Samuel Pepys

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Samuel Pepys
BirthplaceLondon, England
Naval Administrator started off as Clerk of the Acts working his way up to Chief Secretary to the Admiralty and Tory Member of Parliament for Castle Rising and Harwich
EducationHuntingdon Grammar School, St Paul's School and Cambridge University
Known for Diary

Pepys, Samuel

(pēps), 1633–1703, English public official, and celebrated diarist, b. London, grad. Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1653. In 1656 he entered the service of a relative, Sir Edward Montagu (later earl of SandwichSandwich, Edward Montagu, 1st earl of
, 1625–72, English admiral. He fought in the parliamentary army during the civil war, became (1653) a member of the council of state of the Commonwealth, and was appointed
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), whose secretary he became in 1660. That same year he started as a clerk in the navy office and by 1668 he was an important naval official and owned a considerable estate. In 1672 he was made secretary to the admiralty. He sat in the Parliament of 1679, but he was charged with betraying naval secrets to the French in the same year. He was briefly imprisoned in the Tower but was vindicated and freed in 1680. In 1684 Pepys was reappointed secretary to the admiralty and was made president of the Royal SocietyRoyal Society,
oldest scientific organization in Great Britain and one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded in 1660 by a group of learned men in London who met to promote scientific discussion, particularly in the physical sciences.
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. The accession of William IIIWilliam III,
1650–1702, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689–1702); son of William II, prince of Orange, stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and of Mary, oldest daughter of King Charles I of England.
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 forced him into retirement, where he wrote his Memoirs … of the Royal Navy (1690).

Pepys left his valuable library, including his diary in cipher, to his nephew John Jackson and in turn to Magdalene College, Cambridge. His diary was discovered there in 1728 and nearly a century later was partially deciphered and first published (1825). An almost full text was edited by H. B. Wheatley (10 vol., 1893–99), but a complete edition did not appear until after World War II. One of the most famous diaries of all time, an intimate record of the daily life and reflections of an ambitious, observing, and lusty young man, it extends from Jan. 1, 1660, to May 31, 1669, when failing eyesight forced him to stop writing. Pepys's diary gives a graphic picture of the social life and conditions of the early Restoration period, including eyewitness accounts of the great plague (1665) and the great fire of London (1666).


See the diary (new ed. by R. Latham and W. Matthews, 10 vol., 1970–83) and the abridgment of the diary (ed. by O. F. Morshead, 1960); Pepys's letters (ed. by H. T. Heath, 1955); biography by C. Tomalin (2002); studies by P. Hunt (1958), C. Emden (1963), O. A. Mendelsohn (1963), M. H. Nicolson (1965), I. E. Taylor (1967), R. Barber (1972).

Pepys, Samuel

(1633–1703) English public official; author of diary. [Br. Lit.: NCE, 2103]
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While subjects on this series are frequently moved to tears at realising how their dirt-poor ancestors didn't have two pennies to rub together, Kevin can only sit, looking faintly embarrassed as more and more of his hugely successful and well-connected capitalist forebears come strutting out of the woodwork - one even rated a mention in the famous diary of Samuel Pepys.