Authorised form of nameEvelyn; John (1620 - 1706); antiquary, diarist, and gardener
Dates1620 - 1706
Place of birthWotton, Surrey, England, Europe
Date of birth31 October 1620
Place of death14 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death27 February 1706
Dates and placesBurial:
Chancel of Wotton church, Surrey, Engand, United Kingdom, Europe
Research fieldArboriculture
Southover Free School, Lewes, Sussex; Middle Temple (admitted 1636); Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1637; DCL 1669)
Travelled in Holland (1641); joined the King's Army briefly (1642); travelled in France, Italy, where he met Henry Howard (FRS 1666) and Robert Bruce (FRS 1663) and travelled for a year with Thomas Henshaw (FRS 1663), and Switzerland (1643-1647) and lived in France (1649-1652), where he met Charles II (FRS 1665) and James II (FRS 1665); returned to England (1652); Commissioner for the sick and wounded and prisoners of the Dutch War (1664); Member of the Council for Foreign Plantations (1671); acquired the Arundel Marbles for the University of Oxford and the Arundel Library for the Royal Society, both from Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk (1667); Commissioner of the Privy Seal (1685-1687); Treasurer to Greenwich Hospital (1695-1703)
Membership categoryOriginal Fellow
Date of election22/04/1663
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Secretary 1672-1673; VP 1698-; Council 1662, 1700, 1702
Other Royal Society activityProposed on 26 December 1660
RelationshipsParents: Richard Evelyn and Eleanor Standsfield
Married: Mary Browne
Children: John Evelyn (only son to survive childhood); Susanna Evelyn (only child to outlive father)
Grandchildren: Sir John Evelyn (FRS 1723)
Additional relatives: cousin of Sir Samuel Tuke (FRS 1663)
Published worksRCN: 22170
General contextAs an horticulturist and botanist, Evelyn contributed important work on tree cultivation and on soils, e.g. within and beyond his work 'Elysium Britannicum'. In his work 'Sculptura, or, The History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper' represents a compilation of the history of trades. As a member of the Council for Foreign Plantations, within the Board of Trade government body, Evelyn worked to further the government's colonial interest. In his post, he made £500 quarterly. The Council's orders and tasks fell within a broad remit and included finding ways in which to take and enslave people to bring to the colonies, mediating between the Royal African Company and the colonies, as well as enforcing the 'reeducation' of Native Americans and enslaved people in the colonised regions.
Related imagesDiscover a selection of related images in our picture library

Evelyn P0038.jpg

Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Foster; ODNB
Charles M. Andrews, 'British Committees, Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations, 1622-1675' 1908 (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press) [; last accessed: 25/11/2021]
J H Appleby, 'The founding of St Petersburg in the context of the Royal Society's relationship with Russia' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 273-284
W H G Armytage, 'The Royal Society and the Apothecaries' in NR 1954-55 vol 11 pp 22-37
E S de Beer, 'John Evelyn, FRS (1620-1706)' in NR 1960 vol 15 pp 231-238, plate
Marie Boas Hall, 'Of Oak and Smoke, inter alia', review of The Writings of John Evelyn, ed. Guy de la Bedoyere, in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 137-138, plate
Peter Brimblecombe, 'Interest in Air Pollution Among Early Fellows of the Royal Society' in NR 1977-8 vol 32 pp 123-129
Sir Alan Cook FRS, 'Continental connections' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 267-268
A Cook, 'Rome and the Royal Society, 1660-1740' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 3-19
J Gribbin, 'The Fellowship', 2005, pp180-182
Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, 'Some Spanish Contributions to the Early Activities of the Royal Society of London' in NR 1988 vol 42 pp 123-132
Michael Hunter, 'The Social Bias and Changing Fortunes of an Early Scientific Institution: An Analysis of the Membership of the Royal Society, 1660-1685' in NR 1976-7 vol 31 pp 9-114
R Lewis, 'The publication of John Wilkins's Essay (1668): some contextual considerations' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp133-146
Kathleen H Ochs, 'The Royal Society of London's History of Trades Programme: An Early Episode in Applied Science' in NR 1984-85 vol 39 pp 129-158
Stephen Pasmore, 'Thomas Henshaw, FRS (1618-1700)' in NR 1981-82 vol 36 pp 177-188, plate
Charles A Rivington, 'Early Printers to the Royal Society 1663-1708' in NR 1984-85 vol 39 pp 1-27
C S S, 'The Society's Library' in NR 1938 vol 1 pp 21-27
N J W Thrower, 'Samuel Pepys FRS (1633-1733) and The Royal Society' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 3-13
G H Turnbull, 'Samuel Hartlib's Influence on the Early History of the Royal Society' in NR 1953 vol 10 pp 101-130
Sir Anthony Wagner, 'The Royal Society's Coat of Arms' in NR 1962 vol 17 pp 9-14
The election date is Evelyn's re-election date into the Society after the grant of the second charter in April 1663. All Fellows admitted in a two-month window after this charter, until 22 June 1663, are considered Original Fellows. He was previously mentioned as a member on 9 January 1661.
DNB states London as place of birth.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8217
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
DM/5/63Minutes of meetings of the Committee for Agriculture June-September 1664
RBC/1/33'An Exact Account of the making of Marbled Paper Brought in by Mr Evelyn'1661
RBO/7/31Account of Mr Eadsberg's Mill on Mr Evelyn's ground at Deptfordnd
IM/001332Evelyn, Johnnd
MM/15/68Letter from WF Tiffin to Royal Society27 August 1883
RBC/2/66'Panificium or The severall manners of making Bread in France etc where (by generall consent) the best bread in the World is eaten' by John Evelynnd
RBC/1/12An Exact Relation of the Pico Tenarife taken from Mr Clappham 29 June 1661
DM/5/74A'Recommended to Mr Evelyn'c.1666
IM/005727Evelyn, Johnnd
MM/23/3Order from John Evelyn to [Clayton and Morris]1664
MS/366/1/3The Sembrador: or a new Invention for the more equall sowing of Wheate, and other Graines; by which a greate quantity of Corne is Saved, and an imense qyantitiy and Increase yearly gained [by Don Joseph Lucatello]. 3 March 1669/1670
EL/B1/29Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn25 April 1663
MS/390/32Bond of John Evelyn to the Treasurer of the Royal Society30 November 1674
IM/001330Evelyn, Johnnd
NLB/60/447Copy letter from [Alfred Hastings] White, Assistant Librarian of the Royal Society; to Sir James Piggot; 14 Old Square, London Inn, W.C.7 February 1921
CLP/22i/45Paper, Account of the book 'Numismata, a discourse of medals ancient and modern' by [John] Evelyn[1698]
DM/5/101A list of benefactors to the Museum, to the value of £5 or upwards at one time c.1737
IM/003041Evelyn, John and Mayow, Johnnd
RBO/2ii/4'For zoophytal or Animal Engraffings or inoculations, this Accompt I received from a friend of mine in the country Given in by Mr Evelyn'10 September 1662
P/0038Portrait of Evelyn, John
EL/B1/48bCopy of a letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn1660s
EL/B1/48aCopy of a letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn1660s
CLP/3i/4/1Manuscript, 'Marble paper' from J [John] Evelyn to Rob Murrey [Robert Moray]January 1662
DM/5/64Minutes of meetings of the Committee for Agriculture (endorsed as 'Transactions of the Georgicall Committee')October 1664-February 1665
EL/B1/28Continuation of a letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn20 April 1663
NLB/61/407Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to S. B. Gaythorpe Esquire; 3 Prospect Road, Barrow-in-Furness2 July 1921
CLP/3i/1Paper, 'The history of arts, illiberal and mechanick' by John Evelyn1660
EL/B1/25Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn14 March 1662
EL/B1/19Extract of a letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn19 January 1663
EL/E/5Letter, from John Evelyn to Richard Waller, dated at Wotton7 May 1694
CLP/10i/2Paper, 'Observations on the humble and sensible plants in Mr Chiffin's garden in St James his parke' by Dr Clarke9 August 1661
EL/T/58Letter, from Ralph Thoresby to John Evelyn, dated at Leeds24 June 1699
EL/E/2Copy of a letter, from John Evelyn to Dr [John] Wilkins1660
CLP/3i/4/2Diagrams, method of making marbled paper by [John Evelyn]January 1662
EL/T/56Letter, from Ralph Thoresby to John Evelyn, dated at Leeds15 February 1699
EL/E/3Letter, from John Evelyn to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Sayes Court25 February 1670
EL/T/57Letter, from M M to John Evelyn, dated at Dublin2 May 1699
EL/L5/114Letter, from William London to John Evelyn, dated at Barbados26 December 1680
EL/B1/76Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn, dated at Yeovil, Somerset27 August 1677
EL/B1/77Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn, dated at Yeovil, Somerset1 September 1677
EL/E/6Letter, from John Evelyn to Richard Waller, dated at Wotton13 March 1698
EL/E/1Letter, from John Evelyn to Dr [John] Wilkins, dated at Sayes Court29 January 1661
CLP/3i/2Paper, 'The construction of the rowling press, and manner how to worke off the plates' by [John] Evelyn[1662]
CLP/15i/3Paper, 'For zoophytall or animal engraftings or inoculations' by John Evelyn10 September 1662
CLP/2/22Paper, 'Of chalcography an humble motion' by Beal [John Beale][17th century]
EL/B1/30Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn2 January 1663
EL/B1/26Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn6 April 1663
EL/B1/27Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn16 April 1663
EL/B1/31Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn2 January 1663
EL/B1/34Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn12 March 1663
CLP/3i/19Paper, 'Panificium, or the several manners of making bread in France etc: where, by universal consent, the best bread in the world is eaten' by [John] Evelyn15 February 1665
CLP/3i/4Paper, 'Marble paper' from J [John] Evelyn to Rob Murrey [Robert Moray]January 1662
EL/B1/74Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn, dated at Yeovil, Somerset22 August 1677
CLP/24/83List, Recipies on 'Dying Straw' transcribed by Robert Hooke28 April 1670
CLP/17/1Paper, 'Designe for a library' by John Evelyn22 May 1661
RBO/5/1'A Philosophical Discourse of Earth relating to the Culture and Improvement of it for Vegetation and the Propagation of Plants etc' by John Evelyn1675
EL/B1/75Letter, from John Beale to John Evelyn, dated at Yeovil, Somerset25 August 1677
EL/E/4Letter, from John Evelyn [to the Royal Society], dated at Sayes Court23 September 1681
RBO/1/30'An Exact Account of the Making of Marbled Paper Brought in by Mr Evelyn'nd
RBO/2i/4'For Zoophytall or Animall Engraffings or Inoculations. An Account received by Mr Evelyn from a friend of his'10 September 1662
RBO/3/27'Panificium or The several manners of Making Bread in France etc (Where by general consent) the best Bread in the World is eaten' by John Evelynnd
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