Pepys Diary erasure project

This morning (as indeed all the mornings nowadays) much business at my Lord’s.
There came to my house before I went out Mr. Barlow, an old consumptive man, and fair conditioned, with whom I did discourse a great while, and after much talk I did grant him what he asked, viz., 50l. per annum, if my salary be not increased, and (100l. per annum, in case it be to 350l.), at which he was very well pleased to be paid as I received my money and not otherwise.
Going to my Lord’s I found my Lord had got a great cold and kept his bed, and so I brought him to my Lord’s bedside, and he and I did agree together to this purpose what I should allow him.
That done and the day proving fair I went home and got all my goods packed up and sent away, and my wife and I and Mrs. Hunt went by coach, overtaking the carts a-drinking in the Strand. Being come to my house and set in the goods, and at night sent my wife and Mrs. Hunt to buy something for supper; they bought a Quarter of Lamb, and so we ate it, but it was not half roasted.
Will, Mr. Blackburne’s nephew, is so obedient, that I am greatly glad of him. At night he and I and Mrs. Hunt home by water to Westminster.
I to my Lord, and after having done some business with him in his chamber in the Nursery, which has been now his chamber since he came from sea, I went on foot with a linkboy to my home, where I found my wife in bed and Jane washing the house, and Will the boy sleeping, and a great deal of sport I had before I could wake him. I to bed the first night that I ever lay here with my wife.

Now an old
consumptive man,
cold, kept to my bed
and overtaking
the sea in sleep,
I wake to
the first night
I lay with my wife.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 July 1660.

This morning it proved very rainy weather so that I could not remove my goods to my house. I to my office and did business there, and so home, it being then sunshine, but by the time that I got to my house it began to rain again, so that I could not carry my goods by cart as I would have done. After that to my Lord’s and so home and to bed.

Is rain a good house, sunshine a good car?
I have one home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 16 July 1660.

Lay long in bed to recover my rest. Going forth met with Mr. Sheply, and went and drank my morning draft with him at Wilkinson’s, and my brother Spicer. After that to Westminster Abbey, and in Henry the Seventh’s Chappell heard part of a sermon, the first that ever I heard there. To my Lord’s and dined all alone at the table with him.
After dinner he and I alone fell to discourse, and I find him plainly to be a sceptic in all things of religion, and to make no great matter of anything therein, but to be a perfect Stoic. In the afternoon to Henry the Seventh’s Chappell, where I heard service and a sermon there, and after that meeting W. Bowyer there, he and I to the Park, and walked a good while till night.
So to Harper’s and drank together, and Captain Stokes came to us and so I fell into discourse of buying paper at the first hand in my office, and the Captain promised me to buy it for me in France. After that to my Lord’s lodgings, where I wrote some business and so home. My wife at home all the day, she having no clothes out, all being packed up yesterday. For this month I have wholly neglected anything of news, and so have beyond belief been ignorant how things go, but now by my patent my mind is in some quiet, which God keep. I was not at my father’s to-day, I being afraid to go for fear he should still solicit me to speak to my Lord for a place in the Wardrobe, which I dare not do, because of my own business yet. My wife and I mightily pleased with our new house that we hope to have.
My patent has cost me a great deal of money, about 40l., which is the only thing at present which do trouble me much. In the afternoon to Henry the Seventh’s chapel, where I heard a sermon and spent (God forgive me) most of my time in looking upon Mrs. Butler. After that with W. Bowyer to walk in the Park. Afterwards to my Lord’s lodgings, and so home to bed, having not been at my father’s to-day.

All alone, the table—
a plain thing of perfect service—
fell into neglect.
Ignorant how things go,
I fear war, not time.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 July 1660.

Up early and advised with my wife for the putting of all our things in a readiness to be sent to our new house. To my Lord’s, where he was in bed very late. So with Major Tollhurst and others to Harper’s, and I sent for my barrel of pickled oysters and there ate them; while we were doing so, comes in Mr. Pagan Fisher; the poet, and promises me what he had long ago done, a book in praise of the King of France, with my armes, and a dedication to me very handsome. After him comes Mr. Sheply come from sea yesterday, whom I was glad to see that he may ease me of the trouble of my Lord’s business.
So to my Lord’s, where I staid doing his business and taking his commands. After that to Westminster Hall, where I paid all my debts in order to my going away from hence. Here I met with Mr. Eglin, who would needs take me to the Leg in King Street and gave me a dish of meat to dinner; and so I sent for Mons. L’Impertinent, where we sat long and were merry.
After that parted, and I took Mr. Butler with me into London by coach and shewed him my house at the Navy Office.
And did give order for the laying in coals. So into Fenchurch Street, and did give him a glass of wine at Rawlinson’s, and was trimmed in the street. So to my Lord’s late writing letters, and so home, where I found my wife had packed up all her goods in the house fit for a removal. So to bed.

A pickled poet promises me
a book in praise of a handsome dish of meat.
I give him raw letters and a good bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 14 July 1660.

Up early, the first day that I put on my black camlett coat with silver buttons. To Mr. Spong, whom I found in his night-gown writing of my patent, and he had done as far as he could “for that &c.” by 8 o’clock.
It being done, we carried it to Worcester House to the Chancellor, where Mr. Kipps (a strange providence that he should now be in a condition to do me a kindness, which I never thought him capable of doing for me), got me the Chancellor’s recepi to my bill; and so carried it to Mr. Beale for a dockett; but he was very angry, and unwilling to do it, because he said it was ill writ (because I had got it writ by another hand, and not by him); but by much importunity I got Mr. Spong to go to his office and make an end of my patent; and in the mean time Mr. Beale to be preparing my dockett, which being done, I did give him two pieces, after which it was strange how civil and tractable he was to me.
From thence I went to the Navy office, where we despatched much business, and resolved of the houses for the Officers and Commissioners, which I was glad of, and I got leave to have a door made me into the leads. From thence, much troubled in mind about my patent, I went to Mr. Beale again, who had now finished my patent and made it ready for the Seal, about an hour after I went to meet him at the Chancellor’s. So I went away towards Westminster, and in my way met with Mr. Spong, and went with him to Mr. Lilly and ate some bread and cheese, and drank with him, who still would be giving me council of getting my patent out, for fear of another change, and my Lord Montagu’s fall.
After that to Worcester House, where by Mr. Kipps’s means, and my pressing in General Montagu’s name to the Chancellor, I did, beyond all expectation, get my seal passed; and while it was doing in one room, I was forced to keep Sir G. Carteret (who by chance met me there, ignorant of my business) in talk, while it was a doing. Went home and brought my wife with me into London, and some money, with which I paid Mr. Beale 9l. in all, and took my patent of him and went to my wife again, whom I had left in a coach at the door of Hinde Court, and presented her with my patent at which she was overjoyed.
So to the Navy office, and showed her my house, and were both mightily pleased at all things there, and so to my business.
So home with her, leaving her at her mother’s door. I to my Lord’s, where I dispatched an order for a ship to fetch Sir R. Honywood home, for which I got two pieces of my Lady Honywood by young Mr. Powell. Late writing letters; and great doings of music at the next house, which was Whally’s; the King and Dukes there with Madame Palmer, a pretty woman that they have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold. Here at the old door that did go into his lodgings, my Lord, I, and W. Howe, did stand listening a great while to the music. After that home to bed.
This day I should have been at Guildhall to have borne witness for my brother Hawly against Black Collar, but I could not, at which I was troubled.
To bed with the greatest quiet of mind that I have had a great while, having ate nothing but a bit of bread and cheese at Lilly’s to-day, and a bit of bread and butter after I was a-bed.

A strange providence got me
much trouble in mind,
some cheese and a patent
on ignorant talk,
a wife and a house,
great doings of music
and a bit of bread and butter
after I was a-bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 13 July 1660.

Up early and by coach to White Hall with Commissioner Pett, where, after we had talked with my Lord, I went to the Privy Seal and got my bill perfected there, and at the Signet: and then to the House of Lords, and met with Mr. Kipps, who directed me to Mr. Beale to get my patent engrossed.
But he not having time to get it done in Chancery-hand, I was forced to run all up and down Chancery-lane, and the Six Clerks’ Office but could find none that could write the hand, that were at leisure. And so in a despair went to the Admiralty, where we met the first time there, my Lord Montagu, my Lord Barkley, Mr. Coventry, and all the rest of the principal Officers and Commissioners, [except] only the Controller, who is not yet chosen. At night to Mr. Kipps’s lodgings, but not finding him, I went to Mr. Spong’s and there I found him and got him to come to me to my Lord’s lodgings at 11 o’clock of night, when I got him to take my bill to write it himself (which was a great providence that he could do it) against to-morrow morning.
I late writing letters to sea by the post, and so home to bed. In great trouble because I heard at Mr. Beale’s to-day that Barlow had been there and said that he would make a stop in the business.

All is perfect:
engrossed in time and chance,
I despair, bark
at the clock, write
late and low.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 12 July 1660.

With Sir W. Pen by water to the Navy office, where we met, and dispatched business. And that being done, we went all to dinner to the Dolphin, upon Major Brown’s invitation.
After that to the office again, where I was vexed, and so was Commissioner Pett, to see a busy fellow come to look out the best lodgings for my Lord Barkley, and the combining between him and Sir W. Pen; and, indeed, was troubled much at it.
Home to White Hall, and took out my bill signed by the King, and carried it to Mr. Watkins of the Privy Seal to be despatched there, and going home to take a cap, I borrowed a pair of sheets of Mr. Howe, and by coach went to the Navy office, and lay (Mr. Hater, my clerk, with me) at Commissioner Willoughby’s house, where I was received by him very civilly and slept well.

Water to a dolphin:
I look out the best lodgings
for my Lord Pen.
It borrowed sheets,
went to the office
and slept well.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 11 July 1660.

This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life. This morning came Nan Pepys’ husband Mr. Hall to see me being lately come to town. I had never seen him before. I took him to the Swan tavern with Mr. Eglin and there drank our morning draft. Home, and called my wife, and took her to Dr. Clodius’s to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder, which was kept at Goring House with very great state, cost, and noble company. But, among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest. After dinner I left the company, and carried my wife to Mrs. Turner’s. I went to the Attorney-General’s, and had my bill which cost me seven pieces. I called my wife, and set her home. And finding my Lord in White Hall garden, I got him to go to the Secretary’s, which he did, and desired the dispatch of his and my bills to be signed by the King.
His bill is to be Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbroke, and Baron of St. Neot’s.
Home, with my mind pretty quiet: not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed.

The fir is never seen in draft
but among the greatest company.
I turn to her
and find in a garden
the desire to be quiet as a bride.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 July 1660.

All the morning at Sir G. Palmer’s advising about getting my bill drawn. From thence to the Navy office, where in the afternoon we met and sat, and there I begun to sign bills in the Office the first time. From thence Captain Holland and Mr. Browne of Harwich took me to a tavern and did give me a collation. From thence to the Temple to further my bills being done, and so home to my Lord, and thence to bed.

The palm is
a navy of
the afternoon,
a sign from Holland,
a temple
to a hen.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 July 1660.

(Lord’s day). To White Hall chapel, where I got in with ease by going before the Lord Chancellor with Mr. Kipps. Here I heard very good music, the first time that ever I remember to have heard the organs and singing-men in surplices in my life. The Bishop of Chichester preached before the King, and made a great flattering sermon, which I did not like that Clergy should meddle with matters of state. Dined with Mr. Luellin and Salisbury at a cook’s shop. Home, and staid all the afternoon with my wife till after sermon. There till Mr. Fairebrother came to call us out to my father’s to supper. He told me how he had perfectly procured me to be made Master in Arts by proxy, which did somewhat please me, though I remember my cousin Roger Pepys was the other day persuading me from it.
While we were at supper came Wm. Howe to supper to us, and after supper went home to bed.

A chapel for Chance,
with organ and singing
and a sermon like a supper by proxy,
persuading me while at supper
to supper after supper.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 8 July 1660.