Writing process

Will Stankes and I set out in the morning betimes for Gravely, where to an ale-house and drank, and then, going towards the Court House, met my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas, with Bradly, the rogue that had betrayed us, and one Young, a cunning fellow, who guides them. There passed no unkind words at all between us, but I seemed fair and went to drink with them. I said little till by and by that we come to the Court, which was a simple meeting of a company of country rogues, with the Steward, and two Fellows of Jesus College, that are lords of the town where the jury were sworn; and I producing no surrender, though I told them I was sure there is and must be one somewhere, they found my uncle Thomas heir at law, as he is, and so, though I did tell him and his son that they would find themselves abused by these fellows, and did advise them to forbear being admitted this Court (which they could have done, but that these rogues did persuade them to do it now), my uncle was admitted, and his son also, in reversion after his father, which he did well in to secure his money. The father paid a year and a half for his fine, and the son half a year, in all 48l., besides about 3l. fees; so that I do believe the charges of his journeys, and what he gives those two rogues, and other expenses herein, cannot be less than 70l., which will be a sad thing for them if a surrender be found.
After all was done, I openly wished them joy in it, and so rode to Offord with them and there parted fairly without any words. I took occasion to bid them money for their half acre of land, which I had a mind to do that in the surrender I might secure Piggott’s, which otherwise I should be forced to lose.
So with Stankes home and supped, and after telling my father how things went, I went to bed with my mind in good temper, because I see the matter and manner of the Court and the bottom of my business, wherein I was before and should always have been ignorant.

I set out in the morning
on a journey without any words
to a half acre of land where
I always have been.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 September 1661.

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