John Evelyn's Diary 1699
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. Jan 1699. My cousin Pierrepoint died. She was daughter to Sir John Evelyn, of Wilts, my father's nephew; she was widow to William Pierrepoint, brother to the Marquis of Dorchester, and mother to Evelyn Pierrepoint, Earl of Kingston; a most excellent and prudent lady.
The House of Commons persist in refusing more than 7,000 men to be a standing army, and no strangers to be in the number. This displeased the Court party. Our county member, Sir R. Onslow, opposed it also; which might reconcile him to the people, who began to suspect him.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 19 Feb 1699. A most furious wind, such as has not happened for many years, doing great damage to houses and trees, by the fall of which several persons were killed.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 05 Mar 1699. The old East India Company lost their business against the new Company, by ten votes in Parliament, so many of their friends being absent, going to see a tiger baited by dogs.
The persecuted Vaudois, who were banished out of Savoy, were received by the German Protestant Princes.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 24 Mar 1699. My only remaining son died after a tedious languishing sickness, contracted in Ireland, and increased here, to my exceeding grief and affliction; leaving me one grandson (17), now at Oxford, whom I pray God to prosper and be the support of the Wotton family. He was aged forty-four years and about three months. He had been six years one of the Commissioners of the Revenue in Ireland, with great ability and reputation.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 26 Mar 1699. After an extraordinary storm, there came up the Thames a whale which was fifty-six feet long. Such, and a larger of the spout kind, was killed there forty years ago (June 1658). That year died Cromwell.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 30 Mar 1699. My deceased son was buried in the vault at Wotton, according to his desire.
The Duke of Devon (59) lost £1,900 at a horse race at Newmarket.
The King (48) preferring his young favorite Earl of Albemarle (29) to be first Commander of his Guard, the Duke of Ormond (33) laid down his commission. This of the Dutch Lord (29) passing over his head, was exceedingly resented by everybody.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. Apr 1699. Lord Spencer (23) purchased an incomparable library of ... wherein, among other rare books, were several that were printed at the first invention of that wonderful art, as particularly "Tully's Offices, etc." There was a Homer and a Suidas in a very good Greek character and good paper, almost as ancient. This gentleman is a very fine scholar, whom from a child I have known. His tutor was one Florival of Geneva.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 29 Apr 1699. I dined with the Archbishop (62); but my business was to get him to persuade the King (48) to purchase the late Bishop of Worcester's library, and build a place for his own library at St. James's, in the Park, the present one being too small.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 03 May 1699. At a meeting of the Royal Society I was nominated to be of the committee to wait on the Lord Chancellor (44) to move the King (48) to purchase the Bishop of Worcester's library (Dr. Edward Stillingfleet).
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 04 May 1699. The Court party have little influence in this Session.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 07 May 1699. The Duke of Ormond (34) restored to his commission. All Lotteries, till now cheating the people, to be no longer permitted than to Christmas, except that for the benefit of Greenwich Hospital. Mr. Bridgman, chairman of the committee for that charitable work, died; a great loss to it. He was Clerk of the Council, a very industrious, useful man. I saw the library of Dr. John Moore, Bishop of Norwich, one of the best and most ample collection of all sorts of good books in England, and he, one of the most learned men.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 11 Jun 1699. After a long drought, we had a refreshing shower. The day before, there was a dreadful fire at Rotherhithe, near the Thames side, which burned divers ships, and consumed nearly three hundred houses. Now died the famous Duchess of Mazarin (53); she had been the richest lady in Europe. She was niece of Cardinal Mazarin, and was married to the richest subject in Europe (67), as is said. She was born at Rome, educated in France, and was an extraordinary beauty and wit but dissolute and impatient of matrimonial restraint, so as to be abandoned by her husband (67), and banished, when she came into England for shelter, lived on a pension given her here, and is reported to have hastened her death by intemperate drinking strong spirits. She has written her own story and adventures, and so has her other extravagant sister (59), wife to the noble family of Colonna.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 15 Jun 1699. This week died Conyers Seymour (24), son of Sir Edward Seymour (66), killed in a duel caused by a slight affront in St. James's Park, given him by one who was envious of his gallantries; for he was a vain, foppish young man, who made a great éclât about town by his splendid equipage and boundless expense. He was about twenty-three years old; his brother (20), now at Oxford, inherited an estate of £7,000 a year, which had fallen to him not two years before.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 19 Jun 1699. My cousin, George Evelyn, of Nutfield, died suddenly.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 25 Jun 1699. The heat has been so great, almost all this month, that I do not remember to have felt much greater in Italy, and this after a winter the wettest, though not the coldest, that I remember for fifty years last past.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 28 Jun 1699. Finding my occasions called me so often to London, I took the remainder of the lease my son had in a house in Dover Street, to which I now removed, not taking my goods from Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 23 Jul 1699. Seasonable showers, after a continuance of excessive drought and heat.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. Aug 1699. I drank the Shooters' Hill waters. At Deptford, they had been building a pretty new church. The Bishop of St. David's (62) [Watson] deprived for simony. The city of Moscow burnt by the throwing of squibs.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 03 Sep 1699. There was in this week an eclipse of the sun, at which many were frightened by the predictions of the astrologers. I remember fifty years ago that many were so terrified by Lilly, that they dared not go out of their houses. A strange Earthquake at New Batavia, in the East Indies.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 04 Oct 1699. My worthy brother (82) died at Wotton, in the 83d year of his age, of perfect memory and understanding. He was religious, sober, and temperate, and of so hospitable a nature, that no family in the county maintained that ancient custom of keeping, as it were, open house the whole year in the same manner, or gave more noble or free entertainment to the county on all occasions, so that his house was never free. There were sometimes twenty persons more than his family, and some that stayed there all the summer, to his no small expense; by this he gained the universal love of the county. He was born at Wotton, went from the free school at Guildford to Trinity College, Oxford, thence to the Middle Temple, as gentlemen of the best quality did, but without intention to study the law as a profession. He married the daughter of Colwall, of a worthy and ancient family in Leicestershire, by whom he had one son; she dying in 1643, left George her son an infant, who being educated liberally, after traveling abroad, returned and married one Mrs. Gore, by whom he had several children, but only three daughters survived. He was a young man of good understanding, but, over-indulging his ease and pleasure, grew so very corpulent, contrary to the constitution of the rest of his father's relations, that he died. My brother afterward married a noble and honorable lady, relict of Sir John Cotton, she being an Offley, a worthy and ancient Staffordshire family, by whom he had several children of both sexes. This lady died, leaving only two daughters and a son. The younger daughter died before marriage; the other afterward married Sir Cyril Wych (67), a noble and learned gentleman (son of Sir —— Wych), who had been Ambassador at Constantinople, and was afterward made one of the Lords Justices of Ireland. Before this marriage, her only brother married the daughter of —— Eversfield, of Sussex, of an honorable family, but left a widow without any child living; he died about 1691, and his wife not many years after, and my brother resettled the whole estate on me. His sister, Wych, had a portion of £6,000, to which was added £300 more; the three other daughters, with what I added, had about £5,000 each. My brother died on the 5th of October, in a good old age and great reputation, making his beloved daughter, Lady Wych, sole executrix, leaving me only his library and some pictures of my father, mother, etc. She buried him with extraordinary solemnity, rather as a nobleman than as a private gentleman. There were, as I computed, above 2,000 persons at the funeral, all the gentlemen of the county doing him the last honors. I returned to London, till my lady should dispose of herself and family.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 01 Oct 1699. After an unusual warm and pleasant season, we were surprised with a very sharp frost. I presented my "Acetaria," dedicated to my Lord Chancellor (45), who returned me thanks in an extraordinarily civil letter.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 15 Nov 1699. There happened this week so thick a mist and fog, that people lost their way in the streets, it being so intense that no light of candles, or torches, yielded any (or but very little) direction. I was in it, and in danger. Robberies were committed between the very lights which were fixed between London and Kensington on both sides, and while coaches and travelers were passing. It began about four in the afternoon, and was quite gone by eight, without any wind to disperse it. At the Thames, they beat drums to direct the watermen to make the shore.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 19 Nov 1699. At our chapel in the evening there was a sermon preached by young Mr. Horneck, chaplain to Lord Guilford (25), whose lady's funeral had been celebrated magnificently the Thursday before. A panegyric was now pronounced, describing the extraordinary piety and excellently employed life of this amiable young lady. She died in childbed a few days before, to the excessive sorrow of her husband, who ordered the preacher to declare that it was on her exemplary life, exhortations and persuasion, that he totally changed the course of his life, which was before in great danger of being perverted; following the mode of this dissolute age. Her devotion, early piety, charity, fastings, economy, disposition of her time in reading, praying, recollections in her own handwriting of what she heard and read, and her conversation were most exemplary.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 24 Nov 1699. I signed Dr. Blackwell's election to be the next year's Boyles Lecturer.
Such horrible robberies and murders were committed, as had not been known in this nation; atheism, profaneness, blasphemy, among all sorts, portended some judgment if not amended; on which a society was set on foot, who obliged themselves to endeavor the reforming of it, in London and other places, and began to punish offenders and put the laws in more strict execution; which God Almighty prosper! A gentle, calm, dry, temperate weather all this season of the year, but now came sharp, hard frost, and mist, but calm.
John Evelyn's Diary 1699. 03 Dec 1699. Calm, bright, and warm as in the middle of April. So continued on 21st of January. A great Earthquake in Portugal.
The Parliament reverses the prodigious donations of the Irish forfeitures, which were intended to be set apart for discharging the vast national debt. They called some great persons in the highest offices in question for setting the Great Seal to the pardon of an arch-pirate [Note. Captain Kidd], who had turned pirate again, and brought prizes into the West Indies, suspected to be connived at on sharing the prey; but the prevailing part in the House called Courtiers, out-voted the complaints, not by being more in number, but by the country party being negligent in attendance.