The diary of John Evelyn

Regular posts from the diary of John Evelyn

Year: 1638

Saturday 1 September 1638

[continues from previous entry] About the beginning of September, I was so afflicted with a quartan ague1, that I could by no means get rid of it till the December following. This was the fatal year wherein the rebellious Scots opposed the King, upon the pretense of the introduction of some new ceremonies and the Book of Common Prayer2, and madly began our confusions, and their own destruction, too, as it proved in event3.


  1. Fever which reoccurred every fourth day, probably influenza. 

  2. The Liturgy or “The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other parts of Divine Service for the use of the Church of Scotland” was published at Edinburgh in 1637. This, together with the Canons published in 1636, aimed at introducing the high church.  All elements of society rebelled against this and together signed the “National Covenant,” which supported a reformed religion of Scotland, and rejected other religions. Later in 1639, Episcopacy and the prayer-book were banned in Scotland

  3. as it proved in the event: This passage appears first in the edition of 1850; but Evelyn saw reason afterwards somewhat to change his tone. See post, under 4th February, 1685 [Not yet published in on this website]. – Footnote by Austin Dobson  

Thursday 2 August 1638

… [continues from previous entry] and, on the 2d of August, to Portsmouth, and thence, having surveyed the fortifications (a great rarity in that blessed halcyon time in England), we passed into the Isle of Wight, to the house of my Lady Richards, in a place called Yaverland1 but were turned the following day to Chichester, where, having viewed the city and fair cathedral, we returned home.


  1. Yaverland: A village on Sandown Bay. (Footnote by Austin Dobson)  

Friday 9th July 1638

I went home to visit my friends, and, on the 26th, with my brother and sister to Lewes, where we abode till the 31st; and thence to one Mr. Michael’s, of Houghton, near Arundel, where we were very well treated; [continues in following post]

Friday 13th April 1638

My father ordered that I should begin to manage my own expenses, which till then my tutor had done; at which I was much satisfied.

Referring entries

Sunday 4 February 1638

One Mr. Wariner preached in our chapel; and, on the 25th, Mr. Wentworth, a kinsman of the Earl of Strafford; after which followed the blessed Sacrament.

Referring entries

Monday 22 January 1638

I would needs be admitted into the dancing and vaulting schools; of which late activity one Stokes, the master, did afterward set forth a pretty book1, which was published, with many witty elogies before it.


  1. Footnote by Austin Dobson: Now extremely scarce. Its title is:

    “The Vaulting-Master: or, The Art of Vaulting. Reduced to a Method, comprized under certaine Rules, Illustrated by Examples, And Now primarily set forth, by Will: Stokes. Printed for Richard Davis, in Oxon, 1652.”

    It is a small oblong quarto, with the author’s portrait prefixed, and a number of plates beautifully engraved (most probably by George Glover), representing feats of activity on horseback.