John Evelyn's Diary 1684

1683 Frost Fair

1683 Rye House Plot

John Evelyn's Diary 1684 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1680s.

John Evelyn's Diary January 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 01 January 1684

Frost Fair

01 Jan 1684. The weather continuing intolerably severe, streetes of booths were set upon the Thames; the aire was so very cold and thick, as of many yeares there had not ben the like. The smallpox was very mortal.

John Evelyn's Diary 02 January 1684

02 Jan 1684. I din'd at Sr Ste. Fox's (56): after dinner came a fellow who eate live charcoal, glowingly ignited, quenching them in his mouth, and then champing and swallowing them down. There was a dog also which seem'd to do many rational actions.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 January 1684

Frost Fair

06 Jan 1684. The river quite frozen.

John Evelyn's Diary 09 January 1684

Frost Fair

09 Jan 1684. I went crosse the Thames on the ice, now become so thick as to beare not onely streetes of boothes, in which they roasted meate, and had divers shops of wares, quite acrosse as in a towne, but coaches, carts, and horses, passed over. So I went from Westminster Stayres to Lambeth, and din'd with the Archbishop (66): where I met my Lord Bruce, Sir Geo. Wheeler (32), Coll. Cooke, and severall divines. After dinner and discourse with his Grace till evening prayers, Sir Geo. Wheeler (32) and I walked over the ice from Lambeth Stayres to the horse ferry.

John Evelyn's Diary 10 January 1684

10 Jan 1684. I visited Sir Robert Reading (44), where after supper we had musiq, but not comparable to that which Mrs. Bridgeman made us on the guittar with such extraordinary skill and dexterity.

John Evelyn's Diary 16 January 1684

Frost Fair

16 Jan 1684. The Thames was fill'd with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in the Citty.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 January 1684

Frost Fair

24 Jan 1684. The frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planted with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnish'd and full of commodities, even to a printing presse, where the peopje and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed, and the day and yeare set down when printed on the Thames; this humour tooke so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gain'd £5. a day, for printing a line onely, at sixpence a name, be sides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tlpling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgment on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers places, and the very seas so lock'd up with ice, that no vessells could stir out or come in. The fowles, fish, and birds, and all our exotiq plants and greenes universally perishing. Many parkes of deer were destroied, and all sorts of fuell so deare that there were greate con tributions to preserve the poore alive. Nor was this severe weather much lesse intense in most parts of Europe, even as far as Spaine and the most Southern tracts. London, by reason of the excessive coldnesse of the aire hindering the ascent of the smoke, was so fill'd with the fuliginous steame of the sea-coale, that hardly could one see crosse the streetes, and this filling the lungs with its grosse particles, exceedingly obstructed the breast, so as one could scarcely breath. Here was no water to be had from the pipes and engines, nor could the brewers and divers other tradesmen worke, and every moment was full of dis astrous accidents.

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John Evelyn's Diary February 1684

John Evelyn's Diary March 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 07 March 1684

07 Mar 1684. Dr. Meggot, Deane of Winchester, preached an incomparable sermon, (the King (53) being now gone to Newmarket,) on 12 Heb. 15. shewing and pathetically pressing the care we ought to have least we come short of the grace of God. Afterwards I went to visite Dr. Tenison (47) at Kensington, whither he was retired to refresh after he had ben sick of the smallpox.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 March 1684

15 Mar 1684. At Whitehall preached Mr. Henry Godolphin (35), a prebend of St. Paules, and brother to my deare friend Sydnie (38), on 55 Isaiah 7. I dined at the Lord Keeper's (46), and brought to him Sir John Chardin (40), who shewed him his accurate draughts of his travells in Persia.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 March 1684

28 Mar 1684. There was so greate a concourse of people with their children to be touch'd for the Evil, that 6 or 7 were crush'd to death by pressing at the Chirurgeon's doore for tickets. The weather began to be more mild and tolerable, but there was not the least appearance of any Spring.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 March 1684

30 Mar 1684. Easter day. The Bp. of Rochester [Dr. Turner] (46) preach'd before, the King (53) after which his Ma*, accompanied with three of his natural sonns, the Dukes of Northumberland (18), Richmond, and St. Alban's (13) (sons of Portsmouth (34), Cleaveland (43), and Nelly (34)), went up to the Altar; ye three boyes entering before the King (53) within the railes, at the right hand, and three Bishops on the left, viz. London (52) (who officiated), Durham (51), and Rochester (46), with the Sub-dean Dr. Holder. the King (53) kneeling before the Altar, zaking his offering, the Bishop first receiv'd, and then his Ma* after which he retir'd to a canopied seate on the right hand. Note, there was perfume burnt before the Office began. I had receiv'd ye Sacrament at Whitehall early with the Lords and Household, ye Bp. of London officiating. Then went to St. Martin's, where Dr. Tenison (47) preach'd (recover'd from yc small-pox); then went againe to Whitehall as above. In the afternoone went to St. Martin's againe.

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John Evelyn's Diary April 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 04 April 1684

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

John Evelyn's Diary 30 April 1684

30 Apr 1684. A Letter of mine to the Royal Society concerning the terrible effects of the past winter being read, they desired it might be printed in the next Part of their Transactions.

John Evelyn's Diary May 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 10 May 1684

10 May 1684. I went to visite my brother in Surrey. Call'd by the way at Ashted, where Sr Rob Howard (58) (Auditor of the Exchequer) entertain'd me very civilly at his new built house, which stands in a Park on the Downe, the avenue South; tho' downe hill to the house, which is not greate, but with the outhouses very convenient. The stairecase is painted by Verrio (48) with the storie of Astrea; amongst other figures is the Picture of the Painter himselfe, and not unlike him; the rest is well done, onely the columns did not at all please me; there is also Sir Robert's own Picture in an oval; the whole in fresca. The place has this greate defect, that there is no water but what is drawn up by horses from a very deepe well.

John Evelyn's Diary 11 May 1684

11 May 1684. Visited Mr. Higham, who was ill, and died 3 days after. His grandfather and father (who christen'd me), with himselfe, had now ben Rectors of this parish 101 yeares, viz. from May 1583.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 May 1684

12 May 1684. I return'd to London, where I found the Commissioners of the Admiralty abolish'd, and the office of Admiral restor'd to ye Duke (50), as to the disposal and ordering all Sea businesse; but his Ma (53) sign'd all Petitions, Papers, Warrants, and Commissions, that the Duke, not acting as Admiral by commission or office, might not incur the penalty of the late Act against Papists and Dissenters holding offices, and refusing the Oath and Test. Every one was glad of this change, those in the late Commission being utterly ignorant in their duty, to the greate damage of the Navy.
The utter mine of the Low Country was threaten'd by the siege of Luxembergh, if not timely reliev'd, and by the obstinacy of the Hollanders, who refus'd to assist the Prince of Orange (33), being corrupted by the French.

John Evelyn's Diary 16 May 1684

16 May 1684. I received £600 of Sr Charles Bickerstaff for the fee-farm of Pilton in Devon.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 May 1684

26 May 1684. Lord Dartmouth (37) was chosen Master of the Trinity House, newly return'd with the fleete from blowing up and demolishing Tangier. In the sermon preach'd on this occasion, Dr. Can observ'd that, in the 27th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the casting anchor out of the fore-ship had been cavill'd at as betraying total Ignorance: that it is very true our seamen do not do so, but in the Mediterranean their ships were built differently from ours, and to this day it was the practice to do so there.
Luxembergh was surrender'd to the French, which makes them master of all the Netherlands, gives them entrance into Germany, and a fair game for universal monarchy; which that we should suffer, who only and easily might have hinder'd, astonish'd all the world. Thus is the poor Prince of Orange (33) ruin'd, and this nation and all the Protestant interest in Europe following, unlesse God in his infinite mercy, as by a miracle, interpose, and our greate ones alter their counsels. The French fleete were now besieging Genoa, but after burning much of that beautifull citty with their bombs, went off with disgrace.

John Evelyn's Diary June 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 12 June 1684

12 Jun 1684. I went to advise and give directions about the building two streetes in Berkeley Gardens, reserving the house and as much of the garden as the breadth of the house. In the meanetime I could not but deplore that sweete place (by far the most noble gardens, courts, and accommodations, stately porticos, &c. any where about the towne) should be so much straighten'd and turn'd Into tenements. But that magnificent pile and gardens contiguous to it, built by the late Lord Chancellor Clarendon (75), being all demolish'd, and design'd for Piazzas and buildings, was some excuse for my Baroness Berkeley's (30) resolution of letting out her ground also for so excessive a price as as offer'd, advancing neere £1000 per in mere ground-rents; to such a mad intemperance was the age of building about a citty, by far too disproportionate already to the nation I having in my time seene it almost as large again as it was within my memory.

12 Jun 1684. [Note. This may be 11 Jun]. My cousin Verney, to whom a very greate fortune was fallen, came to take leave of us, going into the country; a very worthy and virtuous young gentleman.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 June 1684

Rye House Plot

22 Jun 1684. Last Friday Sir Tho. Armstrong (51) was executed at Tyburn for treason, without tryal, having ben outlaw'd and apprehended in Holland, on the conspiracy of the Duke of Monmouth (35), Lord Russell (44), &c. which gave occasion of discourse to people and lawyers, in reguard it was on an outlawry that judgment was given and execution.

John Evelyn's Diary July 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 02 July 1684

02 Jul 1684. I went to the Observatory at Greenewich, where Mr. Flamsted (37) tooke his observations of the Eclipse of the Sun, now almost three parts obscured. There had been an excessive hot and dry Spring, and such a drought still continu'd as never was in my memorie.

John Evelyn's Diary 13 July 1684

13 Jul 1684. Some small sprinkling of raine; the leaves dropping from the trees as in Autumn.

John Evelyn's Diary 25 July 1684

25 Jul 1684. I din'd at Lord Falkland's (28), Treasurer of the Navy, where after dinner we had rare musiq, there being, amongst others, Sign Pietro Reggio, and Sigr John Battist, both famous, one for his voice, the other for playing on ye harpsicord, few if any in Europe exceeding him. There was also a Frenchman who sung an admirable basse.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 July 1684

26 Jul 1684. I return'd home where I found my Lord Cheife Justice [Jefferies] (39), the Countesse of Clarendon, and Lady Cath. Fitz-Gerald, who dined with me.

John Evelyn's Diary August 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 10 August 1684

10 Aug 1684. We had now rain after such a drowth as no man in England had known.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 August 1684

24 Aug 1684. Excessive hot. We had not had above one or two considerable showers, and those storms, these 8 or 9 months. Many trees died for the want of refreshment.

John Evelyn's Diary 31 August 1684

31 Aug 1684. Mr. Sidney Godolphin (39) was made Baron Godolphin of Rialton in Cornwall.

John Evelyn's Diary September 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 26 September 1684

26 Sep 1684. The King (54) being return'd from Winchester, there was a numerous Court at White-hall. At this time the Earle of Rochester (42) was remov'd from the Treasury to the Presidentship of the Council; Lord Godolphin (39) was made first Commissioner of the Treasury in his place; Lord Middleton (34) (a Scot) made Secretary of State, in ye room of Lord Godolphin (39). These alterations being very unexpected and mysterious, gave greate occasion of discourse. There was now an Ambassador from ye King of Siam in ye East Indies to his Majesty (54).

John Evelyn's Diary October 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 22 October 1684

22 Oct 1684. I went with Sr William Godolphin (44) to see the Rhinoceros, or Unicorn, being the first that I suppose was ever brought into England. She belong'd to some East India merchants, and was sold (as I remember) for above £2000.
At the same time I went to see a Crocodile, brought from some of the West India islands, resembling the Egyptian Crocodile.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 October 1684

24 Oct 1684. I din'd at Sir Stephen Fox's (57) with the Duke of Northumberland (18). He seem'd to be a young gentleman of good capacity, well bred, civil, and modest: newly come from travell, and had made his campaigne at the siege of Luxemburg. Of all his Ma*s (54) children (of which he had now six Dukes) this seem'd the most accomplish'd and worth the owning. He is extraordinary handsome and well shap'd. What ye Dukes of Richmond (12) and St. Alban's (14) will prove, their youth does not yet discover; they are very pretty boys.

John Evelyn's Diary 26 October 1684

26 Oct 1684. Dr. Goodman (59) preach'd before the King (54) on 2 James 12 concerning the law of liberty: an excellent discourse and in good method. He is author of "The Prodigal Son", a treatise worth reading, and another of the old Religion.

John Evelyn's Diary 27 October 1684

27 Oct 1684. I visited the Lord Chamberlaine (66), where din'd the Hack Baron and Mons' Flamerin, who had so long ben banish'd France for a duel.

John Evelyn's Diary 28 October 1684

28 Oct 1684. I carried Lord Clarendon thro' the Citty, amidst all the squibbs and Bacchanalia of the Lord Maior's shew, to ye Royal Society [at Gresham Coll.] where he was propos'd a member; and then treated him at dinner.
I went to St. Clement's, that pretty built and contriv'd church, where a young divine gave us an eloquent Sermon on 1 Cor. 6. 20 inciting to gratitude and glorifying God for the fabriq of our bodys & the dignitie of our nature.

John Evelyn's Diary November 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 02 November 1684

02 Nov 1684. A suddaine change from temperate warme weather to an excessive cold raine, frost, snow, and storm, such as had seldome ben known. This Winter weather began as early and fierce as the past did late; till about Christmas there then had ben hardly any Winter.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 November 1684

04 Nov 1684. Dr. Turner (47), now translated from Rochester to Ely upon the death of Dr. Peter Gunning (70), preached before the King (54) at White-hall on 3 Romans 8, a very excellent sermon, indicating the Church of England against the pernicious doctrines of the Church of Rome. He challenged the producing but of five Cleargymen who forsooke our Church and went over to that of Rome, during all the troubles & rebellion In England, which lasted neere twenty yeares; and this was to my certaine observation a greate truth.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 November 1684

15 Nov 1684. Being the Queene's (45) birth-day, there were fire-works on the Thames before Whitehall, with pageants of castles, forts, and other devices of gyrondolas, serpents, the King (54) and Queene's (45) armes and mottos, all represented in fire, such as had not ben seen here. But the most remarkable was the severall fires and skirmishes in the very water, which actually mov'd a long way, burning under the water, now and then appearing above it, giving reports like muskets and cannon, with granados and innumerable other devices. It is said it cost £.1500. It was concluded with a ball, where all the young ladys and gallants daunced in the greate hall. The Court had not ben seene so brave and rich in apparell since his Ma*'s Restauration.

John Evelyn's Diary 30 November 1684

30 Nov 1684. In the morning Dr. Fiennes, sonn of the Lord Say & Seale, preached before the King (54) on 21 Joshua 11.

John Evelyn's Diary December 1684

John Evelyn's Diary 03 December 1684

03 Dec 1684. I carried Mr. Justell and Mr. Slingsby (63) (Master of the Mint), to see Mr. Sheldon's collection of Medaills. The series of Popes was rare, and so were several amongst the modernes, especialy that of John Husse's martyrdome at Constance; of the Roman Emp: Consulars; some Greeke, &c. In copper, gold, and silver; not many truly antique; a Medallion of Otho, P. JEmil. &c. hardly antient. They were held at a price of, £.1000. but not worth, I judge, above £200.

John Evelyn's Diary 07 December 1684

07 Dec 1684. I went to see the new church at St. James's, elegantly built; the altar was especialy adorn'd, the white marble inclosure curiously and richly carved, the flowers and garlands about the walls by Mr. Gibbons (36) in wood; a pelican with her young at her breast, just over the altar in the carv'd compartment and border, invironing the purple velvet fring'd with I. H. S. richly embroider'd, and most noble plate, were given by Sr R. Geere, to the value (as was said) of £200. There was no altar any where in England, nor has there ben any abroad, more handsomely adorn'd.

John Evelyn's Diary 17 December 1684

17 Dec 1684. Early in the morning I went into St James' Park to see three Turkish or Asian horses, newly brought over, and now first shewed to his Ma* (54). There were foure, but one of them died at sea, being three weekes coming from Hamborow. They were taken from a Bashaw at the siege of Vienna, at the late famous raising that leaguer. I never beheld so delicate a creature as one of them was, of somewhat a bright bay, two white feet, a blaze; such a head, eyes, cares, neck, breast, belly, haunches, legs, pasterns, and feete, in all reguards beautifull and proportion'd to admiration; spirited, proud, nimble, making halt, turning with that swiftnesse, and in so small a compasse, as was admirable. With all this so gentle and tractable as call'd to mind what I remember Busbequius speakes of them, to the reproch of our groomes in Europe, who bring up their horses so churlishly as makes most of them retain their 111 habits. They trotted like does, as if they did not feele the ground. 500 guinnies was demanded for the first; 300 for the second; and 200 for the third, wch was browne. All of them were choicely shap'd, but the two last not altogether so perfect as the first. It was judg'd by the spectators, among whom was the King (54), Prince of Denmark (31), Duke of Yorke (51), and several of the Court, noble persons, skill'd In horses, especialy Mons. Faubert and his sonn, (provost masters of yc Academie, and esteem'd of the best in Europe,) that there were never seene any horses in these parts to be compar'd with them. Add to all this, the furniture, consisting of embroidery on the saddle, houseings, quiver, bow, arrows, scymeter, sword, mace, or battle-axe a la Turcisq; the Bashaw's velvet mantle furr'd with the most perfect Ermine I ever beheld; all which, yron-worke in common furniture, being here of silver, curiously wrought and double gilt, to an incredible value. Such and so extraordinary was the embrodery, that I never saw any thing approching it. The reins and headstall were of crimson silk, cover'd with chaines of silver gilt. There was also a Turkish royal standard of an horse's taile, together with all sorts of other caparisons belonging to a general's horse, by which one may estimate how gallantly and magnificently those infidels appeare in the field, for nothing could be seene more glorious. The gentleman (a German) who rid the horse was in all this garb. They were shod with yron made round and closed at the heele, with a hole in the middle about as wide as a shilling. The hoofes most intire.

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John Evelyn's Diary 18 December 1684

18 Dec 1684. I went with Lord Cornwallis (28) to see the young gallants do their exercise, Mr. Faubert having newly rail'd in a manage, and fitted it for the academy. There were the Dukes of Norfolk (29) and Northumberland (18), Lord Newburgh, and a nephew of (Duras) Earle of Feversham (43). The exercises were, 1. running at the ring; 2. flinging a javelin at a Moor's head; 3. discharging a pistol at a mark; lastly, taking up a gauntlet with the point of a sword; all these perform'd in full speede. The D. of Northumberland (18) hardly miss'd of succeeding in every one, a dozen times, as I think. The D. of Norfolk (29) did exceeding bravely. Lords Newburgh and Duras seem'd nothing so dextrous. Here I saw the difference of what ye French call "belle homme a cheval", and " bon homme a cheval;" the Duke of Norfolk being the first, that is, rather a fine person on a horse, the Duke of Northumberland being both in perfection, namely, a graceful person and excellent rider. But the Duke of Norfolk told me he had not ben at this exercise these 12 yeares before. There were in the field ye Prince of Denmark (31), and the Lord Landsdown (23), sonn of ye Earle of Bath (56), who had ben made a Count of ye Empire last Summer for his service before Vienna.

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John Evelyn's Diary 20 December 1684

20 Dec 1684. A villainous murder was perpetrated by Mr. St. John (32), eldest son to S' Walter St. John (62), a worthy gentleman, on a knight of quality*, in a tavern. The offender was sentenc'd and repriev'd. So many horrid murders and duels were committed about this time as were never before heard of in England, which gave much cause of complaint and murmurings.