Europe, British Isles, South-East England, Kent, Deptford, Sayes Court [Map]

Sayes Court, Deptford is in Deptford, Kent [Map].

1648 Siege of Colchester

1652 Indemnity and Oblivion Act

1664 Comet

1665 Great Plague of London

In 1605 Richard Browne 1st Baronet was born to Christopher Browne of Sayes Court (age 30) and Thomasine Gonson in Sayes Court, Deptford [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Oct 1647. To Sayes Court, Deptford [Map], at Deptford, in Kent (since my house), where I found Mr. Pretyman, my wife's (age 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.

Siege of Colchester

Evelyn's Diary. 30 May 1648. There was a rising now in Kent, my Lord of Norwich (age 63) being at the head of them. Their first rendezvous was in Broome-field, next my house at Sayes Court, Deptford [Map], whence they went to Maidstone, and so to Colchester [Map], where was that memorable siege.

Evelyn's Diary. 28 Aug 1648. To London from Sayes Court, Deptford [Map], and saw the celebrated follies of Bartholomew Fair.

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Jan 1649. I had a lodging and some books at my father-in-law's house, Sayes Court, Deptford [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 22 Jan 1649. I went through a course of chemistry, at Sayes Court, Deptford [Map]. Now was the Thames frozen over, and horrid tempests of wind.

Evelyn's Diary. 16 Feb 1649. Paris [Map] being now strictly besieged by the Prince de Condé (age 27), my wife (age 14) being shut up with her father (age 44) and mother (age 39), I wrote a letter of consolation to her: and, on the 22d, having recommended Obadiah Walker (age 33), a learned and most ingenious person, to be tutor to, and travel with, Mr. Hillyard's two sons, returned to Sayes Court, Deptford [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 02 Jul 1649. I went from Wotton, Surrey [Map] to Godstone, Surrey (the residence of Sir John Evelyn (age 58)), where was also Sir John Evelyn of Wilts. (age 47), when I took leave of both Sir Johns and their ladies. Mem. the prodigious memory of Sir John of Wilts' (age 47) daughter, since married to Mr. W. Pierrepont [Note. Mr R Pierrepoint], and mother of the present Earl of Kingston. I returned to Sayes Court, Deptford [Map] this night.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Feb 1652. I embarked early in the packet boat, but put my goods in a stouter vessel. It was calm, so that we got not to Dover [Map] till eight at night. I took horse for Canterbury, Kent [Map], and lay at Rochester [Map]; next day, to Gravesend [Map], took a pair of oars, and landed at Sayes Court [Map], where I stayed three days to refresh, and look after my packet and goods, sent by a stouter vessel. I went to visit my cousin, Richard Fanshawe (age 43), and divers other friends.

Indemnity and Oblivion Act

Evelyn's Diary. 05 Apr 1652. My brother George (age 34) brought to Sayes Court [Map] Cromwell's (age 52) Act of Oblivion to all that would submit to the Government.

Evelyn's Diary. 30 Jul 1652. I took advice about purchasing Sir Richard's (age 47) interest of those who had bought Sayes Court [Map].

In 1653 Richard Browne 1st Baronet (age 48) sold Sayes Court, Deptford [Map] to his son-in-law John Evelyn (age 32).

Evelyn's Diary. 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 [Map], 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 (age 18) in our own house as before noticed.

Evelyn's Diary. 17 Jan 1653. I began to set out the oval garden at Sayes Court [Map], which was before a rude orchard, and all the rest one entire field of 100 acres, without any hedge, except the hither holly hedge joining to the bank of the mount walk. This was the beginning of all the succeeding gardens, walks, groves, inclosures, and plantations there.

Evelyn's Diary. 21 Jan 1653. I went to London, and sealed some of the writings of my purchase of Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 19 Feb 1653. I planted the orchard at Sayes Court [Map]; new moon, wind west.

Evelyn's Diary. 22 Feb 1653. Was perfected the sealing, livery, and seisin of my purchase of Sayes Court [Map]. My brother (age 35), George Glanville, Mr. Scudamore, Mr. Offley, Co. William Glanville (son to Sergeant Glanville, sometime Speaker of the House of Commons), Co. Stephens, and several of my friends dining with me. I had bargained for £3,200, but I paid £3,500.

Evelyn's Diary. 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 [Map], where he afterward churched my wife (age 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 25 Oct 1653. Mr. Owen preached in my library at Sayes Court [Map] on Luke xviii. 7, 8, an excellent discourse on the unjust judge, showing why Almighty God would sometimes be compared by such similitudes. He afterward administered to us all the Holy Sacrament.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Mar 1654. That excellent man, Mr. Owen, preached in my library [Map] on Matt. xxviii. 6, a resurrection sermon, and after it we all received the Holy Communion.

Evelyn's Diary. 13 Jul 1654. We all dined at that most obliging and universally-curious Dr. Wilkins's (age 40), at Wadham College. He was the first who showed me the transparent apiaries, which he had built like castles and palaces, and so ordered them one upon another, as to take the honey without destroying the bees. These were adorned with a variety of dials, little statues, vanes, etc.; and, he was so abundantly civil, finding me pleased with them, to present me with one of the hives which he had empty, and which I afterward had in my garden at Sayes Court [Map], where it continued many years, and which his Majesty (age 24) came on purpose to see and contemplate with much satisfaction. He had also contrived a hollow statue, which gave a voice and uttered words by a long, concealed pipe that went to its mouth, while one speaks through it at a good distance. He had, above in his lodgings and gallery, variety of shadows, dials, perspectives, and many other artificial, mathematical, and magical curiosities, a waywiser, a thermometer, a monstrous magnet, conic, and other sections, a balance on a demi-circle; most of them of his own, and that prodigious young scholar Mr. Christopher Wren, who presented me with a piece of white marble, which he had stained with a lively red, very deep, as beautiful as if it had been natural.

Evelyn's Diary. 03 Oct 1654. Having dined here, we passed through Bishop Stortford [Map], a pretty watered town, and so by London, late home to Sayes Court [Map], after a journey of 700 miles, but for the variety an agreeable refreshment after my turmoil and building.

Evelyn's Diary. 30 Sep 1655. Sir Nicholas Crisp (age 56) came to treat with me about his vast design of a mole to be made for ships in part of my grounds at Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Apr 1656. Mr. Berkeley (age 7) and Mr. Robert Boyle (age 29) (that excellent person and great virtuoso), Dr. Taylor (age 43), and Dr. Wilkins (age 42), dined with me at Sayes Court [Map], when I presented Dr. Wilkins (age 42) with my rare burning-glass. In the afternoon, we all went to Colonel Blount's (age 52), to see his newly-invented plows.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 Aug 1658. To Sir Ambrose Browne, at Betchworth Castle, in that tempestuous wind which threw down my greatest trees at Sayes Court [Map], and did so much mischief all over England. It continued the whole night; and, till three in the afternoon of the next day, in the southwest, and destroyed all our winter fruit.

Evelyn's Diary. 27 Nov 1660. Came down the Clerk Comptroller (age 33) [of the Green Cloth] by the Lord Steward's appointment, to survey the land at Sayes Court [Map], on which I had pretense, and to make his report.

Evelyn's Diary. 08 Mar 1661. I went to my Lord Chancellor's (age 52), and delivered to him the state of my concernment at Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 02 May 1661. I had audience of my Lord Chancellor (age 52) about my title to Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 04 Jun 1661. Came Sir Charles Harbord (age 21), his Majesty's (age 31) surveyor, to take an account of what grounds I challenged at Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 17 Feb 1662. This night was buried in Westminster Abbey [Map] the Queen of Bohemia (deceased), after all her sorrows and afflictions being come to die in the arms of her nephew, the King (age 31); also this night and the next day fell such a storm of hail, thunder, and lightning, as never was seen the like in any man's memory, especially the tempest of wind, being southwest, which subverted, besides huge trees, many houses, innumerable chimneys (among others that of my parlor at Sayes Court [Map]), and made such havoc at land and sea, that several perished on both. Divers lamentable fires were also kindled at this time; so exceedingly was God's hand against this ungrateful and vicious nation and Court.

Evelyn's Diary. 20 Feb 1662. I returned home [Map] to repair my house, miserably shattered by the late tempest.

Evelyn's Diary. 24 Mar 1662. I returned home [Map] with my whole family, which had been most part of the winter, since October, at London, in lodgings near the Abbey of Westminster [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 30 May 1663. This morning was passed my lease of Sayes Court [Map] from the Crown, for the finishing of which I had been obliged to make such frequent journeys to London. I returned this evening, having seen the Russian Ambassador (age 18) take leave of their Majesties with great solemnity.

Evelyn's Diary. 04 Mar 1664. This spring I planted the Home field and West field about Sayes Court [Map] with elms, being the same year that the elms were planted by his Majesty (age 33) in Greenwich Park [Map].

1664 Comet

Evelyn's Diary. 22 Dec 1664. This year I planted the lower grove next the pond at Sayes Court [Map]. It was now exceedingly cold, and a hard, long, frosty season, and the comet was very visible.

Pepy's Diary. 01 May 1665. Thence back by coach to Greenwich, Kent [Map], and in his pleasure boat to Deptford, Kent [Map], and there stopped and in to Mr. Evelyn's (age 44)1, which is a most beautiful place; but it being dark and late, I staid not; but Deane Wilkins (age 51) and Mr. Hooke (age 29) and I walked to Redriffe [Map]; and noble discourse all day long did please me, and it being late did take them to my house to drink, and did give them some sweetmeats, and thence sent them with a lanthorn home, two worthy persons as are in England, I think, or the world.

Note 1. Sayes Court [Map], the well-known residence of John Evelyn (age 44).

Great Plague of London

Pepy's Diary. 05 Oct 1665. Round about and next door on every side is the plague, but I did not value it, but there did what I would 'con elle', and so away to Mr. Evelyn's (age 44) to discourse of our confounded business of prisoners, and sick and wounded seamen, wherein he and we are so much put out of order1. And here he showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life2.

Note 1. Each of the Commissioners for the Sick and Wounded was appointed to a particular district, and Evelyn's district was Kent and Sussex. On September 25th, 1665, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: "my Lord Admiral being come from ye fleete to Greenewich, I went thence with him to ye Cockpit [Map] to consult with the Duke of Albemarle (age 56). I was peremptory that unlesse we had £10,000 immediately, the prisoners would starve, and 'twas proposed it should be rais'd out of the E. India prizes now taken by Lord Sandwich (age 40). They being but two of ye Commission, and so not impower'd to determine, sent an expresse to his Majesty and Council to know what they should do".

Note 2. Evelyn (age 44) purchased Sayes Court [Map], Deptford, in 1653, and laid out his gardens, walks, groves, enclosures, and plantations, which afterwards became famous for their beauty. When he took the place in hand it was nothing but an open field of one hundred acres, with scarcely a hedge in it.

John Evelyn to Samuel Tuke 27 Sep 166. 27 Sep 1666. John Evelyn (age 45) to Samuel Tuke 1st Baronet (age 51).

It was some foure dayes before the most fatal Conflagration of the (quondam) Cltty of London yt I addressed a few lines to you; little thinking I should so soone have had two such dissolutions to deplore: The burning of the best Towne in the World: and the discease of the best fFriend in ye World, your excellent Lady. Sr, you know they are but small afflictions that are loquacious - greate ones are silent: & if ever greate ones there were, mine eyes have beheld, & mine eares heard them, with an heart so possess'd with sorrow, that it Is not easily expressed; because ye instances have ben altogether stupendous & unparallel'd. But it were in vaine to entertaine you with those formal topics, wh are wont to be apply'd to persons of lesse fortitude & Christian resignation, though I cannot but exhort you to what, I know, you do - looke upon all things in this World as transitory & perishiug; sent us upon condition of quitting them cherefully, when God pleases to take them from us. This consideration alone, (wth the rest of those Graces wh God has furnish'd you wth all will be able to alevlate yr passion, & to preserve you from succumbing under yr pressures, wh I confesse are weighty: but not insupportable: Live therefore, I conjure you, & helpe to restore yr deare Country, & to consolate yt ffriends: There is none alive wishes you more sincere happlnesse than my poore family.

I suppose I should have heard ere this from you of all y concerntnents; but impute y silence to some possible miscarriage of y"^ Letf^; since the usual place of addresse is w"' the rest reduc'd to ashes & made an heape of ruines. I would give you a more particular relation of this calamitous accident; but I should oppresse you with sad stories, and I. question not but they are come too soone amongst you at Paris with all mlnutenesse, & (were it possible) hyperbolies; There is this yet of lesse deplorable in it: That, as it pleas'd God to order it, little effects of any greate consequence have been lost, besides the houses: - ^That o"^ Merchands at the same instant in w*^ it was permitted y'^ y^ tidings should file over Seas, had so settled all their affaires, as they complying w*'' their forraliie Correspondence as punctualy as if no disaster at all had happen'd; nor do we heare of so much as one that has fail'd. The Exchange is now at Gressham Colledge. Tlie rest of the Qitty (which m.ay consist of neere a 7th part) & suburbs peopl'd with new shopps, the same noyse, bulslnesse & co'merce, not to say vanity. Onely the poore Booke-sellers have ben indede ill treated by Vulcan; so many noble impressions consum'd, hy their trusting them to y* Churches, as the losse is estimated neere two-hundred thousand pounds: w*^^ will he an extraordinary detriment to y^ whole Republiq of Learning. In y* meane time, the King & Parliament are infinitely zealous for the rebuilding of our ruines; & I believe it will universally be the employment of y^ next Spring: They are now busied w'*^ adjusting the claimes of each proprietor, that so they may dispose things for the building after the noblest model: Every body brings in his idea, amongst the rest I P'^sented his Ma^"^ my owne conceptions, w^'' a Discourse annex'd. It was the second that was seene, within 2 dayes after the Conflagration; But Dr. Wren had got the start of me *. Both of us did coincide so frequently, that his Ma^'^ was not displeas'd with it, & it caus'd divers alterations; and truly there was never a more glorious Phoenix upon Earth, if it do at last emerge out of these cinders, & as the designe is layd, with the present fervour of y* undertakers. But these things are as yet im'a- ture; & I pray God we may enjoy peace to encourage those faire dispo- sitions: The miracle is, I have never in my life observ'd a more uni- versal resignation, lesse repining amongst sufferers; which makes me hope, y* God has yet thoughts of mercy towards us: Judgments do not alwayes end where they begin; & therefore let none exult over our calamities: - We know not whose turne it mav be next. But S'", I forbear to entertaine you longer on these sad reflections; but persist to beg of you not to suffer any transportations unbecoming a man of xvirtue; resolve to preserve ye selfe, if it be possible, for better times, the good & restauration of e Country, & the comfort of Friends & Relations, and amongst them of, Sr,

Sayes Court, Deptford [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Aug 1668. His Majesty (age 38) was pleased to grant me a lease of a slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court [Map], for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships, instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty (age 38) the perpetual motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne; and then came in Monsieur Colbert (age 43), the French Ambassador.

Evelyn's Diary. 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 [Map] with several gentlemen of Venice and others in a very glorious train. He staid with me till the Earl of Anglesea (age 54) and Sir Charles Cotterell (age 53) (Master of the Ceremonies) came with the King's (age 38) barge to carry him to the Tower [Map], where the guns were fired at his landing; he then entered his Majesty's (age 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 (age 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 Jan 1671. This day I first acquainted his Majesty (age 40) with that incomparable young man, Gibbon (age 22), whom I had lately met with in an obscure place by mere accident, as I was walking near a poor solitary thatched house, in a field in our parish, near Sayes Court, Deptford [Map]. I found him shut in; but looking in at the window, I perceived him carving that large cartoon, or crucifix, of Tintoretto, a copy of which I had myself brought from Venice, where the original painting remains. I asked if I might enter; he opened the door civilly to me, and I saw him about such a work as for the curiosity of handling, drawing, and studious exactness, I never had before seen in all my travels. I questioned him why he worked in such an obscure and lonesome place; he told me it was that he might apply himself to his profession without interruption, and wondered not a little how I found him out. I asked if he was unwilling to be made known to some great man, for that I believed it might turn to his profit; he answered, he was yet but a beginner, but would not be sorry to sell off that piece; on demanding the price, he said £100. In good earnest, the very frame was worth the money, there being nothing in nature so tender and delicate as the flowers and festoons about it, and yet the work was very strong; in the piece was more than one hundred figures of men, etc. I found he was likewise musical, and very civil, sober, and discreet in his discourse. There was only an old woman in the house. So, desiring leave to visit him sometimes, I went away.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Jan 1672. His Majesty (age 41) renewed us our lease of Sayes Court [Map] pastures for ninety-nine years, but ought, according to his solemn promise (as I hope he will still perform), have passed them to us in fee-farm.

Evelyn's Diary. 30 Mar 1672. On the 30th heard a sermon in Rochester Cathedral [Map], and so got to Sayes Court, Deptford [Map] on the first of April.

Evelyn's Diary. 28 Apr 1676. My wife (age 41) entertained her Majesty (age 45) at Deptford [Map], for which the Queen (age 37) gave me thanks in the withdrawing room at Whitehall [Map].

On 01 Mar 1682 John Evelyn 1st Baronet was born to John The Younger Evelyn (age 27) and Martha Spencer (age 23) at Sayes Court, Deptford [Map]. He was baptised on 02 Mar 1682.

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Mar 1682. My second grandchild was born, and christened the next day by our vicar at Sayes Court [Map], by the name of John. I beseech God to bless him!

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Feb 1683. 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 [Map], 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Feb 1683. This morning I received the news of the death of my father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne (age 78), Knt. and Bart., who died at my house at Sayes Court [Map] 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 (age 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 (age 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 28 Jun 1683. Was born my granddaughter at Sayes Court [Map], and christened by the name of Martha Maria, our Vicar officiating. I pray God bless her, and may she choose the better part!

Evelyn's Diary. 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 22 Aug 1687. Returned home to Sayes Court [Map] from Wotton, having been five weeks absent with my brother and friends, who entertained us very nobly. God be praised for his goodness, and this refreshment after my many troubles, and let his mercy and providence ever preserve me. Amen.

Evelyn's Diary. 04 May 1694. I went this day with my wife (age 59) and four servants from Sayes Court [Map], removing much furniture of all sorts, books, pictures, hangings, bedding, etc., to furnish the apartment my brother (age 76) assigned me, and now, after more than forty years, to spend the rest of my days with him at Wotton, Surrey [Map], where I was born; leaving my house at Deptford, Kent [Map] 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 30 Jan 1698. The Czar of Muscovy being come to England, and having a mind to see the building of ships, hired my house at Sayes Court, Deptford [Map], and made it his court and palace, newly furnished for him by the King (age 47).

Evelyn's Diary. 21 Apr 1698. The Czar went from my house [Map] to return home. An exceedingly sharp and cold season.

Evelyn's Diary. 09 Jun 1698. To Deptford, to see how miserably the Czar had left my house [Map], after three months making it his Court. I got Sir Christopher Wren (age 74), the King's surveyor, and Mr. London, his gardener, to go and estimate the repairs, for which they allowed £150 in their report to the Lords of the Treasury. I then went to see the foundation of the Hall and Chapel at Greenwich Hospital [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 24 May 1700. I went from Dover street to Wotton, Surrey [Map], for the rest of the summer, and removed thither the rest of my goods from Sayes Court [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 18 Mar 1701. I let Sayes Court, Deptford [Map] to Lord Carmarthen (age 42), son to the Duke of Leeds (age 69). 28th. I went to the funeral of my sister Draper, who was buried at Edmonton in great state. Dr. Davenant displeased the clergy now met in Convocation by a passage in his book, p. 40.

Evelyn's Diary. 07 Dec 1703. I removed to Dover Street, where I found all well; but houses, trees, garden, etc., at Sayes Court, Deptford [Map], suffered very much.

Europe, British Isles, South-East England, Kent, Deptford, Sayes Court, Brick Close

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Aug 1668. His Majesty (age 38) was pleased to grant me a lease of a slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court [Map], for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships, instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty (age 38) the perpetual motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne; and then came in Monsieur Colbert (age 43), the French Ambassador.