Modern History Sourcebook:
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
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,
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(c)Paul Halsall Aug 1997