John Evelyn's Diary 1686
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 January
01 Jan 1686. Imploring ye continuance of God's providential care for the yeare now entered, I went to the public devotions. The Deane of the Chapell and Cleark of the Closset put out, viz. Bp. of London (54) and . . . , and Rochester (51) and Durham (52) put in their places; the former had oppos'd the toleration intended, and shewn a worthy zeale for the Reform'd Religion as establish'd.
06 Jan 1686. I din'd with ye Abp. of York (61), where was Peter Walsh, that Romish Priest so well known for his moderation, proFessing the Church of England to be a true member of the Catholic Church ; he is us'd to go to our publiq prayers without scruple, and did not acknowledge the Pope's infallibility, onely primacy of order.
06 Jan 1686. Passed the Privie Seale, amongst others, the creation of Mrs. Sedley J (concubine to) Countesse of Dorchester (28), which the Queene took very grievously (27), so as for two dinners, standing neere her I observed she hardly eate one morsel, nor spake one word to the King (52), or to any about her, tho' at other times she us'd to be extreamly pleasant, full of discourse and good humour. The Roman Catholics were also very angry, because they had so long valu'd the sanctity of their religion and proselytes. Dryden (54) the famous playwriter, and his two sonns, and Mrs. Nelly (35) (Misse to ye late) were said to go to masse ; such proselytes were no greate losse to the church. This night was burnt to the ground my Lord Mountague's palace in Bloomsbury, than wch for painting and furniture there was nothing more glorious in England. This happen'd by the negligence of a servant, airing, as they call it, some of the goods by the fire in a moist season ; indeede so wet and mild a winter had scarce ben seene in man's memory. At this Seale there also pass'd the creation of Sr H. Walgrave (25) to be a Peere. He had married one of the King's natural daughters (19) by Mrs. Churchill. These two Seales my brother Commissioners pass'd in the morning before I came to towne, at. wch I was not displeas'd. We likewise pass'd Privy Seales for 5.2/6,000 upon severall accounts, pensions, guards, wardrobes, pri vie purse, &c. besides divers pardons, and one more wch I must not forget (and wch by Providence I was not present at) one Mr. Lytcott to be Secretary to the Ambassador to Rome. We being three Commissioners, any two were a quorum.
23 Jan 1686. I din'd at my Lady Arlington's (52), groome of the stole to the Queene Dowager (47), at Somerset House, where din'd the Countesses of Devonshire (40), Dover (76), &c. in all 11 ladys of quality, no man but myselfe being there.
24 Jan 1686. Unheard of cruelties to ye persecuted Protestants of France, such as hardly any age has seene the like, even among the Pagans.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 February
06 Feb 1686. Being the day on wcb his Ma* (52) began his reign, by order of Council it was to be solemniz'd with a particular Office and Sermon, which the Bp. of Ely (48) preach'd at Whitehall on 11 Numb. 12; a Court oration upon the Regal office. It was much wonder'd at that this day, weh was that of his late Ma*'s death, should be kept as a festival, and not [instead of] the day of the present King's coronation. It is said to have ben formerly ye costom, tho' not till now since ye reigne of King James I.
The Dutchesse of Monmouth (34) being in ye same seate with me at church, appear'd with a very sad and afflicted countenance.
12 Feb 1686. My greate cause was heard by my Lord Chancellor (40), who granted me a re-hearing. I had 6 eminent lawyers, my antagonists 3, whereof one was the smooth-tong Solicitor, whom my Lord Chancellor (40) reprov'd in greate passion for a very small occasion. Blessed be God for his greate goodnesse to me this day.
19 Feb 1686. Many bloody and notorious duels were fought about this time. The Duke of Grafton (22) kill'd Mr. Stanley, brother to the Earle of Shrewsbury (25), indeede upon an almost insufferable provocation. It is to be hop'd his Ma* (52) will at last severely remedy this unchristian custome. Lord Sunderland (44) was now Secretary of State, President of the Council, and Premier Minister.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 March
01 Mar 1686. Came Sir Gilbert Gerrard to treate with me about his sonn's marrying my daughter Susanna (17). The father being obnoxious, and in some suspicion and displeasure of the King (52), I would receive no proposal till his Ma* (52) had given me leave, wch he was pleas'd to do ; but after severall meetings we brake off on his not being willing to secure any thing competent for my daughter's children ; besides that I found most of his estate was in ye coal pits as far off as Newcastle, and on leases from the Bishop of Durham, who had power to make concurrent leases, with other difficulties.
07 Mar 1686. Dr Frampton, Bp. of Gloucester (64), preach'd on 44 Psalm, 17, 18, 19, shewing the severall afflictions of the Church of Christ from the primitives to this day, applying exceedingly to the present conjuncture, when many were wavering in their minds, and greate temptations appearing thro' the favour now found by the Papists, so as the people were full of jealousies and discouragement. The Bp. (64) magnified the Church of England, exhorting to constancy and perseverance.
12 Mar 1686. A docquet was to be seal' d importing a lease of 21 yeares to one Hall, who styl'd himselfe his Ma*'s (52) printer (he lately turn'd Papist) for the printing Missalls, Offices, Lives of Saints, Portals, Primers, &c. books expressly forbidden to be printed or sold, by divers Acts of Parliament ; I refus'd to put the seale to it, making my exceptions, so it was laied by.
14 Mar 1686. The Bp. of Bath and Wells (48) preach'd on 6 John 17, a most excellent and pathetic discourse : after he had recommended the duty of fasting and other penitential duties, he exhorted to constancy in the Protestant religion, detestation of the unheard-of cruelties of the French, and stirring up to a liberal contribution. This Sermon was the more acceptable, as it was unexpected from a Bishop who had undergon the censure of being inclin'd to Popery, the contrary whereof no man could shew more. This indeede did all our Bishops, to the disabusing and reproch of all their delators ; for none were more zealous against Popery than they were.
17 Mar 1686. I went to my house in the country, refusing to be present at what was to passe at the Privy Seale the next day. In the morning Dr. Tenison (49) preached an incomparable discourse at Whitehall, on 2 Timothy 3, 4.
24 Mar 1686. Dr. Cradock (Provost of Eaton) (23) preached at the same place on 49 Psalm 13 shewing the vanity of earthly enjoyments.
29 Mar 1686. The Duke of Northumberland (20) (a natural son of the late King by the Dutchess of Cleaveland (45)) marrying very meanly, with the helpe of his brother Grafton (22), attempted to spirit away his wife. A Briefe was read in all Churches for relieving the French Protestants who came here for protection from the unheard-of cruelties of their King (47).
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 April
15 Apr 1686. The Abp. of York (61) died of ye small pox, aged 62, a corpulent man. He was my special loving friend, and whilst Bp. of Rochester (from whence he was translated) my excellent neighbour. He was an unexpressible losse to yc whole church, and that province especialy, he being a learned, wise, stoute, and most worthy prelate ; I looke on this as a greate stroke to ye poore Church of England, now in this defecting period.
18 Apr 1686. In the afternoone I went to Camberwell to visit Dr. Parr (69). After sermon I accompanied him (69) to his house, where he shew'd me the Life and Letters of the late learned Primate of Armagh (Usher), and among them that letter of Bp. Bramhal's to the Primate, giving notice of the Popish practices to pervert this Nation, by sending an hundred priests into England, who were to conforme themselves to all sectaries and conditions for the more easily dispersing their doctrine amongst us. This letter was the cause of yfc whole impression being seiz'd, upon pretence that it was a political or historical account of things not re lating to theology, tho' it had ben licens'd by ye Bishop; which plainely shew'd what an interest the Papists now had, that a Protestant booke, containing the life and le'tters of so eminent a man, was not to be pub lish'd. There were also many letters to and from most of ye learned persons his correspondents in Europe. The book will, I doubt not, struggle through this unjust impediment. Several Judges were put out, and new complying ones put in.
25 Apr 1686. This day was read in our church the Briefe for a collection for reliefe of ye Protestant French, so cruely, barbarously and inhumanly oppress'd without any thing laied to their charge. It had ben long expected, and at last was with difficulty procur'd to be publish'd, the interest of the French Ambassador obstructing it.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 May
05 May 1686. There being a Seale It was fear'd we should be requir'd to passe a doquett dispensing with Dr Obadiah Walker (70) and four more, whereof one was an apostate curate of Putney, ye others officers of University College, Oxford, to hold their masterships, fellowships, and cures, and keepe publiq schooles, and enjoy all former emoluments, notwithstanding they no more frequented or us'd the public formes of prayers or communion with ye Church of England, or took yc test and oathes of allegiance and supremacy, contrary to 20 Acts of Parliament; which dispensation being also contrary to his Ma*'s (52) owne gracious declaration at ye beginning of his reigne, gave umbrage (as well it might) to every good Protestant, nor could we safely have pass'd it under the Privy Seale, wherefore it was done by immediate warrant, sign'd by Mr. Solicitor. This Walker (70) was a learned person, of a monkish life, to whose tuition I had more than 30 yeares since recommended the sonns of my worthy friend Mr. Hyldyard of Horsly in Surrey, believing him to be far from what he prov'd, an hypocritical conceal'd Papist, by wch he perverted the eldest sonn of Mr. Hyldyard, Sr Edwd Hale's (41) eldest sonn, and severall more, to the greate disturbance of the whole Nation, as well as of the University, as by his now publiq defection appear'd. All engines being now at work to bring in Popery, wch God in mercy prevent ! This day was burnt in the old Exchange, by the common hangman, a translation of a booke written by ye famous Monsr Claude, relating onely matters of fact concerning the horrid massacres and barbarous proceedings of ye French King (47) against his Protestant subjects, without any refutation of any facts therein ; so mighty a power and ascendant here had the French Ambass', who was doubtlesse in greate indignation at the pious and truly generous charity of all the Nation, for ye reliefe of those miserable sufferers who came over for shelter. About this time also the Duke of Savoy (19), instigated by ye French King to extirpate the Protestants of Piedmont, slew many thousands of those innocent people, so that there seem'd to be an universal designe to destroy all that would not go to masse, throughout Europe. Quod avertat D. O. M ! No faith in Princes!.
12 May 1686. I refus'd to put the Privy Seale to Dr Walker's (70) licence for printing and publishing divers Popish books, of which I complain'd both to my Lord of Canterbury (69) (with whom I went to advise in the Council Chamber), and to my Lord Treasurer (44) that evening at his lodgings. My Lord of Canterbury's advice was, that I should follow my owne conscience therein; Mr. Treasurer's (44), that if in conscience I could dispense with it, for any other hazard he believ'd there was none. Notwithstanding this 1 persisted in my refusal.
29 May 1686. There was no sermon on this anniversary, as there usually had ben ever since ye reigne of the present King.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 June
02 Jun 1686. Such storms, raine and foul weather, seldom known at this time of the yeare. The camp at Hounslow Heath, from sicknesse and other inconveniences of weather, forc'd to retire to quarters ; ye storms being succeeded by excessive hot weather, many grew sick. Greate feasting there, especialy in Lord Dunbarton's (51) quarters. There were many jealousies and discourses of what was the meaning of this incampment. A Seale this day, mostly pardons and discharges of Kn* Baronets fees, wch having ben pass'd over for so many yeares, did greatly dis oblige several families who had serv'd his Ma* (52). Lord Tirconnell (56) gon to Ireland, with greate powers and commissions, giving as much cause of talke as the camp, especialy 19 new privy councillors and judges being now made, amongst wch but three Protestants, and Tirconnell made Generall.
New Judges also here, amongst wch was Milton (70), a Papist (brother to that Milton who wrote for ye Regicides), who presum'd to take his place without passing ye Test*. Scotland refuses to grant liberty of masse to the Papists there. The French persecution more inhuman than ever. The Protestants in Savoy successfully resist the French dragoons sent to murder them.
The King's chiefe physician (45) in Scotland apostatizing from the Protestant religion, does of his own accord publish his recantation at Edinburgh.
11 Jun 1686. I went to see Middleton's (36) receptacle of water at the New River, and the new Spa Wells neere.
20 Jun 1686. An extraordinary season of violent and sudden raine. The camp still in tents.
24 Jun 1686. My Lord Treasurer (44) settled my greate buisinesse with Mr. Pretyman, to which I hope God will at last give a prosperous issue.
27 Jun 1686. I had this day ben married 39 yeares — blessed be God for all his mercies.
The new very young Lord Cheif Justice Herbert declar'd on ye bench that the government of England was entirely in the King ; that the Crown was absolute ; that penal laws were powers lodged in the Crown to enable the King to force the execution of the law, but were not bars to bind the King's power ; that he could pardon all offences against the law, and forgive the penalties, and why could he not dispense with them ? by which the Test was abolish'd. Every one was astonish'd. Greate jealousies as to what would be the end of these proceedings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 July
06 Jul 1686. I supp'd with the Countesse of Rochester (40), where was also the Dutchesse of Buckingham (47) and Madame de Governe, whose daughter (20) was married to ye Marquess of Halifax's (52) sonn (52). She made me a character of ye French King (47) and Dauphin (24), and of ye persecution. That they kept much of the cruelties from the King's knowledge ; that the Dauphin was so afraid of his father, that he durst not let any thing appeare of his sentiments ; that he hated letters and priests, spent all his time in hunting, and seem'd to take no notice of what was passing.
This lady was of a greate family and fortune, and had fled hither for refuge.
08 Jul 1686. I waited on the Archbishop (69) at Lambeth, where I dined and met the famous preacher and writer, Dr. Allix (45), doubtless a most excellent and learned person. The Archbishop (69) and he spoke Latin together, and that very readily.
08 Jul 1686. Dr. Meggot, Dean of Winchester preached before the household in St. George's Chapel at Windsor, the late King's glorious chapel now seized on by the mass priests. Dr. Cartwright (52), Dean of Ripon, preached before the great men of the Court in the same place.
We had now the sad news of the Bishop of Oxford's (61) death, an extraordinary loss to the poor Church at this time. Many candidates for his Bishopric and Deanery, Dr. Parker, South, Aldrich, etc. Dr. Walker (now apostatizing) came to Court, and was doubtless very busy.
13 Jul 1686 . Note, that standing by the Queen (47) at basset (cards), I observed that she was exceedingly concerned for the loss of £80; her outward affability much changed to stateliness, since she has been exalted.
The season very rainy and inconvenient for the camps. His Majesty very cheerful.
14 Jul 1686 . Was sealed at our office the constitution of certain commissioners to take upon them full power of all Ecclesiastical affairs, in as unlimited a manner, or rather greater, than the late High Commission-Court, abrogated by Parliament; for it had not only faculty to inspect and visit all Bishops' dioceses, but to change what laws and statutes they should think fit to alter among the colleges, though founded by private men; to punish, suspend, fine, etc., give oaths and call witnesses. The main drift was to suppress zealous preachers. In sum, it was the whole power of a Vicar-General—note the consequence! Of the clergy the commissioners were the Archbishop of Canterbury [Sancroft] (69), Bishop of Durham [Crewe] (53), and Rochester [Sprat] (51); of the Temporals, the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Chancellor [Jefferies] (41) (who alone was ever to be of the quorum), the Chief justice [Herbert] (38), and Lord President [Earl of Sunderland] (44).
18 Jul 1686. I went to see Sir John Chardin (42), at Greenwich.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 August
08 Aug 1686. Our vicar gone to dispose of his country living in Rutlandshire, having St. Dunstan in the east given him by the Archbishop of Canterbury (69).
I went to visit the Marquis Ravigné, now my neighbor at Greenwich, retired from the persecution in France. He was the deputy of all the Protestants of that kingdom in the parliament of Paris, and several times Ambassador in this and other Courts; a person of great learning and experience.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 September
08 Sep 1686. Dr. Compton, Bishop of London (54), was on Monday suspended, on pretense of not silencing Dr. Sharp (41) [NOTE. Assumed to be the subsequent Archbishop?] at St. Giles's, for something of a sermon in which he zealously reproved the doctrine of the Roman Catholics. The Bishop having consulted the civilians, they told him he could not by any law proceed against Dr. Sharp (41) without producing witnesses, and impleaded according to form; but it was overruled by my Lord Chancellor (41), and the Bishop sentenced without so much as being heard to any purpose. This was thought a very extraordinary way of proceeding, and was universally resented, and so much the rather for that two Bishops, Durham (53) and Rochester (51), sitting in the commission and giving their suffrages the Archbishop of Canterbury (69) refused to sit among them. He was only suspended ab officio, and that was soon after taken off. He was brother to the Earl of Northampton, had once been a soldier, had traveled in Italy, but became a sober, grave, and excellent prelate.
12 Sep 1686. Buda now taken from the Turks; a form of thanksgiving was ordered to be used in the (as yet remaining) Protestant chapels and church of Whitehall and Windsor.
The King of Denmark (14) was besieging Hamburg, no doubt by the French contrivance, to embroil the Protestant Princes in a new war, that Holland, etc., being engaged, matter for new quarrel might arise: the unheard-of persecution of the poor Protestants still raging more than ever.
22 Sep 1686. The Danes retire from Hamburg, the Protestant Princes appearing for their succor, and the Emperor sending his minatories to the King of Denmark (14), and also requiring the restoration of the Duke of Saxe Gotha. Thus it pleased God to defeat the French designs, which were evidently to kindle a new war.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 October
14 Oct 1686. His Majesty's birthday; I was at his rising in his bedchamber, afterward in the park, where four companies of guards were drawn up. The officers, etc., wonderfully rich and gallant; they did not head their troops, but their next officers, the colonels being on horseback by the King while they marched. The ladies not less splendid at Court, where there was a ball at night; but small appearance of quality. All the shops both in the city and suburbs were shut up, and kept as solemnly as any holiday. Bonfires at night in Westminster, but forbidden in the city.
17 Oct 1686. Dr. Patrick, Dean of Peterborough (60), preached at Covent Garden Church on Ephes. v. 18, 19, showing the custom of the primitive saints in serving God with hymns, and their frequent use of them upon all occasions: touching the profane way of mirth and intemperance of this ungodly age. Afterward I visited my Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (53), with whom I had long and private discourse concerning the miserable condition that kingdom was like to be in, if Tyrconnel's (56) counsel should prevail at Court.
03 Oct 1686. Went with the Countess of Sunderland (40) to Cranbourne, a lodge and walk of my Lord Godolphin's (41) in Windsor park. There was one room in the house spared in the pulling down the old one, because the late Duchess of York was born in it; the rest was built and added to it by Sir George Carteret, Treasurer of the Navy; and since, the whole was purchased by my Lord Godolphin (41), who spoke to me to go see it, and advise what trees were fit to be cut down to improve the dwelling, being environed with old rotten pollards, which corrupt the air. It stands on a knoll which though insensibly rising, gives it a prospect over the Keep of Windsor, about three miles N. E. of it. The ground is clayey and moist; the water stark naught; the park is pretty; the house tolerable, and gardens convenient. After dinner, we came back to London, having two coaches both going and coming, of six horses apiece, which we changed at Hounslow.
24 Oct 1686. Dr. Warren preached before the Princess [NOTE. Not clear which Princess this is]; possibly at Whitehall, on 5th Matthew, of the blessedness of the pure in heart, most elegantly describing the bliss of the beatifical vision. In the afternoon, Sir George Wheeler, knight and baronet, preached on the 4th Matt. upon the necessity of repentance, at St. Margaret's, an honest and devout discourse, and pretty tolerably performed. This gentleman coming from his travels out of Greece, fell in love with the daughter of Sir Thomas Higgins, his Majesty's resident at Venice, niece to the Earl of Bath, and married her. When they returned into England, being honored with knighthood, he would needs turn preacher, and took orders. He published a learned and ingenious book of his travels, and is a very worthy person, a little formal and particular, but exceedingly devout.
27 Oct 1686. There was a triumphant show of the Lord Mayor both by land and water, with much solemnity, when yet his power has been so much diminished, by the loss of the city's former charter.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 November
05 Nov 1686. I went to St. Martin's in the morning, where Dr. Birch preached very boldly against the Papists, from John xvi. 2. In the afternoon I heard Dr. Tillotson (56) in Lincoln's Inn chapel, on the same text, but more cautiously.
16 Nov 1686. I went with part of my family to pass the melancholy winter in London at my son's house in Arundel Buildings.
John Evelyn's Diary 1686 December
16 Dec 1686. I carried the Countess of Sunderland (40) to see the rarities of one Mr. Charlton in the Middle Temple, who showed us such a collection as I had never seen in all my travels abroad either of private gentlemen, or princes. It consisted of miniatures, drawings, shells, insects, medals, natural things, animals (of which divers, I think 100, were kept in glasses of spirits of wine), minerals, precious stones, vessels, curiosities in amber, crystal, agate, etc.; all being very perfect and rare of their kind, especially his books of birds, fish, flowers, and shells, drawn and miniatured to the life. He told us that one book stood him in £300; it was painted by that excellent workman, whom the late Gaston, Duke of Orleans, employed. This gentleman's whole collection, gathered by himself, traveling over most parts of Europe, is estimated at £8,000. He appeared to be a modest and obliging person.
29 Dec 1686. I went to hear the music of the Italians in the new chapel, now first opened publicly at Whitehall for the Popish Service. Nothing can be finer than the magnificent marble work and architecture at the end, where are four statues, representing St. John, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Church, in white marble, the work of Mr. Gibbons, with all the carving and Pillars of exquisite art and great cost. The altar piece is the Salutation; the volto in fresco, the Assumption of the blessed Virgin, according to their tradition, with our blessed Savior, and a world of figures painted by Verrio. The throne where the King and Queen sit is very glorious, in a closet above, just opposite to the altar. Here we saw the Bishop in his mitre and rich copes, with six or seven Jesuits and others in rich copes, sumptuously habited, often taking off and Putting on the Bishop's mitre, who sat in a chair with arms pontifically, was adored and censed by three Jesuits in their copes; then he went to the altar and made divers cringes, then censing the images and glorious tabernacle placed on the altar, and now and then changing place: the crosier, which was of silver, was put into his hand with a world of mysterious ceremony, the music playing, with singing. I could not have believed I should ever have seen such things in the King of England's palace, after it had pleased God to enlighten this nation; but our great sin has, for the present, eclipsed the blessing, which I hope he will in mercy and his good time restore to its purity.
Little appearance of any winter as yet.