John Evelyn's Diary 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 1680 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1680s.

John Evelyn's Diary January 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 25 January 1680

25 Jan 1680. Dr. Cave (42), author of "Primitive Christianity", etc., a pious and learned man, preached at Whitehall to the household, on James iii. 17, concerning the duty of grace and charity.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 January 1680

30 Jan 1680. I supped with Sir Stephen Fox (52), now made one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.

John Evelyn's Diary February 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 19 February 1680

19 Feb 1680. The writings for the settling jointure and other contracts of marriage of my son (59) were finished and sealed. The lady (21) was to bring £5,000, in consideration of a settlement of £500 a year present maintenance, which was likewise to be her jointure, and £500 a year after mine and my wife's (45) decease. But, with God's blessing, it will be at the least £1,000 a year more in a few years. I pray God make him worthy of it, and a comfort to his excellent mother (45), who deserves much from him!.

John Evelyn's Diary 21 February 1680

21 Feb 1680. Shrove-Tuesday. My son (25) was married to Mrs. Martha Spencer (21), daughter to my Lady Stonehouse by a former gentleman, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, by our Vicar, borrowing the church of Dr. Stillingfleet (44), Dean of St. Paul's, the present incumbent. We afterward dined at a house in Holborn; and, after the solemnity and dancing was done, they were bedded at Sir John Stonehouse's (41) lodgings in Bow Street, Convent Garden.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 February 1680

26 Feb 1680. To the Royal Society, where I met an Irish Bishop (53) with his Lady, who was daughter to my worthy and pious friend, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, late Bishop of Down and Connor; they came to see the Repository. She seemed to be a knowing woman, beyond the ordinary talent of her sex.

John Evelyn's Diary March 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 03 March 1680

03 Mar 1680. I dined at my Lord Mayor's, in order to the meeting of my Lady Beckford, whose daughter (a rich heiress) I had recommended to my brother (62) of Wotton for his only son (27), she being the daughter of the lady by Mr. Eversfield, a Sussex gentleman.

John Evelyn's Diary 16 March 1680

16 Mar 1680. To London, to receive £3,000 of my daughter-in-law's (21) portion, which was paid in gold.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 March 1680

26 Mar 1680. The Dean of Sarum (58) preached on Jerem. xlv. 5, an hour and a half from his common-place book, of kings and great men retiring to private situations. Scarce anything of Scripture in it.

John Evelyn's Diary April 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 18 April 1680

18 Apr 1680. On the earnest invitation of the Earl of Essex (48), I went with him to his house at Cashiobury, in Hertfordshire. It was on Sunday, but going early from his house in the square of St. James, we arrived by ten o'clock; this he thought too late to go to church, and we had prayers in his chapel. The house is new, a plain fabric, built by my friend, Mr. Hugh May (58). There are divers fair and good rooms, and excellent carving by Gibbons, especially the chimney-piece of the library. There is in the porch, or entrance, a painting by Verrio, of Apollo and the Liberal Arts. One room pargeted with yew, which I liked well. Some of the chimney mantels are of Irish marble, brought by my Lord from Ireland, when he was Lord-Lieutenant, and not much inferior to Italian. The tympanum, or gable, at the front is a bass-relievo of Diana hunting, cut in Portland stone, handsomely enough. I do not approve of the middle doors being round: but, when the hall is finished as designed, it being an oval with a cupola, together with the other wing, it will be a very noble palace. The library is large, and very nobly furnished, and all the books are richly bound and gilded; but there are no MSS., except the Parliament Rolls and Journals, the transcribing and binding of which cost him, as he assured me, £500.
No man has been more industrious than this noble Lord in planting about his seat, adorned with walks, ponds, and other rural elegancies; but the soil is stony, churlish, and uneven, nor is the water near enough to the house, though a very swift and clear stream runs within a flight-shot from it in the valley, which may fitly be called Coldbrook, it being indeed excessively cold, yet producing fair trouts. It is a pity the house was not situated to more advantage: but it seems it was built just where the old one was, which I believe he only meant to repair; this leads men into irremediable errors, and saves but a little.
The land about is exceedingly addicted to wood, but the coldness of the place hinders the growth. Black cherry trees prosper even to considerable timber, some being eighty feet long; they make also very handsome avenues. There is a pretty oval at the end of a fair walk, set about with treble rows of Spanish chestnut trees.
The gardens are very rare, and cannot be otherwise, having so skillful an artist to govern them as Mr. Cooke, who is, as to the mechanic part, not ignorant in mathematics, and pretends to astrology. There is an excellent collection of the choicest fruit.
As for my Lord, he is a sober, wise, judicious, and pondering person, not illiterate beyond the rate of most noblemen in this age, very well versed in English history and affairs, industrious, frugal, methodical, and every way accomplished. His Lady (44) (being sister of the late Earl of Northumberland) is a wise, yet somewhat melancholy woman, setting her heart too much on the little lady, her daughter (6), of whom she is over fond. They have a hopeful son (9) at the Academy.
My Lord was not long since come from his Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, where he showed his abilities in administration and government, as well as prudence in considerably augmenting his estate without reproach. He had been Ambassador-extraordinary in Denmark, and, in a word, such a person as became the son of that worthy hero his father to be, the late Lord Capel, who lost his life for King Charles I.
We spent our time in the mornings in walking, or riding, and contriving [alterations], and the afternoons in the library, so as I passed my time for three or four days with much satisfaction. He was pleased in conversation to impart to me divers particulars of state, relating to the present times. He being no great friend to the D—— [Note. Probably Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709 (39)] was now laid aside, his integrity and abilities being not so suitable in this conjuncture. 21st. I returned to London.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 April 1680

30 Apr 1680. To a meeting of the executors of late Viscountess Mordaunt's estate, to consider of the sale of Parson's Green, being in treaty with Mr. Loftus, and to settle the half year's account.

John Evelyn's Diary May 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 01 May 1680

01 May 1680. Was a meeting of the feoffees of the poor of our parish. This year I would stand one of the collectors of their rents, to give example to others. My son (25) was added to the feoffees.
This afternoon came to visit me Sir Edward Deering (54), of Surrendon, in Kent, one of the Lords of the Treasury, with his daughter (32), married to my worthy friend, Sir Robert Southwell (44), Clerk of the Council, now Extraordinary-Envoy to the Duke of Brandenburgh, and other Princes in Germany, as before he had been in Portugal, being a sober, wise, and virtuous gentleman.

John Evelyn's Diary 13 May 1680

13 May 1680. I was at the funeral of old Mr. Shish (75), master-shipwright of his Majesty's (49) Yard here, an honest and remarkable man, and his death a public loss, for his excellent success in building ships (though altogether illiterate), and for breeding up so many of his children to be able artists. I held up the pall with three knights, who did him that honor, and he was worthy of it. It was the custom of this good man to rise in the night, and to pray, kneeling in his own coffin, which he had lying by him for many years. He was born that famous year, the Gunpowder-plot, 1605.

John Evelyn's Diary June 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 14 June 1680

14 Jun 1680. Came to dine with us the Countess of Clarendon, Dr. Lloyd (52), Dean of Bangor (since Bishop of St. Asaph), Dr. Burnet (36), author of the "History of the Reformation", and my old friend, Mr. Henshaw (62). After dinner we all went to see the Observatory, and Mr. Flamsted (33), who showed us divers rare instruments, especially the great quadrant.

John Evelyn's Diary July 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 24 July 1680

24 Jul 1680. Went with my wife (45) and daughter to Windsor, to see that stately court, now near finished. There was erected in the court the King (50) on horseback, lately cast in copper, and set on a rich pedestal of white marble, the work of Mr. Gibbons (32), at the expense of Toby Rustate, a page of the back stairs, who by his wonderful frugality had arrived to a great estate in money, and did many works of charity, as well as this of gratitude to his master, which cost him £1,000. He is very simple, ignorant, but honest and loyal creature.
We all dined at the Countess of Sunderland's (34), afterward to see Signor Verrio's (44) garden, thence to Eton College, to salute the provost, and heard a Latin speech of one of the alumni (it being at the election) and were invited to supper; but took our leave, and got to London that night in good time.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 July 1680

26 Jul 1680. My most noble and illustrious friend, the Earl of Ossory (46), espying me this morning after sermon in the privy gallery, calling to me, told me he was now going his journey (meaning to Tangier, whither he was designed Governor, and General of the forces, to regain the losses we had lately sustained from the Moors, when Inchiquin (40) was Governor). I asked if he would not call at my house (as he always did whenever he went out of England on any exploit). He said he must embark at Portsmouth, "wherefore let you and me dine together to-day; I am quite alone, and have something to impart to you; I am not well, shall be private, and desire your company"..
Being retired to his lodgings, and set down on a couch, he sent to his secretary for the copy of a letter which he had written to Lord Sunderland (38) (Secretary of State), wishing me to read it; it was to take notice how ill he resented it, that he should tell the King (50) before Lord Ossory's (46) face, that Tangier was not to be kept, but would certainly be lost, and yet added that it was fit Lord Ossory (46) should be sent, that they might give some account of it to the world, meaning (as supposed) the next Parliament, when all such miscarriages would probably be examined; this Lord Ossory (46) took very ill of Lord Sunderland (38), and not kindly of the King (50), who resolving to send him with an incompetent force, seemed, as his Lordship (46) took it, to be willing to cast him away, not only on a hazardous adventure, but in most men's opinion, an impossibility, seeing there was not to be above 300 or 400 horse, and 4,000 foot for the garrison and all, both to defend the town, form a camp, repulse the enemy, and fortify what ground they should get in. This touched my Lord (46) deeply, that he should be so little considered as to put him on a business in which he should probably not only lose his reputation, but be charged with all the miscarriage and ill success; whereas, at first they promised 6,000 foot and 600 horse effective.
My Lord (46), being an exceedingly brave and valiant person, and who had so approved himself in divers signal battles, both at sea and land; so beloved and so esteemed by the people, as one they depended on, upon all occasions worthy of such a captain;—he looked on this as too great an indifference in his Majesty (50), after all his services, and the merits of his father, the Duke of Ormond (69), and a design of some who envied his virtue. It certainly took so deep root in his mind, that he who was the most void of fear in the world (and assured me he would go to Tangier with ten men if his Majesty (50) commanded him) could not bear up against this unkindness. Having disburdened himself of this to me after dinner, he went with his Majesty (50) to the sheriffs at a great supper in Fishmongers' Hall; but finding himself ill, took his leave immediately of his Majesty (50), and came back to his lodging. Not resting well this night, he was persuaded to remove to Arlington House, for better accommodation. His disorder turned to a malignant fever, which increasing, after all that six of the most able physicians could do, he became delirious, with intervals of sense, during which Dr. Lloyd (52) (after Bishop of St. Asaph) administered the Holy Sacrament, of which I also participated. He died the Friday following, the 30th of July, to the universal grief of all that knew or heard of his great worth, nor had any a greater loss than myself. Oft would he say I was the oldest acquaintance he had in England (when his father was in Ireland), it being now of about thirty years, contracted abroad, when he rode in the Academy in Paris, and when we were seldom asunder.
His Majesty (50) never lost a worthier subject, nor father a better or more dutiful son; a loving, generous, good-natured, and perfectly obliging friend; one who had done innumerable kindnesses to several before they knew it; nor did he ever advance any that were not worthy; no one more brave, more modest; none more humble, sober, and every way virtuous. Unhappy England in this illustrious person's loss! Universal was the mourning for him, and the eulogies on him; I stayed night and day by his bedside to his last gasp, to close his dear eyes! O sad father, mother, wife, and children! What shall I add? He deserved all that a sincere friend, a brave soldier, a virtuous courtier, a loyal subject, an honest man, a bountiful master, and good Christian, could deserve of his prince and country. One thing more let me note, that he often expressed to me the abhorrence he had of that base and unworthy action which he was put upon, of engaging the Smyrna fleet in time of peace, in which though he behaved himself like a great captain, yet he told me it was the only blot in his life, and troubled him exceedingly. Though he was commanded, and never examined further when he was so, yet he always spoke of it with regret and detestation. The Countess (45) was at the seat of her daughter, the Countess of Derby (20), about 200 miles off.

John Evelyn's Diary August 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 30 August 1680

30 Aug 1680. I went to visit a French gentleman, one Monsieur Chardin (36), who having been thrice in the East Indies, Persia, and other remote countries, came hither in our return ships from those parts, and it being reported that he was a very curious and knowing man, I was desired by the Royal Society to salute him in their name, and to invite him to honor them with his company. Sir Joseph Hoskins and Sir Christopher Wren (56) accompanied me. We found him at his lodgings in his eastern habit, a very handsome person, extremely affable, a modest, well-bred man, not inclined to talk wonders. He spoke Latin, and understood Greek, Arabic, and Persian, from eleven years' travels in those parts, whither he went in search of jewels, and was become very rich. He seemed about 36 years of age. After the usual civilities, we asked some account of the extraordinary things he must have seen in traveling over land to those places where few, if any, northern Europeans used to go, as the Black and Caspian Sea, Mingrelia, Bagdad, Nineveh, Persepolis, etc. He told us that the things most worthy of our sight would be, the draughts he had caused to be made of some noble ruins, etc.; for that, besides his own little talent that way, he had carried two good painters with him, to draw landscapes, measure and design the remains of the palace which Alexander burned in his frolic at Persepolis, with divers temples, columns, relievos, and statues, yet extant, which he affirmed to be sculpture far exceeding anything he had observed either at Rome, in Greece, or in any other part of the world where magnificence was in estimation. He said there was an inscription in letters not intelligible, though entire. He was sorry he could not gratify the curiosity of the Society at present, his things not being yet out of the ship; but would wait on them with them on his return from Paris, whither he was going the next day, but with intention to return suddenly, and stay longer here, the persecution in France not suffering Protestants, and he was one, to be quiet.
He told us that Nineveh was a vast city, now all buried in her ruins, the inhabitants building on the subterranean vaults, which were, as appeared, the first stories of the old city, that there were frequently found huge vases of fine earth, columns, and other antiquities; that the straw which the Egyptians required of the Israelites, was not to burn, or cover the rows of bricks as we use, but being chopped small to mingle with the clay, which being dried in the sun (for they bake not in the furnace) would else cleave asunder; that in Persia are yet a race of Ignicolæ, who worship the sun and the fire as Gods; that the women of Georgia and Mingrelia were universally, and without any compare, the most beautiful creatures for shape, features, and figure, in the world, and therefore the Grand Seignor and Bashaws had had from thence most of their wives and concubines; that there had within these hundred years been Amazons among them, that is to say, a sort or race of valiant women, given to war; that Persia was extremely fertile; he spoke also of Japan and China, and of the many great errors of our late geographers, as we suggested matter for discourse. We then took our leave, failing of seeing his papers; but it was told us by others that indeed he dared not open, or show them, till he had first showed them to the French King; but of this he himself said nothing.

John Evelyn's Diary September 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 02 September 1680

02 Sep 1680. I had an opportunity, his Majesty (50) being still at Windsor, of seeing his private library at Whitehall, at my full ease. I went with expectation of finding some curiosities, but, though there were about 1,000 volumes, there were few of importance which I had not perused before. They consisted chiefly of such books as had from time to time been dedicated, or presented to him; a few histories, some Travels and French books, abundance of maps and sea charts, entertainments and pomps, buildings and pieces relating to the navy, some mathematical instruments; but what was most rare, were three or four Romish breviaries, with a great deal of miniature and monkish painting and gilding, one of which is most exquisitely done, both as to the figures, grotesques, and compartments, to the utmost of that curious art. There is another in which I find written by the hand of King Henry VII., his giving it to his dear daughter, Margaret, afterward Queen of Scots, in which he desires her to pray for his soul, subscribing his name at length. There is also the process of the philosophers' great elixir, represented in divers pieces of excellent miniature, but the discourse is in high Dutch, a MS. There is another MS. in quarto, of above 300 years old, in French, being an institution of physic, and in the botanical part the plants are curiously painted in miniature; also a folio MS. of good thickness, being the several exercises, as Themes, Orations, Translations, etc., of King Edward VI., all written and subscribed by his own hand, and with his name very legible, and divers of the Greek interleaved and corrected after the manner of schoolboys' exercises, and that exceedingly well and proper; with some epistles to his preceptor, which show that young prince to have been extraordinarily advanced in learning, and as Cardan, who had been in England affirmed, stupendously knowing for his age. There is likewise his journal, no less testifying his early ripeness and care about the affairs of state.
There are besides many pompous volumes, some embossed with gold, and intaglios on agates, medals, etc. I spent three or four entire days, locked up, and alone, among these books and curiosities. In the rest of the private lodgings contiguous to this, are divers of the best pictures of the great masters, Raphael, Titian, etc., and in my esteem, above all, the "Noli me tangere" of our blessed Savior to Mary Magdalen after his Resurrection, of Hans Holbein; than which I never saw so much reverence and kind of heavenly astonishment expressed in a picture.
There are also divers curious clocks, watches, and pendules of exquisite work, and other curiosities. An ancient woman who made these lodgings clean, and had all the keys, let me in at pleasure for a small reward, by means of a friend.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 September 1680

06 Sep 1680. I dined with Sir Stephen Fox (53), now one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. This gentleman came first a poor boy from the choir of Salisbury, then he was taken notice of by Bishop Duppa, and afterward waited on my Lord Percy (brother to Algernon, Earl of Northumberland), who procured for him an inferior place among the clerks of the kitchen and Greencloth side, where he was found so humble, diligent, industrious, and prudent in his behavior, that his Majesty being in exile, and Mr. Fox waiting, both the King (50) and Lords about him frequently employed him about their affairs, and trusted him both with receiving and paying the little money they had. Returning with his Majesty (50) to England, after great want and great sufferings, his Majesty (50) found him so honest and industrious, and withal so capable and ready, that, being advanced from clerk of the kitchen to that of the Greencloth, he procured to be paymaster of the whole army, and by his dexterity and punctual dealing he obtained such credit among the bankers, that he was in a short time able to borrow vast sums of them upon any exigence. The continual turning thus of money, and the soldiers' moderate allowance to him for keeping touch with them, did so enrich him, that he is believed to be worth at least £200,000, honestly got and unenvied; which is next to a miracle. With all this he continues as humble and ready to do a courtesy as ever he was.
He (53) is generous, and lives very honorably, of a sweet nature, well-spoken, well-bred, and is so highly in his Majesty's (50) esteem, and so useful, that being long since made a knight, he is also advanced to be one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and has the reversion of the Cofferer's place after Harry Brouncker (53). He has married his eldest daughter (11) to my Lord Cornwallis (15), and gave her £12,000, and restored that entangled family besides. He matched his son to Mrs. Trollop (19), who brings with her (besides a great sum) near, if not altogether, £2,000 per annum. Sir Stephen's lady (an excellent woman) is sister to Mr. Whittle (49), one of the King's (50) chirurgeons. In a word, never was man more fortunate than Sir Stephen; he is a handsome person, virtuous, and very religious.

John Evelyn's Diary 23 September 1680

23 Sep 1680. Came to my house some German strangers and Signor Pietro, a famous musician, who had been long in Sweden in Queen Christina's (53) Court; he sung admirably to a guitar, and had a perfect good tenor and bass, and had set to Italian composure many of Abraham Cowley's pieces which showed extremely well. He told me that in Sweden the heat in some part of summer was as excessive as the cold in winter; so cold, he affirmed, that the streets of all the towns are desolate, no creatures stirring in them for many months, all the inhabitants retiring to their stoves. He spoke high things of that romantic Queen's learning and skill in languages, the Majesty (50) of her behavior, her exceeding wit, and that the histories she had read of other countries, especially of Italy and Rome, had made her despise her own. That the real occasion of her resigning her crown was the nobleman's importuning her to marry, and the promise which the Pope had made her of procuring her to be Queen of Naples, which also caused her to change her religion; but she was cheated by his crafty Holiness,43 working on her ambition; that the reason of her killing her secretary at Fontainebleau, was, his revealing that intrigue with the Pope. But, after all this, I rather believe it was her mad prodigality and extreme vanity, which had consumed those vast treasures the great Adolphus, her father, had brought out of Germany during his [campaigns] there and wonderful successes; and that, if she had not voluntarily resigned, as foreseeing the event, the Estates of her kingdom would have compelled her to do so.

John Evelyn's Diary October 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 30 October 1680

30 Oct 1680. I went to London to be private, my birthday being the next day, and I now arrived at my sixtieth year; on which I began a more solemn survey of my whole life, in order to the making and confirming my peace with God, by an accurate scrutiny of all my actions past, as far as I was able to call them to mind. How difficult and uncertain, yet how necessary a work! The Lord be merciful to me, and accept me! Who can tell how oft he offendeth? Teach me, therefore, so to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom, and make my calling and election sure. Amen, Lord Jesus!.

John Evelyn's Diary 31 October 1680

31 Oct 1680. I spent this whole day in exercises. A stranger preached at Whitehall on Luke xvi. 30, 31. I then went to St. Martin's, where the Bishop of St. Asaph (53) [Note. The next post refers to William Lloyd Bishop 1617-1717 (53) being made Bishop of St Asaph. The previous incumbent Isaac Barrow had died 24 Jun 1680] preached on 1 Peter iii. 15; the Holy Communion followed, at which I participated, humbly imploring God's assistance in the great work I was entering into. In the afternoon, I heard Dr. Sprat (45), at St. Margaret's, on Acts xvii. 11.
I began and spent the whole week in examining my life, begging pardon for my faults, assistance and blessing for the future, that I might, in some sort, be prepared for the time that now drew near, and not have the great work to begin, when one can work no longer. The Lord Jesus help and assist me! I therefore stirred little abroad till the 5th of November, when I heard Dr. Tenison (44), the now vicar of St. Martin's; Dr. Lloyd (53), the former incumbent, being made Bishop of St. Asaph.

John Evelyn's Diary November 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 30 November 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

30 Nov 1680. The anniversary election at the Royal Society brought me to London, where was chosen President that excellent person and great philosopher, Mr. Robert Boyle (53), who indeed ought to have been the very first; but neither his infirmity nor his modesty could now any longer excuse him. I desired I might for this year be left out of the Council, by reason my dwelling was in the country. The Society according to custom dined together.
The signal day begun the trial (at which I was present) of my Lord Viscount Stafford (66), (for conspiring the death of the King (50), second son to my Lord Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal of England, and grandfather to the present Duke of Norfolk (52), whom I so well knew, and from which excellent person I received so many favors. It was likewise his birthday, The trial was in Westminster Hall, before the King (50), Lords, and Commons, just in the same manner as, forty years past, the great and wise Earl of Strafford (there being but one letter differing their names) received his trial for pretended ill government in Ireland, in the very same place, this Lord Stafford's father being then High Steward. The place of sitting was now exalted some considerable height from the paved floor of the hall, with a stage of boards. The throne, woolsacks for the Judges, long forms for the Peers, chair for the Lord Steward, exactly ranged, as in the House of Lords. The sides on both hands scaffolded to the very roof for the members of the House of Commons. At the upper end, and on the right side of the King's (50) state, was a box for his Majesty (50), and on the left others for the great ladies, and over head a gallery for ambassadors and public ministers. At the lower end, or entrance, was a bar, and place for the prisoner (66), the Lieutenant of the Tower of London, the ax-bearer and guards, my Lord Stafford's two daughters, the Marchioness of Winchester (20) being one; there was likewise a box for my Lord to retire into. At the right hand, in another box, somewhat higher, stood the witnesses; at the left, the managers, in the name of the Commons of England, namely, Serjeant Maynard (76) (the great lawyer, the same who prosecuted the cause against the Earl of Strafford forty years before, being now near eighty years of age), Sir William Jones (49), late Attorney-General, Sir Francis Winnington (46), a famous pleader, and Mr. Treby, now Recorder of London, not appearing in their gowns as lawyers, but in their cloaks and swords, as representing the Commons of England: to these were joined Mr. Hampden, Dr. Sacheverell, Mr. Poule, Colonel Titus (57), Sir Thomas Lee (45), all gentlemen of quality, and noted parliamentary men. The first two days, in which were read the commission and impeachment, were but a tedious entrance into matter of fact, at which I was but little present. But, on Thursday, I was commodiously seated among the Commons, when the witnesses were sworn and examined. The principal witnesses were Mr. Oates (31) (who called himself Dr.), Mr. Dugdale (40), and Turberville (32). Oates (31) swore that he delivered a commission to Viscount Stafford (66) from the Pope, to be Paymaster-General to an army intended to be raised; Dugdale (40), that being at Lord Aston's, the prisoner dealt with him plainly to murder his Majesty (50); and Turberville (32), that at Paris he also proposed the same to him.

John Evelyn's Diary December 1680

John Evelyn's Diary 03 December 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

03 Dec 1680. The depositions of my Lord's (66) witnesses were taken, to invalidate the King's (50) witnesses; they were very slight persons, but, being fifteen or sixteen, they took up all that day, and in truth they rather did my Lord more injury than service.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 December 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

04 Dec 1680. Came other witnesses of the Commons to corroborate the King's (50), some being Peers, some Commons, with others of good quality, who took off all the former day's objections, and set the King's (50) witnesses recti in curiâ.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 December 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

06 Dec 1680. Sir William Jones (49) summed up the evidence; to him succeeded all the rest of the managers, and then Mr. Henry Poule made a vehement oration. After this my Lord, as on all occasions, and often during the trial, spoke in his own defense, denying the charge altogether, and that he had never seen Oates (31), or Turberville (32), at the time and manner affirmed: in truth, their testimony did little weigh with me; Dugdale's (40) only seemed to press hardest, to which my Lord spoke a great while, but confusedly, without any method.
One thing my Lord (66) said as to Oates (31), which I confess did exceedingly affect me: That a person who during his depositions should so vauntingly brag that though he went over to the Church of Rome, yet he was never a Papist, nor of their religion, all the time that he seemed to apostatize from the Protestant, but only as a spy; though he confessed he took their sacrament; worshiped images, went through all their oaths and discipline of their proselytes, swearing secrecy and to be faithful, but with intent to come over again and betray them; that such a hypocrite, that had so deeply prevaricated as even to turn idolater (for so we of the Church of England termed it), attesting God so solemnly that he was entirely theirs and devoted to their interest, and consequently (as he pretended) trusted; I say, that the witness of such a profligate wretch should be admitted against the life of a peer,—this my Lord looked upon as a monstrous thing, and such as must needs redound to the dishonor of our religion and nation. And verily I am of his Lordship's opinion: such a man's testimony should not be taken against the life of a dog. But the merit of something material which he discovered against Coleman, put him in such esteem with the Parliament, that now, I fancy, he stuck at nothing, and thought everybody was to take what he said for Gospel. The consideration of this, and some other circumstances, began to stagger me; particularly how it was possible that one who went among the Papists on such a design, and pretended to be intrusted with so many letters and commissions from the Pope and the party,—nay, and delivered them to so many great persons,—should not reserve one of them to show, nor so much as one copy of any commission, which he who had such dexterity in opening letters might certainly have done, to the undeniable conviction of those whom he accused; but, as I said, he gained credit on Coleman. But, as to others whom he so madly flew upon, I am little inclined to believe his testimony, he being so slight a person, so passionate, ill bred, and of such impudent behavior; nor is it likely that such piercing politicians as the Jesuits should trust him with so high and so dangerous secrets.

John Evelyn's Diary 07 December 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

07 Dec 1680. On Tuesday, I was again at the trial, when judgment was demanded; and, after my Lord (66) had spoken what he could in denying the fact, the managers answering the objections, the Peers adjourned to their House, and within two hours returned again. There was, in the meantime, this question put to the judges, "whether there being but one witness to any single crime, or act, it could amount to convict a man of treason". They gave an unanimous opinion that in case of treason they all were overt acts for though no man should be condemned by one witness for any one act, yet for several acts to the same intent, it was valid; which was my Lord's (66) case. This being past, and the Peers in their seats again, the Lord Chancellor Finch (33) (this day the Lord High-Steward) removing to the woolsack next his Majesty's (50) state, after summoning the Lieutenant of the Tower to bring forth his prisoner, and proclamation made for silence, demanded of every Peer (who were in all eighty-six) whether William, Lord Viscount Stafford, were guilty of the treason laid to his charge, or not guilty.
Then the Peer spoken to, standing up, and laying his right hand upon his breast, said guilty, or not guilty, upon my honor, and then sat down, the Lord Steward (33) noting their suffrages as they answered upon a paper: when all had done, the number of not guilty being but 31, the guilty 55; and then, after proclamation for silence again, the Lord Steward directing his speech to the prisoner, against whom the ax was turned edgeways and not before, in aggravation of his crime, he being ennobled by the King's (50) father, and since received many favors from his present Majesty (50): after enlarging on his offense, deploring first his own unhappiness that he who had never condemned any man before should now be necessitated to begin with him, he then pronounced sentence of death by hanging, drawing, and quartering, according to form, with great solemnity and dreadful gravity; and, after a short pause, told the prisoner that he believed the Lords would intercede for the omission of some circumstances of his sentence, beheading only excepted; and then breaking his white staff, the Court was dissolved. My Lord Stafford during all this latter part spoke but little, and only gave their Lordships thanks after the sentence was pronounced; and indeed behaved himself modestly, and as became him.
It was observed that all his own relations of his name and family condemned him, except his nephew, the Earl of Arundel (25), son to the Duke of Norfolk (52). And it must be acknowledged that the whole trial was carried on with exceeding gravity: so stately and august an appearance I had never seen before; for, besides the innumerable spectators of gentlemen and foreign ministers, who saw and heard all the proceedings, the prisoner had the consciences of all the Commons of England for his accusers, and all the Peers to be his judges and jury. He had likewise the assistance of what counsel he would, to direct him in his plea, who stood by him. And yet I can hardly think that a person of his age and experience should engage men whom he never saw before (and one of them that came to visit him as a stranger at Paris) POINT BLANK to murder the King (50): God only, who searches hearts, can discover the truth. Lord Stafford was not a man beloved especially of his own family.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 December 1680

12 Dec 1680. This evening, looking out of my chamber window toward the west, I saw a meteor of an obscure bright color, very much in shape like the blade of a sword, the rest of the sky very serene and clear. What this may portend, God only knows; but such another phenomenon I remember to have seen in 1640, about the trial of the great Earl of Strafford, preceding our bloody Rebellion. I pray God avert his judgments! We have had of late several comets, which though I believe appear from natural causes, and of themselves operate not, yet I cannot despise them. They may be warnings from God, as they commonly are forerunners of his animadversions. After many days and nights of snow, cloudy and dark weather, the comet was very much wasted.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 December 1680

17 Dec 1680. My daughter-in-law was brought to bed of a son, christened Richard.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 December 1680

22 Dec 1680. A solemn public Fast that God would prevent all Popish plots, avert his judgments, and give a blessing to the proceedings of Parliament now assembled, and which struck at the succession of the Duke of York (47).

John Evelyn's Diary 29 December 1680

Trial and Execution of William Howard 1st Viscount Stafford

29 Dec 1680. The Viscount Stafford (66) was beheaded on Towerhill.