Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]





66 A father's and a mother's prayer

Commend thee to thy Saviour's care. It is delightful to observe the man of taste, the philosopher, and the acquaintance of princes, bowing at the foot of the cross, desiring to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless, and confessing that the gospel of Christ is his comfort, his pleasure, and his glory; to see him ever recognising the Almighty as the Author of all good, grateful for the spiritual and temporal mercies bestowed upon him, and anxious above all things to secure the treasure in the heavens that faileth not. Such were the disposition and character of the excellent subject of the following memoir.

The stock from which Mr. Evelyn sprang was ancient, and highly respectable. “We have not,” he says, “ been at Wotton (purchased of one Owen, a great rich man,) above one hundred and sixty years ; my great grandfather came from Long Ditton, (the seat now of sir Edward Evelyn,) where we had been long before; and to Long Ditton from Harrow on the Hill, and many years before that from Evelyn, near Tower Castle, in

Shropshire; at what time there transmigrated also as I have been told) the Onslows, and Hattons, from seats and places of those names yet there. There are of our name, both in France and Italy, written Ivelyn, Avelyn. In old deeds I find Avelyn alias Evelyn. One of our name was taken prisoner' at the battle of Agincourt. When the duchess of Orleans came to Dover to see the King, one of our name (whose family derives itself from Lusignenus, King of Cyprus,) claimed a relation of us. We have in our family a tradition of a great sum of money that had been given for the ransom of a French lord, with which a great estate was purchased; but these things are all mystical."

Mr. Evelyn's grandfather became eminent during the reign of Queen Elizabeth for the manufacture of gunpowder, which art he carried to higher perfection than it had hitherto reached in England. Being thus considerably enriched, he made large additions to the property which he inherited, and bequeathed extensive estates to each of his three surviving sons, to the youngest of whom, named Richard, he left Wotton, at which place he had passed the latter days of his life. Mr. Richard Evelyn was the father of John, the subject of this memoir, who describes him as one whose “ wisdom was great, his judgment acute; of solid discourse, affable, humble, and in nothing affected; of a thriving, neat, silent, and methodical genius ; discreetly severe, yet liberal on all just occasions to his children, strangers, and servants; a lover of hospitality ; of a singular and christian moderation in all his actions; a justice of the peace, and of the quorum. He served his country as high sheriff for Surrey and Sussex together. He was a studious decliner of honours and titles, being already in that esteem with his country that they could have

« AnteriorContinuar »