Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft


A folio volume of poems chiefly on affairs of state, in a non-professional hand, with a table of contents (listing some 125 poems), once containing upwards of 240 pages, but all of which after p. 22 have been excised. Late 17th century.

pp. [2*] and 1-13

RoJ 641.5: John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, Sodom and Gomorah

Copy of a five-act version, without any prologues or epilogues, headed ‘The farce of Sodome’, cited in the table of contents as ‘Bolloximion A play’.

First published (?) at ‘Antwerp’ [i.e. London], (?)1684. The only known extant early printed exemplum is a probably early 18th-century octavo entitled Sodom, or the Gentleman Instructed. A Comedy. By the E. of R., sold at Sotheby's 16 December 2004, lot 54 (with facsimile pages in the sale catalogue), now in private ownership.

Edited from MS copies as Rochester's Sodom, ed. L.S.A.M. von Römer (Paris, 1904), and as Sodom (Olympia Press, Paris, [1957]). Love, pp. 302-33.

Of uncertain authorship. For discussions of authorship and texts, see notably Rodney M. Blaine, ‘Rochester or Fishbourne: A Question of Authorship’, RES, 22 (1946), 201-6; J. Thorpe, ‘New Manuscripts of Sodom’, PULC, 13 (1951-2), 40-1; A.S.G. Edwards, ‘Libertine Literature in Restoration England: Princeton MS AM 14401’, BC, 25 (Autumn 1976), 354-68, and ‘The Authorship of Sodom’, PBSA, 71 (1977), 208-12; Larry Carver, ‘The Texts and The Text of Sodom’, PBSA, 73 (1979), 19-40; John D. Patterson, ‘Does Otway ascribe Sodom to Rochester?’, N&Q, 225 (August 1980), 349-51; and J.W. Johnson, ‘Did Lord Rochester Write Sodom?’, PBSA, 81 (1987), 101-53.

pp. 14-18

MaA 158.5: Andrew Marvell, A Dialogue between the Two Horses (‘Wee read in profane and Sacred records’)

Copy, headed ‘A dialogue the marble horse & the brass horse’.

First published in The Second Part of the Collection of Poems on Affairs of State (London, 1689). Margoliouth, I, 208-13, as ‘probably Marvell's’. POAS, I, 274-83, as anonymous. Rejected from the canon by Lord.

p. 22

WaE 689.5: Edmund Waller, Upon our late Loss of the Duke of Cambridge (‘The failing blossoms which a young plant bears’)

Copy, headed ‘On the death of the Duke of cambridg’.

First published in Poems, ‘Fourth’ edition (London, 1682). Thorn-Drury, II, 79.

pp. 32-5 (now missing)

MaA 121.5: Andrew Marvell, Britannia and Rawleigh (‘Ah! Rawleigh, when thy Breath thou didst resign’)

Title only (‘Britannia & Rawleigh’) in the table of contents for a text which originally appeared on pp. 32[-5] but has been excised.

First published in A Collection of Poems on Affairs of State (London, 1689). Margoliouth, I, 194-9, as of doubtful authorship. POAS, I, 228-36, attributed to John Ayloffe. See also George deF. Lord, ‘Satire and Sedition: The Life and Work of John Ayloffe’, HLQ, 29 (1965-6), 255-73 (p. 258).

p. 72 (now missing)

MaA 229.5: Andrew Marvell, The Statue at Charing Cross (‘What can be the Mistery why Charing Cross’)

Title only (‘On the Statue at charing crosse’) in the table of contents for a text which originally appeared on p. 72 but has been excised.

First published in Poems on Affairs of State (London, 1698). Margoliouth, I, 199-201. POAS, I, 270-3. Lord, pp. 201-4. Smith, pp. 418-19.

p. 211 (now missing)

EtG 108.5: Sir George Etherege, Mrs. Nelly's Complaint (‘If Sylla's ghost made bloody Catiline start’)

Title only (‘[N]elly's complaint an Elegy’), of what is probably this poem, in the table of contents for a text which originally appeared on p. 211 but has been excised

First published in Miscellaneous Works, Written by…Buckingham, Vol. I (London, 1704). Thorpe, pp. 62-4.