20 August 1672

20 August 1672

My Lord

Having by his Royal Highness’s appointment understood his Highness’s recommending me with success to your Lordship for the Burgess-ship of Rising, upon the expected removal of Sir Robert Paston to the House of Lords, I hold it my duty to make this my humble and thankful acknowledgement of it to your Lordship. Not that I dare imagine your Lordship’s favour to me therein arises from any other consideration than that of my being a humble creature of his Royal Highness; but that the assurance I have of his Highness’s devoting me to your service no less than favour, together with a due sense of my former obligations on the like occasion to your Lordship, makes it [a] duty in me to tender your Lordship my most humble thanks and faithful engagement of employing the capacity your Lordship shall herein give me, to the particular use and services of the Houses of Norfolk and of that country whereto so many advantages both of honour and protection have arisen from your noble person, by whom I shall ever be ambitious of being conducted and commanded, as becomes

My Lord

Your Lordship’s most obedient servant

S. Pepys

The Castle Rising seat was expected to fall vacant when Sir Robert Paston entered the House of Lords, then anticipated imminently. Pepys composed this obsequious letter of thanks to Howard believing he was Howard’s only choice. Pepys enclosed it with a letter of his to Sir William Coventry and asked the latter to hand it on.

Pepys was rather premature. Paston gave up his seat in August 1673 when he was created Viscount Yarmouth. He did not enter the House of Lords until 1679 when he became Earl of Yarmouth, though ironically Henry Howard did as Earl of Norwich (in 1677 he became the sixth Duke of Norfolk). It turned out that Henry Howard had already been associated with two other candidates. [See the next letter]

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