John Evelyn

Date 1620 - 1706
Biographical NotesDiarist, scholar, and writer on a broad range of topics. Born into a wealthy family and educated at the free school in Southover, then Middle Temple, and Balliol College, Oxford. In July 1641 he journeyed to the continent in the company of Mary, princess royal, remaining in Holland and Belgium until the following October. By November 1643 he had begun a Grand Tour of France and Italy, a journey on which Thomas Howard advised him, and which ended in June 1647.

Evelyn is best remembered for his 'Diary'. Although he first began to take notes towards this Diary at the age of 11, he did not put these into their final form until the 1680s. Notably the 'Diary' makes use of later guidebooks to refer to things which Evelyn could not have seen himself. It remained unpublished until 1818.

Evelyn was also a member of the group that founded the Royal Society. He corresponded regularly with Samuel Pepys.

See ODNB.
Work(s)Author of [Prefatory letter to Evelyn's State of France] (1652) in The State of France, as it stood in the IXth yeer of this present monarch, Lewis XIIII written to a friend by I.E