Samuel Pepys MP
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Samuel Pepys MP (1633 - 1703)

Samuel Pepys MP
Born in London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1 Dec 1655 in St Margaret, Westminster, London, Englandmap
Died in Clapham, Surrey, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Jul 2015
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Samuel Pepys PRS, MP, JP, (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work, and his talent for administration to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.

The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War, and the Great Fire of London.[1]

Samuel was said to have been born at Brampton in Cambridgeshire on 23 February 1633, [2] the second son of John Pepys, tailor of Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, and his wife, Margaret Kite, daughter of a butcher of Whitechapel. He was baptised at St Bride, Fleet St on 3rd March [3] which suggests that he was born in London. Educated at Huntingdon and St Paul's he entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1651, obtaining a BA in 1654. [4] While at Magdalene he shared rooms with Robert Sawyer who would go on to be Speaker of the House and Attorney General. [5]

On 1 December 1655 he married a French girl, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander de St Michel of Hind Court, Fleet St. and his wife Dorothea Kingsmill [6] There is a suggestion that they were married earlier and this occasion was to formalise the marriage. [7] It proved a turbulent and childless match [8] but did not prevent Samuel from furthering his education. He obtained his MA in 1660, [4] the year of the Restoration of the Monarchy, and also the year that he began to write his secret diary. His family relationship with Edward Montagu, created Earl of Sandwich that year, gave him access to the men of power, and he thus began his career with the Navy.

Elizabeth died childless on 10 November 1669 and Samuel never remarried. He first entered Parliament as member for Castle Rising in 1673. [9]

Never a Catholic he was always a loyal supporter of the Duke of York which placed him in harm's way during the Exclusion Crisis and the time of the Popish Plot. While a prisoner in the Tower he set about defending himself notably against the accusations of the informant, John Scott, and wrote letter after letter seeking information against his enemy. [10]The correspondence, his extensive library and his diary were eventually donated to Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Samuel died 26 May 1703. He was interred beside his wife at Saint Olave, Hart St in the City of London on the 7th of June. [11][12]

Samuel Pepys diary is available for download at Project Gutenburg


  1. Wikipedia entry for Samuel Pepys
  2. "The Diary of Samuel Pepys MA FRS" Bohn's Standard Library. Edited by Henry B Wheatley. George Bell and Sons, London 1913. Transcribed by Rev Mynors Bright, MA. Originally published 1893-1899. 8 volumes. Forenotes XV. "Samuel Pepys was born on 23rd February 1622-3, but the place of birth is not known with certainty. Samuel Knight DD., author the 'Life of Colet' who was a connection of the family (having married Hannah Pepys, daughter of Talbot Pepys of Impington), says positively that it was Brampton. His statement cannot be corroborated by the registers of Brampton church, as these records did not commence until the year 1654."
  3. Baptismal record St Bride, Fleet St 3 March 1632 (OS) Samuell Peapis son to John Peapis and Margaret)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Venn: Cambridge Alumni: Samuel Pepys
  5. History of Parliament online: Robert Sawyer [1]
  6. Marriage record St Margaret, Westminster (Samuell Pepys of this parish, gent and Elizabeth De Snt Michel of Martin's in the Fields, spinster. Published Oct 19th, 22nd, 29th and were married by Richard Sherwin Esq one of the Justices of the Peace of the Cittie and Lyberties of Westm December 1st. (Signed) Ri Sherwin)
  7. NOTE Diary 10 October 1666 "So home to supper, and to bed, it being my wedding night, but how many years I cannot tell. My wife says ten"
  8. Samuel Pepys Diary. passim
  9. History of Parliament online: Samuel Pepys
  10. For Samuel Pepys and John Scott see The Plot Against Pepys, James Long and Ben Long, Faber and Faber 2007, ISBN 978-0-571-22713-6
  11. Burial record St Olave, Hart St. (7 June 1703 Samuel Pepys)
  12. Find A Grave: Memorial #19875

See Also:

  • C. S. Knighton, ‘Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2015 accessed 12 Nov 2016
  • "The Man in the Making" Arthur Bryant 1933
  • "The Years of Peril" Arthur Bryant 1935
  • "The Saviour of the Navy" Arthur Bryant 1938

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Comments: 5

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Samuel died in Clapham. He was ill and was being cared for by a friend. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the City where they had shared their lives.
posted by C. Mackinnon
Clapham was in Surrey in Samuel's lifetime, and it is not unheard of that a husband be buried beside his wife who passed before him.
posted by Wendy (Ling) Sullivan
Geography seems to have gone adrift? He died at Clapham, then in Surrey, and was buried in St Olave Hart Street, which was and is in the City of London. Haven't checked other places mentioned.
posted by [Living Bethune]
Should that piece on Impington Hall be in a free space profile? It really wasn't that important to Samuel.
posted by C. Mackinnon
The actual Diary of the esteemed Mr Pepys is amazing education

Th current draft of Biography is Perfectly on target. I would only underscore, it is beyond expectations. There have been some good online sites that provide good abridged highlights, and good followup context.

This perspective has really been limited or missing from a lot of the community commentary of pre 1700 genealogy and also 18th 19th century.

My edition was published by Collins. the actual diary should be listed as a source. The edition comes with an outstanding Index of hundreds of people and places that were part of Pepys life.

posted by Marty Ormond

Samuel is 23 degrees from Mary McCauley, 23 degrees from B. W. J. Molier and 10 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.