Industrial revolution

Up very early and removed the things out of my chamber into the dining room, it being to be new floored this day. So the workmen being come and falling to work there, I to the office, and thence down to Lymehouse to Phin. Pett’s about masts, and so back to the office, where we sat; and being rose, and Mr. Coventry being gone, taking his leave, for that he is to go to the Bath with the Duke to-morrow, I to the ‘Change and there spoke with several persons, and lastly with Sir W. Warren, and with him to a Coffee House, and there sat two hours talking of office business and Mr. Wood’s knavery, which I verily believe, and lastly he tells me that he hears that Captain Cocke is like to become a principal officer, either a Controller or a Surveyor, at which I am not sorry so either of the other may be gone, and I think it probable enough that it may be so.
So home at 2 o’clock, and there I found Ashwell gone, and her wages come to 50s., and my wife, by a mistake from me, did give her 20s. more; but I am glad that she is gone and the charge saved.
After dinner among my joyners, and with them till dark night, and this night they made an end of all; and so having paid them 40s. for their six days’ work, I am glad they have ended and are gone, for I am weary and my wife too of this dirt.
My wife growing peevish at night, being weary, and I a little vexed to see that she do not retain things in her memory that belong to the house as she ought and I myself do, I went out in a little seeming discontent to the office, and after being there a while, home to supper and to bed.
To-morrow they say the King and the Duke set out for the Bath.
This noon going to the Exchange, I met a fine fellow with trumpets before him in Leadenhall-street, and upon enquiry I find that he is the clerk of the City Market; and three or four men carried each of them an arrow of a pound weight in their hands. It seems this Lord Mayor begins again an old custome, that upon the three first days of Bartholomew Fayre, the first, there is a match of wrestling, which was done, and the Lord Mayor there and Aldermen in Moorefields yesterday: to-day, shooting: and to-morrow, hunting. And this officer of course is to perform this ceremony of riding through the city, I think to proclaim or challenge any to shoot. It seems that the people of the fayre cry out upon it as a great hindrance to them.

I spoke with coffee
like a dark ear of night

and went out
into the leaden street

men carried the weight of the fields
yesterday today and tomorrow
through the city


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 25 August 1663, written while listening to Godflesh’s classic album Streetcleaner.

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