John Evelyn's Diary 1666

1665 Great Plague of London

1666 Four Days' Battle

1666 St James' Day Battle

1666 Great Fire of London

John Evelyn's Diary 1666 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1660s.

John Evelyn's Diary January 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 03 January 1666

Great Plague of London

03 Jan 1666. I supped in Nonesuch House, whither the office of the Exchequer was transferred during the plague, at my good friend.
Mr. Packer's (47), and took an exact view of the plaster statues and bass-relievos inserted between the timbers and puncheons of the outside walls of the Court; which must needs have been the work of some celebrated Italian. I much admired how they had lasted so well and entire since the time of Henry VIII., exposed as they are to the air; and pity it is they are not taken out and preserved in some dry place; a gallery would become them. There are some mezzo-relievos as big as the life; the story is of the Heathen Gods, emblems, compartments, etc. The palace consists of two courts, of which the first is of stone, castle like, by the Lord Lumleys (of whom it was purchased), the other of timber, a Gothic fabric, but these walls incomparably beautiful. I observed that the appearing timber-puncheons, entrelices, etc., were all so covered with scales of slate, that it seemed carved in the wood and painted, the slate fastened on the timber in pretty figures, that has, like a coat of armor, preserved it from rotting. There stand in the garden two handsome stone pyramids, and the avenue planted with rows of fair elms, but the rest of these goodly trees, both of this and of Worcester Park adjoining, were felled by those destructive and avaricious rebels in the late war, which defaced one of the stateliest seats his Majesty (65) had.

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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 29 January 1666

29 Jan 1666. I went to wait on his Majesty (35), now returned from Oxford to Hampton-Court, where the Duke of Albemarle (57) presented me to him; he ran toward me, and in a most gracious manner gave me his hand to kiss, with many thanks for my care and faithfulness in his service in a time of such great danger, when everybody fled their employments; he told me he was much obliged to me, and said he was several times concerned for me, and the peril I underwent, and did receive my service most acceptably (though in truth I did but do my duty, and O that I had performed it as I ought!). After this, his Majesty (35) was pleased to talk with me alone, near an hour, of several particulars of my employment, and ordered me to attend him again on the Thursday following at Whitehall. Then the Duke (57) came toward me, and embraced me with much kindness, telling me if he had thought my danger would have been so great, he would not have suffered his Majesty (35) to employ me in that station. Then came to salute me my Lord of St. Albans (60), Lord Arlington (48), Sir William Coventry (38), and several great persons; after which, I got home, not being very well in health.
The Court was now in deep mourning for the French Queen-Mother (64).

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John Evelyn's Diary February 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 02 February 1666

02 Feb 1666. To London; his Majesty (35) now come to Whitehall, where I heard and saw my Lord Mayor (and brethren) make his speech of welcome, and the two Sheriffs were knighted.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 February 1666

Great Plague of London

06 Feb 1666. My wife (31) and family returned to me from the country, where they had been since August, by reason of the contagion, now almost universally ceasing. Blessed be God for his infinite mercy in preserving us! I, having gone through so much danger, and lost so many of my poor officers, escaping still myself that I might live to recount and magnify his goodness to me.

John Evelyn's Diary 08 February 1666

08 Feb 1666. I had another gracious reception by his Majesty (35), who called me into his bed-chamber, to lay before and describe to him my project of an Infirmary, which I read to him, who with great approbation, recommended it to his Royal Highness.

John Evelyn's Diary 20 February 1666

20 Feb 1666. To the Commissioners of the Navy who, having seen the project of the Infirmary, encouraged the work, and were very earnest it should be set about immediately; but I saw no money, though a very moderate expense would have saved thousands to his Majesty (35), and been much more commodious for the cure and quartering of our sick and wounded, than the dispersing them into private houses, where many more chirurgeons and attendants were necessary, and the people tempted to debauchery.

John Evelyn's Diary 21 February 1666

21 Feb 1666. Went to my Lord Treasurer (58) for an assignment of £40,000 upon the last two quarters for support of the next year's charge. Next day, to Duke of Albemarle (57) and Secretary of State, to desire them to propose it to the Council.

John Evelyn's Diary March 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 01 March 1666

01 Mar 1666. To London, and presented his Majesty (35) my book intitled, "The Pernicious Consequences of the new Heresy of the Jesuits against Kings and States"..

John Evelyn's Diary 07 March 1666

07 Mar 1666. Dr. Sancroft (49), since Archbishop of Canterbury, preached before the King (35) about the identity and immutability of God, on Psalm cii. 27.

John Evelyn's Diary 13 March 1666

13 Mar 1666. To Chatham, to view a place designed for an Infirmary.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 March 1666

15 Mar 1666. My charge now amounted to near £7,000 [weekly].

John Evelyn's Diary 22 March 1666

22 Mar 1666. The Royal Society reassembled, after the dispersion from the contagion.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 March 1666

24 Mar 1666. Sent £2,000 to Chatham.

John Evelyn's Diary April 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 01 April 1666

01 Apr 1666. To London, to consult about ordering the natural rarities belonging to the repository of the Royal Society; referred to a Committee.

John Evelyn's Diary 10 April 1666

10 Apr 1666. Visited Sir William D'Oyly (52), surprised with a fit of apoplexy, and in extreme danger.

John Evelyn's Diary 11 April 1666

11 Apr 1666. Dr. Bathurst (46) preached before the King (35), from "I say unto you all, watch"—a seasonable and most excellent discourse. When his Majesty (35) came from chapel, he called to me in the lobby, and told me he must now have me sworn for a Justice of Peace (having long since made me of the Commission); which I declined as inconsistent with the other service I was engaged in, and humbly desired to be excused. After dinner, waiting on him, I gave him the first notice of the Spaniards referring the umpirage of the peace between them and Portugal to the French King, which came to me in a letter from France before the Secretaries of State had any news of it. After this, his Majesty (35) again asked me if I had found out any able person about our parts that might supply my place of Justice of Peace (the office in the world I had most industriously avoided, in regard of the perpetual trouble thereof in these numerous parishes); on which I nominated one, whom the King (35) commanded me to give immediate notice of to my Lord Chancellor (57), and I should be excused; for which I rendered his Majesty (35) many thanks. From thence, I went to the Royal Society, where I was chosen by twenty-seven voices to be one of their Council for the ensuing year; but, upon my earnest suit in respect of my other affairs, I got to be excused—and so home.

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John Evelyn's Diary 15 April 1666

Great Plague of London

15 Apr 1666. Our parish was now more infected with the plague than ever, and so was all the country about, though almost quite ceased at London.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 April 1666

24 Apr 1666. To London about our Mint-Commission, and sat in the inner Court of Wards.

John Evelyn's Diary May 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 08 May 1666

08 May 1666. To Queensborough, where finding the Richmond frigate, I sailed to the buoy of the Nore to my Lord-General (57) and Prince Rupert (46), where was the Rendezvous of the most glorious fleet in the world, now preparing to meet the Hollander.

08 May 1666. Went to visit my cousin, Hales, at a sweetly-watered place at Chilston, near Bockton. The next morning, to Leeds Castle, once a famous hold, now hired by me of my Lord Culpeper (40) for a prison. Here I flowed the dry moat, made a new drawbridge, brought spring water into the court of the Castle to an old fountain, and took order for the repairs.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 May 1666

22 May 1666. Waited on my Lord Chancellor (57) at his new palace; and Lord Berkeley's (38) built next to it.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 May 1666

24 May 1666. Dined with Lord Cornbury, now made Lord Chamberlain to the Queen; who kept a very honorable table.

John Evelyn's Diary June 1666

John Evelyn's Diary July 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 02 July 1666

02 Jul 1666. Came Sir John Duncomb (44) and Mr. Thomas Chicheley (52), both Privy Councillors and Commissioners of His Majesty's (36) Ordnance, to visit me, and let me know that his Majesty (36) had in Council, nominated me to be one of the Commissioners for regulating the farming and making of saltpetre through the whole kingdom, and that we were to sit in the Tower the next day. When they were gone, came to see me Sir John Cotton (45), heir to the famous antiquary, Sir Robert Cotton (95): a pretended great Grecian, but had by no means the parts, or genius of his grandfather (95).

John Evelyn's Diary 03 July 1666

03 Jul 1666. I went to sit with the Commissioners at the Tower, where our commission being read, we made some progress in business, our Secretary being Sir George Wharton (49), that famous mathematician who wrote the yearly Almanac during his Majesty's (36) troubles. Thence, to Painters' Hall, Queenhithe, to our other commission, and dined at my Lord Mayor's.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 July 1666

Four Days' Battle

04 Jul 1666. The solemn Fast-day. Dr. Meggot preached an excellent discourse before the King (36) on the terrors of God's judgments. After sermon, I waited on my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (49) and Bishop of Winchester (47), where the Dean of Westminster (31) spoke to me about putting into my hands the disposal of fifty pounds, which the charitable people of Oxford had sent to be distributed among the sick and wounded seamen since the battle. Hence, I went to the Lord Chancellor's (57) to joy him of his Royal Highness's (32) second son, now born at St. James's; and to desire the use of the Star-chamber for our Commissioners to meet in, Painters' Hall, Queenhithe not being so convenient.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 July 1666

12 Jul 1666. We sat the first time in the Star-chamber. There was now added to our commission Sir George Downing (41) (one that had been a great ... against his Majesty (36), but now insinuated into his favor; and, from a pedagogue and fanatic preacher, not worth a groat, had become excessively rich), to inspect the hospitals and treat about prisons.

John Evelyn's Diary 14 July 1666

14 Jul 1666. Sat at the Tower with J. Duncomb (44) and Lord Berkeley (38), to sign deputations for undertakers to furnish their proportions of saltpetre.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 July 1666

17 Jul 1666. To London, to prepare for the next engagement of the fleets, now gotten to sea again.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 July 1666

Great Plague of London

22 Jul 1666. Our parish still infected with the contagion.

John Evelyn's Diary 25 July 1666

St James' Day Battle

25 Jul 1666. The fleets engaged. I dined at Lord Berkeley's (38), at St. James's, where dined my Lady Harrietta Hyde (20), Lord Arlington (48), and Sir John Duncomb (44).

John Evelyn's Diary 29 July 1666

Great Plague of London

29 Jul 1666. The pestilence now fresh increasing in our parish, I forbore going to church. In the afternoon came tidings of our victory over the Dutch, sinking some, and driving others aground, and into their ports.

John Evelyn's Diary August 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 01 August 1666

01 Aug 1666. I went to Dr. Keffler (71), who married the daughter of the famous chemist, Drebbell (94), inventor of the bodied scarlet. I went to see his iron ovens, made portable (formerly) for the Prince of Orange's (15) army: supped at the Rhenish Wine-House with divers Scots gentlemen.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 August 1666

06 Aug 1666. Dined with Mr. Povey (52), and then went with him to see a country house he had bought near Brentford; returning by Kensington; which house stands to a very graceful avenue of trees, but it is an ordinary building, especially one part.

John Evelyn's Diary 08 August 1666

08 Aug 1666. Dined at Sir Stephen Fox's (39) with several friends and, on the 10th, with Mr. Odart, Secretary of the Latin tongue.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 August 1666

17 Aug 1666. Dined with the Lord Chancellor (57), whom I entreated to visit the Hospital of the Savoy, and reduce it (after the great abuse that had been continued) to its original institution for the benefit of the poor, which he promised to do.

John Evelyn's Diary 25 August 1666

25 Aug 1666. Waited on Sir William D'Oyly (52), now recovered, as it were, miraculously. In the afternoon, visited the Savoy Hospital, where I stayed to see the miserably dismembered and wounded men dressed, and gave some necessary orders. Then to my Lord Chancellor (57), who had, with the Bishop of London (74) and others in the commission, chosen me one of the three surveyors of the repairs of Paul's, and to consider of a model for the new building, or, if it might be, repairing of the steeple, which was most decayed.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 August 1666

Great Plague of London

26 Aug 1666. The contagion still continuing, we had the Church service at home.

John Evelyn's Diary 27 August 1666

27 Aug 1666. I went to St. Paul's church, where, with Dr. Wren (80), Mr. Pratt (46), Mr. May (44), Mr. Thomas Chicheley (52), Mr. Slingsby, the Bishop of London (74), the Dean of St. Paul's, and several expert workmen, we went about to survey the general decays of that ancient and venerable church, and to set down in writing the particulars of what was fit to be done, with the charge thereof, giving our opinion from article to article. Finding the main building to recede outward it was the opinion of Chicheley and Mr. Pratt (46) that it had been so built aborigine for an effect in perspective, in regard of the height; but I was, with Dr. Wren (80), quite of another judgment, and so we entered it; we plumbed the uprights in several places. When we came to the steeple, it was deliberated whether it were not well enough to repair it only on its old foundation, with reservation to the four pillars; this Mr. Chicheley (52) and Mr. Pratt (46) were also for, but we totally rejected it, and persisted that it required a new foundation, not only in regard of the necessity, but for that the shape of what stood was very mean, and we had a mind to build it with a noble cupola, a form of church-building not as yet known in England, but of wonderful grace. For this purpose, we offered to bring in a plan and estimate, which after much contest, was at last assented to, and that we should nominate a committee of able workmen to examine the present foundation. This concluded, we drew all up in writing, and so went with my Lord Bishop to the Dean's.

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John Evelyn's Diary 28 August 1666

28 Aug 1666. Sat at the Star-chamber. Next day, to the Royal Society, where one Mercator, an excellent mathematician, produced his rare clock and new motion to perform the equations, and Mr. Rooke, his new pendulum.

John Evelyn's Diary September 1666

John Evelyn's Diary October 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 10 October 1666

Great Fire of London

10 Oct 1666. This day was ordered a general Fast through the Nation, to humble us on the late dreadful conflagration, added to the plague and war, the most dismal judgments that could be inflicted; but which indeed we highly deserved for our prodigious ingratitude, burning lusts, dissolute court, profane and abominable lives, under such dispensations of God's continued favor in restoring Church, Prince, and People from our late intestine calamities, of which we were altogether unmindful, even to astonishment. This made me resolve to go to our parish assembly, where our Doctor preached on Luke xix. 41: piously applying it to the occasion. After which, was a collection for the distressed losers in the late fire.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 October 1666

18 Oct 1666. To Court. It being the first time his Majesty (36) put himself solemnly into the Eastern fashion of vest, changing doublet, stiff collar, bands and cloak, into a comely dress, after the Persian mode, with girdles or straps, and shoestrings and garters into buckles, of which some were set with precious stones resolving never to alter it, and to leave the French mode, which had hitherto obtained to our great expense and reproach. Upon which, divers courtiers and gentlemen gave his Majesty (36) gold by way of wager that he would not persist in this resolution. I had sometime before presented an invective against that unconstancy, and our so much affecting the French fashion, to his Majesty (36); in which I took occasion to describe the comeliness and usefulness of the Persian clothing, in the very same manner his Majesty (36) now clad himself. This pamphlet I entitled "Tyrannus, or the Mode", and gave it to the King (36) to read. I do not impute to this discourse the change which soon happened, but it was an identity that I could not but take notice of.
This night was acted my Lord Broghill's (45) tragedy, called "Mustapha", before their Majesties (36) [Note. and Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705 (27)] at Court, at which I was present; very seldom going to the public theatres for many reasons now, as they were abused to an atheistical liberty; foul and indecent women now (and never till now) permitted to appear and act, who inflaming several young noblemen and gallants, became their misses, and to some, their wives. Witness the Earl of Oxford (39), Sir R. Howard (40), Prince Rupert (46), the Earl of Dorset (44), and another greater person than any of them, who fell into their snares, to the reproach of their noble families, and ruin of both body and soul. I was invited by my Lord Chamberlain (64) to see this tragedy, exceedingly well written, though in my mind I did not approve of any such pastime in a time of such judgments and calamities.

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John Evelyn's Diary 21 October 1666

21 Oct 1666. This season, after so long and extraordinary a drought in August and September, as if preparatory for the dreadful fire, was so very wet and rainy as many feared an ensuing famine.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 October 1666

Great Plague of London

28 Oct 1666. The pestilence, through God's mercy, began now to abate considerably in our town.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 October 1666

30 Oct 1666. To London to our office, and now had I on the vest and surcoat, or tunic, as it was called, after his Majesty (36) had brought the whole court to it. It was a comely and manly habit, too good to hold, it being impossible for us in good earnest to leave the Monsieurs' vanities long.

John Evelyn's Diary 31 October 1666

31 Oct 1666. I heard the signal cause of my Lord Cleveland (75) pleaded before the House of Lords; and was this day forty-six years of age, wonderfully protected by the mercies of God, for which I render him immortal thanks.

John Evelyn's Diary November 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 14 November 1666

14 Nov 1666. I went my winter circle through my district, Rochester and other places, where I had men quartered, and in custody.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 November 1666

15 Nov 1666. To Leeds Castle.

John Evelyn's Diary 16 November 1666

16 Nov 1666. I mustered the prisoners, being about 600 Dutch and French, ordered their proportion of bread to be augmented and provided clothes and fuel. Monsieur Colbert (41), Ambassador at the Court of England, this day sent money from his master, the French King, to every prisoner of that nation under my guard.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 November 1666

17 Nov 1666. I returned to Chatham, my chariot overturning on the steep of Bexley Hill, wounded me in two places on the head; my son, Jack (11), being with me, was like to have been worse cut by the glass; but I thank God we both escaped without much hurt, though not without exceeding danger.

John Evelyn's Diary 18 November 1666

18 Nov 1666. At Rochester.

John Evelyn's Diary 19 November 1666

19 Nov 1666. Returned home.

John Evelyn's Diary 23 November 1666

23 Nov 1666. At London, I heard an extraordinary case before a Committee of the whole House of Commons, in the Commons' House of Parliament, between one Captain Taylor and my Lord Viscount Mordaunt (40), where, after the lawyers had pleaded and the witnesses been examined, such foul and dishonorable things were produced against his Lordship (40), of tyranny during his government of Windsor Castle, of which he was Constable, incontinence, and suborning witnesses (of which last, one Sir Richard Breames was most concerned), that I was exceedingly interested for his Lordship (40), who was my special friend, and husband of the most virtuous lady (34) in the world. We sat till near ten at night, and yet but half the counsel had done on behalf of the plaintiff. The question then was put for bringing in of lights to sit longer. This lasted so long before it was determined, and raised such a confused noise among the members, that a stranger would have been astonished at it. I admire that there is not a rationale to regulate such trifling accidents, which consume much time, and is a reproach to the gravity of so great an assembly of sober men.
Note. John Mordaunt 1st Viscount Mordaunt 1626-1675 (40) was accused by William Taylor, Surveyor of Windsor Castle, of having imprisoned him and raped his daughter. He was subsequently pardoned by Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 (36) and left the country.

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John Evelyn's Diary 27 November 1666

27 Nov 1666. Sir Hugh Pollard (63), Comptroller of the Household, died at Whitehall, and his Majesty (36) conferred the white staff on my brother Commissioner for sick and wounded, Sir Thomas Clifford (36), a bold young gentleman, of a small fortune in Devon, but advanced by Lord Arlington (48), Secretary of State, to the great astonishment of all the Court. This gentleman (36) was somewhat related to me by the marriage of his mother to my nearest kinsman, Gregory Coale, and was ever my noble friend, a valiant and daring person, but by no means fit for a supple and flattering courtier.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 November 1666

Great Fire of London

28 Nov 1666. Went to see Clarendon House, now almost finished, a goodly pile to see, but had many defects as to the architecture, yet placed most gracefully. After this, I waited on the Lord Chancellor (57), who was now at Berkshire House, since the burning of London.

John Evelyn's Diary December 1666

John Evelyn's Diary 02 December 1666

02 Dec 1666. Dined with me Monsieur Kiviet (39), a Dutch gentleman-pensioner of Rotterdam, who came over for protection, being of the Prince of Orange's (16) party, now not welcome in Holland. The King (36) knighted him for some merit in the Prince's (16) behalf. He should, if caught, have been beheaded with Monsieur Buat, and was brother-in-law to Van Tromp, the sea-general. With him came Mr. Gabriel_Sylvius, and Mr. Williamson (33), secretary to Lord Arlington (48); M. Kiviet (39) came to examine whether the soil about the river of Thames would be proper to make clinker bricks, and to treat with me about some accommodation in order to it.