History of St John's Church Wotton

St John's Church Wotton is in Wotton.

John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 15th December, 1634: My dear sister, Darcy (20), departed this life, being arrived to her 20th year of age; in virtue advanced beyond her years, or the merit of her husband, the worst of men. She had been brought to bed the 2d of June before, but the infant died soon after her, the 24th of December. I was therefore sent for home the second time, to celebrate the obsequies of my sister (20); who was interred in a very honorable manner in our dormitory joining to the parish church, where now her monument stands.

On 15 Dec 1634 Elizabeth Evelyn 1614-1634 (20) died. She was buried in St John's Church Wotton.

On 29 Sep 1635 Eleanor Stansfield 1598-1635 (36) died. On 03 Oct 1635 she was buried at St John's Church Wotton.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 July 1637. 18 Jul 1637. I accompanied my eldest brother (20), who then quitted Oxford, into the country; and, on the 9th of August, went to visit my friends at Lewes, whence I returned the 12th to Wotton. On the 17th of September, I received the blessed Sacrament at Wotton church, and 23d of October went back to Oxford.

John Evelyn's Diary 02 January 1641. 02 Jan 1641. It was a sad and lugubrious beginning of the year, when, on the 2nd of January 1641, we at night followed the mourning hearse to the church at Wotton; when, after a sermon and funeral oration by the minister, my father (54) was interred near his formerly erected monument, and mingled with the ashes of our mother (42), his dear wife. Thus we were bereft of both our parents in a period when we most of all stood in need of their counsel and assistance, especially myself, of a raw, vain, uncertain, and very unwary inclination; but so it pleased God to make trial of my conduct in a conjuncture of the greatest and most prodigious hazard that ever the youth of England saw; and, if I did not amidst all this impeach my liberty nor my virtue with the rest who made shipwreck of both, it was more the infinite goodness and mercy of God than the least providence or discretion of mine own, who now thought of nothing but the pursuit of vanity, and the confused imaginations of young men.

John Evelyn's Diary 07 November 1641. 07 Nov 1641. After receiving the Sacrament at Wotton church, I visited my Lord Marshal (56) at Albury.

In 1618 Daniel Mijtens Painter 1590-1648. Portrait of Thomas Howard 21st Earl Arundel 4th Earl Surrey 1st Earl Norfolk 1585-1646. In 1630 Daniel Mijtens Painter 1590-1648. Portrait of Thomas Howard 21st Earl Arundel 4th Earl Surrey 1st Earl Norfolk 1585-1646 and wearing his Garter Collar. Around 1629 Peter Paul Rubens Painter 1577-1640. Portrait of Thomas Howard 21st Earl Arundel 4th Earl Surrey 1st Earl Norfolk 1585-1646.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 October 1654. 24 Oct 1654. The good old parson, Higham, preached at Wotton Church: a plain preacher, but innocent and honest man.

John Evelyn's Diary 27 January 1658. 27 Jan 1658. After six fits of a quartan ague, with which it pleased God to visit him, died my dear son, Richard (5), to our inexpressible grief and affliction, five years and three days old only, but at that tender age a prodigy for wit and understanding; for beauty of body, a very angel; for endowment of mind, of incredible and rare hopes. To give only a little taste of them, and thereby glory to God, who "out of the mouths of babes and infants does sometimes perfect his praises", he had learned all his catechism; at two years and a half old, he could perfectly read any of the English, Latin, French, or Gothic letters, pronouncing the first three languages exactly. He had, before the fifth year, or in that year, not only skill to read most written hands, but to decline all the nouns, conjugate the verbs regular, and most of the irregular; learned out "Puerilis", got by heart almost the entire vocabulary of Latin and French primitives and words, could make congruous syntax, turn English into Latin, and vice versâ, construe and prove what he read, and did the government and use of relatives, verbs, substantives, ellipses, and many figures and tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comenius's "Janua"; began himself to write legibly, and had a strong passion for Greek. The number of verses he could recite was prodigious, and what he remembered of the parts of plays, which he would also act; and, when seeing a Plautus in one's hand, he asked what book it was, and, being told it was comedy, and too difficult for him, he wept for sorrow. Strange was his apt and ingenious application of fables and morals; for he had read Æsop; he had a wonderful disposition to mathematics, having by heart divers propositions of Euclid that were read to him in play, and he would make lines and demonstrate them. As to his piety, astonishing were his applications of Scripture upon occasion, and his sense of God; he had learned all his catechism early, and understood the historical part of the Bible and New Testament to a wonder, how Christ came to redeem mankind, and how, comprehending these necessaries himself, his godfathers were discharged of their promise.

These and the like illuminations, far exceeding his age and experience, considering the prettiness of his address and behavior, cannot but leave impressions in me at the memory of him. When one told him how many days a Quaker had fasted, he replied that was no wonder; for Christ had said that man should not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God. He would of himself select the most pathetic psalms, and chapters out of Job, to read to his maid during his sickness, telling her, when she pitied him, that all God's children must suffer affliction. He declaimed against the vanities of the world, before he had seen any. Often he would desire those who came to see him to pray by him, and a year before he fell sick, to kneel and pray with him alone in some corner. How thankfully would he receive admonition! how soon be reconciled! how indifferent, yet continually cheerful! He would give grave advice to his brother, John, bear with his impertinences, and say he was but a child. If he heard of or saw any new thing, he was unquiet till he was told how it was made; he brought to us all such difficulties as he found in books, to be expounded. He had learned by heart divers sentences in Latin and Greek, which, on occasion, he would produce even to wonder. He was all life, all prettiness, far from morose, sullen, or childish in anything he said or did. The last time he had been at church (which was at Greenwich), I asked him, according to custom, what he remembered of the sermon; two good things, Father, said he, bonum gratiæ and bonum gloriæ, with a just account of what the preacher said.

The day before he died, he called to me: and in a more serious manner than usual, told me that for all I loved him so dearly I should give my house, land, and all my fine things to his brother Jack, he should have none of them; and, the next morning, when he found himself ill, and that I persuaded him to keep his hands in bed, he demanded whether he might pray to God with his hands unjoined; and a little after, while in great agony, whether he should not offend God by using his holy name so often calling for ease. What shall I say of his frequent pathetical ejaculations uttered of himself: "Sweet Jesus, save me, deliver me, pardon my sins, let thine angels receive me!" So early knowledge, so much piety and perfection! But thus God, having dressed up a saint fit for himself, would not longer permit him with us, unworthy of the future fruits of this incomparable hopeful blossom. Such a Child I never saw: for such a child I bless God, in whose bosom he is! May I and mine become as this little child, who now follows the child Jesus that Lamb of God in a white robe, whithersoever he goes; even so, Lord Jesus, fiat voluntas tua! Thou gavest him to us, thou hast taken him from us, blessed be the name of the Lord! That I had anything acceptable to thee was from thy grace alone, seeing from me he had nothing but sin, but that thou hast pardoned! blessed be my God for ever, Amen.

In my opinion, he was suffocated by the women and maids that attended him, and covered him too hot with blankets as he lay in a cradle, near an excessive hot fire in a close room. I suffered him to be opened, when they found that he was what is vulgarly called liver-grown. I caused his body to be coffined in lead, and deposited on the 30th at eight o'clock that night in the church at Deptford, accompanied with divers of my relations and neighbors, among whom I distributed rings with this motto: "Dominus abstulit;" intending, God willing, to have him transported with my own body to be interred in our dormitory in Wotton Church, in my dear native county of Surrey, and to lay my bones and mingle my dust with my fathers, if God be gracious to me, and make me as fit for him as this blessed child was. The Lord Jesus sanctify this and all other my afflictions, Amen.

Here ends the joy of my life, and for which I go even mourning to the grave.

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Before 01 Jun 1691 John Evelyn of Wotton 1652-1691 died. He was buried on 02 Jun 1691 at Wotton Church.

John Evelyn's Diary 01 June 1691. 01 Jun 1691. I went with my son (36), and brother-in-law, Glanville (72), and his son, to Wotton, to solemnize the funeral of my nephew, which was performed the next day very decently and orderly by the herald in the afternoon, a very great appearance of the country being there. I was the chief mourner; the pall was held by Sir Francis Vincent (45), Sir Richard Onslow (36), Mr. Thomas Howard (son to Sir Robert, and Captain of the King's (61) Guard), Mr. Hyldiard, Mr. James, Mr. Herbert, nephew to Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and cousin-german to my deceased nephew. He was laid in the vault at Wotton Church, in the burying place of the family. A great concourse of coaches and people accompanied the solemnity.

Around 1680 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of Richard Onslow 1st Baron Onslow 1654-1717. Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II

John Evelyn's Diary 02 August 1691. 02 Aug 1691. No sermon in the church in the afternoon, and the curacy ill-served.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 May 1694. 06 May 1694. This being the first Sunday in the month, the blessed sacrament of the Lord's Supper ought to have been celebrated at Wotton church, but in this parish it is exceedingly neglected, so that, unless at the four great feasts, there is no communion hereabouts; which is a great fault both in ministers and people. I have spoken to my brother (76), who is the patron, to discourse the minister about it. Scarcely one shower has fallen since the beginning of April.

John Evelyn's Diary 31 March 1695. 31 Mar 1695. Mr. Lucas preached in the afternoon at Wotton.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 March 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.

Before 1708 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of William Cavendish 1st Duke Devonshire 1640-1707. In 1697 John Closterman Painter 1660-1711. Portrait of William Cavendish 1st Duke Devonshire 1640-1707. Around 1660 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of William Cavendish 1st Duke Devonshire 1640-1707. Around 1655. Unknown Painter. Portrait of William Cavendish 1st Duke Devonshire 1640-1707. Around 1680 Willem Wissing Painter 1656-1687. Portrait of King William III of England, Scotland and Ireland 1650-1702 wearing his Garter Collar.

John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. It may be not altogether incurious to observe, that though Mr. Evelyn's father was a man of very considerable fortune, the first rudiments of this son's learning were acquired from the village schoolmaster over the porch of Wotton Church. Of his progress at another school, and at college, he himself speaks with great humility; nor did he add much to his stock of knowledge, while he resided in the Middle Temple, to which his father sent him, with the intention that he should apply to what he calls "an impolished study", which he says he never liked.

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