Wotton is in Surrey.
John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. I was born at Wotton, in the County of Surrey, about twenty minutes past two in the morning, being on Tuesday the 31st and last of October, 1620, after my father (33) had been married about seven years, and that my mother (21) had borne him three children; viz, two daughters and one son, about the 33d year of his age, and the 23d of my mother's.
John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 1624. I was not initiated into any rudiments until near four years of age, and then one Frier taught us at the church-porch of Wotton; and I do perfectly remember the great talk and stir about Il Conde Gondomar (96), now Ambassador from Spain (for near about this time was the match of our Prince (23) with the Infanta (17) proposed); and the effects of that comet, 1618, still working in the prodigious revolutions now beginning in Europe, especially in Germany, whose sad commotions sprang from the Bohemians' defection from the Emperor Matthias; upon which quarrel the Swedes broke in, giving umbrage to the rest of the princes, and the whole Christian world cause to deplore it, as never since enjoying perfect tranquillity.
John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 21st October, 1632. My eldest sister (19) was married to Edward Darcy, Esq, who little deserved so excellent a person, a woman of so rare virtue. I was not present at the nuptials; but I was soon afterward sent for into Surrey, and my father (46) would willingly have weaned me from my fondness of my too indulgent grandmother, intending to have placed me at Eton College; but, not being so provident for my own benefit, and unreasonably terrified with the report of the severe discipline there, I was sent back to Lewes; which perverseness of mine I have since a thousand times deplored. This was the first time that ever my parents had seen all their children together in prosperity. While I was now trifling at home, I saw London, where I lay one night only. The next day, I dined at Beddington, where I was much delighted with the gardens and curiosities. Thence, we returned to the Baroness Darcy's (19), at Sutton; thence to Wotton; and, on the 16th of August following, 1633, back to Lewes.
John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 1635. But my dear mother (36) being now dangerously sick, I was, on the 3d of September following, sent for to Wotton. Whom I found so far spent, that, all human assistance failing, she in a most heavenly manner departed this life upon the 29th of the same month, about eight in the evening of Michaelmas-day. It was a malignant fever which took her away, about the 37th of her age, and 22d of her marriage, to our irreparable loss and the regret of all that knew her. Certain it is, that the visible cause of her indisposition proceeded from grief upon the loss of her daughter, and the infant that followed it; and it is as certain, that when she perceived the peril whereto its excess had engaged her, she strove to compose herself and allay it; but it was too late, and she was forced to succumb. Therefore summoning all her children then living (I shall never forget it), she expressed herself in a manner so heavenly, with instructions so pious and Christian, as made us strangely sensible of the extraordinary loss then imminent; after which, embracing every one of us she gave to each a ring with her blessing and dismissed us. Then, taking my father (48) by the hand, she recommended us to his care; and, because she was extremely zealous for the education of my younger brother (12), she requested my father (48) that he might be sent with me to Lewes; and so having importuned him that what he designed to bestow on her funeral, he would rather dispose among the poor, she labored to compose herself for the blessed change which she now expected. There was not a servant in the house whom she did not expressly send for, advise, and infinitely affect with her counsel. Thus she continued to employ her intervals, either instructing her relations, or preparing of herself.
Though her physicians, Dr. Meverell, Dr. Clement, and Dr. Rand, had given over all hopes of her recovery, and Sir Sanders Duncombe (65) had tried his celebrated and famous powder, yet she was many days impairing, and endured the sharpest conflicts of her sickness with admirable patience and most Christian resignation, retaining both her intellectuals and ardent affections for her dissolution, to the very article of her departure. When near her dissolution, she laid her hand on every one of her children; and taking solemn leave of my father (48), with elevated heart and eyes, she quietly expired, and resigned her soul to God. Thus ended that prudent and pious woman, in the flower of her age, to the inconsolable affliction of her husband, irreparable loss of her children, and universal regret of all that knew her. She was interred, as near as might be, to her daughter Darcy (21), the 3d of October, at night, but with no mean ceremony.
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 11 April 1640. 11 Apr 1640. I went to London to see the solemnity of his Majesty's (39) riding through the city in state to the Short Parliament, which began the 13th following,—a very glorious and magnificent sight, the King (39) circled with his royal diadem and the affections of his people: but the day after I returned to Wotton again, where I stayed, my father's (53) indisposition suffering great intervals, till April 27th, when I was sent to London to be first resident at the Middle Temple: so as my being at the University, in regard of these avocations, was of very small benefit to me. Upon May the 5th following, was the Parliament unhappily dissolved; and, on the 20th I returned with my brother George to Wotton, who, on the 28th of the same month, was married at Albury to Mrs. Caldwell (an heiress of an ancient Leicestershire family, where part of the nuptials were celebrated).
John Evelyn's Diary 10 June 1640. 10 Jun 1640. I repaired with my brother (17) to the term, to go into our new lodgings (that were formerly in Essex-court), being a very handsome apartment just over against the Hall-court, but four pair of stairs high, which gave us the advantage of the fairer prospect; but did not much contribute to the love of that impolished study, to which (I suppose) my father (53) had designed me, when he paid £145 to purchase our present lives, and assignments afterward.
London, and especially the Court, were at this period in frequent disorders, and great insolences were committed by the abused and too happy City: in particular, the Bishop of Canterbury's (66) Palace at Lambeth was assaulted by a rude rabble from Southwark, my Lord Chamberlain (55) imprisoned and many scandalous libels and invectives scattered about the streets, to the reproach of Government, and the fermentation of our since distractions: so that, upon the 25th of June, I was sent for to Wotton, and the 27th after, my father's (53) indisposition augmenting, by advice of the physicians he repaired to the Bath.
John Evelyn's Diary 30 December 1640. 30 Dec 1640. I saw his Majesty (40) (coming from his Northern Expedition) ride in pomp and a kind of ovation, with all the marks of a happy peace, restored to the affections of his people, being conducted through London with a most splendid cavalcade; and on the 3d of November following (a day never to be mentioned without a curse), to that long ungrateful, foolish, and fatal Parliament, the beginning of all our sorrows for twenty years after, and the period of the most happy monarch in the world: Quis talia fando!
But my father (53) being by this time entered into a dropsy, an indisposition the most unsuspected, being a person so exemplarily temperate, and of admirable regimen, hastened me back to Wotton, December the 12th; where, the 24th following, between twelve and one o'clock at noon, departed this life that excellent man and indulgent parent, retaining his senses and piety to the last, which he most tenderly expressed in blessing us, whom he now left to the world and the worst of times, while he was taken from the evil to come.
John Evelyn's Diary 16 October 1641. 16 Oct 1641. I went to see my brother at Wotton. On the 31st of that month (unfortunate for the Irish Rebellion, which broke out on the 23d), I was one and twenty years of age.
John Evelyn's Diary 15 December 1641. 15 Dec 1641. I was elected one of the Comptrollers of the Middle Temple revellers, as the fashion of the young students and gentlemen was, the Christmas being kept this year with great solemnity; but, being desirous to pass it in the country, I got leave to resign my staff of office, and went with my brother Richard to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 07 December 1642. 07 Dec 1642. I went from Wotton to London, to see the so much celebrated line of communication, and on the 10th returned to Wotton, nobody knowing of my having been in his Majesty's army.
John Evelyn's Diary 04 May 1643. 04 May 1643. On the 4th I returned, with no little regret, for the confusion that threatened us. Resolving to possess myself in some quiet, if it might be, in a time of so great jealousy, I built by my brother's permission, a study, made a fish-pond, an island, and some other solitudes and retirements at Wotton; which gave the first occasion of improving them to those waterworks and gardens which afterward succeeded them, and became at that time the most famous of England.
John Evelyn's Diary 23 July 1643. 23 Jul 1643. The Covenant being pressed, I absented myself; but, finding it impossible to evade the doing very unhandsome things, and which had been a great cause of my perpetual motions hitherto between Wotton and London, October the 2d, I obtained a license of his Majesty (42), dated at Oxford and signed by the King, to travel again.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 November 1643. 06 Nov 1643. Lying by the way from Wotton at Sir Ralph Whitfield's, at Blechingley (whither both my brothers had conducted me), I arrived at London on the 7th, and two days after took boat at the Tower-wharf, which carried me as far as Sittingbourne, though not without danger, I being only in a pair of oars, exposed to a hideous storm: but it pleased God that we got in before the peril was considerable. From thence, I went by post to Dover, accompanied with one Mr. Thicknesse, a very dear friend of mine.
John Evelyn's Diary 05 October 1647. 05 Oct 1647. I came to Wotton, the place of my birth, to my brother (30), and on the 10th to Hampton Court where I had the honor to kiss his Majesty's (46) hand, and give him an account of several things I had in charge, he being now in the power of those execrable villains who not long after murdered him. I lay at my cousin, Sergeant Hatton's at Thames Ditton, whence, on the 13th, I went to London.
John Evelyn's Diary 14 January 1648. 14 Jan 1648. From London I went to Wotton to see my young nephew; and thence to Baynards [in Ewhurst], to visit my brother Richard (25).
John Evelyn's Diary 26 February 1649. 26 Feb 1649. Came to see me Captain George Evelyn, my kinsman, the great traveler, and one who believed himself a better architect than really he was; witness the portico in the Garden at Wotton; yet the great room at Albury is somewhat better understood. He had a large mind, but over-built everything.
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 25 July 1650. 25 Jul 1650. I went by Epsom to Wotton, saluting Sir Robert Cook and my sister Glanville; the country was now much molested by soldiers, who took away gentlemen's horses for the service of the state, as then called.
John Evelyn's Diary 01 January 1651. 01 Jan 1651. I wrote to my brother (33) at Wotton, about his garden and fountains. After evening prayer, Mr. Wainsford called on me: he had long been Consul at Aleppo, and told me many strange things of those countries, the Arabs especially.
John Evelyn's Diary 10 October 1654. 10 Oct 1654. To my brother (37) at Wotton, who had been sick.
John Evelyn's Diary 21 August 1655. 21 Aug 1655. I went to Ryegate, to visit Mrs. Cary, at my Lady Peterborough's (33), in an ancient monastery well in repair, but the park much defaced; the house is nobly furnished. The chimney-piece in the great chamber, carved in wood, was of Henry VIII., and was taken from a house of his in Bletchingley. At Ryegate, was now the Archbishop of Armagh, the learned James Usher (74), whom I went to visit. He received me exceeding kindly. In discourse with him, he told me how great the loss of time was to study much the Eastern languages; that, excepting Hebrew, there was little fruit to be gathered of exceeding labor; that, besides some mathematical books, the Arabic itself had little considerable; that the best text was the Hebrew Bible; that the Septuagint was finished in seventy days, but full of errors, about which he was then writing; that St. Hierome's was to be valued next the Hebrew; also that the seventy translated the Pentateuch only, the rest was finished by others; that the Italians at present understood but little Greek, and Kircher was a mountebank; that Mr. Selden's best book was his "Titles of Honor"; that the church would be destroyed by sectaries, who would in all likelihood bring in Popery. In conclusion he recommended to me the study of philology, above all human studies; and so, with his blessing, I took my leave of this excellent person, and returned to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 28 August 1655. 28 Aug 1655. Came that renowned mathematician, Mr. Oughtred (81), to see me, I sending my coach to bring him to Wotton, being now very aged. Among other discourse, he told me he thought water to be the philosopher's first matter, and that he was well persuaded of the possibility of their elixir; he believed the sun to be a material fire, the moon a continent, as appears by the late selenographers; he had strong apprehensions of some extraordinary event to happen the following year, from the calculation of coincidence with the diluvian period; and added that it might possibly be to convert the Jews by our Savior's visible appearance, or to judge the world; and therefore, his word was, "Parate in occursum"; he said original sin was not met with in the Greek Fathers, yet he believed the thing; this was from some discourse on Dr. Taylor's (42) late book, which I had lent him.
John Evelyn's Diary 05 August 1658. 05 Aug 1658. We went to Squirries to visit my Cousin Leech, daughter to Sir John; a pretty, finely wooded, well watered seat, the stables good, the house old, but convenient. 6th. Returned to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 17 February 1660. 17 Feb 1660 to 5th April 1660, I was detained in bed with a kind of double tertian, the cruel effects of the spleen and other distempers, in that extremity that my physicians, Drs. Wetherborn, Needham, and Claude, were in great doubt of my recovery; but it pleased God to deliver me out of this affliction, for which I render him hearty thanks: going to church the 8th, and receiving the blessed eucharist.
During this sickness came divers of my relations and friends to visit me, and it retarded my going into the country longer than I intended; however, I wrote and printed a letter in defense of his Majesty (29), against a wicked forged paper, pretended to be sent from Brussels to defame his Majesty's (29) person and virtues and render him odious, now when everybody was in hope and expectation of the General (51) and Parliament recalling him, and establishing the Government on its ancient and right basis. The doing this toward the decline of my sickness, and sitting up long in my bed, had caused a small relapse, out of which it yet pleased God also to free me, so as by the 14th I was able to go into the country, which I did to my sweet and native air at Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 09 August 1664. 09 Aug 1664. Went with my brother Richard (41) to Wotton, to visit and comfort my disconsolate brother (47); and on the 13th saw my friend, Mr. Charles Howard, at Dipden, near Dorking.
John Evelyn's Diary 22 August 1664. 22 Aug 1664. I went from London to Wotton, to assist at the funeral of my sister-in-law, the Lady Cotton, buried in our dormitory there, she being put up in lead. Dr. Owen made a profitable and pathetic discourse, concluding with an eulogy of that virtuous, pious, and deserving lady. It was a very solemn funeral, with about fifty mourners. I came back next day with my wife (29) to London.
John Evelyn's Diary 04 August 1665. 04 Aug 1665. I went to Wotton with my Son and his tutor, Mr. Bohun, Fellow of New College (recommended to me by Dr. Wilkins (51), and the President of New College, Oxford), for fear of the pestilence, still increasing in London and its environs. On my return, I called at Durdans, where I found Dr. Wilkins (51), Sir William Petty (42), and Mr. Hooke (30), contriving chariots, new rigging for ships, a wheel for one to run races in, and other mechanical inventions; perhaps three such persons together were not to be found elsewhere in Europe, for parts and ingenuity.
John Evelyn's Diary 28 August 1665. 28 Aug 1665. The contagion still increasing, and growing now all about us, I sent my wife (30) and whole family (two or three necessary servants excepted) to my brother's at Wotton, being resolved to stay at my house myself, and to look after my charge, trusting in the providence and goodness of God.
John Evelyn's Diary 14 September 1665. 14 Sep 1665. I went to Wotton; and on 16th September, to visit old Secretary Nicholas (72), being now at his new purchase of West Horsley, once mortgaged to me by Lord Viscount Montague (55): a pretty dry seat on the Down. Returned to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 01 October 1665. 01 Oct 1665. This afternoon, while at evening prayers, tidings were brought me of the birth of a daughter at Wotton, after six sons, in the same chamber I had first taken breath in, and at the first day of that month, as I was on the last, forty-five years before.
John Evelyn's Diary 25 December 1665. 25 Dec 1665. Kept Christmas with my hospitable brother (48), at Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 12 January 1666. 12 Jan 1666. After much, and indeed extraordinary mirth and cheer, all my brothers, our wives, and children, being together, and after much sorrow and trouble during this contagion, which separated our families as well as others, I returned to my house, but my wife (31) went back to Wotton. I, not as yet willing to adventure her, the contagion, though exceedingly abated, not as yet wholly extinguished among us.
John Evelyn's Diary 16 July 1677. 16 Jul 1677. I went to Wotton. 22d. Mr. Evans, curate of Abinger, preached an excellent sermon on Matt. v. 12. In the afternoon, Mr. Higham at Wotton catechised.
John Evelyn's Diary 23 August 1681. 23 Aug 1681. I went to Wotton, and, on the following day, was invited to Mr. Denzil Onslow's (39) at his seat at Purford, where was much company, and such an extraordinary feast, as I had hardly seen at any country gentleman's table. What made it more remarkable was, that there was not anything save what his estate about it did afford; as venison, rabbits, hares, pheasants, partridges, pigeons, quails, poultry, all sorts of fowl in season from his own decoy near his house, and all sorts of fresh fish. After dinner we went to see sport at the decoy, where I never saw so many herons.
The seat stands on a flat, the ground pasture, rarely watered, and exceedingly improved since Mr. Onslow (39) bought it of Sir Robert Parkhurst (78), who spent a fair estate. The house is timber, but commodious, and with one ample dining-room, the hall adorned with paintings of fowl and huntings, etc., the work of Mr. Barlow, who is excellent in this kind from the life.
John Evelyn's Diary 30 August 1681. 30 Aug 1681. From Wotton I went to see Mr. Hussey (at Sutton in Shere), who has a very pretty seat well watered, near my brother's. He is the neatest husband for curious ordering his domestic and field accommodations, and what pertains to husbandry, that I have ever seen, as to his granaries, tacklings, tools, and utensils, plows, carts, stables, wood piles, wood houses, even to hen roosts and hog troughs. Methought, I saw old Cato, or Varro, in him; all substantial, all in exact order. The sole inconvenience he lies under, is the great quantity of sand which the stream brings along with it, and fills his canals and receptacles for fish too soon. The rest of my time of stay at Wotton was spent in walking about the grounds and goodly woods, where I have in my youth so often entertained my solitude; and so, on the 2d of September, I once more returned to my home.
John Evelyn's Diary 07 March 1685. 07 Mar 1685. My daughter Mary (20) was taken with the smallpox, and there soon was found no hope of her recovery. A very greate affliction to me: but God's holy will be done.
10 Mar 1685. She receiv'd the blessed Sacrament; after which, disposing herselfe to suffer what God should determine to inflict, she bore the remainder of her sicknesse with extraordinary patience and piety, and more than ordinary resignation and blessed frame of mind. She died the 14th, to our unspeakable sorrow and affliction, and not to ours onely, but that of all who knew her, who were many of the best quality, greatest and most virtuous persons. The justnesse of her stature, person, comelinesse of countenance, gracefull nesse of motion, unaffected tho' more than ordinary beautifull, were the least of her ornaments compared with those of her mind. Of early piety, singularly religious, spending a part of every day in private devotion, reading and other vertuous exereises; she had collected and written out many of the most usefull and judicious periods of the books she read in a kind of common-place, as out of Dr. Hammond on the New Testament, and most of the best practical treatises. She had read and digested a considerable deale of history and of places. The French tongue was as familiar to her as English; she understood Italian, and was able to render a laudable account of what she read and observed, to which assisted a most faithful memory and discernment; and she did make very prudent and discreete reflexions upon what she had observed of the conversations among which she had at any time ben, which being continualy of persons of the best quality, she thereby improved. She had an excellent voice, to which she play'd a thorough-bass on the harpsichord, in both which she arived to that perfection, that of the schollars of those two famous masters Signors Pietro and Bartholomeo she was esteem'd the best; for the sweetnesse of her voice and management of it added such an agreeablenesse to her countenance, without any constraint or concerne, that when she sung, it was as charming to the eye as to the eare; this I rather note, because it was a universal remarke, and for which so many noble and judicious persons in musiq desired to heare her, the last being at Lord Arundel's of Wardour (see above). What shall 1 say, or rather not say, of the cheerefullness and agreeablenesse of her humour? condescending to the meanest servant in the family, or others, she still kept up respect, without the least pride. She would often reade to them, examine, instruct, and pray with them if they were sick, so as she was exceedingly beloved of every body. Piety was so prevalent an ingredient in her constitution (as I may say) that even amongst equals and superiors she no sooner became intimately acquainted, but she would endeavour to improve them, by insinuating something of religious, and that tended to bring them to a love of devotion; she had one or two confidents with whom she used to passe whole dayes In fasting, reading and prayers, especialy before the monethly communion and other solemn occasions. She abhorr'd flattery, and tho' she had aboundance of witt, the raillery was so innocent and ingenuous that it was most agreeable; she sometimes would see a play, but since the stage grew licentious, express'd herselfe weary of them, and the time spent at the theater was an unaccountable vanity. She never play'd at cards without extreame importunity and for the company, but this was so very seldome that I cannot number it among any thing she could name a fault. No one could read prose or verse better or with more judgment; and as she read, so she writ, not only most correct orthography, with that maturitie of judgment and exactnesse of the periods, choice of expressions, and familiarity of stile, that some letters of hers have astonish'd me and others to whom she has occasionally written. She had a talent of rehersing any comical part or poeme, as to them she might be decently free with was more pleasing than heard on yb theater; she daunc'd with the greatest grace I had ever seene, and so would her master say, who was Monsr Isaac; but she seldome shew'd that perfection, save in the gracefullnesse of her carriage, which was with an aire of spritely modestie not easily to be described. Nothing affected, but natural and easy as well in her deportment as in her discourse, which was always materiall, not trifling, and to which the extraordinary sweetnesse of her tone, even in familiar speaking, was very charming. Nothing was so pretty as her descending to play with little children, whom she would caresse and humour with greate delight. But she most affected to be with grave and sober men, of whom she might learne something, and improve herselfe. I have ben assisted by her in reading and praying by me; comprehensive of uncommon notions, curious of knowing every thing to some excesse, had I not sometimes repressed it. Nothing was so delightfull to her as to go into my study, where she would willingly have spent whole dayes, for as I sayd she had read aboundance of history, and all the best poets, even Terence, Plautus, Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid; all the best romances and modern poemes; she could compose happily, and put in pretty symbols, as in the Mundus Mulie bris, wherein is an enumeration of the immense variety of the modes and ornaments belonging to the sex; but all these are vaine trifles to the virtues which adorn'd her soule; she was sincerely religious, most dutifull to her parents, whom she lov'd with an affection temper'd with greate esteeme, so as we were easy and free^ and never were so well pleas'd as when she was with us, nor needed we other conversation; she was kind to her sisters, and was still improving them by her constant course of piety. Oh deare, sweete, and desireable child, how shall I part with all this goodness and virtue without the bittemesse of sorrow and reluctancy of a tender parent! Thy affection, duty, and love to me was that of a friend as well as a child. Nor lesse deare to thy mother, whose example and tender care of thee was unparellel'd, nor was thy returne to her lesse conspicuous; Oh ! how she mourns thy loss! how desolate hast thou left us! To the grave shall we both carry thy memory!
God alone (in whose bosom thou art at rest and happy !) give us to resigne thee and all our contentments (for thou indeede wert all in this world) to his blessed pleasure ! Let him be glorified by our submission, and give us grace to blesse him for the graces he planted in thee, thy virtuous life, pious and holy death, which is indeede the onely comfort of our soules, hastening thro' the infinite love and mercy of the Lord Jesus to be shortly with thee, deare child, and with thee and those blessed saints like thee, glorifye the Redeemer of the world to all eternity ! Amen !
It was in the 19th year of her age that this sicknesse happen'd to her. An accident contributed to this disease; she had an apprehension of it in particular, and which struck her but two days before she came home, by an imprudent gentlewoman whom she went with Lady Falkland to visite, who after they had ben a good while in the house, told them she had a servant sick of the smallpox (who indeede died the next day); this my poore child acknowledg'd made an impression on her spirits. There were foure gentlemen of quality offering to treate with me about marriage, and I freely gave her her owne choice, knowing her discretion. She showed great indifference to marrying at all, for truly, says she to her mother (the other day), were I assur'd of your life and my deare father's, never would I part from you; I love you and this home, where we serve God, above all things, nor ever shall I be so happy; I know and consider the vicissitudes of the world, I have some experience of its vanities, and but for decency more than inclination, and that you judge it expedient for me, I would not change my condition, but rather add the fortune you designe me to my sisters, and keepe up the reputation of our family, This was so discreetly and sincerely utter'd that it could not but proceede from an extraordinary child, and one who lov'd her parents beyond example.
At London she tooke this fatal disease, and the occasion of her being there was this; my Lord Viscount Falkland's (29) Lady having ben our neighbour (as he was Treasurer of the Navy), she tooke so greate an affection to my daughter, that when they went back in the autumn to the Citty, nothing would satisfie their incessant importunity but letting her accompany my Lady, and staying sometime with her; it was with yc greatest reluctance I complied. Whilst she was there, my Lord (29) being musical, when I saw my Lady would not part with her till Christmas, I was not unwilling she should improve the opportunity of learning of Signr Pietro, who had an admirable way both of composure and teaching. It was the end of February before I could prevail with my Lady to part with her; but my Lord going into Oxfordshire to stand for Knight of the Shire there, she express'd her wish to come home, being tir'd of ye vain and empty conversation of the towne, ye theatres, the court, and trifling visites wch consum'd so much precious time, and made her sometimes misse of that regular course of piety that gave her ye greatest satisfaction. She was weary of this life, and I think went not thrice to Court all this time, except when her mother or I carried her. She did not affect shewing herselfe, she knew ye Court well, and pass'd one summer in it at Windsor with Lady Tuke one of the Queene's women of the bed chamber (a most virtuous relation of hers); she was not fond of that glittering scene, now become abominably licentious, though there was a designe of Lady Rochester (39) and Lady Clarendon to have made her a maid of honour to the Queene as soon as there was a vacancy. But this she did not set her heart upon, nor in deede on any thing so much as the service of God, a quiet and regular life, and how she might improve herselfe in the most necessary accomplishments, and to wch she was ariv'd at so greate a measure. This is y° little history and imperfect character of my deare child, whose piety, virtue, and incomparable endowments deserve a. Monument more durable than brasse and marble. Precious is the memorial of the just.
Much I could enlarge on every peribd of this hasty account, but that I ease and discharge my overcoming passion for the present, so many things worthy an excellent Christian and dutifull child crowding upon me. Never can I say enough, oh deare, my deare child, whose memory is so precious to me! This deare child was born at Wotton in the same house and chamber in which I first drew my breath, my wife (50) having retir'd to my brother there in the great sicknesse that yeare upon the first of that moneth, and neere the ve'ry houre that I was borne, upon the last: viz. October. 16 March. She was interr'd in the South-east end of the Church at Deptford, neere her grandmother and severall of my younger children and relations. My desire was she should have ben carried and layed among my own parents and relations at Wotton, where I desire to be interr'd myselfe, when God shall call me out of this uncertaine transitory life, but some circumstances did not permit it. Our vicar Dr. Holden preach'd her funeral sermon on 1 Phil. 21. "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gaine", upon which he made an apposite discourse, as those who heard it assur'd me (for griefe suffer'd me not to be present), concluding with a modest recital of her many virtues and signal piety, so as to draw both teares and admiration from the hearers. I was not altogether unwilling that something of this sort should be spoken, for the edification and encouragement of other young people. Divers noble persons honour'd her funeral, some in person, others sending their coaches, of wch there were six or seven with six horses, viz. the Countesse of Sunderland (39), Earle of Clarendon, Lord Godolphin (39), Sr Stephen Fox (57), Sr Wm Godolphin, Viscount Falkland, and others. There were distributed amongst her friends about 60 rings. Thus liv'd, died, and was buried the joy of my life, and ornament of her sex and of my poore family ! God Almighty of his infinite mercy grant me the grace thankfully to resigne myselfe and all I have, or had, to his Divine pleasure, and in his good time, restoring health and comfort to my family: " teach me so to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom", be prepar'd for my dissolution, and that into the hands of my blessed Saviour I may recommend my spirit ! Amen !
On looking into her closet, it is incredible what a number of collections she had made from historians, poetes, travellers, &c. but above all devotions, contemplations, and resolutions on these contemplations, found under her hand in a booke most methodicaly dispos'd; prayers, meditations, and devotions on particular occasions, with many pretty letters to her confidants; one to a divine (not nam'd) to whom she writes that he would be her ghostly father, and would not despise her for her many errors and the imperfections of her youth, but beg of God to give her courage to acquaint him with all her faults, imploring his assistance and spiritual directions. I well remember she had often desir'd me to recommend her to such a person, but I did not think fit to do it as yet, seeing her apt to be scrupulous, and knowing the great innocency and integrity of her life. It is astonishing how one who had acquir'd such substantial and practical knowledge in other ornamental parts of education, especialy music both vocal and instrumental, In dauncing, paying and receiving visites, and necessary conversation, could accomplish halfe of what she has left; but as she never affected play or cards, which consume a world of precious time, so she was in continual exercise, which yet abated nothing of her most agreeable conversation. But she was a little miracle while she liv'd, and so she died!
John Evelyn's Diary 28 July 1691. 28 Jul 1691. I went to Wotton.
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 05 May 1695. 05 May 1695. I came to Deptford from Wotton, in order to the first meeting of the Commissioners for endowing an hospital for seamen at Greenwich; it was at the Guildhall, London. Present, the Archbishop of Canterbury (58), Lord Keeper, Lord Privy Seal, Lord Godolphin (49), Duke of Shrewsbury (34), Duke of Leeds (63), Earls of Dorset (52) and Monmouth (37), Commissioners of the Admiralty and Navy, Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Christopher Wren (71), and several more. The Commission was read by Mr. Lowndes, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, Surveyor-General.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 September 1696. 06 Sep 1696. I went to congratulate the marriage of a daughter of Mr. Boscawen (68) to the son (24) of Sir Philip Meadows; she is niece to my Lord Godolphin (51), married at Lambeth by the Archbishop (59), 30th of August. After above six months' stay in London about Greenwich Hospital, I returned to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 17 August 1697. 17 Aug 1697. I came to Wotton after three months' absence.
John Evelyn's Diary 23 December 1697. 23 Dec 1697. I returned to Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 04 September 1699. 04 Sep 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 (47) 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 25 January 1700. 25 Jan 1700. I went to Wotton, the first time after my brother's (82) funeral, to furnish the house with necessaries, Lady Wych and my nephew Glanville, the executors having sold and disposed of what goods were there of my brother's. The weather was now altering into sharp and hard frost.
One Stephens, who preached before the House of Commons on King Charles's Martyrdom, told them that the observation of that day was not intended out of any detestation of his murder, but to be a lesson to other Kings and Rulers, how they ought to behave themselves toward their subjects, lest they should come to the same end. This was so resented that, though it was usual to desire these anniversary sermons to be printed, they refused thanks to him, and ordered that in future no one should preach before them, who was not either a Dean or a Doctor of Divinity.
John Evelyn's Diary 19 January 1701. 19 Jan 1701. Severe frost, and such a tempest as threw down many chimneys, and did great spoil at sea, and blew down above twenty trees of mine at Wotton.
John Evelyn's Diary 12 April 1702. 12 Apr 1702. My brother-in-law (83), Glanville, departed this life this morning after a long languishing illness, leaving a son by my sister, and two granddaughters. Our relation and friendship had been long and great. He was a man of excellent parts. He died in the 84th year of his age, and willed his body to be wrapped in lead and carried down to Greenwich, put on board a ship, and buried in the sea, between Dover and Calais, about the Goodwin sands; which was done on the Tuesday, or Wednesday after. This occasioned much discourse, he having no relation at all to the sea. He was a gentleman of an ancient family in Devonshire, and married my sister Jane. By his prudent parsimony he much improved his fortune. He had a place in the Alienation Office, and might have been an extraordinary man, had he cultivated his parts.
My steward at Wotton gave a very honest account of what he had laid out on repairs, amounting to £1,900.
John Evelyn's Diary 27 June 1702. 27 Jun 1702. I went to Wotton with my family for the rest of the summer, and my son-in-law, Draper, with his family, came to stay with us, his house at Addiscombe being new-building, so that my family was above thirty. Most of the new Parliament were chosen of Church of England principles, against the peevish party. The Queen (37) was magnificently entertained at Oxford and all the towns she passed through on her way to Bath.
John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. The place of my birth was Wotton, in the parish of Wotton, or Blackheath, in the county of Surrey, the then mansion-house of my father, left him by my grandfather, afterward and now my eldest brother's. It is situated in the most southern part of the shire; and, though in a valley, yet really upon part of Leith Hill, one of the most eminent in England for the prodigious prospect to be seen from its summit, though by few observed. From it may be discerned twelve or thirteen counties, with part of the sea on the coast of Sussex, in a serene day. The house is large and ancient, suitable to those hospitable times, and so sweetly environed with those delicious streams and venerable woods, as in the judgment of strangers as well as Englishmen it may be compared to one of the most pleasant seats in the nation, and most tempting for a great person and a wanton purse to render it conspicuous. It has rising grounds, meadows, woods, and water, in abundance.
John Evelyn's Diary Editor's Introduction. His grandfather, George, was not the first of the family who settled in Surrey. John, father of this George, was of Kingston, in 1520, and married a daughter of David Vincent, Esq, Lord of the Manor of Long Ditton, near Kingston, which afterward came in the hands of George, who there carried on the manufacture of gunpowder. He purchased very considerable estates in Surrey, and three of his sons became heads of three families, viz, Thomas, his eldest son, at Long Ditton; John, at Godstone, and Richard at Wotton. Each of these three families had the title of Baronet conferred on them at different times, viz, at Godstone, in 1660; Long Ditton, in 1683; and Wotton, in 1713.
The manufacture of gunpowder was carried on at Godstone as well as at Long Ditton; but it does not appear that there ever was any mill at Wotton, or that the purchase of that place was made with such a view.