John Evelyn, English diarist, late 17th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait taken from Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait. John Evelyn (1620-1706) was an authority on numismatics, archictecture and landscape gardening. Born in Surrey, Evelyn studied at Oxford and London, and was often at court during the Restoration. He acted on public committees, becoming one of the Commisioners of the Privy Seal (1685-1687) and treasurer of Greenwich Hospital (1695-1703). His famous 'Diary' was published in 1818 and is a detailed sourcebook on life in 17th century England.