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xxiv. - INTRODUCTION.
was of great service to the King, entitled “The late News, or Message from Brussels Unmasked,” which was an answer to a pamphlet designed to represent the King in the worst light. On the Restoration, we find him very frequently at Court; and he became engaged in many public employments, still attending to his studies and literary pursuits. Amongst these, is particularly to be mentioned the Royal Society, in the establishment and conduct of which he took a very active part. He procured Mr. Howard's library to be given to them; and by his influence, in 1667, the Arundelian Marbles were obtained for the University of Oxford. His first appointment to a public office was in 1662, as a Commissioner for reforming the buildings, ways, streets, and incumbrances, and regulating hackney-coaches in London. In the same year, he sat as a Commissioner on an enquiry into the conduct of the Lord Mayor, &c., concerning Sir Thomas Gresham's charities. In 1664, he was in a commission for regulating the Mint; in the same year, was appointed one of the Commissioners for the care of the Sick and Wounded in the Dutch war; and he was continued in the same employment in the second war with that country. He was one of the Commissioners for the repair of St. Paul’s Cathedral, shortly before it was burnt, in 1666. In that year, he was also in a commission for regulating the farming and making saltpetre; and in 1671, we find him a Commissioner of Plantations on the establishment of the Board, to which the Council of Trade was added in 1672. In 1685, he was one of the Commissioners of the Privy Seal, during the absence of the Earl of Clarendon (who held that office), on his going Lord Lieutenant to Ireland. On the foundation of Greenwich Hospital, in 1695, he was one of the Commissioners; and, on 30th June, 1696, laid the first stone of that building. He was also appointed Treasurer, with a salary of £200 a year; but he says that it was a long time before he received any part of it. When the Czar of Muscovy came to England, in 1698, proposing to instruct himself in the art of ship-building, he was desirous of having the use of Sayes Court, in consequence of its vicinity to the King's dock-yard at Deptford. This was conceded; but during his stay he did so much damage, that Mr. Evelyn had an allowance of £150 for it. He especially regrets the mischief done to his famous holly-hedge, which might have been thought beyond the reach of damage. But one of Czar Peter's favourite recreations had been, to demolish the hedges by riding through them in a wheel-barrow. October, 1699, his elder brother, George Evelyn, dying without male issue, aged eighty-three, he succeeded to the paternal estate; and, in May following, he quitted Sayes Court, and went to Wotton, where he passed the remainder of his life, with the exception of occasional visits to London, where he retained a house. In the great storm of 1708, he mentions in his last Edition of the “Sylva,” above 1000 trees were blown down in sight of his residence. He died at his house in London, 27th February, 1705-8, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and was buried at Wotton. His lady survived him nearly three years, dying 9th February, 1708-9, in her seventy-fourth year, and was buried near him at Wotton. The inscriptions on their tombs, and on those of his father and mother, are subjoined. His personal character was truly amiable. In the relative duties of father, husband, and friend, few could exceed him. Of Mr. Evelyn's children, a son, who died at the age of five, and a daughter, who died at the age of nineteen, were almost prodigies. The particulars of their extraordinary WOL. I. c
endowments, and the profound manner in which he was affected at their deaths, may be seen in these volumes, and cannot be read without exciting the most tender emotions. One daughter was well and happily settled; another less so; but she did not survive her marriage more than a few months. The only son who lived to the age of manhood, inherited his father's love of learning, and distinguished himself by several publications. Mr. Evelyn's employment as a Commissioner for the care of the Sick and Wounded was very laborious; and, from the mature of it, must have been extremely unpleasant. Almost the whole labour was in his department, which included all the ports between the river Thames and Portsmouth; and he had to travel in all seasons and weathers, by land and by water, in the execution of his office, to which he gave the strictest attention. It was rendered still more disagreeable by the great difficulty which he found in procuring money for support of the prisoners. In the library at Wotton, are copies of numerous letters to the Lord Treasurer and Officers of State, representing, in the strongest terms, the great distress of the poor men, and of those who had furnished lodging and necessaries for them. At one time, there were such arrears of payment to the victuallers that, on landing additional sick and wounded, they lay some time in the streets, the publicans refusing to receive them, and shutting up their houses. After all this trouble and fatigue, he found as great difficulty in getting his accounts settled.* In January, 1665-6, he formed a plan for an Infirmary at Chatham, which he sent to Mr. Pepys, to be laid before the Admiralty, with his reasons for recommending it; but it does not appear that it was carried into execution. His employments, in connection with the repair of St. Paul’s (which, however, occupied him but a brief time), as in the Commission of Trade and Plantations, and in the building of Greenwich Hospital, were much better adapted to his inclinations and pursuits. As a Commissioner of the Privy Seal in the reign of King James II., he had a difficult task to perform. He was most steadily attached to the Church of England, and the King required the Seal to be affixed to many things incompatible with the welfare of that Church. This, on some occasions, he refused to do, particularly to a license to Dr. Obadiah Walker to print Popish books;* and on other occasions he absented himself, leaving it to his brother-Commissioners to act as they thought fit. Such, however, was the King's estimation of him, that no displeasure was evinced on this account. Of Mr. Evelyn's attempt to bring Colonel Morley (Cromwell’s Lieutenant of the Tower immediately preceding the Restoration) over to the King's interest, an imperfect account is given in the “Biographia,” partly taken from the additions to “Baker's Chronicle,” which was published with a continuation in 1696. The fact is, that there was great friendship between these gentlemen, and Mr. Evelyn did endeavour to engage the Colonel in the King's interest. He saw him several times, and put his life into
* 2nd October, 1665, he writes to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Arlington, Sir William Coventry, and Sir Philip Warwick, complaining of want of money for the prisoners; praying that whilst he and his brother-Commissioners adventure their persons and all that is dear to them, in this uncomfortable service, they may not be exposed to ruin, and to a necessity of abandoning their care; and adding that they have lost their officers and servants by the pestilence, and are hourly environed with the saddest objects of perishing people. “I have,” says he, “fifteen places full of sick men, where they put me to unspeakable trouble; the magistrates and justices, who should further us in our exigencies, hindering the people from giving us quarters, jealous of the contagion, and causing them to shut the doors at our approach.” * Dr. Walker had been a member of the Church of England, but had re. nounced it, and turned Papist.
his hands by writing to him on 12th January, 1659-60; + he did not succeed, and Colonel Morley was too much his friend to betray him: but so far from the Colonel having settled matters privately with Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, or General Monk,t as there described, he was obliged, when the Restoration took place, actually to apply to Mr. Evelyn to procure his pardon; who obtained it accordingly, though, as he states, the Colonel was obliged to pay a large sum of money for it. This could not have happened, if there had been any previous negotiation with General Monk. There are some mistakes in the “Biographia” as to Mr. Evelyn's Works.j. Dr. Campbell, who wrote in the original edition, took some pains to vindicate Mr. Evelyn’s book, entitled, “Navigation and Commerce, their Origin and Progress,” from the charge of being an imperfect work, unequal to the expectation excited by the title. But the Doctor, who had not the information which this Journal so amply affords on this subject, was not aware that what was so printed was nothing more than an Introduction to the History of the Dutch War; a work undertaken by Mr. Evelyn at the express command of King Charles II., and the materials for which were furnished by the Officers of State. The completion of this work, after considerable progress had been made in it, was put a stop to by the King himself, for what reason does not appear; but perhaps it was found that Mr. Evelyn was inclined to tell too much of the truth concerning a transaction, which it will be seen by his Journal
* A copy of this letter, with a note of Mr. Evelyn's subjoined, is given among the illustrations.
+ Colonel Morley's name is scarcely mentioned in the account of General Monk's conduct on this occasion, written by John Price, D.D. (who was sent to him on the king's behalf, and had continual intercourse with him), published in 1680, and reprinted by Baron Maseres, in 1815.
† For an attempt to draw out a correct list of such as have been published, see Illustrations in the Appendix to vol. ii. of the present Edition.