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Full text of "The Diary Of John Evelyn Vol-2"

DIARY    OF                          GROOMBRIDGE

Cranbourne Lodge, in the Forest; there were his Maj-
esty, the Queen, Duke, Duchess, and all the Court. I
returned in the evening with Sir Joseph Williamson, now
declared Secretary of State. He was son of a poor
clergyman somewhere in Cumberland, brought up at
Queen's College, Oxford, of which he came to be a fel-
low; then traveled with . . . and returning when the
King was restored, was received as a clerk under Mr.
Secretary Nicholas. Sir Henry Bennett (now Lord Arling-
ton) succeeding, Williamson is transferred to him, who
loving his ease more than business (though sufficiently
able had he'applied himself to it) remitted all to his man
Williamson; and, in a short time, let him so into the
secret of affairs, that (as his Lordship himself told me)
there was a kind of necessity to advance him; and so, by
his subtlety, dexterity, and insinuation, he got now to be
principal Secretary; absolutely Lord Arlington's creature,
and ungrateful enough. It has been the fate of this
obliging favorite to advance those who soon forgot their
original. Sir Joseph was a musician, could play at Jeu
de Goblets, exceedingly formal, a severe master to his serv-
ants, but so inward with my Lord O'Brien, that after a
few months of that gentleman's death, he married his
widow,* who, being sister and heir of the Duke of Rich-
mond, brought him a noble fortune. It was thought they
lived not so kindly after marriage as they did before.
She was much censured for marrying so meanly, being
herself allied to the Royal family.

6th August, 1674. I went to Groombridge, to see my
old friend, Mr. Packer; the house built within a moat,
in a woody valley. The old house had been the place of
confinement of the Duke of Orleans, taken by one Waller,
(whose house it then was) at the battle of Agincourt,
now demolished, and a new one built in its place, though
a far better situation had been on the south of the wood,
on a graceful ascent. At some small distance, is a large

* Lady Catherine Stuart, sister and heir to Charles Stuart, Duke of
Richmond and Lennox, the husband of Mrs, Prances Stuart, one of the
most admired beauties of the Court, with whom Charles II. was so
deeply m love that he never forgave the Duke for marrying her, hav-
ing already, it is thought, formed some similar intention himself. He
took the first opportunity of sending the Duke into an honorable exile,
as Ambassador to Denmark, where he shortly after died, leaving no
issue by the Duchess.e bill were Dr, Cosin, Bishop of Durham, and