2 November 1669

Navy Office

2 November 16691

Sir,

I begge you to beleive that I would not have beene ten daies returned into England without waiting on you2, had it not pleased God to afflict mee by the sickness of my wife, who, from the first day of her coming back into London3, hath layne under a fever soe severe as at this houre to render her recoverey desperate. Which affliction hath very much unfitted mee for those acts of civillitie and respect which, amongst the first of my friends, I should have paid to yourselfe, as hee to whome singly I owe the much greater part of the satisfaction I have met with in my late voyage. Next to you, I have my acknowledgements to make to Sir Samuel Tuke; to whome (when in a condition of doeing it) I shall beg your introducing mee, for the owneing of my obligations to him on the like behalfe. But Sir, I beg you heartilie to dispence with the ceremonie, till I am better qualified for paying it; and in the meane time receive the enclosed, which I should with much more satisfaction have delivered with my owne hands.

I am, Sir,

Your most obliged and obedient Servant,

SPepys

I most humbly kiss your ladies hands, and pray my service be presented to Sir Richard Browne.4

Source: BL Upcott Antiquaries II. Endorsed by E, “Mr Pepys 2 November Navy Office”.

  1. MS: “Navy Office November 2 1669”.
  2. MS: “without waiting on you” inserted.
  3. Elizabeth Pepys. She had been taken ill in Flanders while travelling with her husband in autumn 1669. She died on 10 November. The funeral took place on 13 November at St Olave’s, Hart Street, where her monument remains. E attended the funeral and noted the fact in his diary entry for 14 November.
  4. A letter from P to Richard Browne, dated 26 March 1670, is at BL Up AnII. It was published by Braybrooke in 1825, and is included in various other editions, and that of Howarth (no. 36).

2 Annotations

Dr Owen Charles Parry-Jones   Link to this

I wonder has any sound medical theory been put forward as to what Elizabeth's diagnosis was? J Evelyn mentions that 'contagion' is about in parts of France. Apparently it allowed her to travel back to London before she became moribund. Any ideas where I might look further?
Chas Parry-Jones

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Dr. Parry-Jones, In the article on Elizabeth in the L&M Companion (Vol. X), the fever she died of is said to be "probably typhoid."

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