1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Evelyn

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 2:941-42.



JOHN EVELYN of Says-Court in Kent Son of Rich Evel. of Wotton in Surrey, Esq; was born at Wotton on the 21st of Oct. 1620, educated in the Free-School of Lewes in Sussex, became a Gent. Com. of Balliol Coll. in the beginning of the Year 1637, where he continued about 3 Years in the studies of Logic and Philosophy. Thence he went to the Middle Temple, where he continued till the Rebellion broke out to the great terror of the Nation. In 1644, he, by the express leave of his Maj. K. Ch. I. under his own Hand dated at Oxon, travelled above 7 Years into the politer Countries of Europe, and in his return thro' France he married the sole Daughter and Heir of Sir Rich. Browne Knight and Baronet, then Resident for his Majesty K. Ch. II. with the French King. After his Majesty's Restoration he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, was made one of the Commissioners (together with Sir Tho. Clifford, afterwards Lord Treasurer of England, and other honourable Persons) for the taking care of the sick and wounded Sea-men and Prisoners of War during all our conflicts with the Dutch and the French; and afterwards (amongst divers of the prime Nobility) was made one of the Council for Foreign Plantations, &c. In the Year 1667, he, by his interest, obtained of the Lord Hen. Howard that his antient Marbles called Marmora Arundeliana standing in the Garden belonging to Arundel House without Temple Bar within the Liberty of Westminster should be given to the University of Oxford, which being effected to his mind, he had the solemn Thanks of the University of Oxon, sent to him by the Delegates thereof, and in 1669 had the degree of Doctor of the Civil Law confer'd on him. In Decmb. 1685, he, with Viscount Tiviot and Col. Rob. Philips were constituted by his Majesty Commissioners of the Privy-Seal, during the absence of Henry Earl of Clarendon, who about that time was made L. Lieutenant of Ireland; which honourable Office they enjoying till the Month of March 1686, Henry Lord Arundel of Wardour was sworn Lord Privy-Seal on the eleventh Day of the same Month, at which time they were discharged. This Mr. Evelyn is an ingenious and polite Person and most of all affects a private and studious life, and was the first of those Gentlemen who earliest met for the promotion and establishment of the Royal Society, of which he was one of the Council in 1682, &c. Of this Person Dr. Burnet in his Hist. of the Reformation of the Church of England, par 2. lib. 3. p. 417. speaks thus "The most ingenious and virtuous Gentleman Mr. Evelyn, who is not satisfied to have advanced the knowledge of this Age, by his most useful and successful labours about planting, and divers other ways, but is ready to contribute every thing in his power to perfect other Mens endeavours." Mr Evelyn has published [list omitted].