John Evelyn's Diary 1652
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 January
02 Jan 1652. News of my sister Glanville's death in childbed, which exceedingly affected me.
I went to one Mark Antonio, an incomparable artist in enameling. He wrought by the lamp figures in boss, of a large size, even to the life, so that nothing could be better molded. He told us stories of a Genoese jeweler, who had the great ARCANUM, and had made projection before him several times. He met him at Cyprus traveling into Egypt; in his return from whence, he died at sea, and the secret with him, that else he had promised to have left it to him; that all his effects were seized on, and dissipated by the Greeks in the vessel, to an immense value. He also affirmed, that being in a goldsmith's shop at Amsterdam, a person of very low stature came in, and desired the goldsmith to melt him a pound of lead; which done, he unscrewed the pommel of his sword, and taking out of a little box a small quantity of powder, casting it into the crucible, poured an ingot out, which when cold he took up, saying, "Sir, you will be paid for your lead in the crucible," and so went out immediately. When he was gone the goldsmith found four ounces of good gold in it; but could never set eye again on the little man, though he sought all the city for him. Antonio asserted this with great obtestation; nor know I what to think of it, there are so many impostors and people who love to tell strange stories, as this artist did, who had been a great rover, and spoke ten different languages.
13 Jan 1652. I took leave of Mr. Waller (45), who, having been proscribed by the rebels, had obtained of them permission to return, was going to England.
29 Jan 1652. Abundance of my French and English friends and some Germans came to take leave of me, and I set out in a coach for Calais, in an exceedingly hard frost which had continued for some time. We got that night to Beaumont; 30th, to Beauvais; 31st, we found the ways very deep with snow, and it was exceedingly cold; dined at Pois; lay at Pernèe, a miserable cottage of miserable people in a wood, wholly unfurnished, but in a little time we had sorry beds and some provision, which they told me they hid in the wood for fear of the frontier enemy, the garrisons near them continually plundering what they had. They were often infested with wolves. I cannot remember that I ever saw more miserable creatures.
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 February
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 till eight at night. I took horse for Canterbury, and lay at Rochester; next day, to Gravesend, took a pair of oars, and landed at Sayes Court, 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 (43), and divers other friends.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 March
06 Mar 1652. Saw the magnificent funeral of that arch-rebel, Ireton, carried in pomp from Somerset House to Westminster, accompanied with divers regiments of soldiers, horse and foot; then marched the mourners, General Cromwell (52) (his father-in-law), his mock-parliament-men, officers, and forty poor men in gowns, three led horses in housings of black cloth, two led in black velvet, and his charging horse, all covered over with embroidery and gold, on crimson velvet; then the guidons, ensigns, four heralds, carrying the arms of the State (as they called it), namely, the red cross and Ireland, with the casque, wreath, sword, spurs, etc.; next, a chariot canopied of black velvet, and six horses, in which was the corpse; the pall held up by the mourners on foot; the mace and sword, with other marks of his charge in Ireland (where he died of the plague), carried before in black scarfs. Thus, in a grave pace, drums covered with cloth, soldiers reversing their arms, they proceeded through the streets in a very solemn manner. This Ireton was a stout rebel, and had been very bloody to the King (21)'s party, witness his severity at Colchester, when in cold blood he put to death those gallant gentlemen, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle. My cousin, R. Fanshawe (43), came to visit me, and informed me of many considerable affairs. Sir Henry Herbert (57) presented me with his brother, my Lord Cherbury's book, "De Veritate.".
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.
14 Mar 1652. I went to Lewisham, where I heard an honest sermon on 1 Cor. ii. 5-7, being the first Sunday I had been at church since my return, it being now a rare thing to find a priest of the Church of England in a parish pulpit, most of which were filled with Independents and Fanatics.
18 Mar 1652. That worthy divine, Mr. Owen, of Eltham, a sequestered person, came to visit me.
19 Mar 1652. Invited by Lady Gerrard, I went to London, where we had a great supper; all the vessels, which were innumerable, were of porcelain, she having the most ample and richest collection of that curiosity in England.
22 Mar 1652. I went with my brother Evelyn (34) to Wotton, to give him what directions I was able about his garden, which he was now desirous to put into some form; but for which he was to remove a mountain overgrown with huge trees and thicket, with a moat within ten yards of the house. This my brother immediately attempted, and that without great cost, for more than a hundred yards south, by digging down the mountain,and flinging it into a rapid stream; it not only carried away the sand, etc., but filled up the moat, and leveled that noble area, where now the garden and fountain is. The first occasion of my brother making this alteration was my building the little retiring place between the great wood eastward next the meadow, where, some time after my father's death, I made a triangular pond, or little stew, with an artificial rock after my coming out of Flanders.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 April
13 Apr 1652. News was brought me that Lady Cotton, my brother George's (34) wife was delivered of a son.
I was moved by a letter out of France to publish the letter which some time since I sent to Dean Cosin's (57) proselyted son; but I did not conceive it convenient, for fear of displeasing her Majesty (21), the Queen.
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.
25 Apr 1652. I went to visit Alderman Kendrick, a fanatic Lord Mayor, who had married a relation of ours, where I met with a Captain who had been thirteen times to the East Indies.
29 Apr 1652. Was that celebrated Eclipse of the Sun, so much threatened by the astrologers, and which had so exceedingly alarmed the whole nation that hardly any one would work, nor stir out of their houses. So ridiculously were they abused by knavish and ignorant star-gazers.
We went this afternoon to see the Queen's house at Greenwich, now given by the rebels to Bulstrode Whitelockee (46), one of their unhappy counselors, and keeper of pretended liberties.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 May
10 May 1652. Passing by Smithfield, I saw a miserable creature burning, who had murdered her husband. I went to see some workmanship of that admirable artist, Reeves, famous for perspective, and turning curiosities in ivory.
29 May 1652. I went to give order about a coach to be made against my wife's (17) coming, being my first coach, the pattern whereof I brought out of Paris.
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.
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.
25 Jun 1652. After a drought of near four months, there fell so violent a tempest of hail, rain, wind, thunder, and lightning, as no man had seen the like in his age; the hail being in some places four or five inches about, broke all glass about London, especially at Deptford, and more at Greenwich.
29 Jun 1652. I returned to Tunbridge, and again drank the water, till 10th of July.
We went to see the house of my Lord Clanrickarde (48) at Summer hill, near Tunbridge (now given to that villain, Bradshawe (50), who condemned the King (22)). 'Tis situated on an eminent hill, with a park; but has nothing else extraordinary.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 July
04 Jul 1652. I heard a sermon at Mr. Packer's chapel at Groomsbridge, a pretty melancholy seat, well wooded and watered. In this house was one of the French kings kept prisoner. The chapel was built by Mr. Packer's father, in remembrance of King Charles the First's safe return out of Spain.
09 Jul 1652. We went to see Penshurst, the Earl of Leicester's, famous once for its gardens and excellent fruit, and for the noble conversation which was wont to meet there, celebrated by that illustrious person, Sir Philip Sidney (33), who there composed divers of his pieces. It stands in a park, is finely watered, and was now full of company, on the marriage of my old fellow-collegiate, Mr. Robert Smith, who married my Lady Dorothy Sidney (35), widow of the Earl of Sunderland.
One of the men who robbed me was taken; I was accordingly summoned to appear against him; and, on the 12th, was in Westminster Hall, but not being bound over, nor willing to hang the fellow, I did not appear, coming only to save a friend's bail; but the bill being found, he was turned over to the Old Bailey. In the meantime, I received a petition from the prisoner, whose father I understood was an honest old farmer in Kent. He was charged, with other crimes, and condemned, but reprieved. I heard afterward that, had it not been for his companion, a younger man, he would probably have killed me. He was afterward charged with some other crime, but, refusing to plead, was pressed to death.
23 Jul 1652. Came my old friend, Mr. Spencer, to visit me.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 August
01 Aug 1652. Came old Jerome Lennier, of Greenwich, a man skilled in painting and music, and another rare musician, called Mell. I went to see his collection of pictures, especially those of Julio Romano, which surely had been the King's (22), and an Egyptian figure, etc. There were also excellent things of Polydore, Guido, Raphael, and Tintoretto. Lennier had been a domestic of Queen Elizabeth, and showed me her head, an intaglio in a rare sardonyx, cut by a famous Italian, which he assured me was exceedingly like her.
24 Aug 1652. My first child, a son, was born precisely at one o'clock.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 September
02 Sep 1652son by the name of Richard.
22 Sep 1652. I went to Woodcott, where Lady Browne (42) was taken with scarlet fever, and died. She was carried to Deptford, and interred in the church near Sir Richard's (47) relations with all decent ceremonies, and according to the church-office, for which I obtained permission, after it had not been used in that church for seven years. Thus ended an excellent and virtuous lady, universally lamented, having been so obliging on all occasions to those who continually frequented her house in Paris, which was not only an hospital, but an asylum to all our persecuted and afflicted countrymen, during eleven years' residence there in that honorable situation.
25 Sep 1652. I went to see Dr. Mason's house, so famous for the prospect (for the house is a wretched one) and description of Barclay's "Icon Animarum.".
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 November
05 Nov 1652. To London, to visit some friends, but the insolences were so great in the streets that I could not return till the next day.
Dr. Scarborough was instant with me to give the Tables of Veins and Arteries to the College of Physicians, pretending he would not only read upon them, but celebrate my curiosity as being the first who caused them to be completed in that manner, and with that cost; but I was not so willing yet to part with them, as to lend them to the College during their anatomical lectures; which I did accordingly.
22 Nov 1652. I went to London, where was proposed to me the promoting that great work (since accomplished by Dr. Walton, Bishop of Chester), "Biblia Polyglotta," by Mr. Pierson, that most learned divine.
John Evelyn's Diary 1652 December
25 Dec 1652. Christmas day, no sermon anywhere, no church being permitted to be open, so observed it at home. The next day, we went to Lewisham, where an honest divine preached.
31 Dec 1652. I adjusted all accompts, and rendered thanks to Almighty God for his mercies to me the year past.