EVELYN, Sir Edward, 1st Bt. (1626-92), of Long Ditton, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Jan. 1626, 5th but o. surv. s. of Sir Thomas Evelyn of Long Ditton by Anne, da. and h. of Hugh Gold alias Gawith, Grocer, of London. m. 15 Sept. 1659, Mary (d.1696), da. and coh. of Charles Balaam of Elm, Cambs., 3s. d.v.p. 6da. suc. fa. 1659; kntd. 13 Sept. 1676; cr. Bt. 17 Feb. 1683.1
J.p. Surr. Mar. 1660-Feb. 1688, Nov. 1688-?d., commr. for assessment Sept. 1660-80, 1689-d., loyal and indigent officers 1662, recusants 1675, dep. lt. 1683-?Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-d ; alderman, Kingston-on-Thames 1685-Mar. 1688.2
Gent. of the privy chamber 1689-d.3
Evelyn was a great-grandson of the gunpowder manufacturer who established the family fortune in Tudor times. His father was a commissioner of array in 1642 and was assessed by the committee for the advance of money two years later, but he soon came to terms with the new regime and served as a justice of the peace throughout the Interregnum, though maintaining a ‘prelatical’ chaplain. Evelyn himself was apprenticed to a London Grocer in 1643, but in 1651 he compounded for delinquency in both wars and paid a nominal fine. At the Restoration he was one of the proposed knights of the Royal Oak, with an annual income estimated at £600.4
Evelyn first stood for Parliament in 1685. Described by his cousin, the diarist, as ‘an honest gentleman, much in favour with his Majesty’, he was successful for Surrey, though he owed his seat chiefly to the wiles of the sheriff. He was moderately active in James II’s Parliament, being appointed to four minor committees, including those on the bills to prevent the importation of tallow candles and to regulate hackney coaches. He presumably opposed James’s religious policies, as he was removed from the Kingston corporation in March 1688. He was considered a likely candidate for re-election, but he did not stand again, though he accepted the new regime, and was appointed gentleman of the privy chamber. He died on 3 May 1692 and was buried at Long Ditton, the last of this branch of the family.5