History of Sayes Court

1648 Siege of Colchester

1649 Trial of Charles I

1660 Indemnity and Oblivion Act

1664 Comet

1665 Great Plague of London

1678 Popish Plot

Sayes Court is in Deptford.

In 1605 Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683 was born to Christopher Browne of Sayes Court 1575-1645 (30) and Thomasine Gonson 1575- in Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 14 October 1647. 14 Oct 1647. To Sayes Court, at Deptford, in Kent (since my house), where I found Mr. Pretyman, my wife's (12) uncle, who had charge of it and the estate about it, during my father-in-law's residence in France. On the 15th, I again occupied my own chambers in the Middle Temple.

Siege of Colchester

John Evelyn's Diary 30 May 1648. 30 May 1648. There was a rising now in Kent, my Lord of Norwich (63) being at the head of them. Their first rendezvous was in Broome-field, next my house at Sayes Court, whence they went to Maidstone, and so to Colchester, where was that memorable siege.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 August 1648. 28 Aug 1648. To London from Sayes Court, and saw the celebrated follies of Bartholomew Fair.

John Evelyn's Diary 01 January 1649. 01 Jan 1649. I had a lodging and some books at my father-in-law's house, Sayes Court.

Trial of Charles I

John Evelyn's Diary 22 January 1649. 22 Jan 1649. I went through a course of chemistry, at Sayes Court. Now was the Thames frozen over, and horrid tempests of wind.
The villany of the rebels proceeding now so far as to try, condemn, and murder our excellent King (48) on the 30th of this month, struck me with such horror, that I kept the day of his martyrdom a fast, and would not be present at that execrable wickedness; receiving the sad account of it from my brother George (31), and Mr. Owen, who came to visit me this afternoon, and recounted all the circumstances.

John Evelyn's Diary 16 February 1649. 16 Feb 1649. Paris being now strictly besieged by the Prince de Condé (27), my wife (14) being shut up with her father (44) and mother (39), I wrote a letter of consolation to her: and, on the 22d, having recommended Obadiah Walker (33), a learned and most ingenious person, to be tutor to, and travel with, Mr. Hillyard's two sons, returned to Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 02 July 1649. 02 Jul 1649. I went from Wotton to Godstone (the residence of Sir John Evelyn (58)), where was also Sir John Evelyn of Wilts. (47), when I took leave of both Sir Johns and their ladies. Mem. the prodigious memory of Sir John of Wilts' (47) daughter, since married to Mr. W. Pierrepont [Note. Mr R Pierrepoint], and mother of the present Earl of Kingston. I returned to Sayes Court this night.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 February 1652. 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.

Indemnity and Oblivion Act

John Evelyn's Diary 05 April 1652. 05 Apr 1652. My brother George (34) brought to Sayes Court Cromwell's (52) Act of Oblivion to all that would submit to the Government.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 July 1652. 30 Jul 1652. I took advice about purchasing Sir Richard's (47) interest of those who had bought Sayes Court.

In 1653 Richard Browne 1st Baronet Deptford 1605-1683 (48) sold Sayes Court to his son-in-law John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706 (32).

Around 1644. Robert Walker Painter 1599-1658. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.In 1689 Godfrey Kneller Painter 1646-1723. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.Around 1650 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.

John Evelyn's Diary 01 January 1653. 01 Jan 1653. I set apart in preparation for the Blessed Sacrament, which the next day Mr. Owen administered to me and all my family in Sayes Court, preaching on John vi. 32, 33, showing the exceeding benefits of our blessed Savior taking our nature upon him. He had christened my son and churched my wife (18) in our own house as before noticed.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 January 1653. 17 Jan 1653. I began to set out the oval garden at Sayes Court, which was before a rude orchard, and all the rest one entire field of 100 acres, without any hedge, except the hither holly hedge joining to the bank of the mount walk. This was the beginning of all the succeeding gardens, walks, groves, inclosures, and plantations there.

John Evelyn's Diary 21 January 1653. 21 Jan 1653. I went to London, and sealed some of the writings of my purchase of Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 19 February 1653. 19 Feb 1653. I planted the orchard at Sayes Court; new moon, wind west.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 February 1653. 22 Feb 1653. Was perfected the sealing, livery, and seisin of my purchase of Sayes Court. My brother (35), George Glanville, Mr. Scudamore, Mr. Offley, Co. William Glanville (son to Sergeant Glanville, sometime Speaker of the House of Commons), Co. Stephens, and several of my friends dining with me. I had bargained for £3,200, but I paid £3,500.

John Evelyn's Diary 11 October 1653. 11 Oct 1653. My son, John Stansfield, was born, being my second child, and christened by the name of my mother's father, that name now quite extinct, being of Cheshire. Christened by Mr. Owen, in my library, at Sayes Court, where he afterward churched my wife (18), I always making use of him on these occasions, because the parish minister dared not have officiated according to the form and usage of the Church of England, to which I always adhered.

John Evelyn's Diary 25 October 1653. 25 Oct 1653. Mr. Owen preached in my library at Sayes Court on Luke xviii. 7, 8, an excellent discourse on the unjust judge, showing why Almighty God would sometimes be compared by such similitudes. He afterward administered to us all the Holy Sacrament.

John Evelyn's Diary 29 March 1654. 29 Mar 1654. That excellent man, Mr. Owen, preached in my library on Matt. xxviii. 6, a resurrection sermon, and after it we all received the Holy Communion.

John Evelyn's Diary 13 July 1654. 13 Jul 1654. We all dined at that most obliging and universally-curious Dr. Wilkins's (40), at Wadham College. He was the first who showed me the transparent apiaries, which he had built like castles and palaces, and so ordered them one upon another, as to take the honey without destroying the bees. These were adorned with a variety of dials, little statues, vanes, etc.; and, he was so abundantly civil, finding me pleased with them, to present me with one of the hives which he had empty, and which I afterward had in my garden at Sayes Court, where it continued many years, and which his Majesty (24) came on purpose to see and contemplate with much satisfaction. He had also contrived a hollow statue, which gave a voice and uttered words by a long, concealed pipe that went to its mouth, while one speaks through it at a good distance. He had, above in his lodgings and gallery, variety of shadows, dials, perspectives, and many other artificial, mathematical, and magical curiosities, a waywiser, a thermometer, a monstrous magnet, conic, and other sections, a balance on a demi-circle; most of them of his own, and that prodigious young scholar Mr. Christopher Wren, who presented me with a piece of white marble, which he had stained with a lively red, very deep, as beautiful as if it had been natural.
Thus satisfied with the civilities of Oxford, we left it, dining at Farringdon, a town which had been newly fired during the wars; and, passing near the seat of Sir Walter Pye, we came to Cadenham.

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John Evelyn's Diary 03 October 1654. 03 Oct 1654. Having dined here, we passed through Bishop Stortford, a pretty watered town, and so by London, late home to Sayes Court, after a journey of 700 miles, but for the variety an agreeable refreshment after my turmoil and building.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 September 1655. 30 Sep 1655. Sir Nicholas Crisp (56) came to treat with me about his vast design of a mole to be made for ships in part of my grounds at Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 April 1656. 12 Apr 1656. Mr. Berkeley (7) and Mr. Robert Boyle (29) (that excellent person and great virtuoso), Dr. Taylor (43), and Dr. Wilkins (42), dined with me at Sayes Court, when I presented Dr. Wilkins (42) with my rare burning-glass. In the afternoon, we all went to Colonel Blount's (52), to see his newly-invented plows.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 August 1658. 18 Aug 1658. To Sir Ambrose Browne, at Betchworth Castle, in that tempestuous wind which threw down my greatest trees at Sayes Court, and did so much mischief all over England. It continued the whole night; and, till three in the afternoon of the next day, in the southwest, and destroyed all our winter fruit.

John Evelyn's Diary 27 November 1660. 27 Nov 1660. Came down the Clerk Comptroller (33) [of the Green Cloth] by the Lord Steward's appointment, to survey the land at Sayes Court, on which I had pretense, and to make his report.

John Evelyn's Diary 08 March 1661. 08 Mar 1661. I went to my Lord Chancellor's (52), and delivered to him the state of my concernment at Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 02 May 1661. 02 May 1661. I had audience of my Lord Chancellor (52) about my title to Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 June 1661. 04 Jun 1661. Came Sir Charles Harbord (21), his Majesty's (31) surveyor, to take an account of what grounds I challenged at Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 February 1662. 17 Feb 1662. I went with my Lord of Bristol (49) to see his house at Wimbledon, newly bought of the Queen-Mother (52), to help contrive the garden after the modern. It is a delicious place for prospect and the thickets, but the soil cold and weeping clay. Returned that evening with Sir Henry Bennett (44).
This night was buried in Westminster Abbey the Queen of Bohemia (65), after all her sorrows and afflictions being come to die in the arms of her nephew, the King (31); also this night and the next day fell such a storm of hail, thunder, and lightning, as never was seen the like in any man's memory, especially the tempest of wind, being southwest, which subverted, besides huge trees, many houses, innumerable chimneys (among others that of my parlor at Sayes Court), and made such havoc at land and sea, that several perished on both. Divers lamentable fires were also kindled at this time; so exceedingly was God's hand against this ungrateful and vicious nation and Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 20 February 1662. 20 Feb 1662. I returned home to repair my house, miserably shattered by the late tempest.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 March 1662. 24 Mar 1662. I returned home with my whole family, which had been most part of the winter, since October, at London, in lodgings near the Abbey of Westminster.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 May 1663. 30 May 1663. This morning was passed my lease of Sayes Court from the Crown, for the finishing of which I had been obliged to make such frequent journeys to London. I returned this evening, having seen the Russian Ambassador (18) take leave of their Majesties with great solemnity.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 March 1664. 04 Mar 1664. Came to dine with me the Earl of Lauderdale (47), his Majesty's (33) great favorite, and Secretary of Scotland; the Earl of Teviot (38); my Lord Viscount Brouncker (53), President of the Royal Society; Dr. Wilkins (50), Dean of Ripon; Sir Robert Murray (56), and Mr. Hooke (28), Curator to the Society.
This spring I planted the Home field and West field about Sayes Court with elms, being the same year that the elms were planted by his Majesty (33) in Greenwich Park.

1664 Comet

John Evelyn's Diary 22 December 1664. 22 Dec 1664. I went to the launching of a new ship of two bottoms, invented by Sir William Petty (41), on which were various opinions; his Majesty (34) being present, gave her the name of the "Experiment": so I returned home, where I found Sir Humphry Winch (42), who spent the day with me.
This year I planted the lower grove next the pond at Sayes Court. It was now exceedingly cold, and a hard, long, frosty season, and the comet was very visible.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 May 1665. 01 May 1665. Up and to Mr. Povy's (51), and by his bedside talked a good while. Among other things he do much insist I perceive upon the difficulty of getting of money, and would fain have me to concur in the thinking of some other way of disposing of the place of Treasurer to one Mr. Bell, but I did seem slight of it, and resolved to try to do the best or to give it up.
Thence to the Duke of Albemarle (56), where I was sorry to find myself to come a little late, and so home, and at noon going to the 'Change I met my Lord Brunkard (45), Sir Robert Murry (57), Deane Wilkins (51), and Mr. Hooke (29), going by coach to Colonell Blunts (61) to dinner. So they stopped and took me with them. Landed at the Tower-wharf, and thence by water to Greenwich; and there coaches met us; and to his house, a very stately sight for situation and brave plantations; and among others, a vineyard, the first that ever I did see. No extraordinary dinner, nor any other entertainment good; but only after dinner to the tryall of some experiments about making of coaches easy. And several we tried; but one did prove mighty easy (not here for me to describe, but the whole body of the coach lies upon one long spring), and we all, one after another, rid in it; and it is very fine and likely to take. These experiments were the intent of their coming, and pretty they are.
Thence back by coach to Greenwich, and in his pleasure boat to Deptford, and there stopped and in to Mr. Evelyn's (44)1, which is a most beautiful place; but it being dark and late, I staid not; but Deane Wilkins (51) and Mr. Hooke (29) and I walked to Redriffe; and noble discourse all day long did please me, and it being late did take them to my house to drink, and did give them some sweetmeats, and thence sent them with a lanthorn home, two worthy persons as are in England, I think, or the world.
So to my Lady Batten, where my wife is tonight, and so after some merry talk home and to bed.
Note 1. Sayes Court, the well-known residence of John Evelyn (44).

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Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 October 1665. 05 Oct 1665. Lay long in bed talking among other things of my sister Pall, and my wife of herself is very willing that I should give her £400 to her portion, and would have her married soon as we could; but this great sicknesse time do make it unfit to send for her up.
I abroad to the office and thence to the Duke of Albemarle (56), all my way reading a book of Mr. Evelyn's (44) translating and sending me as a present, about directions for gathering a Library1 but the book is above my reach, but his epistle to my Chancellor (56) is a very fine piece.
When I come to the Duke (31) it was about the victuallers' business, to put it into other hands, or more hands, which I do advise in, but I hope to do myself a jobb of work in it.
So I walked through Westminster to my old house the Swan, and there did pass some time with Sarah, and so down by water to Deptford and there to my Valentine2.
Round about and next door on every side is the plague, but I did not value it, but there did what I would 'con elle', and so away to Mr. Evelyn's (44) to discourse of our confounded business of prisoners, and sick and wounded seamen, wherein he and we are so much put out of order3. And here he showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life4.
Thence in his coach to Greenwich, and there to my office, all the way having fine discourse of trees and the nature of vegetables. And so to write letters, I very late to Sir W. Coventry (37) of great concernment, and so to my last night's lodging, but my wife is gone home to Woolwich. The Bill, blessed be God! is less this week by 740 of what it was the last week. Being come to my lodging I got something to eat, having eat little all the day, and so to bed, having this night renewed my promises of observing my vowes as I used to do; for I find that, since I left them off, my mind is run a'wool-gathering and my business neglected.
Note 1. Instructions concerning erecting of a Library, presented to my Lord the President De Mesme by Gilbert Naudeus, and now interpreted by Jo. Evelyn, Esquire. London, 1661: This little book was dedicated to Lord Clarendon by the translator. It was printed while Evelyn was abroad, and is full of typographical errors; these are corrected in a copy mentioned in Evelyn's "Miscellaneous Writings", 1825, p. xii, where a letter to Dr. GoDolphin on the subject is printed.
Note 2. A Mrs. Bagwell. See ante, February 14th, 1664-65.
Note 3. Each of the Commissioners for the Sick and Wounded was appointed to a particular district, and Evelyn's district was Kent and Sussex. On September 25th, 1665, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: "my Lord Admiral being come from ye fleete to Greenewich, I went thence with him to ye Cockpit to consult with the Duke of Albemarle (56). I was peremptory that unlesse we had £10,000 immediately, the prisoners would starve, and 'twas proposed it should be rais'd out of the E. India prizes now taken by Lord Sandwich (40). They being but two of ye Commission, and so not impower'd to determine, sent an expresse to his Majesty and Council to know what they should do".
Note 4. Evelyn (44) purchased Sayes Court, Deptford, in 1653, and laid out his gardens, walks, groves, enclosures, and plantations, which afterwards became famous for their beauty. When he took the place in hand it was nothing but an open field of one hundred acres, with scarcely a hedge in it.

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John Evelyn to Samuel Tuke 27 Sep 166. 27 Sep 1666. John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706 (45) to Samuel Tuke 1st Baronet 1615-1674 (51).
It was some foure dayes before the most fatal Conflagration of the (quondam) Cltty of London yt I addressed a few lines to you; little thinking I should so soone have had two such dissolutions to deplore: The burning of the best Towne in the World: and the discease of the best fFriend in ye World, your excellent Lady. Sr, you know they are but small afflictions that are loquacious — greate ones are silent: & if ever greate ones there were, mine eyes have beheld, & mine eares heard them, with an heart so possess'd with sorrow, that it Is not easily expressed; because ye instances have ben altogether stupendous & unparallel'd. But it were in vaine to entertaine you with those formal topics, wh are wont to be apply'd to persons of lesse fortitude & Christian resignation, though I cannot but exhort you to what, I know, you do — looke upon all things in this World as transitory & perishiug; sent us upon condition of quitting them cherefully, when God pleases to take them from us. This consideration alone, (wth the rest of those Graces wh God has furnish'd you wth>all) will be able to alevlate yr passion, & to preserve you from succumbing under yr pressures, wh I confesse are weighty: but not insupportable: Live therefore, I conjure you, & helpe to restore yr deare Country, & to consolate yt ffriends: There is none alive wishes you more sincere happlnesse than my poore family.
I suppose I should have heard ere this from you of all y"^ concerntnents; but impute y"" silence to some possible miscarriage of y"^ Letf^; since the usual place of addresse is w"' the rest reduc'd to ashes & made an heape of ruines. I would give you a more particular relation of this calamitous accident; but I should oppresse you with sad stories, and I. question not but they are come too soone amongst you at Paris with all mlnutenesse, & (were it possible) hyperbolies; There is this yet of lesse deplorable in it: That, as it pleas'd God to order it, little effects of any greate consequence have been lost, besides the houses: — ^That o"^ Merchands at the same instant in w*^ it was permitted y'^ y^ tidings should file over Seas, had so settled all their affaires, as they complying w*'' their forraliie Correspondence as punctualy as if no disaster at all had happen'd; nor do we heare of so much as one that has fail'd. The Exchange is now at Gressham Colledge. Tlie rest of the Qitty (which m.ay consist of neere a 7th part) & suburbs peopl'd with new shopps, the same noyse, bulslnesse & co'merce, not to say vanity. Onely the poore Booke-sellers have ben indede ill treated by Vulcan; so many noble impressions consum'd, hy their trusting them to y* Churches, as the losse is estimated neere two-hundred thousand pounds: w*^^ will he an extraordinary detriment to y^ whole Republiq of Learning. In y* meane time, the King & Parliament are infinitely zealous for the rebuilding of our ruines; & I believe it will universally be the employment of y^ next Spring: They are now busied w'*^ adjusting the claimes of each proprietor, that so they may dispose things for the building after the noblest model: Every body brings in his idea, amongst the rest I P'^sented his Ma^"^ my owne conceptions, w^'' a Discourse annex'd. It was the second that was seene, within 2 dayes after the Conflagration; But Dr. Wren had got the start of me *. Both of us did coincide so frequently, that his Ma^'^ was not displeas'd with it, & it caus'd divers alterations; and truly there was never a more glorious Phoenix upon Earth, if it do at last emerge out of these cinders, & as the designe is layd, with the present fervour of y* undertakers. But these things are as yet im'a- ture; & I pray God we may enjoy peace to encourage those faire dispo- sitions: The miracle is, I have never in my life observ'd a more uni- versal resignation, lesse repining amongst sufferers; which makes me hope, y* God has yet thoughts of mercy towards us: Judgments do not alwayes end where they begin; & therefore let none exult over our calamities: — We know not whose turne it mav be next. But S'", I forbear to entertaine you longer on these sad reflections; but persist to beg of you not to suffer any transportations unbecoming a man of xvirtue; resolve to preserve y"" selfe, if it be possible, for better times, the good & restauration of y"" Country, & the comfort of y"" Friends & Rela- tions, and amongst them of, Sr,
Sayes Court

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John Evelyn's Diary 14 August 1668. 14 Aug 1668. His Majesty (38) was pleased to grant me a lease of a slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court, for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships, instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty (38) the perpetual motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne; and then came in Monsieur Colbert (43), the French Ambassador.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 September 1668. 17 Sep 1668. I entertained Signor Muccinigo, the Venetian Ambassador, of one of the noblest families of the State, this being the day of making his public entry, setting forth from my house with several gentlemen of Venice and others in a very glorious train. He staid with me till the Earl of Anglesea (54) and Sir Charles Cotterell (53) (Master of the Ceremonies) came with the King's (38) barge to carry him to the Tower, where the guns were fired at his landing; he then entered his Majesty's (38) coach, followed by many others of the nobility. I accompanied him to his house, where there was a most noble supper to all the company, of course. After the extraordinary compliments to me and my wife (33), for the civilities he received at my house, I took leave and returned. He is a very accomplished person. He is since Ambassador at Rome.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 January 1671. 18 Jan 1671. This day I first acquainted his Majesty (40) with that incomparable young man, Gibbon (22), whom I had lately met with in an obscure place by mere accident, as I was walking near a poor solitary thatched house, in a field in our parish, near Sayes Court. I found him shut in; but looking in at the window, I perceived him carving that large cartoon, or crucifix, of Tintoretto, a copy of which I had myself brought from Venice, where the original painting remains. I asked if I might enter; he opened the door civilly to me, and I saw him about such a work as for the curiosity of handling, drawing, and studious exactness, I never had before seen in all my travels. I questioned him why he worked in such an obscure and lonesome place; he told me it was that he might apply himself to his profession without interruption, and wondered not a little how I found him out. I asked if he was unwilling to be made known to some great man, for that I believed it might turn to his profit; he answered, he was yet but a beginner, but would not be sorry to sell off that piece; on demanding the price, he said £100. In good earnest, the very frame was worth the money, there being nothing in nature so tender and delicate as the flowers and festoons about it, and yet the work was very strong; in the piece was more than one hundred figures of men, etc. I found he was likewise musical, and very civil, sober, and discreet in his discourse. There was only an old woman in the house. So, desiring leave to visit him sometimes, I went away.
Of this young artist (22), together with my manner of finding him out, I acquainted the King (40), and begged that he would give me leave to bring him and his work to Whitehall Palace, for that I would adventure my reputation with his Majesty (40) that he had never seen anything approach it, and that he would be exceedingly pleased, and employ him. The King (40) said he would himself go see him. This was the first notice his Majesty (40) ever had of Mr. Gibbon (22).

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John Evelyn's Diary 12 January 1672. 12 Jan 1672. His Majesty (41) renewed us our lease of Sayes Court pastures for ninety-nine years, but ought, according to his solemn promise (as I hope he will still perform), have passed them to us in fee-farm.

John Evelyn's Diary 23 March 1672. 30 Mar 1672. On the 30th heard a sermon in Rochester Cathedral, and so got to Sayes Court on the first of April.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 April 1676. 28 Apr 1676. My wife (41) entertained her Majesty (45) at Deptford, for which the Queen (37) gave me thanks in the withdrawing room at Whitehall.
The University of Oxford presented me with the "Marmora Oxoniensia Arundeliana"; the Bishop of Oxford writing to desire that I would introduce Mr. Prideaux, the editor (a young man most learned in antiquities) to the Duke of Norfolk (49), to present another dedicated to his Grace (49), which I did, and we dined with the Duke (49) at Arundel House, and supped at the Bishop of Rochester's (51) with Isaac Vossius (58).

On 01 Mar 1682 John Evelyn 1st Baronet Wotton 1682-1731 was born to John The Younger Evelyn 1655-1699 (27) at Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 01 March 1682. 01 Mar 1682. My second grandchild was born, and christened the next day by our vicar at Sayes Court, by the name of John. I beseech God to bless him!

John Evelyn's Diary 12 February 1683. 12 Feb 1683. By a special clause in his will, he ordered that his body should be buried in the churchyard under the southeast window of the chancel, adjoining to the burying places of his ancestors, since they came out of Essex into Sayes Court, he being much offended at the novel custom of burying everyone within the body of the church and chancel; that being a favor heretofore granted to martyrs and great persons; this excess of making churches charnel houses being of ill and irreverend example, and prejudicial to the health of the living, besides the continual disturbance of the pavement and seats, and several other indecencies. Dr. Hall, the pious Bishop of Norwich, would also be so interred, as may be read in his testament.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 February 1683. 12 Feb 1683. This morning I received the news of the death of my father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne (78), Knt. and Bart., who died at my house at Sayes Court this day at ten in the morning, after he had labored under the gout and dropsy for nearly six months, in the 78th year of his age. The funeral was solemnized on the 19th at Deptford, with as much decency as the dignity of the person, and our relation to him, required; there being invited the Bishop of Rochester (58), several noblemen, knights, and all the fraternity of the Trinity House, of which he had been Master, and others of the country. The vicar preached a short but proper discourse on Psalm xxxix. 10, on the frailty of our mortal condition, concluding with an ample and well-deserved eulogy on the defunct, relating to his honorable birth and ancestors, education, learning in Greek and Latin, modern languages, travels, public employments, signal loyalty, character abroad, and particularly the honor of supporting the Church of England in its public worship during its persecution by the late rebels' usurpation and regicide, by the suffrages of divers Bishops, Doctors of the Church, and others, who found such an asylum in his house and family at Paris, that in their disputes with the Papists (then triumphing over it as utterly lost) they used to argue for its visibility and existence from Sir R. Browne's chapel and assembly there. Then he spoke of his great and loyal sufferings during thirteen years' exile with his present Majesty (52), his return with him in the signal year 1660; his honorable employment at home, his timely Recess to recollect himself, his great age, infirmities, and death.

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Popish Plot

John Evelyn's Diary 28 June 1683. 28 Jun 1683. After the Popish Plot, there was now a new and (as they called it) a Protestant Plot discovered, that certain Lords and others should design the assassination of the King (53) and the Duke (49) as they were to come from Newmarket, with a general rising of the nation, and especially of the city of London, disaffected to the present Government. Upon which were committed to the Tower, the Lord Russell (43), eldest son of the Earl of Bedford (66), the Earl of Essex, Mr. Algernon Sidney (60), son to the old Earl of Leicester (87), Mr. Trenchard, Hampden, Lord Howard of Escrick, and others. A proclamation was issued against my Lord Grey, the Duke of Monmouth (34), Sir Thomas Armstrong, and one Ferguson, who had escaped beyond sea; of these some were said to be for killing the King (53), others for only seizing on him, and persuading him to new counsels, on the pretense of the danger of Popery, should the Duke live to succeed, who was now again admitted to the councils and cabinet secrets. The Lords Essex (60) and Russell (43) were much deplored, for believing they had any evil intention against the King (53), or the Church; some thought they were cunningly drawn in by their enemies for not approving some late counsels and management relating to France, to Popery, to the persecution of the Dissenters, etc. They were discovered by the Lord Howard of Escrick and some false brethren of the club, and the design happily broken; had it taken effect, it would, to all appearance, have exposed the Government to unknown and dangerous events; which God avert!
Was born my granddaughter at Sayes Court, and christened by the name of Martha Maria, our Vicar officiating. I pray God bless her, and may she choose the better part!

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John Evelyn's Diary 04 February 1684. 04 Feb 1684. I went to Says Court to see how the frost had dealt with my garden, where I found many of the greenes and rare plantes utterly destroied. The oranges and mirtills very sick, the rosemary and laurells dead to all appearance, but ye cypress likely to indure It.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 April 1684. 04 Apr 1684. I return'd home with my family to my house at Says Court, after five months residence in London; hardly the least appearance of any Spring.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 August 1687. 22 Aug 1687. Returned home to Sayes Court from Wotton, having been five weeks absent with my brother and friends, who entertained us very nobly. God be praised for his goodness, and this refreshment after my many troubles, and let his mercy and providence ever preserve me. Amen.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 May 1694. 04 May 1694. I went this day with my wife (59) and four servants from Sayes Court, removing much furniture of all sorts, books, pictures, hangings, bedding, etc., to furnish the apartment my brother (76) assigned me, and now, after more than forty years, to spend the rest of my days with him at Wotton, where I was born; leaving my house at Deptford full furnished, and three servants, to my son-in-law Draper, to pass the summer in, and such longer time as he should think fit to make use of it.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 January 1698. 30 Jan 1698. The imprisonment of the great banker, Duncombe: censured by Parliament; acquitted by the Lords; sent again to the Tower by the Commons.
The Czar of Muscovy being come to England, and having a mind to see the building of ships, hired my house at Sayes Court, and made it his court and palace, newly furnished for him by the King (47).

John Evelyn's Diary 21 April 1698. 21 Apr 1698. The Czar went from my house to return home. An exceedingly sharp and cold season.

John Evelyn's Diary 09 June 1698. 09 Jun 1698. To Deptford, to see how miserably the Czar had left my house, after three months making it his Court. I got Sir Christopher Wren (74), the King's (68) surveyor, and Mr. London, his gardener, to go and estimate the repairs, for which they allowed £150 in their report to the Lords of the Treasury. I then went to see the foundation of the Hall and Chapel at Greenwich Hospital.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 May 1700. 24 May 1700. I went from Dover street to Wotton, for the rest of the summer, and removed thither the rest of my goods from Sayes Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 March 1701. 18 Mar 1701. I let Sayes Court to Lord Carmarthen (42), son to the Duke of Leeds (69). 28th. I went to the funeral of my sister Draper, who was buried at Edmonton in great state. Dr. Davenant displeased the clergy now met in Convocation by a passage in his book, p. 40.

John Evelyn's Diary 07 December 1703. 07 Dec 1703. I removed to Dover Street, where I found all well; but houses, trees, garden, etc., at Sayes Court, suffered very much.

John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. 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 1703, he mentions in his last edition of the "Sylva", above one thousand trees were blown down in sight of his residence.

John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. When the Czar of Muscovy came to England, in 1698, proposing to instruct himself in the art of shipbuilding, he was desirous of having the use of Sayes Court, in consequence of its vicinity to the King's dockyard 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 favorite recreations had been to demolish the hedges by riding through them in a wheelbarrow.

Brick Close, Sayes Court, Deptford, Kent

John Evelyn's Diary 14 August 1668. 14 Aug 1668. His Majesty (38) was pleased to grant me a lease of a slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court, for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships, instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty (38) the perpetual motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne; and then came in Monsieur Colbert (43), the French Ambassador.