John Evelyn's Diary 1684

 John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March John Evelyn's Diary 1684 June John Evelyn's Diary 1684 September John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1680s.

1684 Frost Fair

1684 Popish Plot

1684 Rye House Plot

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 01

01 Jan 1684. The weather continuing intolerably severe, streetes of booths were set upon the Thames; the aire was so very cold and thick, as of many yeares there had not ben the like. The smallpox was very mortal.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 02

02 Jan 1684. I din'd at Sr Ste. Fox's (age 56): after dinner came a fellow who eate live charcoal, glowingly ignited, quenching them in his mouth, and then champing and swallowing them down. There was a dog also which seem'd to do many rational actions.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 06

06 Jan 1684. The river quite frozen.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 09

09 Jan 1684. I went crosse the Thames on the ice, now become so thick as to beare not onely streetes of boothes, in which they roasted meate, and had divers shops of wares, quite acrosse as in a towne, but coaches, carts, and horses, passed over. So I went from Westminster Stayres to Lambeth [Map], and din'd with the Archbishop (age 66): where I met my Lord Bruce, Sir Geo. Wheeler (age 32), Coll. Cooke, and severall divines. After dinner and discourse with his Grace till evening prayers, Sir Geo. Wheeler (age 32) and I walked over the ice from Lambeth Stayres to the horse ferry.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 10

10 Jan 1684. I visited Sir Robert Reading (age 44), where after supper we had musiq, but not comparable to that which Mrs. Bridgeman made us on the guittar with such extraordinary skill and dexterity.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 16

16 Jan 1684. The Thames was fill'd with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in the Citty.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 January 24

24 Jan 1684. The frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planted with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnish'd and full of commodities, even to a printing presse, where the peopje and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed, and the day and yeare set down when printed on the Thames; this humour tooke so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gain'd £5. a day, for printing a line onely, at sixpence a name, be sides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tlpling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgment on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers places, and the very seas so lock'd up with ice, that no vessells could stir out or come in. The fowles, fish, and birds, and all our exotiq plants and greenes universally perishing. Many parkes of deer were destroied, and all sorts of fuell so deare that there were greate con tributions to preserve the poore alive. Nor was this severe weather much lesse intense in most parts of Europe, even as far as Spaine and the most Southern tracts. London, by reason of the excessive coldnesse of the aire hindering the ascent of the smoke, was so fill'd with the fuliginous steame of the sea-coale, that hardly could one see crosse the streetes, and this filling the lungs with its grosse particles, exceedingly obstructed the breast, so as one could scarcely breath. Here was no water to be had from the pipes and engines, nor could the brewers and divers other tradesmen worke, and every moment was full of disastrous accidents.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 04

04 Feb 1684. I went to Says Court [Map] to see how the frost had dealt with my garden, where I found many of the greenes and rare plantes utterly destroied. The oranges and mirtills very sick, the rosemary and laurells dead to all appearance, but ye cypress likely to indure It.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 05

05 Feb 1684. It began to thaw, but froze againe. My coach crossed from Lambeth [Map] to the Horseferry at Millbank, Westminster. The booths were almost all taken downe, but there was first a Map or Landskip cut in copper representing all the manner of the camp, and the several actions, sports, and pastimes thereon, in memory of so signal a frost.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 07

07 Feb 1684. I dined with my Lord Keeper (age 46), and walking alone with him some time In his gallery, we had discourse of musiq. He told me he had ben brought up to it from a child, so as to sing his part at first sight. Then speaking of Painting, of which he was also a greate lover, and other ingenious matters, he desir'd me to come oftener to him.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 08

08 Feb 1684. I went this evening to visite that greate and knowing virtuoso Monsr Justell. The weather was set in to an absolute thaw and rairie, but ye Thames still frozen.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 10

10 Feb 1684. After eight weekes missing the foraine posts, there came aboundance of Intelligence from abroad.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 12

12 Feb 1684. The Earle of Danby (age 51), late Lord Treasurer, together with the Roman Catholic Lords impeach'd of High Treason in the Popish Plot, had now their Habeas Corpus, and came out upon baile, after five yeares imprisonment in the Tower [Map]. Then were also tried and deeply fin'd Mr. Hampden and others for being suppos'd of the late Plot, for which Lord Russell and Col. Sidney suffer'd; as also the person who went about to prove that the Earle of Essex had his throat cut in the Tower by others; likewise Mr. Johnson, the author of that famous piece called Julian.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 15

15 Feb 1684. Newes of the Prince of Orange (age 33) having accus'd the Deputies of Amsterdam of Crimen lesse Majestatis, and being Pensioners to France. Dr. Tenison (age 47) communicated to me his intention of erecting a Library in St. Martin's parish, for the publiq use, and desir'd my assistance with Sr Chris Wren about the placeing and structure thereof. A worthy and laudable designe. He told me there were 30 or 40 young men in Orders in his parish, either Governors to young gentlemen or Chaplains to noblemen, who being reprov'd by him on occasion for frequenting taverns or coffee-houses, told him they would study or employ their time better, if they had books. This put the pious Doctor on this designe; and indeede a greate reproch it is that so greate a Citty as London should not have a publiq Library becoming it. There ought to be one at St. Paules; the West end of that church (If ever finish'd) would be a convenient place.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 23

23 Feb 1684. I went to Sir John Chardine (age 40), who desired my assistance for the engraving the plates, the translation, and printing his History of that wonderfull Persian. Monument neere Persepolis, and other rare antiquities, which he had caus'd to be drawne from the originals in his second journey into Persia, which we now concluded upon. Afterwards I went with Sr Christ' Wren to Dr Tenison (age 47), where we made the drawing and estimate of the expence of the Library, to be begun this next Spring neere the Mewes. Greate expectation of the Prince of Orange's (age 33) attempts in Holland to bring those of Amsterdam to consent to the new levies, to which we were no friends, by a pseudo-politic adherence to the French interest.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 26

26 Feb 1684. Came to visite me Dr. Turner (age 46), our new Bishop of Rochester.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 February 27

27 Feb 1684. I din'd at Lady Tuke's, where I heard Dr Walgrave (Physitian to ye Duke and Dutchesse) play excellently on the lute.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March 07

07 Mar 1684. Dr. Meggot, Deane of Winchester, preached an incomparable sermon, (the King (age 53) being now gone to Newmarket,) on 12 Heb. 15. shewing and pathetically pressing the care we ought to have least we come short of the grace of God. Afterwards I went to visite Dr. Tenison (age 47) at Kensington, whither he was retired to refresh after he had ben sick of the smallpox.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March 15

15 Mar 1684. At Whitehall [Map] preached Mr. Henry Godolphin (age 35), a prebend of St. Paules, and brother to my deare friend Sydnie (age 38), on 55 Isaiah 7. I dined at the Lord Keeper's (age 46), and brought to him Sir John Chardin (age 40), who shewed him his accurate draughts of his travells in Persia.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March 28

28 Mar 1684. There was so greate a concourse of people with their children to be touch'd for the Evil, that 6 or 7 were crush'd to death by pressing at the Chirurgeon's doore for tickets. The weather began to be more mild and tolerable, but there was not the least appearance of any Spring.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 March 30

30 Mar 1684. Easter day. The Bp. of Rochester [Dr. Turner] (age 46) preach'd before, the King (age 53) after which his Ma*, accompanied with three of his natural sonns, the Dukes of Northumberland (age 18), Richmond, and St. Alban's (age 13) (sons of Portsmouth (age 34), Cleaveland (age 43), and Nelly (age 34)), went up to the Altar; ye three boyes entering before the King (age 53) within the railes, at the right hand, and three Bishops on the left, viz. London (age 52) (who officiated), Durham (age 51), and Rochester (age 46), with the Sub-dean Dr. Holder. the King (age 53) kneeling before the Altar, zaking his offering, the Bishop first receiv'd, and then his Ma* after which he retir'd to a canopied seate on the right hand. Note, there was perfume burnt before the Office began. I had receiv'd ye Sacrament at Whitehall early with the Lords and Household, ye Bp. of London officiating. Then went to St. Martin's [Map], where Dr. Tenison (age 47) preach'd (recover'd from yc small-pox); then went againe to Whitehall as above. In the afternoone went to St. Martin's againe.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 April

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 April 04

04 Apr 1684. I return'd home with my family to my house at Says Court [Map], after five months residence in London; hardly the least appearance of any Spring.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 April 30

30 Apr 1684. A Letter of mine to the Royal Society concerning the terrible effects of the past winter being read, they desired it might be printed in the next Part of their Transactions.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May 10

10 May 1684. I went to visite my brother in Surrey. Call'd by the way at Ashted, where Sr Rob Howard (age 58) (Auditor of the Exchequer) entertain'd me very civilly at his new built house, which stands in a Park on the Downe, the avenue South; tho' downe hill to the house, which is not greate, but with the outhouses very convenient. The stairecase is painted by Verrio (age 48) with the storie of Astrea; amongst other figures is the Picture of the Painter himselfe, and not unlike him; the rest is well done, onely the columns did not at all please me; there is also Sir Robert's own Picture in an oval; the whole in fresca. The place has this greate defect, that there is no water but what is drawn up by horses from a very deepe well.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May 11

11 May 1684. Visited Mr. Higham, who was ill, and died 3 days after. His grandfather and father (who christen'd me), with himselfe, had now ben Rectors of this parish 101 yeares, viz. from May 1583.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May 12

12 May 1684. I return'd to London, where I found the Commissioners of the Admiralty abolish'd, and the office of Admiral restor'd to ye Duke (age 50), as to the disposal and ordering all Sea businesse; but his Ma* (age 53) sign'd all Petitions, Papers, Warrants, and Commissions, that the Duke, not acting as Admiral by commission or office, might not incur the penalty of the late Act against Papists and Dissenters holding offices, and refusing the Oath and Test. Every one was glad of this change, those in the late Commission being utterly ignorant in their duty, to the greate damage of the Navy.

12 May 1684. The utter mine of the Low Country was threaten'd by the siege of Luxembergh, if not timely reliev'd, and by the obstinacy of the Hollanders, who refus'd to assist the Prince of Orange (age 33), being corrupted by the French.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May 16

16 May 1684. I received £600 of Sr Charles Bickerstaff for the fee-farm of Pilton in Devon.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 May 26

26 May 1684. Lord Dartmouth (age 37) was chosen Master of the Trinity House, newly return'd with the fleete from blowing up and demolishing Tangier. In the sermon preach'd on this occasion, Dr. Can observ'd that, in the 27th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the casting anchor out of the fore-ship had been cavill'd at as betraying total Ignorance: that it is very true our seamen do not do so, but in the Mediterranean their ships were built differently from ours, and to this day it was the practice to do so there.

26 May 1684. Luxembergh was surrender'd to the French, which makes them master of all the Netherlands, gives them entrance into Germany, and a fair game for universal monarchy; which that we should suffer, who only and easily might have hinder'd, astonish'd all the world. Thus is the poor Prince of Orange (age 33) ruin'd, and this nation and all the Protestant interest in Europe following, unlesse God in his infinite mercy, as by a miracle, interpose, and our greate ones alter their counsels. The French fleete were now besieging Genoa, but after burning much of that beautifull citty with their bombs, went off with disgrace.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 June

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 June 12

12 Jun 1684. I went to advise and give directions about the building two streetes in Berkeley Gardens, reserving the house and as much of the garden as the breadth of the house. In the meanetime I could not but deplore that sweete place (by far the most noble gardens, courts, and accommodations, stately porticos, &c. any where about the towne) should be so much straighten'd and turn'd Into tenements. But that magnificent pile and gardens contiguous to it, built by the late Lord Chancellor Clarendon, being all demolish'd, and design'd for Piazzas and buildings, was some excuse for my Baroness Berkeley's (age 30) resolution of letting out her ground also for so excessive a price as as offer'd, advancing neere £1000 per in mere ground-rents; to such a mad intemperance was the age of building about a citty, by far too disproportionate already to the nation I having in my time seene it almost as large again as it was within my memory.

12 Jun 1684. [Note. This may be 11 Jun]. My cousin Verney, to whom a very greate fortune was fallen, came to take leave of us, going into the country; a very worthy and virtuous young gentleman.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 June 22

22 Jun 1684. Last Friday Sir Tho. Armstrong (deceased) was executed at Tyburn [Map] for treason, without tryal, having ben outlaw'd and apprehended in Holland, on the conspiracy of the Duke of Monmouth (age 35), Lord Russell, &c. which gave occasion of discourse to people and lawyers, in reguard it was on an outlawry that judgment was given and execution.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 July

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 July 02

02 Jul 1684. I went to the Observatory at Greenewich, where Mr. Flamsted (age 37) tooke his observations of the Eclipse of the Sun, now almost three parts obscured. There had been an excessive hot and dry Spring, and such a drought still continu'd as never was in my memorie.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 July 13

13 Jul 1684. Some small sprinkling of raine; the leaves dropping from the trees as in Autumn.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 July 25

25 Jul 1684. I din'd at Lord Falkland's (age 28), Treasurer of the Navy, where after dinner we had rare musiq, there being, amongst others, Sign Pietro Reggio, and Sigr John Battist, both famous, one for his voice, the other for playing on ye harpsicord, few if any in Europe exceeding him. There was also a Frenchman who sung an admirable basse.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 July 26

26 Jul 1684. I return'd home where I found my Lord Cheife Justice [Jefferies] (age 39), the Countesse of Clarendon, and Lady Cath. Fitz-Gerald, who dined with me.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 August

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 August 10

10 Aug 1684. We had now rain after such a drowth as no man in England had known.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 August 24

24 Aug 1684. Excessive hot. We had not had above one or two considerable showers, and those storms, these 8 or 9 months. Many trees died for the want of refreshment.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 August 31

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 September

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 September 26

26 Sep 1684. The King (age 54) being return'd from Winchester [Map], there was a numerous Court at White-hall. At this time the Earle of Rochester (age 42) was remov'd from the Treasury to the Presidentship of the Council; Lord Godolphin (age 39) was made first Commissioner of the Treasury in his place; Lord Middleton (age 34) (a Scot) made Secretary of State, in ye room of Lord Godolphin (age 39). These alterations being very unexpected and mysterious, gave greate occasion of discourse. There was now an Ambassador from ye King of Siam in ye East Indies to his Majesty (age 54).

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October 22

22 Oct 1684. I went with Sr William Godolphin (age 44) to see the Rhinoceros, or Unicorn, being the first that I suppose was ever brought into England. She belong'd to some East India merchants, and was sold (as I remember) for above £2000.

22 Oct 1684. At the same time I went to see a Crocodile, brought from some of the West India islands, resembling the Egyptian Crocodile.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October 24

24 Oct 1684. I din'd at Sir Stephen Fox's (age 57) with the Duke of Northumberland (age 18). He seem'd to be a young gentleman of good capacity, well bred, civil, and modest: newly come from travell, and had made his campaigne at the siege of Luxemburg. Of all his Ma*s (age 54) children (of which he had now six Dukes) this seem'd the most accomplish'd and worth the owning. He is extraordinary handsome and well shap'd. What ye Dukes of Richmond (age 12) and St. Alban's (age 14) will prove, their youth does not yet discover; they are very pretty boys.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October 26

26 Oct 1684. Dr. Goodman (age 59) preach'd before the King (age 54) on 2 James 12 concerning the law of liberty: an excellent discourse and in good method. He is author of "The Prodigal Son", a treatise worth reading, and another of the old Religion.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October 27

27 Oct 1684. I visited the Lord Chamberlaine (age 66), where din'd the Hack Baron and Mons' Flamerin, who had so long ben banish'd France for a duel.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 October 28

28 Oct 1684. I carried Lord Clarendon thro' the Citty, amidst all the squibbs and Bacchanalia of the Lord Maior's shew, to ye Royal Society [at Gresham Coll.] where he was propos'd a member; and then treated him at dinner.

28 Oct 1684. I went to St. Clement's, that pretty built and contriv'd church, where a young divine gave us an eloquent Sermon on 1 Cor. 6. 20 inciting to gratitude and glorifying God for the fabriq of our bodys & the dignitie of our nature.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 November

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 November 02

02 Nov 1684. A suddaine change from temperate warme weather to an excessive cold raine, frost, snow, and storm, such as had seldome ben known. This Winter weather began as early and fierce as the past did late; till about Christmas there then had ben hardly any Winter.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 November 04

04 Nov 1684. Dr. Turner (age 47), now translated from Rochester to Ely upon the death of Dr. Peter Gunning, preached before the King (age 54) at White-hall on 3 Romans 8, a very excellent sermon, indicating the Church of England against the pernicious doctrines of the Church of Rome. He challenged the producing but of five Cleargymen who forsooke our Church and went over to that of Rome, during all the troubles & rebellion In England, which lasted neere twenty yeares; and this was to my certaine observation a greate truth.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 November 15

15 Nov 1684. Being the Queene's (age 45) birth-day, there were fire-works on the Thames before Whitehall [Map], with pageants of castles, forts, and other devices of gyrondolas, serpents, the King (age 54) and Queene's (age 45) armes and mottos, all represented in fire, such as had not ben seen here. But the most remarkable was the severall fires and skirmishes in the very water, which actually mov'd a long way, burning under the water, now and then appearing above it, giving reports like muskets and cannon, with granados and innumerable other devices. It is said it cost £.1500. It was concluded with a ball, where all the young ladys and gallants daunced in the greate hall. The Court had not ben seene so brave and rich in apparell since his Ma*'s Restauration.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 November 30

30 Nov 1684. In the morning Dr. Fiennes, sonn of the Lord Say & Seale, preached before the King (age 54) on 21 Joshua 11.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December 03

03 Dec 1684. I carried Mr. Justell and Mr. Slingsby (age 63) (Master of the Mint), to see Mr. Sheldon's collection of Medaills. The series of Popes was rare, and so were several amongst the modernes, especialy that of John Husse's martyrdome at Constance; of the Roman Emp: Consulars; some Greeke, &c. In copper, gold, and silver; not many truly antique; a Medallion of Otho, P. JEmil. &c. hardly antient. They were held at a price of, £.1000. but not worth, I judge, above £200.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December 07

07 Dec 1684. I went to see the new church at St. James's, elegantly built; the altar was especialy adorn'd, the white marble inclosure curiously and richly carved, the flowers and garlands about the walls by Mr. Gibbons (age 36) in wood; a pelican with her young at her breast, just over the altar in the carv'd compartment and border, invironing the purple velvet fring'd with I. H. S. richly embroider'd, and most noble plate, were given by Sr R. Geere, to the value (as was said) of £200. There was no altar any where in England, nor has there ben any abroad, more handsomely adorn'd.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December 17

17 Dec 1684. Early in the morning I went into St James' Park [Map] to see three Turkish or Asian horses, newly brought over, and now first shewed to his Ma* (age 54). There were foure, but one of them died at sea, being three weekes coming from Hamborow. They were taken from a Bashaw at the siege of Vienna, at the late famous raising that leaguer. I never beheld so delicate a creature as one of them was, of somewhat a bright bay, two white feet, a blaze; such a head, eyes, cares, neck, breast, belly, haunches, legs, pasterns, and feete, in all reguards beautifull and proportion'd to admiration; spirited, proud, nimble, making halt, turning with that swiftnesse, and in so small a compasse, as was admirable. With all this so gentle and tractable as call'd to mind what I remember Busbequius speakes of them, to the reproch of our groomes in Europe, who bring up their horses so churlishly as makes most of them retain their 111 habits. They trotted like does, as if they did not feele the ground. 500 guinnies was demanded for the first; 300 for the second; and 200 for the third, wch was browne. All of them were choicely shap'd, but the two last not altogether so perfect as the first. It was judg'd by the spectators, among whom was the King (age 54), Prince of Denmark (age 31), Duke of Yorke (age 51), and several of the Court, noble persons, skill'd In horses, especialy Mons. Faubert and his sonn, (provost masters of yc Academie, and esteem'd of the best in Europe,) that there were never seene any horses in these parts to be compar'd with them. Add to all this, the furniture, consisting of embroidery on the saddle, houseings, quiver, bow, arrows, scymeter, sword, mace, or battle-axe a la Turcisq; the Bashaw's velvet mantle furr'd with the most perfect Ermine I ever beheld; all which, yron-worke in common furniture, being here of silver, curiously wrought and double gilt, to an incredible icon. Such and so extraordinary was the embrodery, that I never saw any thing approching it. The reins and headstall were of crimson silk, cover'd with chaines of silver gilt. There was also a Turkish royal standard of an horse's taile, together with all sorts of other caparisons belonging to a general's horse, by which one may estimate how gallantly and magnificently those infidels appeare in the field, for nothing could be seene more glorious. The gentleman (a German) who rid the horse was in all this garb. They were shod with yron made round and closed at the heele, with a hole in the middle about as wide as a shilling. The hoofes most intire.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December 18

18 Dec 1684. I went with Lord Cornwallis (age 28) to see the young gallants do their exercise, Mr. Faubert having newly rail'd in a manage, and fitted it for the academy. There were the Dukes of Norfolk (age 29) and Northumberland (age 18), Lord Newburgh, and a nephew of (Duras) Earle of Feversham (age 43). The exercises were, 1. running at the ring; 2. flinging a javelin at a Moor's head; 3. discharging a pistol at a mark; lastly, taking up a gauntlet with the point of a sword; all these perform'd in full speede. The D. of Northumberland (age 18) hardly miss'd of succeeding in every one, a dozen times, as I think. The D. of Norfolk (age 29) did exceeding bravely. Lords Newburgh and Duras seem'd nothing so dextrous. Here I saw the difference of what ye French call "belle homme a cheval", and "bon homme a cheval;" the Duke of Norfolk being the first, that is, rather a fine person on a horse, the Duke of Northumberland being both in perfection, namely, a graceful person and excellent rider. But the Duke of Norfolk told me he had not ben at this exercise these 12 yeares before. There were in the field ye Prince of Denmark (age 31), and the Lord Landsdown (age 23), sonn of ye Earle of Bath (age 56), who had ben made a Count of ye Empire last Summer for his service before Vienna.

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 December 20

20 Dec 1684. A villainous murder was perpetrated by Mr. St. John (age 32), eldest son to S' Walter St. John (age 62), a worthy gentleman, on a knight of quality [Sir William Estcourt], in a tavern. The offender was sentenc'd and repriev'd. So many horrid murders and duels were committed about this time as were never before heard of in England, which gave much cause of complaint and murmurings.

Note. Following the aquittal of Edward Nosworthy the jury repaired to the Globe tavern in Fleet Street. An altercation broke out between St John and Francis Stonehouse. St. John and Edmund Webb both ran Estcourt through with their swords. Both were found guilty of murder, and condemned to death. St. John's mother [Johanna St John Baroness St John Lydiard Tregoze (age 53)] obtained a pardon for him at the reported price of £16,000. St. John was expected to go abroad for some time, but publicly entered the next parliamentary election at Wootton Bassett a few weeks after the close of his case, and was duly elected to James II’s first Parliament.