« AnteriorContinuar »
House of Commons.1 This being in term-time, put some stop to business, many eminent lawyers refusing to accept the office, considering the uncertainty of things in this fluctuating conjuncture. It is certain that this Chancellor was a most excellent lawyer, very learned in all polite literature, a superior pen, master of a handsome style, and of easy conversation; but he is said to make too much haste to be rich, ns his predecessor, and most in place in this age did, to a more prodigious excess than was ever known. But the Commons had now so mortified the Court-party, and property and liberty were so much invaded in all the neighbouring kingdoms, that their jealousy made them cautious, and every day strengthened the law which protected the people from tyranny.
A most glorious spring, with hope of abundance of fruit of all kinds, and a propitious year.
10th May. The great trial between Sir Walter Clarges and Mr. Sherwin concerning the legitimacy of the late Duke of Albemarle, on which depended au estate of £1500 a year; the verdict was given for Sir "Walter.—19th. Serjeant "Wright* at last accepted the Great Seal.
24th. I went from Dover Street to Wotton, for the rest of the summer, and removed thither the rest of my goods from Sayes Court.
'2nd June. A sweet season, with a mixture of refreshing showers.
9th — 16th. In the afternoon, our clergyman had a Catechism, which was continued for some time.
July. I was visited with illness, but it pleased God that I recovered, for which praise be ascribed to Him by me, and that He has again so graciously advertised me of my duty to prepare for my latter end, which at my great age cannot be far off*.
The Duke of Gloucester, son of the Princess Anne of Denmark, died of the small-pox.
1 Pott, p. 375.
* Sir Nathan Wright, appointed Lord-'Keeper, who purchased the manor of and resided at Outhurst, near Newport Pagncll, Burks. He lies buried in that church, in which are whole-length figures in white marble of the Lord-Keeper in his robes, and his ton, George Wright, Lequire, Clerk of the Crown, in his official dress.
shower. The day before, there was a dreadful fire at Eotherhithe, near the Thames side, which burnt divers ships, and consumed near three hundred houses.—Now died the famous Duchess of Mazarine; she had been the richest lady in Europe. She was niece of Cardinal Mazarine, and was married to the richest subject in Europe, 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, 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, wife to the noble family ot Colonna.
15th June. This week died Conyers Seymour, son of Sir Edward Seymour, 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 icldl about town by his splendid equipage and boundless expense. He was about twenty-three years old; his brother, now at Oxford, inherited an estate of £7000 a year, which had fallen to him not two years before.
19th. My cousin, George Evelyn of Nutfield, died suddenly.
25th. 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.
28th. 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.
23rd July. Seasonable showers, after a continuance of excessive drought and heat.
August. I drank the Shooters' Hill waters. At Deptford, they had been building a pretty new church.—The Bishop of St. David's [Watson] deprived for simony.1—The city of Moscow burnt by the throwing of squibs.
Srd September. There was in this week an eclipse of the
1 Ante, p. 358.
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 durst not go out of their houses.—A strange earthquake at New Batavia, in the East Indies.
4th October. My worthy brother died at Wotton, in the 83rd 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,1 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 travelling 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 afterwards married a noble and honourable lady, relict of Sir John Cotton, she being an Offley, a worthy and ancient Staffordshire family. by whom
1 Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Daniel Caldwell, of Horndon, in Essex. See pedigree.
* In a letter to hia nephew, George Evclvn, then on his travels in Italy, dated 30th March, 1664, Evelyn tclla'him that his father complained of his expenses, as much exceeding those of his own, which were known to the young gentleman's father, as all the money papwl through his hands. He says that when he travelled he kept a servant, sometimes two, entertained several masters, and made no inconsiderabln collection of curiosities, all within £300 per «hn.—In the same letter, he desires seeds of the ilex, phyllera, myrtle, jessamine, which he says are rare in England.
13/A July. I went to Marden, which was originally a barren warren bought by Sir Kobert Clayton,1 who built there a pretty house, and made such alteration by planting not only an infinite store of the best fruit; but so changed the natural situation of the hill, valleys, and solitary mountains about it, that it rather represented some foreign country, which would produce spontaneously pines, firs, cypress, yew, holly, and juniper; they were come to their perfect growth, with walks, mazes, &c., amongst them, and were preserved with the utmost care, so that I who had seen it some years before in its naked and barren condition, was in admiration of it. The land was bought of Sir John Evelyn, of Godstone, and was thus improved for pleasure and retirement by the vast charge and industry of this opulent citizen. He and his lady received us with great civility.—The tombs in the church at Croydon of Archbishops Grindal, Whitgift, and other Archbishops, are fine and venerable; but none comparable to that of the late Archbishop Sheldon, which, being all of white marble, and of a stately ordinance and carvings, far surpassed the rest, and I judge could not cost less than 700/. or 800/.*
20M September. I went to Beddington, the ancient seat of the Carews, in my remembrance a noble old structure, capacious, and in form of the buildings of the age of Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth, and proper for the old English hospitality, but now decaying with the house itself, heretofore adorned with ample gardens, and the first orange-trees * that had been seen in England, planted in the open ground, and secured in winter only by a tabernacle of boards and stoves removable in summer, that, standing 120 years, large and goodly trees, and laden with fruit, were now in decay, as well as the grotto, fountains, cabinets, and other curiosities in the house and abroad, it being now fallen to a child under age, and only kept by a servant or two from utter dilapidation. The estate and park about it also in decay.
* Ante, p. 122.
i There is a print of this very beautiful monument in Lvsont' Environ* of Loudon, article Croydon, vol. i. p. 193. In the tame volume, p. 62, Ac., will be found also an ample account of the family of Carew, named in tin- succeeding entry, of the house at it now it, with a portrait of Sir Birhard Carew, views of the church, monuments, 4c
'1 Oranges were eaten in this kingdom much earlier than the time of Xing James I.
23rd September. I went to visit Mr. Pepys at Clapham, where he has a very noble and wonderfully well - furnished house, especially with Indian and Chinese curiosities. The offices and gardens well accommodated for pleasure and retirement.
31s* October. My birthday, now completed the 80th year of my age. I with my soul render thanks to God, who, of His infinite mercy, not only brought me out of many troubles, but this year restored me to health, after an ague and other infirmities of so great an age, my sight, hearing, and other senses and faculties tolerable, which I implore Him to continue, with the pardon of my sins past, and grace to acknowledge by my improvement of His goodness the ensuing year, if it be His pleasure to protract my life, that I may be the better prepared for my last day, through the infinite merits of my blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus, Amen!
5th November. Came the news of my dear grandson (the only male of my family now remaining) being fallen ill of the small-pox at Oxford, which after the dire effects of it in my family exceedingly afflicted me; but so it pleased my most merciful God that being let blood at his first complaint, and by the extraordinary care of Dr. Mander, (Head of the college and now Yice-Chancellor) who caused him to be brought and lodged in his own bed and bed-chamber, with the advice of his physician and care of his tutor, there were all fair hopes of his recovery, to our infinite comfort. AVe had a letter every day either from the Vice-Chancellor himself, or his tutor.
17M. Assurance of his recovery by a letter from himself.
There was a change of great officers at Court. Lord Godolphin returned to his former station of first Commissioner of the Treasury; Sir Charles Hedges Secretary of State.
30th November. At the Royal Society, Lord Somers, the late Chancellor, was continued President.
8/A December. Great alterations of officers at Court, and elsewhere—Lord Chief Justice Treby died ; he was a learned man in his profession, of which we have now few, never fewer; the Chancery requiring so little skill in deep lawlearning, if the practiser can talk eloquently in that Court;