Monday 17 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, and thence with Mr. Wren by appointment in his coach to Hampstead, to speak with the Atturney-general, whom we met in the fields, by his old route and house; and after a little talk about our business of Ackeworth, went and saw the Lord Wotton’s house and garden, which is wonderfull fine: too good for the house the gardens are, being, indeed, the most noble that ever I saw, and brave orange and lemon trees. Thence to Mr. Chichley’s by invitation, and there dined with Sir John, his father not coming home. And while at dinner comes by the French Embassador Colbert’s mules, the first I eversaw, with their sumpter-clothes mighty rich, and his coaches, he being to have his entry to-day: but his things, though rich, are not new; supposed to be the same his brother1 had the other day, at the treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle, in Flanders. Thence to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “Cupid’s Revenge,” under the new name of “Love Despised,” that hath something very good in it, though I like not the whole body of it. This day the first time acted here. Thence home, and there with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer late, reading over all the principal officers’ instructions in order to my great work upon my hand, and so to bed, my eyes very ill.

16 Annotations

Mark Hazard  •  Link

Another lurker here--I think I have one earlier post to my credit, correcting the translation of de Ruyter's Latin monument--and want to thank everyone for years of enjoyment, (not least for discovering languagehat's site through it). I had read some of the diary decades ago, but this site has been another order of involvement. I've been following it since Jan. 2004.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a little talk about our business of Ackeworth"…


"the French Embassador Colbert’s mules, the first I eversaw, with their sumpter-clothes mighty rich"

SUMPTER-CLOTH = richly-embroidered cloths covering pack-mules (L&M Large Glossary)


Mark Hazard, sometime lurker, good to see you!

L. Neal  •  Link

Orange and lemon trees? Climate seems too chilly, but perhaps they were grown inside conservatories?

Ralph Berry  •  Link

"grown inside conservatories"
If there was a conservatory or orangery it should have been so unusual that SP would probably have commented on it, (he may have be keeping his journal short because of the eye problem). Providing they are in a sheltered south facing spot and covered in winter against frosts lemons can survive but oranges would be trickier. It is possible they were planted up against a wall that had specially built chimneys running through it that had fires lit to heat them up in winter.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

grown inside conservatories
Kensington Palace has an "orangerie", presumably to grow lemons and oranges and provide a noble place to have tea. It looked like it was protected by nearby brick walls and had a lot of glass. I didn't go inside. I got the idea they could build a fire inside if a week or two of cold weather was getting to be too much. This simply can't be done in New England, where we have a foot of snow and freezing weather.

Mary  •  Link

In England, John Parkinson introduced the orangery to the readers of his Paradisus in Sole (1628), under the heading "Oranges". The trees might be planted against a brick wall and enclosed in winter with a plank shed covered with "cerecloth", a waxed precursor of tarpaulin.[7] "For that purpose, some keepe them in great square boxes, and lift them to and fro by iron hooks on the sides, or cause them to be rowled by trundels, or small wheeles under them, to place them in a house or close gallery."

JWB  •  Link

"...Colbert’s mules, the first I eversaw..."

Dent says in 'Horses of Shakespeare's England' that asses had degenerated in Northern clime to much smaller stature. Could be the reason the hybrid not appreciated in England. Washington started the breeding in US with two donkies given by Spanish King. Also might be noted that @ Mt. Vernon, Geo. had orangery with trees planted in boxes, trundled in and out w/ seasons.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

327. Pietro Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.

With a favouring wind and a calm sea this same Colbert crossed from Cales to Dover and arrived yesterday incognito at the place which was taken many days ago and furnished by his household, which forestalled his arrival. He will have facilities for making his public entry because he has his liveries, coaches and horses ready, which were used for the congress at Aix la Chapelle, but for overcoming the delays of the country he will be much better served by the great sums of money, the splendid employment of which for the glory of the embassy already shows the generosity of that crown.
London, the 17th August, 1668. [Italian.]…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Square wooden white-painted planters for trees/shrubs which could be moved on casters or simply transported by sturdy gardeners are now popularly known as Versailles tubs (well, they are in Australia anyway). Presumably a reference to Versailles. I seem to remember a lot of things in tubs - whether this was to protect them from the weather or simply to change the look of the garden, I'm not sure.

As these mules had rich heavy sumpter cloths (which incidentally must have been uncomfortable and itchy in a hot summer) which were magnificent enough to catch Sam's eye, would they have been mere pack animals? Or were they part of the display of the official visit? Colbert was preceded by Mazarin, a Cardinal. Although I have not found a reference to this, I thought such dignitaries of the Church showed their humility [sic] by travelling with mules or donkies. If this was so, could the mules (albeit richly accoutred) be part of this and something inherited by Colbert? After all, if he just needed something to carry his stuff, surely any old pack animals picked up around Dover would have suffiiced?

nix  •  Link

Oranges and lemons? But surely this is too far away to hear the bells of St. Clement's!

pepfie  •  Link

"Aix-la-Chapelle, in Flanders" vulgo Aachen, Germany

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the French Embassador Colbert..., he being to have his entry to-day"

Colbert's state entry took the usual form of a journey by royal barge from Greenwich to the Tower, followed by a procession by a procession of coaches through the principal streets to his residence at Leicester House. The affair was complete even to a punctilious dispute about the order of precedence for the coaches. There were six sumpter mules with bells. (L&M)


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"went and saw the Lord Wotton’s house and garden, which is wonderfull fine: too good for the house the gardens are, being, indeed, the most noble that ever I saw, and brave orange and lemon trees."

Evelyn visited here 8 years later:

2d June, 1676....We returned in the evening by Hampstead; to see Lord Wotton's house and garden (Bellsize House), built with vast expense by Mr. O'Neale, an Irish gentleman who married Lord Wotton's mother, Lady Stanhope. The furniture is very particular for Indian cabinets, porcelain, and other solid and noble movables. The gallery very fine, the gardens very large, but ill kept, yet woody and chargeable The soil a cold weeping clay, not answering the expense.…

L&M note the Elizabethan mansion was pulled down shortly after 1745.

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