The diary of John Evelyn

Regular posts from the diary of John Evelyn

Year: 1641 (page 1 of 7)

Monday 25 November 1641

and, on the 25th, saw his Majesty ride through the City after his coming out of Scotland, and a Peace proclaimed, with great acclamations and joy of the giddy people.

Saturday 23 November 1641

I returned to London;

Sunday 15 December 1641

I was elected one of the Comptrollers of the Middle Temple revellers, as the fashion of the young students and gentlemen was, the Christmas being kept this year with great solemnity; but, being desirous to pass it in the country, I got leave to resign my staff of office, and went with my brother Richard to Wotton.

Thursday 7 November 1641

After receiving the Sacrament at Wotton church, I visited my Lord Marshal at Albury.

“Albury (State 2)”- by Wenceslaus Hollar (circa 1645)

Thursday 31 October 1641

On the 31st of that month (unfortunate for the Irish Rebellion, which broke out on the 23rd1), I was one and twenty years of age.

  1. Upon which day was planned the surprise of Dublin Castle and the rising in Ulster.  -AD 

Wednesday 16 October 1641

I went to see my brother1 at Wotton.

  1. more than likely George -GS 

Sunday 13 October 1641

The next morning by Sittingbourne, I came to Rochester, and thence to Gravesend, where a light-horseman (as they call it1) taking us in, we spent our tide as far as Greenwich. From hence, after we had a little refreshed ourselves at the College (for by reason of contagion then in London we balked2 the inns), we came to London, landing at Arundel stairs3. Here I took leave of his Lordship, and retired to my lodgings in the Middle Temple, being about two in the morning, the 14th of October.

  1. According to Smyth’s Sailors Word-Book, this is “ an old
    name for the light boat, since named gig.” –AD 

  2. Avoided, gave the go-by to.  –AD 

  3. Arundel Stairs provided access to Arundel House, home of the Earl of Arundel, from the Thames. Austin Dobson writes in a footnote “[the stairs] were at the bottom of Arundel Street, near the present Arundel Hotel.”  

Saturday 12 October 1641

About midnight, we weighed; and, at four in the morning, though not far from Dover, we could not make the pier till four that afternoon, the wind proving contrary and driving us westward: but at last we got on shore, October the 12th.

From Dover, I that night rode post to Canterbury. Here I visited the cathedral, then in great splendor; those famous windows being entire, since demolished by the fanatics1.

“South Prospect of Canterbury Cathedral”- by Wenceslaus Hollar (circa 1655) Credit: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

  1. In 1643, Richard Culmer, a fanatical divine, known as “Blue Dick,” was commissioned by the Parliament to destroy the stained glass of Canterbury Cathedral. –AD 

Friday 11 October 1641

From hence, the next day, I marched three English miles toward the packet boat, being a pretty frigate of six guns, which embarked us for England about three in the afternoon.

At our going off, the fort, against which our pinnace anchored saluted my Lord Marshal with twelve great guns, which we answered with three. Not having the wind favorable, we anchored that night before Calais.

“Caletum, sive Calesium, vulgo Cales” (Calais)- by Braun & Hogenberg, (1598) Source: & used with permission.

Thursday 10 October 1641

I went by wagon, accompanied with a jovial commissary, to Dunkirk, the journey being made all on the sea sands. On our arrival, we first viewed the court of guards, the works, the townhouse, and the new church; the latter is very beautiful within; and another, wherein they showed us an excellent piece of “Our Savior’s Bearing the Cross.”1 The harbor, in two channels, coming up to the town, was choked with a multitude of prizes.

“Duynkercken a Septent – Dunkerka a Meridies” (Dunkirk)- by Blaeu J (1649) Source: & used with permission.


  1. Probably The Church of St. Eloi which was burned in 1558 with reconstruction started in 1567 – GS 

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