Pepys Diary erasure project

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.

To my Lord. One with me to buy a clerk’s place with me and I did demand 100l. To the Council Chamber, where I took an order for the advance of the salaries of the officers of the Navy, and I find mine to be raised to 350l. per annum. Thence to the Change, where I bought two fine prints of Ragotts from Rubens, and afterwards dined with my Uncle and Aunt Wight, where her sister Cox and her husband were. After that to Mr. Rawlinson’s with my uncle, and thence to the Navy Office, where I began to take an inventory of the papers, and goods, and books of the office. To my Lord’s, late writing letters. So home to bed.

A clerk’s place:
I raise an ox of paper
off my writing.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 7 July 1660.

In the morning with my Lord at Whitehall, got the order of the Council for us to act.
From thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with the Doctor that shewed us so much kindness at the Hague, and took him to the Sun tavern, and drank with him.
So to my Lord’s and dined with W. Howe and Sarah, thinking it might be the last time that I might dine with them together.
In the afternoon my Lord and I, and Mr. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret, went and took possession of the Navy Office, whereby my mind was a little cheered, but my hopes not great.
From thence Sir G. Carteret and I to the Treasurer’s Office, where he set some things in order. And so home, calling upon Sir Geoffry Palmer, who did give me advice about my patent, which put me to some doubt to know what to do, Barlow being alive.
Afterwards called at Mr. Pim’s, about getting me a coat of velvet, and he took me to the Half Moon, and the house so full that we staid above half an hour before we could get anything. So to my Lord’s, where in the dark W. Howe and I did sing extemporys, and I find by use that we are able to sing a bass and a treble pretty well. So home, and to bed.

I dine with hope and doubt
in a coat of velvet.
Half moon, half dark,
we sing bass and treble.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 July 1660.

This morning my brother Tom brought me my jackanapes coat with silver buttons. It rained this morning, which makes us fear that the glory of this great day will be lost; the King and Parliament being to be entertained by the City to-day with great pomp.
Mr. Hater was with me to-day, and I agreed with him to be my clerk.
Being at White Hall, I saw the King, the Dukes, and all their attendants go forth in the rain to the City, and it bedraggled many a fine suit of clothes. I was forced to walk all the morning in White Hall, not knowing how to get out because of the rain.
Met with Mr. Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, who took me to dinner among the gentlemen waiters, and after dinner into the wine-cellar. He told me how he had a project for all us Secretaries to join together, and get money by bringing all business into our hands.
Thence to the Admiralty, where Mr. Blackburne and I (it beginning to hold up) went and walked an hour or two in the Park, he giving of me light in many things in my way in this office that I go about. And in the evening I got my present of plate carried to Mr. Coventry’s.
At my Lord’s at night comes Dr. Petty to me, to tell me that Barlow had come to town, and other things, which put me into a despair, and I went to bed very sad.

Mr. Hater and I
go forth to the city
and get money by bringing
all business into our hands.
I walk in the park
giving light in my way,
which put me
into despair.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 5 July 1660.

Up very early in the morning and landing my wife at White Friars stairs, I went to the Bridge and so to the Treasurer’s of the Navy, with whom I spake about the business of my office, who put me into very good hopes of my business. At his house comes Commissioner Pett, and he and I went to view the houses in Seething Lane, belonging to the Navy, where I find the worst very good, and had great fears in my mind that they will shuffle me out of them, which troubles me.
From thence to the Excise Office in Broad Street, where I received 500l. for my Lord, by appointment of the Treasurer, and went afterwards down with Mr. Luddyard and drank my morning draft with him and other officers. Thence to Mr. Backewell’s, the goldsmith, where I took my Lord’s 100l. in plate for Mr. Secretary Nicholas, and my own piece of plate, being a state dish and cup in chased work for Mr. Coventry, cost me above 19l. Carried these and the money by coach to my Lord’s at White Hall, and from thence carried Nicholas’s plate to his house and left it there, intending to speak with him anon. So to Westminster Hall, where meeting with M. L’Impertinent and W. Bowyer, I took them to the Sun Tavern, and gave them a lobster and some wine, and sat talking like a fool till 4 o’clock. So to my Lord’s, and walking all the afternoon in White Hall Court, in expectation of what shall be done in the Council as to our business. It was strange to see how all the people flocked together bare, to see the King looking out of the Council window.
At night my Lord told me how my orders that I drew last night about giving us power to act, are granted by the Council. At which he and I were very glad. Home and to bed, my boy lying in my house this night the first time.

In Seething Lane
I find the worst fears.
I shuffle out to the yard
with my dish and cup
and speak to the sun
like a clock
or a bare window.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 July 1660.