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December 23, 2019

The closing of Pepys’ Diary: 350th anniversary

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the closing of Pepys’ diary. One of our most notable Old Paulines, Pepys is known to all as a diarist but, appropriately, his Beetle at St Paul’s notes his role in civil service, as ‘Secretary of the Admiralty to King Charles II & James II’. Records of his time at St Paul’s were sadly extinguished in the Great Fire of London. Happily, however, a few sources related to his connection with the school do still exist.

A letter from the Navy Office, of which Pepys is one of the signatories, is carefully preserved in the school archives and pictured below. The letter is addressed to the officer of the ship Mountagne and gives instructions for the punishment of the Purser’s servant for an unmentioned offence that has occasioned danger to the ship.

 

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