Longer articles on broader topics.



At home with Mr and Mrs Pepys

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Samuel Pepys was anxious. He had been promised a house to go with his new job at the Navy Office, at the extraordinary salary of 350 per annum. The newly restored Monarchy meant a complete changeover of staff in all areas of the administration. The Commonwealth mandarins were being superseded by the King’s Men and Samuel Pepys…
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John Evelyn's Fire of London

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John Evelyn also kept his diary during the events of September 1666 and, given their length, it seems appropriate to give them a home here. The diary entries below are taken from this source. I’ve included all of Evelyn’s relevant entries, so, if you know nothing about what happens during the Fire, some of the below might count as **SPOILERS**!
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Evelyn to Pepys, 26 March 1666

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On days when John Evelyn and Pepys exchanged letters, there’s now a link to the relevant letter on this site. The letters are also often posted in the annotations for that day’s diary entry, but as one of Evelyn’s letters to Pepys for 26 March 1666 is long and has a lot of tabular data, Terry Foreman had the good idea of posting it in the In-Depth Articles section. So here is the exchange of four letters for today.
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Legends of British History: Samuel Pepys

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The reputation of Samuel Pepys as the author of Britain’s most celebrated diary is rather surprising. The literary reputation of Pepys in his lifetime was limited, following which the personal journal was left in obscurity for more than a century after his death. The eventual publication of the diary revealed Pepys as an exceptionally skilled recorder of the political events of his time, and also everyday life.
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Sam’s N-A-V-Y

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In the year 1664 we celebrated the mid-point of Sam’s Diary, perhaps with a mixture of happiness for all of the time shared together and a touch of sadness too, as we know that in a few years the Diary will end.
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The Plot Against Pepys

by James Long and Ben Long

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This magnificent piece of work by Long and Long explores the outlandish charges of treason brought against Sam during the Popish Plots, and then brilliantly unfolds the mysteries, men and motives fabricating those accusations. This true story is based on a vast collection of facts, letters and notes from widely diverse and seemingly unrelated sources, which have been analyzed and synthesized…
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Book cover

Carteret and the King

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Sam’s diary affords us the wonderful opportunity to see his world and view the individuals surrounding him through his eyes. The men and women that he writes of have been uniquely recorded and preserved for prosperity. Years before Sam kept his diary, on a small island that lies between England and France, another diarist, the Jersey born, Jean Chevalier, kept a diary of his own.
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Inventory of the tailor shop

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The following letter of acknowledgement and inventory of the items in the tailor shop are from Helen Truesdell Heath’s “The Letters of Samuel Pepys and His Family Circle”. In this inventory are the details of the items which Tom acknowledges have been ‘lent’ to him by his father for his accommodation. All information and quotations set forth herein come from Heath’s above referenced book.
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Twas the night before New Years!

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Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem “Twas the night before Christmas” in 1822. I “borrowed” some delightful lines from that poem and added a few Pepysian style lines in thanks to all of our friends for writing about 1663! May our New Year bring blessings to all of you and may 1664 be a wonderful year for Sam and Elizabeth!
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A Voice for Elizabeth

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Scholars, historians, writers and curious others have searched for the “voice” of Elizabeth Pepys, only to succumb to the sad realisation that none of her letters or writings exist, or, if in existence, as those die hard optimists may hope, they have yet to be found. Perhaps, like the recently discovered manuscripts of Robert Hooke, some disheveled family will finally clean out an attic…
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Between a Son and His Father: Sam's Letter to John Sr regarding Brampton

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The following letter and summary of Brampton rents are from Helen Truesdell Heath’s The Letters of Samuel Pepys and His Family Circle. In this letter and the estate summary, Sam has set forth a proposed plan for his father’s consideration regarding the settlement of the Brampton estate. All information and quotations set forth herein come from Heath’s above referenced book.
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The Journal of "My Lord" Sandwich

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Sam’s entry dated May 25, 1660 speaks of the King’s arrival in England and the joy (and perhaps relief) that Lord Sandwich felt upon Charles’ safe arrival upon the English shores. Pepys writes “My Lord almost transported with joy that he had done all this without any the least blur or obstruction in the world, that could give an offence to any, and with the great honour he thought it would be to him.”
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A Walk with Ferrers

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On one level Sam’s walk today with Captain Ferrers may simply seem to gloss over tidbits of Court gossip, yet two of these stories reflect re-occurring themes that will continue throughout the reign of Charles II and therefore be presented in Sam’s diary…
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