This site is in beta and under active development. Live publishing of blog posts is not functional and subscriptions are also likely to break. The archive may be functional.

Relive a 17th century Londoner’s life.

John Evelyn FRS was an English writer in based in London, UK. This site hopes to bring Evelyn’s writing back to life as modern blog, as if he were alive and writing today.

You can learn more about his life by reading the full dairy in our archive, subscribe to the live dairy entries, read the published books available on the Gutenberg Project (Vol 1, Vol 2) or review the sources on John Evelyn’s Wikipedia page.

You can follow this blog by RSS or email (coming soon) for live delivery as they’re published.

e.g. if Evelyn wrote an entry on 22 Jan 1640 in his published dairy, we’ll post it bere on 22 Jan this year.

Who made this site and why?

This site was developed by Ben Hoskins (me) in 2023. I was heavily inspired by Phil Gyford and his blog for another writer from around the same time period, Samuel Pepys.

I’m a software engineer and not a historian. Should you come across any factual or historical inaccuracies please do get involved on the John Evelyn Github project to correct them.

I originally came across both Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn on my walks around London’s parks. A few years later I came across Phil’s RSS and the Pepys site. I’d also like to give back by highlighting another great diarist of the time. Reliving John Evelyn’s works in an engaging modern context like an email newsletters or an RSS feed from a blog brings a whole new life to London’s history.

I run this site at my own cost since the fees are currently small. Even though the the source material is available elsewhere, I’d like this project to aim for longevity. I’d see it as a great achievement to maintain John Evelyn’s work in a modern consumable format for future generations.


This is a free and open-source project, please do contribute on our Github repository.

We use Jekyll to generate a this static site, and Cloudflare Pages to execute the periodic builds and host it on their global CDN.

There’s no tracking other than the standard access logs/statistics provided by Cloudflare.

Thanks, Ben