1 July 1669

Aldeburgh

1 July 1669

Captain Elliot

Upon the late arrival of the news of Sir Robert Brookes’s death who served as one of the Burgesses for the Town of Aldeburgh, his Royal Highness was pleased upon considerations of his own to command me to endeavour after the procurement of the election of myself into this vacancy; an honour which I should not of myself have pretended to, as among other reasons so in particular from my being wholly a stranger to that Corporation. But his Royal Highness having been thus pleased to think upon me in it, with a resolution of engaging his whole interest in the accomplishing of it, I think it my duty to obey him therein, and in order thereto to direct my first applica­tions to yourself, whom his Royal Highness is pleased to pitch upon as one of whose endeavours in the promoting of all his desire his Highness rests most assured, and in an especial manner relies upon your capacity and influence for doing the same in this particular.

The enclosed will deliver you his Highness’s mind under his own hand, and more particularly by another from Mr Wren to which I must be referred, having never yet had the good fortune of serving you in anything that might oblige you to the exercise of your interest and kindness on my behalf. But as your favour herein will be very acceptable to his Royal Highness, so will it engage not only myself singly but the whole body of this Office upon all future occasions to express their sense of your kindness shown to one of its members; besides that, if his Highness’s desire herein do succeed, I do not despair of having opportunity of showing myself a faithful and useful servant to the Corporation.

I shall not think it needful to offer you any advice touching the method of your proceedings, but submit the whole to your prudence. Which I pray you to believe that I will see you fully and thankfully reimbursed for what charges shall attend the same, and pray that you will please to give me a speedy account of your thoughts and advice, how his Royal Highness’s influence, or any other recommendations, may be most advantageously employed and directed for the obtaining of these our desires.

This is all the trouble you shall at present receive from your most affectionate friend and humble servant,

S. P.

The Duke of York to the Town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk

16 July 1669

Gentlemen

Being informed of the death of Sir Robert Brookes, who served in Parliament as one of the Burgesses of your Corporation, I recommend to your favour in your future election Samuel Pepys, Esquire, one of the Commissioners of the Navy, who besides his general qualifications for that trust will, I assure myself, be found on all occasions a useful servant to your town. And what kindness he shall receive from you in this matter I shall esteem as a testimony of your respect to me.

I am, your loving friend, James.

Pepys had designs on entering Parliament. Sir Robert Brooke was MP for Aldeburgh in Suffolk when he died suddenly in a bathing accident in France in 1669. Captain Thomas Elliott was a bailiff at Aldeburgh and Pepys wrote to him in an effort to have himself selected as a candidate in the ensuing by-election. Ever one to take advantage of influential contacts, Pepys went straight to the top and secured the support of the Duke of York.

In spite of his impressive sponsor, Pepys was unsuccessful and was not selected as a candidate.

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