had very unhandsomely abused him in their pictures, books, and libels.
Windsor was now going to be repaired, being exceedingly ragged and ruinous. Prince Rupert (50), the Constable, had begun to trim up the keep or high round Tower, and handsomely adorned his hall with furniture of arms, which was very singular, by so disposing the pikes, muskets, pistols, bandoleers, holsters, drums, back, breast, and headpieces, as was very extraordinary. Thus, those huge steep stairs ascending to it had the walls invested with this martial furniture, all new and bright, so disposing the bandoleers, holsters, and drums, as to represent festoons, and that without any confusion, trophy-like. From the hall we went into his bedchamber, and ample rooms hung with tapestry, curious and effeminate pictures, so extremely different from the other, which presented nothing but war and horror.
The King (40) passed most of his time in hunting the stag, and walking in the park, which he was now planting with rows of trees.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 September
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 September. 17 Sep 1670. To visit Mr. Hussey, who, being near Wotton, lives in a sweet valley, deliciously watered.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 September. 23 Sep 1670. To Albury, to see how that garden proceeded, which I found exactly done to the design and plot I had made, with the crypta through the mountain in the park, thirty perches in length. Such a Pausilippe [Note. A word created by Evelyn meaning an underground passage.] is nowhere in England. The canal was now digging, and the vineyard planted.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 October
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 October. 14 Oct 1670. I spent the whole afternoon in private with the Treasurer (40) who put into my hands those secret pieces and transactions concerning the Dutch war, and particularly the expedition of Bergen, in which he had himself the chief part, and gave me instructions, till the King (40) arriving from Newmarket, we both went up into his bedchamber.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 October. 21 Oct 1670. Dined with the Treasurer (40); and, after dinner, we were shut up together. I received other [further] advices, and ten paper books of dispatches and treaties; to return which again I gave a note under my hand to Mr. Joseph Williamson, Master of the Paper office.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 October. 31 Oct 1670. I was this morning fifty years of age; the Lord teach me to number my days so as to apply them to his glory! Amen.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 November
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 November. 04 Nov 1670. Saw the Prince of Orange (20), newly come to see the King (40), his uncle; he has a manly, courageous, wise countenance, resembling his mother and the Duke of Gloucester, both deceased.
I now also saw that famous beauty, but in my opinion of a childish, simple, and baby face, Mademoiselle Querouaille (21), lately Maid of Honor to Madame, and now to be so to the Queen (31).
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 November. 23 Nov 1670. Dined with the Earl of Arlington (52), where was the Venetian Ambassador, of whom I now took solemn leave, now on his return. There were also Lords Howard, Wharton (57), Windsor (43), and divers other great persons.
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 December
John Evelyn's Diary 1670 December. 15 Dec 1670. It was the thickest and darkest fog on the Thames that was ever known in the memory of man, and I happened to be in the very midst of it. I supped with Monsieur Zulestein, late Governor of to the late Prince of Orange.