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Modern History Sourcebook:
John Evelyn:
On Restoration and Revolution

From John Evelyn's Diary

Restoration of the Stuarts

May 29, 1666
This day, his Majesty, Charles the Second came to London, after a sad and long exile and calamitous suffering both of the King and Church, being seventeen years. This was also his birthday, and with a triumph of above 20,000 horse and foot, brandishing their swords, and shouting with inexpressible joy; the ways strewed with Howers, the bells ringing) the streets hung with tapestry, fountains running with wine; the Mayor, Aldermen, and all the Companies, in their liveries, chains of gold, and banners; Lords and Nobles, clad in cloth of silver, gold, and velvet; the windows and balconies, all set with ladies; trumpets, music, and myriads of people fiocking, even so far as from Rochester, so as they were seven hours in passing the city, even from two in the afternoon till nine at night

The Glorious Revolution

June 25, 1686
Now his Majesty, beginning with Dr. Sharp and Tully, proceeded to silence and suspend divers excellent divines for preaching against Popery.

November 29, 1686
I went to hear the music of the Italians in the new chapel, now first opened publicly at Whitehall for the Popish Service.... The throne where the King and Queen sit is very glorious, in a closet above, just opposite to the altar. Here we saw the Bishop in his mitre and rich copes, with six or seven Jesuits and others in rich copes sumptuously habited, often taking off and putting on the Bishop's mitre, who sat in a chair with arms pontifically, was adored and censed by three Jesuits in their copes.... I could not have believed I should ever have seen such things in the King of England's palace, after it had pleased God to enlighten this nation; but our great sin has, for the present, eclipsed the blessing, which I hope He will in mercy and His good time restore to its purity.

February 3, 1687
Most of the great officers, both in the court and country, Lords and others, were dismissed, as they would not promise his Majesty their consent to the repeal of the test and penal statutes against Popish Recusants.

June 10, 1688
A young Prince born, which will cause disputes.

About two o'clock, we heard the Tower-ordnance discharged, and the bells ring for the birth of a Prince of Wales. This was very surprising, it having been universally given out that her Majesty did not look till the next month.

September 30, 1688
The Court in so extraordinary a consternation, on assurance of the Prince of Orange's intention to land, that the writs sent forth for a Parliament were recalled.

October 7, 1688
In the mean time, [the king] called over 5,000 Irish, and 4,000 Scots, and continued to remove Protestants and put in Papists at Portsmouth and other places of trust, and retained the Jesuits about him, increasing the universal discontent. It brought people to so desperate a pass, that they seemed passionately to long for and desire the landing of that Prince, whom they looked on to be their deliverer from Popish tyranny, praying incessantly for an east wind, which was said to be the only hindrance of his expedition with a numerous army ready to make a descent. To such a strange temper, and unheard-of in former times, was this poor nation reduced, and of which I was an eye-witness.

November 5, 1688
I went to London; heard the news of the Prince having landed at Torbay, coming with a fleet of near 700 sail, passing through the Channel with so favourable a wind, that our navy could not intercept, or molest them....

These are the beginnings of sorrow, unless God in His mercy prevent it by some happy reconciliation of all dissensions among us. This, in all likelihood, nothing can effect except a free Parliament- but this we cannot hope to see, whilst there are any forces on either side. I pray God to protect and direct the King for the best and truest interest of his people!

December 18, 1688
I saw the King take barge to Gravesend at twelve o'clock - a sad sight! The Prince comes to St. James's and fills Whitehall with Dutch guards. A Council of Peers meet about an expedient to call a Parliament; adjourn to the House of Lords. The Chancellor, Earl of Peterborough, and divers others taken....

All the world go to see the Prince at St. James's, where there is a great Court. There I saw him, and several of my acquaintance who came over with him. He is very stately, serious, and reserved.

From Diary of John Evelyn, ed. W. Bray, 4 vols. (London: Henry G. Bohn 1862), Vol. 1, p. 365, Vol. 2, pp. 265, 273, 286, 291, 295-297.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

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(c)Paul Halsall Aug 1997

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