Pepys Diary erasure project

In the morning to my Lord’s, where I met with Mr. Creed, and with him and Mr. Blackburne to the Rhenish wine house, where we sat drinking of healths a great while, a thing which Mr. Blackburne formerly would not upon any terms have done. After we had done there Mr. Creed and I to the Leg in King Street, to dinner, where he and I and my Will had a good udder to dinner, and from thence to walk in St. James’s Park, where we observed the several engines at work to draw up water, with which sight I was very much pleased.
Above all the rest, I liked best that which Mr. Greatorex brought, which is one round thing going within all with a pair of stairs round; round which being laid at an angle of 45 deg., do carry up the water with a great deal of ease. Here, in the Park, we met with Mr. Salisbury, who took Mr. Creed and me to the Cockpitt to see “The Moore of Venice,” which was well done. Burt acted the Moore; ‘by the same token, a very pretty lady that sot by me, cried to see Desdemona smothered.
From thence with Mr. Creed to Hercules Pillars, where we drank and so parted, and I went home.

We sat drinking
of a great udder,
where we observed
the several
engines at work:
one round thing
going with a pair
of stairs round,
round as a reed
that cried to see
a mother where
we drank.


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

Office day all the morning. In the afternoon with the upholster seeing him do things to my mind, and to my content he did fit my chamber and my wife’s. At night comes Mr. Moore, and staid late with me to tell me how Sir Hards. Waller (who only pleads guilty), Scott, Coke, Peters, Harrison, &c. were this day arraigned at the bar at the Sessions House, there being upon the bench the Lord Mayor, General Monk, my Lord of Sandwich, &c.; such a bench of noblemen as had not been ever seen in England!
They all seem to be dismayed, and will all be condemned without question. In Sir Orlando Bridgman’s charge, he did wholly rip up the unjustness of the war against the King from the beginning, and so it much reflects upon all the Long Parliament, though the King had pardoned them, yet they must hereby confess that the King do look upon them as traitors.
To-morrow they are to plead what they have to say. At night to bed.

Noon, do things to my mind.
Fit my chamber.

Night comes with coke and dismay,
without a beginning,

so reflect upon me
though I don a lead hat.


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

This morning Sir W. Batten with Colonel Birch to Deptford, to pay off two ships. Sir W. Pen and I staid to do business, and afterwards together to White Hall, where I went to my Lord, and found him in bed not well, and saw in his chamber his picture, very well done; and am with child till I get it copied out, which I hope to do when he is gone to sea.
To Whitehall again, where at Mr. Coventry’s chamber I met with Sir W. Pen again, and so with him to Redriffe by water, and from thence walked over the fields to Deptford (the first pleasant walk I have had a great while), and in our way had a great deal of merry discourse, and find him to be a merry fellow and pretty good natured, and sings very bawdy songs.
So we came and found our gentlemen and Mr. Prin at the pay.
About noon we dined together, and were very merry at table telling of tales.
After dinner to the pay of another ship till 10 at night, and so home in our barge, a clear moonshine night, and it was 12 o’clock before we got home, where I found my wife in bed, and part of our chambers hung to-day by the upholster, but not being well done I was fretted, and so in a discontent to bed.
I found Mr. Prin a good, honest, plain man, but in his discourse not very free or pleasant.
Among all the tales that passed among us to-day, he told us of one Damford, that, being a black man, did scald his beard with mince-pie, and it came up again all white in that place, and continued to his dying day. Sir W. Pen told us a good jest about some gentlemen blinding of the drawer, and who he catched was to pay the reckoning, and so they got away, and the master of the house coming up to see what his man did, his man got hold of him, thinking it to be one of the gentlemen, and told him that he was to pay the reckoning.

This pen is with child.
I sing and tell tales to it.
I fret that being black
in a white place is
a raw reckoning,
and so I ink it in.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 October 1660.

Office day, and my wife being gone out to buy some household stuff, I dined all alone, and after dinner to Westminster, in my way meeting Mr. Moore coming to me, who went back again with me calling at several places about business, at my father’s about gilded leather for my dining room, at Mr. Crew’s about money, at my Lord’s about the same, but meeting not Mr. Sheply there I went home by water, and Mr. Moore with me, who staid and supped with me till almost 9 at night. We love one another’s discourse so that we cannot part when we do meet.
He tells me that the profit of the Privy Seal is much fallen, for which I am very sorry. He gone and I to bed.

My stuff all alone
and calling me,
I went home.
We love one another.
We cannot part.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 October 1660.

(Lord’s day). To White Hall on foot, calling at my father’s to change my long black cloak for a short one (long cloaks being now quite out); but he being gone to church, I could not get one, and therefore I proceeded on and came to my Lord before he went to chapel and so went with him, where I heard Dr. Spurstow preach before the King a poor dry sermon; but a very good anthem of Captn. Cooke’s afterwards.
Going out of chapel I met with Jack Cole, my old friend (whom I had not seen a great while before), and have promised to renew acquaintance in London together. To my Lord’s and dined with him; he all dinner time talking French to me, and telling me the story how the Duke of York hath got my Lord Chancellor’s daughter with child, and that she, do lay it to him, and that for certain he did promise her marriage, and had signed it with his blood, but that he by stealth had got the paper out of her cabinet. And that the King would have him to marry her, but that he will not. So that the thing is very bad for the Duke, and them all; but my Lord do make light of it, as a thing that he believes is not a new thing for the Duke to do abroad. Discoursing concerning what if the Duke should marry her, my Lord told me that among his father’s many old sayings that he had wrote in a book of his, this is one—that he that do get a wench with child and marry her afterwards is as if a man should shit in his hat and then clap it on his head.
I perceive my Lord is grown a man very indifferent in all matters of religion, and so makes nothing of these things.
After dinner to the Abbey, where I heard them read the church- service, but very ridiculously, that indeed I do not in my mind like it at all. A poor cold sermon of Dr. Lamb’s, one of the prebends, in his habit, came afterwards, and so all ended, and by my troth a pitiful sorry devotion that these men pay.
So walked home by land, and before supper I read part of the Marian persecution in Mr. Fuller. So to supper, prayers, and to bed.

I preach a dry sermon:
how the Lord did promise with his blood
to marry the light.
I believe not.
What if the Lord told me an old saying?
A man should shit in his hat
and make nothing of the mind?
A pitiful devotion.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 October 1660.

All this morning Col. Slingsby and I at the office getting a catch ready for the Prince de Ligne to carry his things away to-day, who is now going home again.
About noon comes my cozen H. Alcock, for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign to my Lord Broghill for some preferment in Ireland, whither he is now a-going.
After him comes Mr. Creed, who brought me some books from Holland with him, well bound and good books, which I thought he did intend to give me, but I found that I must pay him.
He dined with me at my house, and from thence to Whitehall together, where I was to give my Lord an account of the stations and victualls of the fleet in order to the choosing of a fleet fit for him to take to sea, to bring over the Queen, but my Lord not coming in before 9 at night I staid no longer for him, but went back again home and so to bed.

All this by-catch to carry away.

Who is going to sign for it? Who?

Some land must pay.

I count the stations of the sea.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 October 1660.

This morning I was busy looking over papers at the office all alone, and being visited by Lieut. Lambert of the Charles (to whom I was formerly much beholden), I took him along with me to a little alehouse hard by our office, whither my cozen Thomas Pepys the turner had sent for me to show me two gentlemen that had a great desire to be known to me, one his name is Pepys, of our family, but one that I never heard of before, and the other a younger son of Sir Tho. Bendishes, and so we all called cozens.
After sitting awhile and drinking, my two new cozens, myself, and Lieut. Lambert went by water to Whitehall, and from thence I and Lieut. Lambert to Westminster Abbey, where we saw Dr. Frewen translated to the Archbishoprick of York.
Here I saw the Bishops of Winchester, Bangor, Rochester, Bath and Wells, and Salisbury, all in their habits, in King Henry Seventh’s chappell. But, Lord! at their going out, how people did most of them look upon them as strange creatures, and few with any kind of love or respect.
From thence we two to my Lord’s, where we took Mr. Sheply and Wm. Howe to the Raindeer, and had some oysters, which were very good, the first I have eat this year. So back to my Lord’s to dinner, and after dinner Lieut. Lambert and I did look upon my Lord’s model, and he told me many things in a ship that I desired to understand.
From thence by water I (leaving Lieut. Lambert at Blackfriars) went home, and there by promise met with Robert Shaw and Jack Spicer, who came to see me, and by the way I met upon Tower Hill with Mr. Pierce the surgeon and his wife, and took them home and did give them good wine, ale, and anchovies, and staid them till night, and so adieu.
Then to look upon my painters that are now at work in my house. At night to bed.

How to know all my habits?
Strange creatures
with a kind of love.
Oysters, which eat to understand:
water is a spice,
and the surgeon and his wife
work in my bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 4 October 1660.

With Sir W. Batten and Pen by water to White Hall, where a meeting of the Dukes of York and Albemarle, my Lord Sandwich and all the principal officers, about the Winter Guard, but we determined of nothing. To my Lord’s, who sent a great iron chest to White Hall; and I saw it carried, into the King’s closet, where I saw most incomparable pictures. Among the rest a book open upon a desk, which I durst have sworn was a reall book, and back again to my Lord, and dined all alone with him, who do treat me with a great deal of respect; and after dinner did discourse an hour with me, and advise about some way to get himself some money to make up for all his great expenses, saying that he believed that he might have any thing that he would ask of the King.
This day Mr. Sheply and all my Lord’s goods came from sea, some of them laid of the Wardrobe and some brought to my Lord’s house.
From thence to our office, where we met and did business, and so home and spent the evening looking upon the painters that are at work in my house.
This day I heard the Duke speak of a great design that he and my Lord of Pembroke have, and a great many others, of sending a venture to some parts of Africa to dig for gold ore there. They intend to admit as many as will venture their money, and so make themselves a company. 250l. is the lowest share for every man. But I do not find that my Lord do much like it.
At night Dr. Fairbrother (for so he is lately made of the Civil Law) brought home my wife by coach, it being rainy weather, she having been abroad today to buy more furniture for her house.

White winter: a mine of nothing,
a great iron book.

I dine alone with the lord of paint
and send to Africa for gold ore.

I do not find my fair
late wife.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 October 1660.

With Sir Wm. Pen by water to Whitehall, being this morning visited before I went out by my brother Tom, who told me that for his lying out of doors a day and a night my father had forbade him to come any more into his house, at which I was troubled, and did soundly chide him for doing so, and upon confessing his fault I told him I would speak to my father.
At Whitehall I met with Captain Clerk, and took him to the Leg in King Street, and did give him a dish or two of meat, and his purser that was with him, for his old kindness to me on board. After dinner I to Whitehall, where I met with Mrs. Hunt, and was forced to wait upon Mr. Scawen at a committee to speak for her husband, which I did. After that met with Luellin, Mr. Fage, and took them both to the Dog, and did give them a glass of wine. After that at Will’s I met with Mr. Spicer, and with him to the Abbey to see them at vespers. There I found but a thin congregation already. So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour, and so the esteem of it passeth as other things do. From thence with him to see Robin Shaw, who has been a long time ill, and I have not seen him since I came from sea. He is much changed, but in hopes to be well again. From thence by coach to my father’s, and discoursed with him about Tom, and did give my advice to take him home again, which I think he will do in prudence rather than put him upon learning the way of being worse.
So home, and from home to Major Hart, who is just going out of town to-morrow, and made much of me, and did give me the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, that I may be capable of my arrears.
So home again, where my wife tells me what she has bought to-day, namely, a bed and furniture for her chamber, with which very well pleased I went to bed.

Water is a door
to a thin religion:
see a sea change
and learn the way
of being worse.
Art is in arrears.
Tell me, what furniture
am I to be?


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 2 October 1660.