The Diary of John Evelyn.

(Born: 1620 - Died: 1706)

The Diary of John Evelyn by John Evelyn.
The Diary of John Evelyn by John Evelyn.

8th June, 1667.

8th June, 1667. To London, alarmed by the Dutch, who were fallen on our fleet at Chatham, by a most audacious enterprise, entering the very river with part of their fleet, doing us not only disgrace, but incredible mischief in burning several of our best men-of-war lying at anchor and moored there, and all this through our unaccountable negligence in not setting out our fleet in due time. This alarm caused me, fearing the enemy might venture up the Thames even to London (which they might have done with ease, and fired all the vessels in the river, too), to send away my best goods, plate, etc., from my house to another place.

The alarm was so great that it put both country and city into fear, panic, and consternation, such as I hope I shall never see more; everybody was flying, none knew why or whither. Now, there were land forces dispatched with the Duke of Albemarle, Lord Middleton, Prince Rupert, and the Duke, to hinder the Dutch coming to Chatham, fortifying Upnor Castle, and laying chains and bombs; but the resolute enemy broke through all, and set fire on our ships, and retreated in spite, stopping up the Thames, the rest of the fleet lying before the mouth of it.

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Updated: 24th July, 2012.