Skip to main content

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

See other formats

DIARY   OP                                    LONDON

tnde but deplore Ms loss, which  for many respects,   as
well as duty, I do with all my soul.

His Majesty "being dead, the Duke, now King James
II , went immediately to Council, and before entering
into any business, passionately declaring his sorrow,
told their Lordships, that since the succession had fallen
to him, he would endeavor to follow the example of his
predecessor in his clemency and tenderness to his people;
that, however he had been misrepresented as affecting
arbitrary power, they should find the contrary; for that the
laws of England had made the King as great a monarch
as he could desire; that he would endeavor to maintain
the Government both in Church and State, as by law es-
tablished, its principles being so firm for monarchy, and
the members of it showing themselves so good and loyal
subjects;* and that, as he would never depart from the
just rights and prerogatives of the Crown, so he would
never invade any man's property; but as he had often
adventured his life in defense of the nation, so he would
still proceed, and preserve it in all its lawful rights and

* This is the substance (and very nearly the words employed) of what
is stated by King James II. in the MS. printed in his life; but in that
MS. are some words which Evelyn has omitted. For example, after
speaking of the members of the Church of England as good and loyal
subjects, the King adds, (<AND THEREFORE i SHALL ALWAYS TAKE CARE TO
DEFEND AND SUPPORT rr. James then goes on to say, that being desired
by some present to allow copies to be taken, he said he had not committed
it to writing; on which Mr. Finch (then Solicitor-General and afterward
Earl of Aylesford) replied, that what his Majesty had said had made so
deep an impression on him, that he believed he could repeat the very
words, and if his Majesty would permit him, he would write them
down, which the King agreeing to, he went to a table and wrote them
down, and this being shown to the King, he approved of it, and it was
immediately published. The King afterward proceeds to say:  No one
can wonder that Mr. Finch should word the speech as strong as he
could in favor of the Established Religion, nor that the King in such a
hurry should pass it over without reflection; for though his Majesty in-
tended to promise both security to their religion and protection to their
persons, he was afterward convinced it had been better expressed by
assuring them he never would endeavor to alter the Established Re-
ligion, than that he would endeavor to preserve it, and that he would
rather support and defend the professors of it, than the religion itself;
they could not expect he should make a conscience of supporting what
in his conscience he thought erroneous: his engaging not to molest the
professors of it, nor to deprive them or their successors of any spiritual
dignity, revenue, or employment, but to suffer the ecclesiastical affairs  ist October,  1678.   The Parliament and the whole Na-