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date: 23 October 2020

Pepys in Print, 1660–1703

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the printed works produced by Samuel Pepys during his lifetime, along with significant references to him in print by his contemporaries. Pepys’s own print contributions ranged from news reports on Charles II’s Restoration to self-vindicating naval Memoires (1690). Having been the subject of a libel during the Popish Plot in 1679, Pepys was himself criticized for authoring libels as a result of his pamphlet campaign to reform Christ’s Hospital (1698–1699). Pepys’s strategic uses of publication media mean that following his career is a way to investigate the boundaries between print and manuscript publication in the late seventeenth century and examine the association of these media with concepts of private and public. Pepys’s uses of print also provide an important context for interpreting his intentions concerning the preservation and circulation of his diary of the 1660s, which was to remain unprinted until the nineteenth century.

Keywords: diary, manuscript, print, publication, public, memoir, Restoration, Samuel Pepys, Popish Plot

Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) left behind a remarkable paper trail of public and private records, of which his famous diary is just one part. Kept from January 1660 to May 1669, his journal first appeared in a printed edition in 1825. It was more than 150 years before a full and unexpurgated version became available with the completion of Robert Latham and William Matthews’s edition in the early 1980s.1 The belated full publication was due, in part, to the fact that Pepys wrote in shorthand to prevent his journal being easily read by his kin or other members of his household. This shorthand was not a cipher of the kind he elsewhere used to protect the contents of diplomatic letters: it was a widely used system in his lifetime, and Pepys frequently spelled out words in longhand. Yet his choice of shorthand meant that, for his editors, it was no easy work to transliterate even a part of the diary, let alone the whole 1,250,000 words. The length of time between the first and full edition was also a consequence of Pepys’s having documented matters that nineteenth- and early twentieth-century editors of the diary felt were trifling or simply unfit for general public consumption, such as lewd court gossip and his own sexual activities. In the words of Pepys’s first editor, Lord Braybrooke, these were passages “of so indelicate a character, that no one with a well-regulated mind will regret their loss”—others disagreed, and, by 1858, members of “learned societies” were circulating “suppressed passages.”2 The scandalous contents of the journal, its checkered publishing history, and Pepys’s intriguing mix of self-protection and self-revelation have made the journal a focus for work on early modern concepts of the private and the public, more often than not with reference to sexuality. James Grantham Turner, for example, notes that Pepys’s “sexual practices and attitudes refuse to fit into the neat polarities of private and public, repression and acceptance”; while Randy Robertson’s comparable interest in the diary’s public and private aspects leads him to conclude that Pepys had “fantasies of posthumous publication.”3 Certainly by the time of his death in 1703, Pepys had decided his diary merited preserving, if not publishing: he left it in his carefully assembled library and requested that the library in its entirety be passed to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to ensure its “unalterable preservation.”4

I will return to the diary and its posthumous publication at the end of this article, but my chief concern is with Pepys’s appearances in print during his lifetime. Tracking Pepys’s own uses of print and how he was represented in this medium by others is a means to investigate publication strategies in Restoration culture and the ways these were bound up with understandings of the private and the public. The different modes of manuscript circulation in this period have been astutely analyzed by Harold Love. In terms of copies produced or numbers of readers, scribal publication was not necessarily more “private” than print publication. When the copying of a manuscript was organized by the entrepreneurial owners of scriptoria a publication might reach hundreds of readers, achieving a circulation as great as some printed pieces. In other cases, a manuscript text would be copied for distribution only to a closed circle of readers, therefore giving it, in Love’s words, “a status delicately balanced between private and public.”5 As we will see, in skilled hands print publication could be similarly nuanced, with the print medium and the method of circulation conveying messages almost as significant as the contents of the text. From the first, Pepys’s appearances in print showed an appreciation of how to exploit the interrelationship of manuscript and print, while his increasingly sophisticated use of print shows how polemical efficacy in this period required mastery of a medium as well as of rhetoric.

Reporting the Restoration

The first time Pepys’s words appeared in print was also the occasion on which he was read by the largest audience during his lifetime. At the start of his journal, Pepys was working as a man of business for General Edward Mountagu and writing regular newsletters to him about political events in London. In March 1660, Mountagu went with the fleet to collect Charles from exile in The Hague, taking Pepys with him as his secretary. After Mountagu orchestrated a vote in the fleet’s council of war pledging loyalty to “his Majesty,” it therefore fell to Pepys to report this to the authorities in London. He scented an opportunity to gain wider recognition for his involvement and recorded his tactic in his diary:

I wrote this morning many letters, and to all the copies of the vote of the council of Warr I put my name; that if it should come in print, my name may be at it.

I sent a copy of the vote to Doling [messenger to the Council of State], inclosed in this letter:


He that can fancy a fleet (like ours) in her pride, with pendants loose, guns roaring, caps flying, and the loud Vive le Roy’s echoed from one ship’s company to another, he and he only can apprehend the joy this enclosed vote was received with, or the blessing he thought himself possessed of that bore it, and is

Your humble servant.”                                                               (Diary, 1:126)

A few days later, Pepys found his tactic had paid off: on May 8, he saw a printed news sheet recounting “the whole story of what we did the other day in the fleet at reading the King’s declaration; and my name at the bottom of it” (Diary, 1:131). As Latham and Matthews remark, this may have been the report in the newsbook the Faithfull Post. Meanwhile, Pepys’s lines on the fleet “in her pride” were also repeated word-for-word by other newsbooks without mention of his name.6 Pepys’s experience as a news writer for Mountagu served him well in capturing this event, but so too did his education at grammar school and university. Rhetorical training taught students to adapt their style to an occasion and to read with an eye to acquiring eloquent and quotable passages for their own use. Pepys’s phrases were regarded as eminently quotable for, having been picked up by the newsbooks, they found their way into contemporary histories of the period. During 1660, the writer of the chronicle The Faithful Annalist was hastily adding material to keep up with the latest events and changes of regime. The edition of this duodecimo history, which covered events up to May 1660, added phrases that had originated with Pepys:

At this time the Fleet was to be seen in all her full pride, the streamers loose, and playing to the wind, the Guns roaring to the Guns and Trumpets deafning Trumpets, the Caps of the Sea-men flying in the Air, whiles Vives le Roy, so ecchoed from one ship to another, and the Cannons expressed their repeated joys in such importunate Thunders, that the noise of the glad news thereof was quickly transmitted to the coasts of Holland, and conveyed to His Majesties Ears at Breda, and was a good Omen of his sudden return to his languishing and longing Subjects.7

The description survived rewrites of The Faithful Annalist later in the 1660s. Since Pepys’s vignette encapsulated the popular enthusiasm for Charles’s Restoration, it was lifted from the newsbooks by other writers who added their own rhetorical flourishes. James Heath’s The Glories and Magnificent Triumphs of the Blessed Restitution of His Sacred Majesty K. Charles II (1662) added a classical simile for good measure, with Charles “welcomed by the Thunder of the whole Fleet, then in its pride with Streamers and Pendants flying, and their Wast Clothes [i.e., ceremonial colored cloths] out to show it in its dreadful Lovelinesse, where His Majesty gave Her the innocent resemblance of Joves Courtship to his beloved Semele.8

Pepys’s poetic turn of phrase also inspired verse aimed at different audiences. Although in these sources it becomes more difficult to distinguish Pepys’s influence from a more general imagining of the scene, poets who wanted to capture the elation and evoke the authenticity of the newsbooks drew indirectly on Pepys’s report. At the cheapest end of the market for print, a black-letter ballad on the Restoration entitled Good News for England: or, The Peoples Triumph [1660] followed the structure of newsbooks’ accounts:

  • The Royal Seamens heart [sic] are fill’d with joy,
  • With Flags and Streamers piercing to the Sky;
  • They to his Grace will be a safe Convoy,
  • Long live his Majesty is all their cry:
  • Their thundring Guns will make the Ecchoes ring
  • To welcome home the second Charles our King.9

A similar description also appeared in John Dryden’s Astræa Redux (1660). This was a folio pamphlet sold out of Henry Herringman’s up-market bookshop in the fashionable New Exchange emporium. Dryden recounted how the “Royal Fleet” awaited Charles

  • The wavering Streamers, Flags, and Standart out
  • The merry Seamens rude but chearful shout,
  • And last the Cannons voice that shook the skies
  • And, as it fares in sudden Extasies
  • At once bereft us both of ears and eyes.10

Beyond noting his appearance in a newsbook, Pepys seems to have remained unaware of the influence of this particular piece of his rhetoric that, having originated in a manuscript letter, was now echoing through a range of genres in print. Later in the 1660s, Pepys began to think of writing a naval history, an aim he would entertain throughout the rest of his life.11 However, well before he began to consider becoming a historian, he had already unwittingly contributed to a number of printed histories of his time, thanks to a literary milieu that encouraged writers to lift and adapt each other’s rhetoric.

Popish Plot Satire

In 1660, Pepys evidently found seeing his name in print highly gratifying. His next significant appearance in print, in 1679, was not of his choosing and was calculated to humiliate him. During the 1660s and 1670s, Pepys had risen in the navy’s administration and, in 1673, he became Secretary to the Office of the Lord High Admiral and an MP. These decades also saw him amassing wealth through wages and perquisites (both licit and illicit). Pepys’s obvious affluence and his position as client to Charles’s Catholic heir, James Duke of York, began to draw criticism in print. In 1677, A Seasonable Argument, an unlicensed pamphlet sometimes attributed to Andrew Marvell, named Pepys among the MPs who deserved to be unseated: “Samuel Pepys Esquire, once a Taylour, then serving man to the Lord Sandwitch, now Secretary to the Admirally [sic]; got by Passes, and other illigal ways, 40000l.12 (Sandwich was the title Mountagu had taken when ennobled in 1660; "passes" were permissions allowing ships to avoid restrictions on their movements.) At least one of these charges was untrue: Pepys was never a tailor, but this had been his father’s profession, and it was a sensitive point with him. When Pepys’s wife Elizabeth wanted to goad him, she called him “prick-louse,” a derogatory name for a tailor (Diary, 4:121). Pepys was anxious that his ungenteel origins not become the topic of conversation among his acquaintances. While at a mercer’s shop in Cheapside with Abigail Williams, the mistress of a colleague, he became “fearful lest the people of the shop, knowing me, should ask after my father and give Mrs. Williams any knowledge of me to my disgrace” (Diary, 7:173). A Seasonable Argument advertised his humble background but, since he was one of more than 200 MPs whose credentials were attacked, the damage to his status was limited.

Pepys’s association with the Duke of York continued to make him an attractive target for the opposition during the Popish Plot furore in 1679, culminating in his being arrested for treasonably passing secrets to the French—a false charge. While Pepys was on bail, his Whig enemies renewed the attack on him at length in an anonymous printed pamphlet, A Hue & Cry After P. and H. and Plain Truth (1679). The pamphlet was published in two sections: an address to Pepys and his subordinate Will Hewer (“A Hue & Cry”), followed by a dialogue in which the two plotted together entitled “Plain Truth: or, A Private Discourse betwixt P. & H.” The pamphlet’s publication in October coincided with the expected start of a new parliamentary session—a move designed to maximize its political impact.13 The writers’ focus was not, however, on the treason charges that still lay against Pepys and nor did they give much time to allegations that he was a closet Catholic. Instead, they produced a witty satire on Pepys and Hewer’s corrupt navy practices. The pamphleteers’ professed intent was to compel “P” and “H” to make restitution to their victims and behave honestly, so that in future they might avoid coming “within the Reach of the Printing-Press: For, at this Time, it squeezes you both very hard, with Matter of Truth” (2).

One of the authors, as Pepys learned, was his disgraced butler John James who had already given evidence against him in Parliament.14 As a result, the writers knew a good deal not only about Pepys’s business dealings, but about his private peccadillos. Pepys had long nursed concerns about his servants’ ability to harm him through their privileged knowledge of his affairs. When, for example, he ended his diary because he feared he was going blind, he considered using the assistance of “my people” (his clerks and servants) to continue it in longhand; yet this move, he rued, would limit it to what “is fit for them and all the world to know” (Diary, 9:564). The implication was that what “my people” learned could be passed to “all the world” because members of his household were also members of a critical public. John James’s betrayal demonstrated the truth of this, and the pamphlet continued the nightmare by purporting to bring matters of “Private Discourse” under public scrutiny.

This was an astute attack on Pepys, designed to work on a number of levels. Alongside outright allegations of corruption, there were also cryptic references intended to intrigue readers and hidden jokes at Pepys’s expense that might only be picked up by his close associates. Because we have the diary and Pepys’s personal papers, we are in a position to recognize some of the truths salted among the fiction of A Hue & Cry. The pamphlet began by calling on Pepys and Hewer to refund the ill-gotten gains that they had “received from Sea-Captains, Consuls, Lieutenants, Masters, Boatswains, Gunners, Carpenters, and Pursers, or from their Wives, Sons or Daughters.”15 These included

Jars of Oyl, and Boxes of Chockolet, and Chests of Greek Wines, and Chests of Saracusa Wines… and Barrels of Pickel’d Oysters and Jars of Ollives, and Jars of Tent, and Parmosant Cheeses… Hogsheds of Claret, White-Wines, and Champaynes, and Dozens of Syder: And also, all those Mocos [i.e. macaws], Parrots, and Parakeets, Vriginia [sic] Nightingales, and Turtle-Doves, and those Fat Turkeys and Pigs; and all those Turkish Sheep, Barberry Horses, and Lyons, and Tygers, and Bears. (1–2)

This sounds like a ridiculous list—amusing because it wittily exaggerates Pepys and Hewer’s avarice. However, for those with any knowledge of Pepys’s habits and household, the wit lay in recognizing that this was, in fact, not so far from the truth. “Boxes of Chockolet”—meaning the compound of solid chocolate used to make a drink—were often given as exotic luxuries from travelling clients to their patrons but, in Pepys’s case, the allusion implies personal knowledge. By the late 1670s, Pepys had a particular penchant for chocolate. His memoranda from 1678 show him in search of “Chocolatte Nutts,” suggesting that he was now one of those wealthy individuals who bought cacao beans in order to have their preferred recipe for chocolate made up.16 As is clear from his diary, he relished a barrel of “Pickel’d Oysters” and was proud of his wine collection, which he buried in the garden along with his parmesan cheese to defend it from the Great Fire.17 Moreover, just when the list begins to sound completely implausible (“Lyons, and Tygers, and Bears”), it is at its most factual. One of the “Consuls” who sent Pepys gifts was Samuel Martin. Based in Algiers, Martin was the husband of one of Pepys’s mistresses, Betty Lane, and had risen to be consul through Pepys’s influence. In 1674, Martin sent Pepys as a gift “a Tame Lion, which is the Onely rarety that offers from this place.”18 Pepys kept the lion at his residence in Derby House, Westminster, which doubled as the Admiralty Office. If one of the most ridiculous examples was recognizable as a truth, then those who knew Pepys might well ask what else was true in these allegations. It was a piece well-calculated to incite further speculation about Pepys’s private affairs.

The pamphleteers had enough information on Pepys’s household arrangements skillfully to skewer his displays of munificence and gentility; they also knew how to twist the knife by combining mockery of his lowly origins with satire of another point on which he was highly sensitive, his coach. Pepys’s purchase of his own coach in 1669 had been a source of considerable delight to him and Elizabeth, but also a source of anxiety, for he worried that this spectacular display of wealth would draw criticism. In May 1669, the day after Samuel and Elizabeth had paraded around Hyde Park in their new coach, Pepys recorded that a friend “tells me he hears how fine my horses and coach are, and advises me to avoid being noted for it; which I was vexed to hear taken notice of, it being what I feared” (Diary, 9:551). In 1669, the display of such wealth by a naval administrator risked being taken by hostile onlookers as evidence of corrupt practices and brazen pretentiousness; in 1679, the pamphleteers wanted to ensure that this was exactly how Londoners would interpret Pepys’s public display of gentility. They called on him to repent “Your Presumption in your Coach, in which you dayly Ride, as if you had been Son and Heir to the great Emperor, Neptune” (2). “Now really Consider with your self,” they urged “that you are but the Son of a Taylor.” Rather than being painted with seascapes, the coach should instead depict Pepys’s father in his tailor’s shop, along with “the good Old Matron your Mother, and your self, and the rest of your Brothers and Sisters, standing by: this will be agreeable to your Qualities” (3). Pepys’s alleged abuse of charitable funds should also be shown, via a picture of him repenting his extortions from crippled navy veterans. On its most public level, the pamphlet worked to turn Pepys and Hewer to ridicule and the emblems of their success into emblems of vice. However, the pamphleteers also aimed to intimidate Pepys by hinting at the depths of their knowledge of his weaknesses and tacitly threatening more explicit exposures. Pepys found the publication deeply disturbing, writing to his friend James Houblon that “my Philosophy was never under soe great a Strayne as at this moment, your Letter finding mee just come from reading ye Print you mencion.”19 Fortunately for Pepys, future exposés were prevented because it was John James, rather than Pepys, who repented his actions, dying soon afterward. Pepys’s own later use of print suggests that, although he found the pamphleteers’ methods abhorrent, one of the lessons he took from this episode was that print was unparalleled as a tool for intimidation.

Patronage in Print

In 1679, Pepys was released on bail and, in 1680, the attempt to prosecute him for treason came to an end. Four years later, he was reappointed by Charles to the navy administration as Secretary for the Affairs of the Admiralty, a position he retained after James II (the erstwhile Duke of York) succeeded to the throne in 1685. During the 1680s and 1690s, Pepys appeared in print predominantly in the roles of an authority on naval matters and a patron to learning. His return to power meant he was now cast as man who had risen through merit and become a benefactor to others: the precise opposite of the upstart, corrupt, and exploitative tailor from the late 1670s prints. Authors chose to dedicate their works to Pepys in gratitude for past patronage and in hopes of future aid. In 1685, for example, Thomas Phelps, a merchant captain who had escaped slavery in Morocco, dedicated the pamphlet on his adventures to Pepys after Pepys introduced him to King James. Phelps praised his patron’s “Eminent and Steady Loyalty” to the King in “the worst of times” (a reference to Pepys’s sufferings during the Popish Plot). Pepys’s reputation for “sagacity” in sea affairs would also, Phelps believed, persuade readers to believe his narrative.20 The same year, the bookseller Moses Pitt dedicated a book Six Dialogues about Sea-Services to Pepys, knowing “how great a Patron and Encourager you are of the improvement of Navigation” (Pepys had earlier sponsored an atlas produced by Pitt).21 Pepys also appeared in print publications with an international profile. As President of the Royal Society between 1684 and 1686, he put his name to the imprimatur on the title page of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687).22

Increasingly during these years, Pepys appeared in learned publications not just as a supportive presence or sponsor, but also as a source of valuable information. Sir Peter Pett thanked Pepys in his Happy Future State of England (1688) for passing on to him a “secret Survey” of sixteenth-century Spain, which he referred to in the work. For Pett (a good friend of Pepys’s), it was an opportunity to celebrate Pepys as a “Great Treasurer of Naval and Maritime Knowledge, and of that great Variety of the Learning which we call recondita eruditio.”23 This was an allusion to Pepys’s growing library of manuscript and print and to the naval collections he was assembling to assist his projected history of the navy. Pepys’s ability to supply writers and publishers with manuscript material from his collections—and to use his influence to procure pieces for them—made him a valuable contact. This remained the case after he was removed from office in the wake of the Revolution of 1688, which ousted James II in favor of his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William. Pepys refused to swear allegiance to new monarchs and was barred from further involvement in the navy administration. His library provided him with an alternative source of prestige.24 In 1694, Samuel Smith and Benjamin Walford, the publishers of An Account of Several Late Voyages & Discoveries, dedicated the book to Pepys who had allowed them to reproduce his manuscript of John Narborough’s travel journal. “No Revolution, no Storm, no Time,” they opined, could shake Pepys’s reputation for learning.25

Pepys’s Memoires

Pepys, however, thought his legacy and reputation required defending. His loss of office had robbed him of much of his political influence so, although he continued to be heavily involved in manuscript circulation, he turned to print publication to impress his views. Two episodes in the 1690s saw him using print to win attention—and both times his use of the medium had attributes associated with authorial manuscript circulation rather than entrepreneurial print publication. Pepys’s first publication of his retirement, Memoires relating to the State of the Royal Navy of England, for Ten Years, Determin’d 1688 (1690), was the only substantial printed piece to emerge from his planned history of the navy.26 Pepys was not named as the author on the work’s title page, although his portrait did appear as a frontispiece. The Memoires circulated in two issues. One bore no publishing information other than “Printed Anno MDCXC”: this imprint implied a work printed for the author, and it was the version that Pepys presented to friends and select acquaintances. Another issue identified the work as “printed for” the bookseller Bennet Griffin (indicating that he owned the rights to the work) and “sold by” Samuel Keble in Fleet Street.27 Evidently, both Pepys and Griffin thought the work had the potential to attract a wider audience than just the author’s associates.

The title of Pepys’s history was somewhat misleading, perhaps deliberately so. In 1690, “memoirs” in the title of a work might be employed in the sense of “memoranda” but it was also often used of works based on personal experience that promised insider knowledge. The “Memoirs” published in the previous decade included histories by or about nobles, criminal biographies, and partisan political accounts of individuals involved in the Popish Plot. Pepys’s first readers, on seeing advertisements or the title page, may therefore have hoped for an account of the navy intermingled with the personal reflections of a man who had been involved in high-profile scandals and political revolutions. If so, they would have been disappointed. Pepys’s Memoires largely consisted of a barrage of documentation (official letters, financial accounts, lists of personnel) intended to vindicate his management of the navy over the previous decade. He gave very little by way of personal detail and assumed that no preamble was needed concerning his career. In this work, Pepys adopted his most elevated, formal and stilted style. He began by noting that, in 1679, Charles had resolved to end his personal oversight of the Admiralty and empower a commission to manage its affairs. Pepys’s second sentence (given here in its entirety) reflected on Charles’s decision:

An Occurrence carrying this in it of peculiar; That no one Article of Time appears within the whole History of our Navy, wherein this could have fallen out more equally towards the Persons immediately interested in the Alteration. Forasmuch as (by occasion of a War then newly in agitation with France) the State of the Navy had past an Inquisition so publick and solemn (extant at this day in the Registers both of Parliament and its own) as no time can shew to have once been ever before taken; leaving no room for Controversie (under any future Events) touching the condition wherein the Navy was at that time, either deliver'd over by the one, or taken in charge by the other.28

Untangling this complicated prose required knowing that Pepys had acted as chief admiralty administrator under Charles (‘the one’) and that new Commissioners (‘the other’) had been critical of the way in which the navy had previously been run. Pepys’s Memoires did not seek to attract casual readers, but aimed to supply those individuals who already had a political or historical interest in the subject with more information – or with more ammunition, for as J.D. Davies has shown, Pepys altered and omitted evidence with the intention of damaging his political rivals on the Admiralty Commission.29

The manuscript of the Memoires was ready in June 1690 but, in consultation with his friend John Evelyn, Pepys postponed print publication to ensure that it received the right kind of audience and so that it would not appear to be a cowardly stratagem. In June, Evelyn advised that this “Remonstrance” should not be printed immediately: King William had left to fight in Ireland, and Parliament was not in session so if the work appeared now it might “be look’d-on as if you fear’d it should have seene the lights, ’til the King’s back was turn’d; and the late Parliament scatter’d by this Adjournment etc that you steale it out now before their next Session, to conciliate Friends, and make a party.”30 A certain amount of conciliating friends and making “a party” did take place using very select manuscript circulation. With Pepys’s agreement, Evelyn took a manuscript copy to a sympathetic and influential reader, Lord Godolphin.31 Godolphin’s proficiency in overseeing the Treasury had earned him William’s respect, but he was also, like Pepys, a man noted for his previous loyalty to James II. The printed Memoires did not reach its first readers until December, which, not coincidentally, was in the middle of the next parliamentary session. The commercial stage of circulation was under way by May 1691 when the book was advertised for sale in the Term Catalogues.32 During the early 1690s, Pepys presented printed copies (without the commercial imprint) to those associates of Jacobite and Williamite allegiances whose opinions he valued. Some of these men were in a position to defend him and his legacy against hostile attacks. For example, William Blathwayt, a former colleague who was now William’s secretary at war, received a copy, as did Sir Isaac Newton (enjoying new fame in the wake of his Principia). Other copies went to family and old friends such as John Fitzwilliam, a college acquaintance of Pepys’s who had risen in the Church under James but was now a nonjuror.33 As Pepys had desired, the issue offered for sale found readers among MPs. Copies with a commercial imprint came into the hands of Sir Charles Kemeys (in 1690 an MP associated with the Tories) and of William Sacheverell, a Whig MP and Pepys’s long-standing enemy.34

Davies suggests that Pepys may have been angling for new office with this publication.35 In this respect, the Memoires failed. The work did, however, become a useful source for writers seeking to refute allegations against James II. In 1691, Dr William King (during a protracted attack on James in print) accused James of deliberately allowing English ships to “decay and rot, that the French might grow great at Sea, and destroy the Trade of the English.” Jacobite writers responded by citing Pepys’s Memoires as proving James’s care for the navy and thus Dr King’s general lack of credibility.36 By circulating the Memoires (with all its admiralty documentation) in print, rather than solely in manuscript, Pepys had effectively created a public record. The medium of print had a number of significant advantages beyond widening the circulation: print emphasized the work’s public dimension; it stressed the work’s durability (because print implied multiple copies, and thus a record which would survive time’s depredations), and it impressed the authority of the contents—especially since Pepys took some care over the printing, creating an impressive red-and-black inked title page and having errata hand corrected. In the short-term, Pepys’s book achieved only limited success, but one of the attractions of print publication was the prospect of appealing to posterity, and here Pepys was more successful: his selective account of his activities was accepted as an impartial one by his twentieth-century biographers.37

Public Institutions and Private Libels

Pepys’s publication strategy with the Memoires combined some of the aspects of discrete, noncommercial manuscript circulation with the advantages of print. His final major venture as an author was a series of pamphlets in 1698 and 1699 that saw him expertly treading the line between private consultation and public discourse.38 These six pamphlets, attacking corruption at Christ’s Hospital, have escaped the notice of Pepys’s biographers and bibliographers and are little known—a direct result of Pepys’s strategy of highly restricted circulation.39 By 1698, Pepys should have been a spent force in politics and public affairs: he had been out of power for almost ten years, was growing old, and had recently been seriously ill; yet in print he proved a formidable opponent. He had long taken an interest in the management of Christ’s Hospital, a charitable institution founded to educate the poor of London. In the early 1670s, he supported the creation of a mathematical school there to equip boys for navy service. Pepys remained an active member of the governing body of the Hospital until 1683, after which his “Despairs” about its management led him to cease involvement.40 In 1692, however, he began investigations into the financial standing of the foundation. Over the next few years, his attempts to alert the president of the Hospital, Sir John Moore, and its governors to his concerns via meetings, letters, and written reports failed. In addition to the parlous financial state of the Hospital, Pepys also protested about “the no less wretched Condition of it, in its Pepys in Print, 1660–1703”: he later instanced the case of two drunken “Mathematical Boys” found roaming the streets and bringing the institution into disrepute with the London citizenry.41 The Corporation of London was charged with oversight of the Hospital, so when the president and governors did not act, Pepys sent his report to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Humphrey Edwin. When the Lord Mayor, too, proved neglectful, Pepys began to suspect a conspiracy involving the “intercepting, suppressing, and otherwise indirect disposing of Papers not thought for some Private Turns fitt to be admitted to Publick View” (Paper IV, fol. B2v). He now took radical action and began to print his correspondence with the president, governors, and with the mayor himself. The primary readership was the Court of Aldermen (the City body from which the mayor was elected). In his first pamphlet, Pepys printed a letter to the Lord Mayor and aldermen, explaining that, since the “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703” he had uncovered were being ignored, he was driven to “expose [them] to You here”—“here” in this context implied both “in the Court of Aldermen” and “in print” (fol. A1v). An emphasis on shameful public exposure persisted throughout these pamphlets, yet Pepys had in fact commissioned only a very small print run, enough to send a copy to each of the twenty-six members of the Court of Aldermen and to the “Assistants” of the Court. His pamphlets were crafted for discrete circulation since each folio pamphlet was printed in such a way that it could be neatly folded into a slim pocket-size format. When folded correctly, part of the final page became a cover with a short title on it “Mr. PEPYS, upon the State of Christ-Hospital,” along with the number of the “Paper.”

Pepys’s first pamphlet certainly drew a response: its breach of decorum and implicit charges of negligence and corruption horrified Edwin, and all the more so because the choice of print suggested that the piece was meant for wide circulation. According to Pepys’s second pamphlet, the mayor had “arraign’d” the first piece “as a Pepys in Print, 1660–1703” and alleged that this alone was the reason he had not been chosen for Parliament in the recent elections (Paper II, fol. A1r). The mayor and mayoress were both offended by reports that the pamphlet was “made the Entertainment of Coffee-houses” (fol. A1v)—in other words, that the affair was now widespread talk. Pepys, on the other hand, maintained that “Exposing my Observations and Sentiments in this Matter” was his duty as a governor and stressed that his methods were not those of a common libeler. He had been so careful to limit circulation that he was

ready with a Reward of Five Pounds to whoever shall shew me any one of my Printed Copies, other than what were strictly deliver’d by Mr. Town-Clerk to Your Self, the Aldermen, and the Assistants of that Court; and those severally indors’d by a Hand of my own, with the Name of each Person intitled to the same. (Paper II, fol. A1v)

Pepys’s protests about his discrete distribution methods can be charitably described as disingenuous, for he knew full well that this technique would draw attention beyond the Court of Aldermen. Back in 1668, he had experienced the excitement caused by a similar distribution scheme, which combined targeted circulation to elected representatives with impudent circumvention of official channels. On February 12, 1668, Pepys’s cousin Roger Pepys, an MP, told him

the pleasant passage of a fellow’s bringing a bag of letters today into the Lobby of the House [of Commons], and left them and withdrew himself with[out] observation. The bag being opened, the letters were found all of one size and directed with one hand; a letter to most of the Members of the House.

The MPs voted to have the letters brought in and

the Speaker opening one, found it only a Case with a Libell in it, printed—a Satyr most sober and bitter as ever I read—and every letter was the same; so the House fell a-scrambling for them like boys; and my cousin Rogr. had one directed to him, which he lent me to read. (Diary, 9:65)

It was the cheeky method of distribution, as much as the libel’s content, that made this 1668 episode “pleasant” (amusing). It also gave this exclusive printed piece a cachet that made it valuable social currency—it became a privilege to have seen it and and an experience worth recording. It would be surprising if Pepys did not intend the same for his own series of pamphlets, which became increasingly strident and satirical in their criticisms. He menaced the mayor (and enticed his wider audience) with threats of further revelations:

if this, My Lord, be a Pepys in Print, 1660–1703; I shall not undertake for its being my last, where nothing gentler will be hearken’d to; rather than be conscious of an approaching Ruin to a Foundation like this I’m concern’d for, and be Pepys in Print, 1660–1703. (Paper II, fol. B1r)

If the “Suppression” of his full report continued, he warned, he would ultimately be compelled to print the document in its entirety.42

As well as exploiting the connotations of public exposure that attached to print, Pepys made expert use of the different ways in which print could be used to convey voice. He was unwilling to attend meetings of governors or aldermen, and so his pamphlets stood in for the speeches he would otherwise have made in these forums. As the excerpts here indicate, unusually copious use was made of italic and black-letter types to convey emphasis—often emotional or ironic emphasis. The printing of the word “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703” in black-letter is one example, suggesting both the seriousness of the allegation against Pepys (black-letter was the type used for authoritative documents such as proclamations) and, especially in later uses, indicating sarcasm at the term’s misapplication by Edwin (black-letter in these cases had a function akin to modern “scare quotes”). In contrast with the Memoires, Pepys was not writing in measured and ponderous prose here but adopted an explicitly polemical style to communicate a range of emotions from despair to disgust. When, for example, he found himself accused of trying to pull down “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703” from the Hospital and set up “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703,” he protested this was:

A Thought (God knows) of too little Weight with me, for Either’s sake, to trouble my Head with: As well knowing, how little the Felicity of Mankind has at any time been owing to Nominal Distinctions in Pepys in Print, 1660–1703. (Paper IV, fol. B2r)

The first part of the sentence before the colon sounds very much like Pepys’s prose in his diary of the 1660s, with the interjection, idiom, and (here) the use of italics for stress combining to convey informal speech and exasperated tone.43 The second part of the sentence, concerning the futility of “Nominal Distinctions,” uses more elevated diction but this is as close as Pepys ever got (or could afford to get) to a public reference to his privately held beliefs. As his personal papers show, by the mid-1680s, he had come to suspect that a minimal creed and moral truths were all that could be deduced from reason or scripture.44 Dismissing “nominal” religious difference was, however, in keeping with his pamphlet persona of a rigorously moral official, one who was reluctantly compelled to unconventional, even indecorous, methods in order to defend the interest of “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703” (Paper III, fol. D1v). “Pepys in Print, 1660–1703 (like mine),” he proclaimed,

know no Pepys in Print, 1660–1703, in matters of Trust at least, between scrupulously Pepys in Print, 1660–1703, and down-right the Pepys in Print, 1660–1703. Or to speak more plainly; between mixing my own Hand in the Ruin of this Religious Pepys in Print, 1660–1703, and sitting silently within View of its being brought about, by the Vanitie, Supineness, Prodigality, or Self-interest of Others. (Paper V, fol. B1v).

Here, in his fifth pamphlet addressed to the new lord mayor Sir Francis Child, Pepys stopped just short of openly insulting Edwin and the Hospital’s chief officials. In his rhetoric, as with his choice of distribution method, he repeatedly seemed to be on the verge of turning the tacit into the explosively explicit, presumably adding to the frisson for those in coffee houses who were following the confrontation.

This was all very far from the corrupt Pepys, exploiter of charitable institutions, who stood exposed in 1679. Pepys’s upright persona apparently impressed the aldermen and the wider public, and his arguments and threats began to have an impact. In March 1699, the president and governors of the Hospital capitulated, asking Pepys to take up the treasurership of the foundation. In his final pamphlet, he declined the post, citing (among other caveats) the fact that he was not entitled to hold the office as he was not a freeman of the City of London (Paper VI, fol. A1v). Since Pepys found dealing with the Hospital to be frustrating at best, no doubt he did genuinely want to have as little to do in remedying its affairs as possible. Yet the mention of this obstacle looks very much like a gambit to win some official recognition for his service to the City. It worked: on April 27, 1699, the Court of Aldermen awarded him the freedom of the City “in acknowledgement of the great zeal and concern for the interest of Christ’s Hospital, manifested upon all occasions by Samuel Pepys, esq., and in hopes of his continuing the same regard and inclinations for its preservation and advancement for the future.”45 Pepys’s biographers have understood this, rightly enough, as a marker of the esteem in which he was held.46 However, as the wording indicates, there was also a quid pro quo: Pepys was expected to take office and sort out the Hospital. The position itself was far from being a reward, but, after the public commendation, it would be difficult for him to refuse. He was made Vice-President of the Hospital and, having achieved his aim of prompting reformation, ended his public campaign. For the remainder of 1699, he worked to improve the Hospital’s management before ill health allowed him to withdraw.


From the start of his career, Pepys was mindful of the ways his writing might become “publick.” This trait, seen in his reports to the Council of State in 1660 and in his last journal entry, is equally apparent in the letters he wrote for print publication at the end of his career almost forty years later. Pepys’s notion of what constituted “Publick View” involved first the attention of gentlemen and citizens of wealth and influence, and then the wider populace who might not necessarily see a text but could learn of its contents. For Pepys, as for many of his contacts in the republic of letters and in government, on a day-to-day basis it was manuscript, not print, that was regarded as the more important medium for circulating ideas and influencing policy. The aim was most often to reach particular individuals who exercised power within the government and other institutions in order to affect decision making directly, rather than to work indirectly upon them through harnessing public opinion. Once Pepys had lost the power that came with being Secretary for the Admiralty, the capacity of print to appeal for wider public support became more useful to him, as (almost as importantly) did the connotations print carried of being seen to reach out to a wider public. To put a case in print was understood as “exposing” the issue in a way that manuscript did not, regardless of the actual numbers of copies circulating. The selection of print as a medium could also serve to communicate an author’s determination and seriousness of purpose. Pepys used the neatness and elaborateness of a piece’s presswork to augment the status of his texts, along with different typefaces to imbue a sense of his personal presence and voice.

Beyond the nuances that could be communicated through the choice of medium, decisions about the mechanisms of circulation were also crucial for meaning, in print as in manuscript. Even if a printed libel contained rapier-like wit, to have it distributed widely or offered for sale was to beat your opponent with a blunt object in the open street: a gratifying assault, and perhaps effective, but it risked degrading the attacker as much as his victim and was unlikely to win plaudits for the finesse of the method. Selective and targeted circulation in print—at least as a first step—offered the prospect of more efficient communication and kept the writer’s options open; it could also gain him appreciation for his politic and marginally more decorous approach. Pepys’s behavior with the six papers was an extreme case because this was, in essence, a semipublic blackmail scheme. However, his publications of the 1690s highlight the ways in which authors, operating at time when both print and manuscript publication were commercially viable, were able to benefit from playing one medium off against the other. Readers could be expected to infer particular meanings from an author’s decision to go into print when it was clear that manuscript would have been an alternative—and especially when manuscript would have been the conventional choice. Similarly, a wise author recognized and exploited the fact that his or her chosen distribution method, and even the timing of the distribution, would be read for signs of intent.

Pepys’s sensitivity to “exposure” in print and his own careful use of the medium might suggest that he would have been mortified at his diary being printed for widespread public consumption. His writings and methods of publication tend, after all, to underscore the importance of targeted distribution: in this way of thinking, there is a huge gulf between preserving your shorthand journal in a library where it can be read by particularly determined scholars and having it printed for public sale. Yet Pepys’s behavior shows he was well apprised of the interactions between manuscript and print culture. It would have been wholly out of keeping with his life-long thoughtfulness in such matters to fail to recognize that there was a real chance that preserving his diary (which featured momentous public events) would eventually lead to its being printed. Indeed, concerns about the print publication of private diaries had been explicitly raised in one of his favorite books. Thomas Fuller’s Church-History of Britain (1655) was a work to which Pepys repeatedly returned.47 In the Church-History, Fuller discussed the trial and execution of Archbishop Laud—a historical figure about whom Pepys was keen to learn.48 Laud’s diary had been found in his pocket during his imprisonment; extracts from it were then printed in 1644 by order of Parliament for “the publike view of the world.” Besides exposing Laud’s “unlawfull Actions,” the printed edition of his diary contained accounts of his dreams, allusions to seemingly sexual sins, and jokes that the editor deemed “Childish, scurrilous, ridiculous.”49 Reflecting on this episode, Fuller argued that Laud should not be criticized for keeping a personal diary, nor for keeping it where it could be found:

He can hardly be an ill husband, who casteth up his receipts and expenses every night, and such a soul is, or would be good, which enters into a daily Scrutiny of his own actions. But such who commend him in the making, condemn him keeping such a Diary about him in so dangerous days. Especially he ought to untongue it from talking to his prejudice, and should have garbled [i.e., removed] some light trivial and joculary passages out of the same. Whereas sure the omission hereof argued not his carelessnesse but confidence, that such his privacies should meet with that favour of course, which in equity is due to writings of that nature.50

As described by Fuller, there was much in Laud’s behavior as a diarist that would resonate with Pepys’s experience: at the time Pepys first read the Church-History, he, too, was keeping a diary in “dangerous days.” Kept partly to facilitate personal “Scrutiny” of his actions, his diary contained self-incriminating passages (such as accounts of his taking of bribes and his assaults on women), along with a good deal of "trivial and joculary" material (including rude jokes and neighborhood scandals). Yet Pepys, despite learning of Laud’s cautionary precedent, did not choose to remove damaging passages from his journal—that was a responsibility taken up by his nineteenth-century editors. Fuller proposed that Laud believed, as he himself did, that the “privacies” of diaries merited favor “of course.” By this, he primarily meant that charitable interpretation was “customarily” due to private writings made public, but he also may have intended the implication that such favor would come “in due course” or “in time.” Judging by Pepys’s decision to preserve his journal in a semipublic collection, he not only anticipated that the journal might eventually be printed but also shared Fuller’s view that it behooved his future public to assess his private papers generously. If this equitable assessment was not forthcoming, then the error lay with the journal’s readers, not its writer.

Bibliography and Further Reading


Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson papersFind this resource:

Cambridge, Magdalene College, Pepys LibraryFind this resource:

Pepys’s Writing

Pepys, Samuel. The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New and Complete Transcription. Eds. R. Latham and W. Matthews. 11 vols. 1971–83. Reprint, London: HarperCollins, 2000. (This is text excerpted in The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Ed. and intro. Kate Loveman. London: Everyman’s Library, 2018).Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. Letters and the Second Diary of Samuel Pepys. Ed. R. G. Howarth. London: Dent, 1932.Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. The Letters of Samuel Pepys 1656–1703. Ed. Guy de la Bédoyère. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2006.Find this resource:

[Pepys, Samuel]. Memoires relating to the State of the Royal Navy of England. [London], 1690.Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. Memoires of the Royal Navy 1690. Facsimile with introduction by J. D. Davies. Barnsley: Seaforth, 2010.Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. Mr Pepys, upon the State of Christ-Hospital. Each of Pepys’s Christ-Hospital pamphlets has this title (appearing on the final page of the pamphlet) and a number. Since the Wing catalogue numbers are unhelpful and the Early English Books Online reproductions are (at time of writing) inaccurate, it is useful to supply the paper numbers and the longer headings given on the first pages to distinguish the pamphlets:Find this resource:

Paper I, Mr. Pepys to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen upon the Present State of Christ-Hospital (London, 1698). Begins with letter of 11 July 1698; 4 pages.Find this resource:

Paper II, Mr. Pepys to the Lord Mayor upon the Present State of Christ-Hospital. (London, 1698). Begins with letter of 25 October 1698; 8 pages.Find this resource:

Paper III, Mr. Pepys to the President and Governours of Christ-Hospital upon the Present State of the Said Hospital. (London, 1698). Begins with letter of 21 November 1698; 12 pages.Find this resource:

Paper IV, Mr. Pepys to the President, and Governours of Christ-Hospital upon the Present State of the Said Hospital. (London, 1699). Consists of a letter of 25 January 1698/9; 8 pages.Find this resource:

Paper V, Mr. Pepys to the Right Honourable Sir Francis Child, Kt. Lord Mayor, and to the Court of Aldermen, upon the Present State of Christ-Hospital. (London, 1699). Consists of a letter of 7 March 1698/9; 8 pages.Find this resource:

Paper VI, Mr. Pepys to the President, and Governours of Christ-Hospital, upon the Present State of the Said Hospital. (London, 1699). Consists of a letter of 30 March 1699; 4 pages.Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. Pepys’s Later Diaries. Ed. C. S. Knighton. 2004. Reprint, Stroud: Sutton, 2006.Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel. Private Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Samuel Pepys, 1679–1703. Ed. J. R. Tanner. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt Brace, [1926].Find this resource:

Pepys, Samuel, and John Evelyn. Particular Friends: The Correspondence of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Ed. Guy de la Bédoyère. 1997. Reprint Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Other Primary Sources

Boteler, Nathaniel. Six Dialogues about Sea-Services. London, 1685.Find this resource:

Fuller, Thomas. The Church-History of Britain. 1655. Reissued, London, 1656.Find this resource:

[James, John, et al.]. A Hue & Cry After P. and H. and Plain Truth. [London, 1679].Find this resource:

Knighton, C. S., ed. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Supplementary Series, vol. I, Census of Printed Books. Cambridge: Brewer, 2004.Find this resource:

Latham, Robert, general ed. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. 7 vols. Cambridge: Brewer, 1978–1994.Find this resource:

Narborough, John, et al. An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries. London, 1694.Find this resource:

[Pett, Peter]. The Happy Future State of England. London, 1688.Find this resource:

Phelps, Thomas. A True Account of the Captivity of Thomas Phelps. London, 1685.Find this resource:

A Seasonable Argument to Perswade all the Grand Juries in England to Petition for a New Parliament. Amsterdam, 1677.Find this resource:

Relevant Secondary Works

Berger, Harry. “The Pepys Show: Ghost-Writing and Documentary Desire in the Diary.” English Literary History 65.3 (1998): 557–591. doi: 10.1353/elh.1998.0021Find this resource:

Bryant, Arthur. Samuel Pepys: The Years of Peril. 1935. New ed. London: Collins, 1948.Find this resource:

Davies, J. D. “Pepys and the Admiralty Commission of 1679-84.” Historical Research 62 (1989): 34–53. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2281.1989.tb01077.xFind this resource:

Dawson, Mark S. “Histories and Texts: Refiguring the Diary of Samuel Pepys.” Historical Journal 43.2 (2000): 407–431.Find this resource:

Grantham Turner, James. “Pepys and the Private Parts of Monarchy.” Culture and Society in the Stuart Restoration: Literature, Drama, History. Ed. Gerald MacLean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 95–110.Find this resource:

Kirk, Rudolf. Mr. Pepys upon the State of Christ-Hospital. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1935. Includes facsimiles of the Christ-Hospital pamphlets.Find this resource:

Knights, Mark. “Pepys and Corruption.” Parliamentary History 3.1 (2014): 19–35. doi: 10.1111/1750-0206.12087Find this resource:

Kohlmann, Benjamin. “‘Men of Sobriety and Buisnes’: Pepys, Privacy and Public Duty.” Review of English Studies 61.251 (2010): 553–571. doi: 10.1093/res/hgp073Find this resource:

Kunin, Aaron B. “Other Hands in Pepys’s Diary.” Modern Language Quarterly 65.2 (2004): 195–219. doi: 10.1215/00267929-65-2-195Find this resource:

Love, Harold. The Culture and Commerce of Texts: Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England. 1993. Reprint, with foreword by David Hall. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Loveman, Kate. Samuel Pepys and his Books: Reading, Newsgathering and Sociability, 1660–1703. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Loveman, Kate. “Samuel Pepys and ‘Discourses touching Religion’ under James II.” English Historical Review 127.524 (2012): 46–82. doi: 10.1093/ehr/cer407Find this resource:

Ollard, Richard. Pepys: A Biography. 1974. Revised edition. London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1991.Find this resource:

Reay, Justin. “‘A Masse of Papers Unconnected’: Samuel Pepys’ Naval Papers in the Bodleian Collections.” Bodleian Library Record 23.2 (2010): 168–191.Find this resource:

Robertson, Randy. “Censors of the Mind: Samuel Pepys and the Restoration Licensers.” Dalhousie Review 85.2 (2005): 181–194.Find this resource:

Tomalin, Claire. Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self. London: Viking, 2002.Find this resource:


(1) On the printing history of Pepys’s diary see, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New and Complete Transcription, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews (1971–83; reprint London: HarperCollins, 2000), 1:lxxiv–xcvi. Future references to “Diary” are to this edition. Although Latham and Matthews's edition was not completed until 1983, the last volume of the main text came out in 1976.

(2) Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, ed. Richard, Lord Braybrooke, 3rd ed. (London, 1848), 1:vi–vii; Illustrated London News, 20 March 1858, 295.

(3) James Grantham Turner, “Pepys and the Private Parts of Monarchy,” in Culture and Society in the Stuart Restoration: Literature, Drama, History, ed. Gerald MacLean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 99; Randy Robertson, “Censors of the Mind: Samuel Pepys and the Restoration Licensers,” Dalhousie Review 85 (2005): 182.

(4) Will of Samuel Pepys, National Archives, Prob 1/9, following the Codicil dated 12 May 1703.

(5) Harold Love, The Culture and Commerce of Texts: Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (1993; reprint Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998), 44.

(6) Diary, 1:131 and note 2. Mercurius Civicus, 1–8 May 1660: [6–7]; Mercurius Publicus, 3–10 May 1660, no. 19: 295–296.

(7) The Faithful Analist [sic]: or The Epitome of the English History (London, 1660), 361–362.

(8) James Heath, The Glories and Magnificent Triumphs of the Blessed Restitution of His Sacred Majesty K. Charles II (London, 1662), 247.

(9) A. Starkey, Good News for England: or, The People’s Triumph (London, [1660]).

(10) John Dryden, Astræa Redux (London, 1660), 12.

(11) See, for example, Diary, 5:177–178, 9:26.

(12) A Seasonable Argument to Perswade all the Grand Juries in England to Petition for a New Parliament (Amsterdam, 1677), 13.

(13) Pepys saw the pamphlet on October 14: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson A.194, Pepys to James Houblon, fol. 86v. In the event, parliament was repeatedly prorogued.

(14) Roderick Mansell, Felix Donlius, and the publisher Francis Smith were also reported as having assisted/encouraged James. See Mark Knights, “Pepys and Corruption,” Parliamentary History 33, no. 1 (2014): 31–32.

(15) [John James et al], A Hue & Cry after P. and H. and Plain Truth [London, 1679], 2.

(16) MS Rawlinson C.859, fol. 41v (c. May 1678). See also, for example, Diary, 1:178, 5:329.

(17) Diary, for example, 1:114, 3:41, 5:274; 6:151, and 7:274.

(18) MS Rawlinson A.191, fol. 7r, Samuel Martin to Pepys, March 31, 1674.

(19) MS Rawlinson A.194, fol. 86v. Contractions are expanded in italics. Pepys to Houblon, Oct. 14, 1679.

(20) Thomas Phelps, A True Account of the Captivity of Thomas Phelps (London, 1685), fol. [A]1v.

(21) Nathaniel Boteler, Six Dialogues about Sea-Services (London, 1685), [A]2v.

(22) Isaac Newton, Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica (London, 1687).

(23) [Peter Pett], The Happy Future State of England (London, 1688), 249.

(24) Pepys allowed part of his manuscript collection to be listed in Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ (Oxford, 1697), vol. 2. On Pepys’s uses for his library and his role in circulating manuscripts, see Loveman, Samuel Pepys and his Books (Oxford, 2015), especially 205–12 and ch. 9.

(25) John Narborough et al., An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries (London, 1694), fol. A2v.

(26) Pepys did contribute information on the development of navy arsenals to Camden’s Britannia Newly Translated into English, ed. Edmund Gibson (London, 1695), see esp. fol. a1r, 230.

(27) The British Library has a third variant of the title page describing the Memoires as “sold by” Richard Chiswell in St. Paul’s Churchyard rather than by Keble. However, this survives as the title page alone and appears to be unique: Harl.5923(131).

(28) [Samuel Pepys], Memoires relating to the State of the Royal Navy of England ([London], 1690), 2–3.

(29) J. D. Davies, “Pepys and the Admiralty Commission of 1679–84,” Historical Research 62 (1989); Pepys, Memoires of the Royal Navy 1690, intro. Davies (Barnsley: Seaforth, 2010), ix–xv.

(30) Evelyn to Pepys, 11 June [1690], in Particular Friends: The Correspondence of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, ed. Guy de la Bédoyère (1997; reprint Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005), 217.

(32) A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers 1640–1708 AD, [ed. G.E. Briscoe Eyre] (London: privately printed, 1914), 3:378; Letters and the Second Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. R.G. Howarth (London: Dent, 1932), 223; The Term Catalogues 1668–1709, ed. Edward Arber (London: privately printed, 1905), 2:359.

(33) Blathwayt’s copy is Pierpont Morgan Library, W 07 D; Newton’s is Huntington Library, Babson Newton 700884; and Fitzwilliam’s is Oxford, Magdalen College, Old Library, O.1.30. Another copy of Pepys’s private issue (Leeds, Brotherton Library, Pol PEP) was given in 1693 to a distant relative, Edward Smith of Edmondthorpe, the husband of Olivia Pepys.

(34) In 2013, a copy with Kemey’s signature and initials on the title page was on offer for sale by Halewood and Sons, Lancashire (, accessed September 4, 2013). Sacheverell’s copy, acquired in 1691, was described by the bookseller Christopher Edwards of Wallingford, Oxfordshire (, accessed September 4, 2013). Its existence is noted in Davies’s edition of the Memoires, xvi.

(36) [William King], The State of the Protestants of Ireland under the late King James’s Government (London, 1691), 82; [Charles Leslie], An Answer to a Book, Intituled, The State of the Protestants in Ireland (London, 1692), 170; [Charlwood Lawton], A French Conquest neither Desirable nor Practicable (London, 1693), 17.

(38) Pepys numbered his six papers in order to help identify them. Because they are not otherwise easily distinguished, I have used these numbers as short titles: see the bibliography for the full title and content of each.

(39) By far the most comprehensive discussion is Rudolf Kirk’s Mr. Pepys upon the State of Christ-Hospital (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1935).

(40) Kirk, Mr. Pepys, 2–3, 22 (quoting Pepys’s memorandum of December 31, 1684).

(41) Pepys, Paper I, fol. [A]1v; Paper IV, fols. B1r-B1v.

(42) Paper II, fols. B1r and [A]2r—the latter is more easily identified as “the penultimate page.”

(43) Compare, for example, Diary, 3:193–194, where Pepys is exasperated with himself for fretting about things “not worth half the trouble.”

(44) See Loveman, “Samuel Pepys and ‘Discourses touching Religion’ under James II,” English Historical Review 127 (2012).

(45) Memoranda, References, and Documents relating to the Royal Hospitals of the City of London (London, 1836), 46.

(46) Richard Ollard, Pepys: A Biography (1974; revised ed. London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1991), 358; Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (London: Viking, 2002), 366.

(47) For example, Diary, 1:261, 322, 8:94.

(48) For Pepys’s interest in works concerning Laud see Diary, 9:291, 379, and Pepys to Evelyn, May 22, 1694, in Particular Friends, 241.

(49) William Prynne, A Breviate of the Life of William Laud… out of his owne Diary (London, 1644), fol. a1v, 33, 29.

(50) Thomas Fuller, The Church-History of Britain (1655; London, 1656), Book 11, 218. Pepys owned a 1656 copy, Pepys Library 2437.