John Evelyn: Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 12 MSS.Add.8529 and 8540
  • Dates of Creation
      17th-20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 portfolio and 1 volume

Scope and Content

MS.Add.8529: 'Rules and observations in the propagation and planting of trees'

An undated holograph manuscript, apparently in the hand of John Evelyn, 17th century, 1 volume.

MS.Add.8540: Letters from Jeremy Taylor to John Evelyn

An original letter, 15 November 1656, 1 page, concerning Evelyn's translation of Lucretius, and two facsimiles of a letter of 29 August 1657, 1 page, expressing Taylor's religious beliefs and discussing the question of the immortality of the soul and the origin of God. There are also extracts from Bernard Quaritch's catalogue, describing the second letter.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Evelyn (1620-1706) was born at Wotton, Surrey, on 31 October 1620, the son of Richard Evelyn and Eleanor, daughter of John Stansfield. He was admitted a student at the Middle Temple in 1637, and that year became a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was a royalist, and travelled through France and Italy between 1643 and 1647 in order to avoid the disturbances in England. During this time, he engaged in a lengthy period of study, developing a great knowledge of classical literature and science. On returning to England, he settled at Sayes Court, Deptford, where he pursued gardening. After the Restoration, he was a founding member of the Royal Society. He died in Dover Street, London, on 27 February 1706.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on John Evelyn in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, vol. VI (London, 1908), pp. 943-946.

Other Finding Aids


Custodial History

MS.Add.8529 was formerly part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, MS 1365.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds a letter from Richard Bentley to John Evelyn, MS.Add.5952.


MSS.Add.8529 and 8540 are nos 2085 and 3969 respectively in Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Bibliotheca bibliographici (London, 1964), pp. 213 and 399.