John Evelyn's Diary 1677
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 February
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 May
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 May. 15 May 1677. Came the Earl of Peterborough (55), to desire me to be a trustee for Lord Viscount Mordaunt and the Countess, for the sale of certain lands set out by Act of Parliament, to pay debts.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 June
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 June. 12 Jun 1677. I went to London, to give the Lord Ambassador Berkeley (75) (now returned from the treaty at Nimeguen) an account of the great trust reposed in me during his absence, I having received and remitted to him no less than £20,000 to my no small trouble and loss of time, that during his absence, and when the Lord Treasurer (45) was no great friend [of his] I yet procured him great sums, very often soliciting his Majesty (47) in his behalf; looking after the rest of his estates and concerns entirely, without once accepting any kind of acknowledgment, purely upon the request of my dear friend, Mr. Godolphin (31). I returned with abundance of thanks and professions from my Lord Berkeley (49) and my Lady.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 June. 29 Jun 1677. This business being now at an end, and myself delivered from that intolerable servitude and correspondence, I had leisure to be somewhat more at home and to myself.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 July
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 July. 03 Jul 1677. I sealed the deeds of sale of the manor of Blechingley to Sir Robert Clayton (48), for payment of Lord Peterborough's (55) debts, according to the trust of the Act of Parliament.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 August
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 August. 09 Aug 1677. Dined at the Earl of Peterborough's (55) the day after the marriage of my Lord of Arundel (22) to Lady Mary Mordaunt (18), daughter of the Earl of Peterborough.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 August. 29 Aug 1677. We hunted in the Park and killed a very fat buck.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 04 Sep 1677. I went to visit my Lord Crofts, now dying at St. Edmunds Bury, and took the opportunity to see this ancient town, and the remains of that famous monastery and abbey. There is little standing entire, save the gatehouse; it has been a vast and magnificent Gothic structure, and of great extent. The gates are wood, but quite plated over with iron. There are also two stately churches, one especially.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 05 Sep 1677. I went to Thetford, to the borough-town, where stand the ruins of a religious house: there is a round mountain artificially raised, either for some castle, or monument, which makes a pretty landscape. As we went and returned, a tumbler showed his extraordinary address in the Warren. I also saw the Decoy; much pleased with the stratagem.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 07 Sep 1677. There dined this day at my Lord's (59) one Sir John Gaudy (37), a very handsome person, but quite dumb, yet very intelligent by signs, and a very fine painter; he was so civil and well bred, as it was not possible to discern any imperfection in him. His lady and children were also there, and he was at church in the morning with us.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 09 Sep 1677. A stranger preached at Euston Church, and fell into a handsome panegyric on my Lord's (59) new building the church, which indeed for its elegance and cheerfulness, is one of the prettiest country churches in England. My Lord (59) told me his heart smote him that, after he had bestowed so much on his magnificent palace there, he should see God's House in the ruin it lay in. He has also rebuilt the parsonage-house, all of stone, very neat and ample.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 10 Sep 1677. To divert me, my Lord (59) would needs carry me to see Ipswich, when we dined with one Mr. Mann by the way, who was Recorder of the town. There were in our company my Lord Huntingtower (28), son to the Duchess of Lauderdale (50), Sir Edward Bacon, a learned gentleman of the family of the great Chancellor Verulam, and Sir John Felton, with some other knights and gentlemen. After dinner came the bailiff and magistrates in their formalities with their maces to compliment my Lord (59), and invite him to the town-house, where they presented us a collation of dried sweetmeats and wine, the bells ringing, etc. Then, we went to see the town, and first, the Lord Viscount Hereford's (3) house, which stands in a park near the town, like that at Brussels, in Flanders; the house not great, yet pretty, especially the hall. The stews for fish succeeded one another, and feed one the other, all paved at bottom. There is a good picture of the blessed virgin in one of the parlors, seeming to be of Holbein, or some good master. Then we saw the Haven, seven miles from Harwich. The tide runs out every day, but the bedding being soft mud, it is safe for shipping and a station. The trade of Ipswich is for the most part Newcastle on Tyne coals, with which they supply London; but it was formerly a clothing town. There is not any beggar asks alms in the whole place, a thing very extraordinary, so ordered by the prudence of the magistrates. It has in it fourteen or fifteen beautiful churches: in a word, it is for building, cleanness, and good order, one of the best towns in England. Cardinal Wolsey was a butcher's son of Ipswich, but there is little of that magnificent Prelate's foundation here, besides a school and I think a library, which I did not see. His intentions were to build some great thing. We returned late to Euston, having traveled about fifty miles this day.
Since first I was at this place, I found things exceedingly improved. It is seated in a bottom between two graceful swellings, the main building being now in the figure of a Greek II with four pavilions, two at each corner, and a break in the front, railed and balustered at the top, where I caused huge jars to be placed full of earth to keep them steady upon their pedestals between the statues, which make as good a show as if they were of stone, and, though the building be of brick, and but two stories besides cellars and garrets covered with blue slate, yet there is room enough for a full court, the offices and outhouses being so ample and well disposed. the King's (47) apartment is painted à fresco, and magnificently furnished. There are many excellent pictures of the great masters. The gallery is a pleasant, noble room; in the break, or middle, is a billiard table, but the wainscot, being of fir, and painted, does not please me so well as Spanish oak without paint. The chapel is pretty, the porch descending to the gardens. The orange garden is very fine, and leads into the greenhouse, at the end of which is a hall to eat in, and the conservatory some hundred feet long, adorned with maps, as the other side is with the heads of the Cæsars, ill cut in alabaster; above are several apartments for my Lord, Lady, and Duchess, with kitchens and other offices below, in a lesser form; lodgings for servants, all distinct for them to retire to when they please and would be in private, and have no communication with the palace, which he tells me he will wholly resign to his son-in-law and daughter, that charming young creature.
The canal running under my Lady's (43) dressing room chamber window, is full of carps and fowl, which come and are fed there. The cascade at the end of the canal turns a cornmill that provides the family, and raises water for the fountains and offices. To pass this canal into the opposite meadows, Sir Samuel Morland (52) has invented a screw bridge, which, being turned with a key, lands you fifty feet distant at the entrance of an ascending walk of trees, a mile in length,—as it is also on the front into the park,—of four rows of ash trees, and reaches to the park pale, which is nine miles in compass, and the best for riding and meeting the game that I ever saw. There were now of red and fallow deer almost a thousand, with good covert, but the soil barren and flying sand, in which nothing will grow kindly. The tufts of fir, and much of the other wood, were planted by my direction some years before. This seat is admirably placed for field sports, hawking, hunting, or racing. The mutton is small, but sweet. The stables hold thirty horses and four coaches. The out-offices make two large quadrangles, so as servants never lived with more ease and convenience; never master more civil. Strangers are attended and accommodated as at their home, in pretty apartments furnished with all manner of conveniences and privacy.
There is a library full of excellent books; bathing rooms, elaboratory, dispensary, a decoy, and places to keep and fat fowl in. He had now in his new church (near the garden) built a dormitory, or vault, with several repositories, in which to bury his family.
In the expense of this pious structure, the church is most laudable, most of the houses of God in this country resembling rather stables and thatched cottages than temples in which to serve the Most High. He has built a lodge in the park for the keeper, which is a neat dwelling, and might become any gentleman. The same has he done for the parson, little deserving it for murmuring that my Lord put him some time out of his wretched hovel, while it was building. He has also erected a fair inn at some distance from his palace, with a bridge of stone over a river near it, and repaired all the tenants' houses, so as there is nothing but neatness and accommodations about his estate, which I yet think is not above £1,500 a year. I believe he had now in his family one hundred domestic servants.
His lady (43) (being one of the Brederode's daughters, grandchild to a natural son of Henry Frederick, Prince of Orange) [Note. Evelyn confused here. Elisabeth Nassau Beverweert Countess Arlington 1633-1718 (43) was the daughter of Louis Nassau Beverweert 1602-1665 who was the illegitimate son of Maurice Orange Nassau I Prince Orange 1567-1625. Frederick Henry Orange Nassau II Prince Orange 1584-1647 was the younger brother of Maurice Orange Nassau I Prince Orange 1567-1625.] is a good-natured and obliging woman. They love fine things, and to live easily, pompously, and hospitably; but, with so vast expense, as plunges my Lord (59) into debts exceedingly. My Lord (59) himself is given into no expensive vice but building, and to have all things rich, polite, and princely. He never plays, but reads much, having the Latin, French, and Spanish tongues in perfection. He has traveled much, and is the best bred and courtly person his Majesty (47) has about him, so as the public Ministers more frequent him than any of the rest of the nobility. While he was Secretary of State and Prime Minister, he had gotten vastly, but spent it as hastily, even before he had established a fund to maintain his greatness; and now beginning to decline in favor (the Duke being no great friend of his), he knows not how to retrench. He was son of a Doctor of Laws, whom I have seen, and, being sent from Westminster School to Oxford, with intention to be a divine, and parson of Arlington, a village near Brentford, when Master of Arts the Rebellion falling out, he followed the King's (47) Army, and receiving an HONORABLE WOUND IN THE FACE, grew into favor, and was advanced from a mean fortune, at his Majesty's (47) Restoration, to be an Earl and Knight of the Garter, Lord Chamberlain of the Household, and first favorite for a long time, during which the King (47) married his natural son, the Duke of Grafton (13), to his only daughter (22) and heiress, as before mentioned, worthy for her beauty and virtue of the greatest prince in Christendom. My Lord is, besides this, a prudent and understanding person in business, and speaks well; unfortunate yet in those he has advanced, most of them proving ungrateful. The many obligations and civilities I have received from this noble gentleman, extracts from me this character, and I am sorry he is in no better circumstances.
Having now passed near three weeks at Euston, to my great satisfaction, with much difficulty he suffered me to look homeward, being very earnest with me to stay longer; and, to engage me, would himself have carried me to Lynn-Regis, a town of important traffic, about twenty miles beyond, which I had never seen; as also the Traveling Sands, about ten miles wide of Euston, that have so damaged the country, rolling from place to place, and, like the Sands in the Deserts of Lybia, quite overwhelmed some gentlemen's whole estates, as the relation extant in print, and brought to our Society, describes at large.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 September. 13 Sep 1677. My Lord's coach conveyed me to Bury, and thence baiting at Newmarket, stepping in at Audley-End to see that house again, I slept at Bishop-Stortford, and, the next day, home. I was accompanied in my journey by Major Fairfax, of a younger house of the Lord Fairfax, a soldier, a traveler, an excellent musician, a good-natured, well-bred gentleman.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 October
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 October. 12 Oct 1677. With Sir Robert Clayton to Marden, an estate he had bought lately of my kinsman, Sir John Evelyn, of Godstone, in Surrey, which from a despicable farmhouse Sir Robert had erected into a seat with extraordinary expense. It is in such a solitude among hills, as, being not above sixteen miles from London, seems almost incredible, the ways up to it are so winding and intricate. The gardens are large, and well-walled, and the husbandry part made very convenient and perfectly understood. The barns, the stacks of corn, the stalls for cattle, pigeon house, etc., of most laudable example. Innumerable are the plantations of trees, especially walnuts. The orangery and gardens are very curious. In the house are large and noble rooms. He and his lady (who is very curious in distillery) entertained me three or four days very freely. I earnestly suggested to him the repairing of an old desolate dilapidated church, standing on the hill above the house, which I left him in good disposition to do, and endow it better; there not being above four or five houses in the parish, besides that of this prodigious rich Scrivener. This place is exceedingly sharp in the winter, by reason of the serpentining of the hills: and it wants running water; but the solitude much pleased me. All the ground is so full of wild thyme, marjoram, and other sweet plants, that it cannot be overstocked with bees; I think he had near forty hives of that industrious insect.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 October. 14 Oct 1677. I went to church at Godstone, and to see old Sir John Evelyn's DORMITORY, joining to the church, paved with marble, where he and his Lady lie on a very stately monument at length; he in armor of white marble. The inscription is only an account of his particular branch of the family, on black marble.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 October. 23 Oct 1677. Saw again the Prince of Orange (26); his marriage with the Lady Mary (15), eldest daughter to the Duke of York (44), by Mrs. Hyde, the late Duchess, was now declared.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 November
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 1677 November. 15 Nov 1677. The Queen's (38) birthday, a great ball at Court, where the Prince of Orange (27) and his new Princess (15) danced..
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 November. 19 Nov 1677. They went away, and I saw embarked my Lady Sylvius (24), who went into Holland with her husband, made Hoffmaester to the Prince (27), a considerable employment. We parted with great sorrow, for the great respect and honor I bore her, a most pious and virtuous lady.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 November. 27 Nov 1677. Dined at the Lord Treasurer's (45) with Prince Rupert (57), Viscount Falkenburg (50), Earl of Bath (49), Lord O'Brien (35), Sir John Lowther (22), Sir Christopher Wren (54), Dr. Grew (36), and other learned men.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 November. 30 Nov 1677. Sir Joseph Williamson (44), Principal Secretary of State, was chosen President of the Royal Society, after my Lord Viscount Brouncker (57) had possessed the chair now sixteen years successively, and therefore now thought fit to CHANGE, that prescription might not prejudice.
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 December
John Evelyn's Diary 1677 December. 20 Dec 1677. Carried to my Lord Treasurer (45) an account of the Earl of Bristol's Library, at Wimbledon, which my Lord (45) thought of purchasing, till I acquainted him that it was a very broken collection, consisting much in books of judicial astrology, romances, and trifles.