The diary of John Evelyn

Regular posts from the diary of John Evelyn

About this site

This site posts regular text and annotations from the diary of John Evelyn.

This site was created by Guy Sangwine.  All diary text taken from Gutenberg Project. Images and other text credited in each post or page.

Inspiration

Inspiration came from the amazing The Diary of Samuel Pepys.  Evelyn was a friend of Pepys and is mentioned in both Samuel Pepys’ diary and letters.

 

1 Comment

  1. “Saturday 21 August 1641
    From thence [Amsterdam], I went to a place without the town, called Overkirk [INCORRECT: should be Ouderkerk aan de Amstel] where they [Portuguese Jews, and until 1642, several Ashkenazi Jews were also buried at the cemetery] have a spacious field [Beth Haim] assigned them to bury their dead, full of sepulchers with Hebraic inscriptions, some of them stately and costly. Looking through one of these monuments, where the stones were disjointed, I perceived divers books and papers lie about a corpse; for it seems, when any learned Rabbi dies, they bury some of his books with him. With the help of a stick, I raked out several, written in Hebrew characters, but much impaired.”

    Evelyn didn’t go on this day to Overkirk (Ouwerkerk), 130–150 km southwest of Amsterdam in Zeeland, but “went to a place without the town”, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, about 9 km south of Amsterdam, “where they [Portuguese Jews, and until 1642, several Ashkenazi Jews were also buried at the cemetery] have a spacious field [Beth Haim] assigned them to bury their dead, full of sepulchers with Hebraic inscriptions, some of them stately and costly.”

    Ouderkerk aan de Amstel
    Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is largely a part of the municipality of Ouder-Amstel, and lies about 9 km south of Amsterdam. A small part of the town lies in the municipality of Amstelveen.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouderkerk_aan_de_Amstel

    Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel
    The Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands. It was purchased for use as a burying ground by the Jewish community of Amsterdam in 1614 and is located in the village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, in the countryside near Amsterdam.
    http://www.bethhaim.nl/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Haim_of_Ouderkerk_aan_de_Amstel
    Among extensive literature: D. Henriques de Castro Mz. (d. 1898), Selected Gravestones from the Dutch Portuguese Jewish Cemetery at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel with Descriptions and Biographical Notes. With Plates. Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, the Netherlands: Stichting tot Instandhouding en Onderhoud van Historische Joodse Begraafplaatsen in Nederland, 1999. Posthumous expanded edition of original 1883 ed.
    Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/9–1682), the greatest 17th c. Dutch landscape painter, depicted Beth Haim in two drawings (Teyler Museum, nos. *Q 48, *Q49, Haarlem, the Netherlands) and two famous paintings (Detroit Institute of Arts, no. 26.3, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.; and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, no. 1502, Dresden, Germany). The four artworks have been variously dated to as early as the 1650s, and as late as the 1670s.

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