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silent, and methodical genius; discreetly severe, yet liberal upon all just occasions, both to his children, to strangers, and servants; a lover of hospitality; and, in brief, of a singular and Christian moderation in all his actions ; not illiterate, nor obscure, as, having continued Justice of the Peace and of the Quorum, he served his country as High Sheriff, being, as I take it, the last dignified with that office for Sussex and Surrey together, the same year, before their separation. He was yet a studious decliner of honours and titles; being already in that esteem with his country, that they could have added little to him besides their burthen. He was a person of that rare conversation that, upon frequent recollection, and calling to mind passages of his life and discourse, I could never charge him with the least passion, or inadvertency. His estate was esteemed about £4000 per annum, well wooded, and full of timber.
My mother's name was Eleanor,sole daughter and heiress of John Standsfield, Esq., of an ancient and honourable family (though now extinct) in Shropshire, by his wifo Eleanor Comber, of a good and well-known house in Sussex. She was of proper personage; of a brown complexion; her eyes and hair of a lovely black; of constitution more inclined to a religious melancholy, or pious sadness ; of a rare memory, and most exemplary life ; for economy and prudence, esteemed one of the most conspicuous in her country: which rendered her loss much deplored, both by those who knew, and such as only heard of her.
Thus much, in brief, touching my parents ; nor was it reasonable I should speak less of them to whom I owe so much.
The place of my birth was Wotton, in the parish of
1 Formerly the two counties had in general, though not invariably, only one sheriff. In 1637, each county had its sheriff, and so it has continued since.
2 In proof of Evelyn's assertion may be quoted an old receipt, found at Wotton :
R4, the 29 Oct*. 1630, of Richa Evlinge of Wottone, in the countye of Surr' Esq; by waie of composic'one to the use of his Mate, being apoynted by his Matie Collectofor the same, for his Fine for not appearinge at the tyme & place apoynted for receavinge order of Kthood, the somme of fivetey pound I say receaved. Tho. CRYMES."
* She was born 17th November, 1598, in Sussex, near to Lewes.
Wotton, or Blackheath, in the county of Surrey, the then mansion-house of my father, left him by my grandfather, afterwards 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 80 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.
The distance from London little more than twenty miles, and yet so securely placed, as if it were one hundred; three miles from Dorking, which serves it abundantly with provision as well of land as sea; six from Guildford, twelve from Kingston. I will say nothing of the air, because the pre-eminence is universally given to Surrey, the soil being dry and sandy; but I should speak much of the gardens, fountains, and groves that adorn it, were they not as generally known to be amongst the most natural, and (till this later and universal luxury of the whole nation, since abounding in such expenses) the most magnificent that England afforded ; and which indeed gave one of the first examples to that elegancy, since so much in vogue, and followed in the managing of their waters, and other elegancies of that nature. Let me add, the contiguity of five or six manors, the patronage of the livings about it, and what Themistocles pronounced for none of the least advantages—the good neighbourhood. All which conspire here to render it an honourable and handsome royalty, fit for the present pos. sessor, my worthy brother, and his noble lady, whose con
Eight, and fourteen ; and from London a little more than twentysix measured miles.
2 Seven manors, two advowsons, and a chapel of ease (Sir John Cotton's).
8 Lady Cotton, widow, whom Evelyn's elder brother, George, took
stant liberality gives them title both to the place and the affections of all that know them. Thus, with the poet:
Nescio quâ natale solum dulcedine cuncto:3
Ducit, et immemores non sinit esse sui. I had given me the name of my grandfather, my mother's father, who, together with a sister of Sir Thomas Evelyn of Long Ditton, and Mr. Comber, a near reation of my mother, were my susceptors. The solemnity (yet upon what accident I know not, unless some indisposition in me) was performed in the dining-room by Parson Higham, the present incumbent of the parish, according to the forms prescribed by the then glorious Church of England.
I was now (in regard to my mother's weakness, or rather custom of persons of quality) put to nurse to one Peter, a neighbour's wife and tenant, of a good, comely, brown, wholesome complexion, and in a most sweet place towards the hills, flanked with wood and refreshed with streams; the affection to which kind of solitude I sucked in with my very milk. It appears, by a note of my father's, that I sucked till 17th January, 1622. or at least I came not home before.?
1623. The very first thing that I can call to memory, and from which time forward I began to observe, was this year (1623) my youngest brother being in his nurse's arms, who, being then two days and nine months younger than myself, was the last child of
dear parents. 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, now for his second wife, his first wife having died in 1644. After the latter date, therefore, this portion of Evelyn's “ Kalendarium" must have been written. See post, p. 14.
'I had given me two handsome pieces of very curiously wrought and gilt plate. -Evelyn.
2 The whole of this passage, so characteristic of the writer's tastes and genius, and both the paragraphs before and after it, are printed for the first time in this edition. Portions of the preceding description of Wotton are also first taken from the original ; and it may not be out of place to add that, more especially in the first fifty pages of this volume, & very large number of curious and interesting additions are made to Evelyn's text from the Manuscript of the Diary at Wotton.
Ambassador from Spain (for near about this time wag the match of our Prince with the Infanta proposed); and the effects of that comet, 1618, still working in the prodigious revolutions now beginning in Europe, especially in Germany, whose sad commmctions 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.
1625. I was this year (being the first of the reign of King Charles) sent hy my father to Lewes, in Sussex, to be with my grandfather, Standsfield, with whom I passed my childhood. This was the year in which the pestilence was so epidemical, that there died in London 5000 a-week, and I well remember the strict watches and examinations upon the ways as we passed ; and I was shortly after so dan. gerously sick of a fever, that (as I have heard) the physicians despaired of me.
1626. My picture was drawn in oil by one Chanterell, no ill painter.
1627. My grandfather, Standsfield, died this year, on the 5th of February : I remember perfectly the solemnity at his funeral. He was buried in the parish church of All Souls, where my grandmother, his second wife, erected him a pious monument. About this time, was the consecration of the Church of South Malling, near Lewes, by Dr. Field, Bishop of Oxford (one Mr. Coxhall preached, who was afterwards minister); the building whereof was chiefly procured by my grandfather, who having the impropriation, gave 201. a-year out of it to this church. I afterwards sold the impropriation. I laid one of the first stones at the building of the church.
| Evelyn alludes to the insurrection of the Bohemians on the 12th of May, 1618. The emperor died soon after, and the revolted Bohemians offered the crown to the Elector Palatine Frederic, who had married Elizabeth, daughter of James I. ; whereupon there was great excitement throughout England, in consequence of the backwardness of the king to assist his son-in-law in the struggle for a kingdom, for which the people willingly, as Evelyn in a subsequent page informs us, made
large contributions.” This is the “talk and stir" to which Evely:1 has just
, alluded in connection with Count Gondomar, whose influence had been used with James to withdraw him from the Protestant cause.
1628-30. It was not till the year 1628, that I was put to learn my Latin rudiments, and to write, of one Citolin, a Frenchman, in Lewes. I very well remember that general muster previous to the Isle of Rhè's expedition, and that I was one day awakened in the morning with the news of the Duke of Buckingham being slain by that wretch, Felton, after our disgrace before La Rochelle. And I now took so extraordinary a fancy to drawing and designing, that I could never after wean my inclinations from it, to the expense of much precious time, which might have been more advantageously employed. I was now put to school to one Mr. Potts, in the Cliff at Lewes, from whom, on the 7th of January, 1630, being the day after Epiphany, I went to the free-school at Southover, near the town, of which one Agnes Morley had been the foundress, and now Edward Snatt was the master, under whom I remained till I was sent to the University. This year, my grandmother (with whom I sojourned) being married to one Mr. Newton, a learned and most religious gentleman, we went from the Cliff to dwell at his house in Southover. I do most perfectly remember the jubilee which was universally expressed for the happy birth of the Prince of Wales, 29th of May, now Charles the Second, our most gracious Sovereign.
1631. There happened now an extraordinary dearth in England, corn bearing an excessive price; and, in imitation of what I had seen my father do, I began to observe matters more punctually, which I did use to set down in a blank almanack. The Lord of Castlehaven's arraignment? for many shameful exorbitances was now all the talk, and the birth of the Princess Mary, afterwards Princess of Orange.
1632: 21st October. My eldest sister 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 afterwards sent for into Sur
i Long afterward, Evelyn was in the habit of paying great respect t his old teacher. See“ Correspondence,” vol. iii. p. 95.
2 Mervyn Touchet, second Earl of Castlehaven; convicted by a court of twenty-seven lords, with the Lord Keeper, sitting in West minster Hall, of crimes of the grossest description; and in pursuance of their sentence, executed on Tower Hill, May 14, 1631.