Skip to main content

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


DIARY OF                              LONDON

the receiving Holy Sacrament, but Ms Majesty told them
he would consider of it, which he did so long till it was
too late. Others whispered that the Bishops and Lords,
except the Earls of Bath and Feversham, being ordered
to withdraw the night before, Hnddleston, the priest,
had presumed to administer the Popish offices. He gave
his breeches and keys to the Duke who was almost con-
tinually kneeling by his bedside, and in tears. He also
recommended to him the care of his natural children, all
except the Duke of Monmouth, now in Holland, and in
his displeasure. He entreated the Queen to pardon him
(not without cause); who a little before had sent a Bishop
to excuse her not more frequently visiting him, in regard
of her excessive grief, and withal that his Majesty would
forgive it if at any time she had offended him. He spoke
to the Duke to be kind to the Duchess of Cleveland,
and especially Portsmouth, and that Nelly might not

Thus died King Charles II., of a vigorous and robust
constitution, and in all appearance promising a long life.
He was a prince of many virtues, and many great imper-

to prepare for another world, two Bishops came to do their function,
who reading the prayers appointed in the Common Prayer Book on
that -occasion, when they came to the place where usually they exhort
a sick person to make a confession of his sins, the Bishop of Bath
and Wells, who was one of them, advertised him, IT WAS NOT OF OB-
LIGATION; and after a short exhortation, asked him if he was sorry
for his sins ? which the King saying he was, the Bishop pronounced
the absolution, and then, asked him if he pleased to receive the
Sacrament ? to which the King made no reply; and being pressed by
the Bishop several times, gave no other answer but that it was time
enough, or that he would think of it

King James adds, that he stood all the while by the bedside, and
seeing the King would not receive the Sacrament from them, and
knowing his sentiments, he desired the company to stand a little
from the bed, and then asked the King whether he should send for a
priest, to which the King replied: «For God's sake, brother, do, and
lose no time.* The Duke said he would bring one to him; but none
cooH be found except Father Huddleston, who had been so assistant
in the King's escape from Worcester; he was brought up a back
staircase, and the company were desired to withdraw, but he (the
Duke of York) not thinking fit that he should be left alone with the
King, desired the Earl of Bath, a Lord of the Bedchamber, and the
Earl of Feversham, Captain of the Guard, Should stay; the rest being
gone. Father Huddleston was introduced, and administered the Sacra-
meal— «Life of James IL»whether he would undertake to poison, or assassinate