A long frost and a deep snow.
This had been the severest winter
any man alive had known in England.
Crows’ feet were frozen on their prey;
islands of ice enclosed both fish and fowl.
My dear boy fell in such a fever
naught could bring him comfort or relief.
Whilst there was still life in him
we sent to London for physicians.
The river froze; the coach broke down
ere it had gone a mile beyond our gates.
All artificial help failing, he died.
I caused his body to be lapped in lead.
We buried him next night in Deptford church
and all my joy of life with him.
Assembled from the diaries of John Evelyn 1620 – 1706