Samuel Pepys


Samuel Pepys made one invaluable contribution to literature: namely, his Diary (*PpS 14) — a document which has made him for later generations one of the most familiar figures of his century. His purely historical importance lies largely in the field of naval administration and reform: in his various capacities as Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board (1660-73), member of the Fishery Corporation (appointed in 1664), Treasurer of the Tangier Committee (from 1665), Secretary of the Admiralty Commission (1673-9), Member of Parliament (1673-8, 1679, 1685-7), and Secretary for Admiralty Affairs (1684-9). In addition, he served on the board of Christ's Hospital, as Master of Trinity House (1676-7, 1685-6), as Master of the Clothworkers' Company (1677-8), and as President of the Royal Society (1684-6).

Partly in connection with these offices, but largely because of his own interests, he built up a substantial personal collection of books and manuscripts, which is chiefly preserved in the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He likewise conducted an extensive correspondence, both official and personal, with many of the most prominent people of his time: a correspondence now widely dispersed in public and private collections. He also left, in official and other archives, a very large quantity of working papers. These include several hundred autograph manuscriptss, many of them written in his shorthand notation, a slightly modified version of the shorthand system expounded by Thomas Shelton principally in his Short Writing (1626) and Tachygraphy (1635).

Published Works

Apart from his privately printed contribution to the Christ's Hospital controversy in 1698-9 (Mr. Pepys to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen upon the Present State of Christ-Hospital), only two sets of which are known to exist (one in the Bodleian [reproduced in a facsimile edition by Rudolf Kirk, 1935] and one sold at Christie's, 11 June 1980 (Arthur A. Houghton, Jr sale, Part II), lot 370, to Maggs), Pepys himself published but a single work in his lifetime: his Memoires relating to the State of the Royal Navy of England for Ten Years, Determin'd December 1688 (London, 1690). Although no manuscripts of this work are known to survive, there are collections relating to it in the Pepys Library (PpS 2-3), and various exempla of the printed edition of 1690 have been recorded in years past as containing possibly autograph corrections (see N&Q, 7th Ser. 7 (1889), p. 81, 196, 274, 315, 398, and also the annotated exemplum sold at Christie's, 11 June 1980 (Arthur A. Houghton, Jr sale, Part II), lot 369, to Traylen. The Bodleian Library has one exemplum inscribed ‘Dec. 28. 93. From ye Author For the Publick Library in Oxford’ (8° Art P. 196) and another containing extensive marginal annotations, often highly critical of Pepys, by a contemporary reader (Tanner 677). A tract by ‘S. P., Esq.’, published as The Portugal History: or A Relation of the Troubles that Happened in the Court of Portugal in the Years 1667 and 1668 (London, 1677), which was once thought to be also by Pepys, is now attributed to Michel Blouin (see cancelled Wing P1452).

Literary Manuscripts

Although ‘literary’ distinctions in such matters are arbitrary, one or two other compositions by Pepys have been given separate entries below — notably his account of Charles II's escape from Worcester taken down from the King's oral narrative (*PpS 1) and The Pursers Employ Annatomized, his epistolary ‘New yeares guift’ to Sir William Coventry on a proposed reform of victualling accounts, an important work, not published in his own lifetime, which received the distinction of considerable contemporary circulation in manuscript. Ten manuscript texts of this work, including the autograph original, are recorded below (PpS 4-13), and no doubt others survive besides (for instance, what is probably a copy among a group of Pepysian documents offered in the H. B. Wheatley sale at Sotheby's, 8 April 1918, lot 1268, sold to Dobell). One other substantial tract which has been attributed to Pepys on less certain grounds is one whose full title is A Freind to Caesar; or An humble proposicon for the more regular speedy and easy payment of his Mats Treasury graunted, or to be graunted by the Lords and Comons assembled in Parliament for the carrying on of his Mats: Expences whether Ordinary or Extraordinary both in time of Peace and Warr. One scribal copy, which accompanies PpS 5, is ascribed to Pepys (PpS 1.2), possibly because the scribe simply assumed that both works were by the same author. Other known copies (PpS 1.4-1.7) are anonymous.

Pepys's Library

Those manuscripts that Pepys considered important are preserved in the Pepys Library, which has been at Magdalene College, Cambridge, since 1724. Limited by the conditions of the bequest to 3,000 bound volumes, the collection contains both printed and manuscript material, sometimes bound together. The volumes are arranged according to size in the twelve presses and library desk in which Pepys himself kept them. Arrangements for the library were specified in two codicils to his will (PpS 16-17). The collection was left to his nephew and heir, John Jackson, for his lifetime, and thereafter to Magdalene College, to be housed in a room of Jackson's choice. A Few items, largely intended to complete broken sets, were to be purchased and added to the collection after Pepys's death. Of the resulting 3,000 volumes, eight books (six printed, two manuscript) have been missing since the early twentieth century. None of them is thought to contain autograph material.

A number of the volumes, both printed and manuscript, contain records of purchase, marginal annotations, or other manuscript additions, the majority, however, being in the hands of Pepys's library clerks, Thomas Henderson and Paul Lorrain, or in the hand of Daniel Waterland, Master of Magdalene from 1713 to 1740. One of the few volumes containing autograph notes by Pepys, his exemplum of Thomas Shelton, A Tutor to Tachygraphy or, Short-Writing (1642) (PL 402, item 11), has been reproduced in facsimile, with an introduction by William Matthews, as part of the Augustan Reprint Society Publications Nos. 145-6 (Los Angeles, 1970). Some of the marginal annotations in this volume are also reproduced in The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols (London, 1970-83), I, after p. 1, and in Geoffrey Trease, Samuel Pepys and his World (London, 1972), p. 15.

There have been two series of printed descriptive catalogues of the library. The earlier, Bibliotheca Pepysiana: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library, ran to four parts: namely, ‘Sea’ Manuscripts, ed. J.R. Tanner (London, 1914); Early Printed Books to 1558, ed. E. Gordon Duff (1914); Mediaeval Manuscripts, ed. M.R. James (1923); and Shorthand Books, ed. W.J. Carleton (1940).

The most comprehensive published cataloguing is the multi-volume series, Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, under the general editorship of Robert Latham, (Cambridge, 1978-1994): Volume I: Printed Books, ed. N.A. Smith et al. (1978); Volume II: Ballads, ed. Helen Weinstein: Part I: Catalogue (1992); Part II: Indexes (1994); Volume III: Prints and Drawings: Part I: General, ed. G. W. Aspital (1981); Volume III: Prints and Drawings: Part I I: Portraits, ed. Eric Chamberlain (1994); Volume IV: Music, Maps and Calligraphy, ed. John Stevens, Sarah Tyacke, Rosamond McKitterick and Joyce Irene Whalley (1989); Volume V: Manuscripts, Part I: Medieval, ed. Rosamond McKitterick and Richard Beadle (1992); Volume V: Manuscripts, Part II: Modern, ed. C.S. Knighton (1981); Volume VI: Bindings, ed. Howard M. Nixon (1984); Volume VII, Part I and II: Facsimile of Pepys's Catalogue, ed. David McKitterick (1991).

Other, selective specialist listings of the library have been published, including notably A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval MSS in the Pepysian Library, ed. J.R. Tanner, Naval Records Society, 4 vols (London, 1903-23); The Spanish Books in the Library of Samuel Pepys, ed. Sir Stephen Gaselee (Oxford, 1921); and A Catalogue of the Engraved Portraits in the Library of Samuel Pepys, ed. John Charrington (Cambridge, 1936).

Other related articles include: Edward M. Wilson, ‘Samuel Pepys's Spanish Chap-Books’, TCBS, 2 (1954-8), 127-54, 229-68, 305-22; and Roger Thompson, ‘Samuel Pepys's Penny Merriments: A Checklist’, The Library, 5th Ser. 31 (1976), 223-34.

The music books — which, incidentally, include a manuscript volume (PL 2803) containing Pepys's own settings of words by Ben Jonson and Sir William Davenant (JnB 562, DaW 110) — are discussed in Macdonald Emslie, ‘Pepys's Songs and Songbooks in the Diary period’, The Library, 5th Ser. 12 (1957), 240-55.

‘The Library of Samuel Pepys’ is also discussed, with illustrations, by R.W. Ladborough in History Today, 17 (July 1967), 476-92, and see Geoffrey Trease, Samuel Pepys and his World (London, 1972), pp. 68-9.

Pepys's Books not in the Pepys Library

Some books that Pepys once owned were excluded, for one reason or another, from the library he bequeathed to Magdalene College. Seven books which he gave to his old school, St Paul's, for instance, are still preserved there (Charles Folio 1-4, 125, 161, 165: recorded in Dr Charles's printed catalogue of the Library in 1743 as ‘The Gift of Samuel Pepys, 1675’).

A Nouveau Testament (Charenton, 1647) inscribed ‘A Samuel de Pepys, Magdalenien. a Cambrige 1654’ was offered in Henry Sotheran's sale catalogue for 1907, item 72.

The presentation exemplum of Pierre Muret, Rites of Funeral Ancient and Modern, trans. Paul Lorrain (London, 1683), inscribed by the translator to Pepys, was offered in Quaritch's sale catalogue No. 436 (1930), item 1272; at Sotheby's on 20 June 1938 (Ham House sale), lot 258, sold to Michelmore; and in William Dawson's sale catalogue No. 94 (1957), item 230.

An exemplum of Sir Richard Blackmore, A Satyr against Wit, 2nd edition (London, 1700), with what Joseph Ritson claimed to contain ‘numerous manuscript marginal notes in [Pepys's] handwriting’, was offered in Pickering's ‘Book Lover's Leaflet’ No. 251 (1929), item 430, and was acquired in 2006 by the Pierpont Morgan Library.

Two printed naval broadsides — A List of the Ships belonging to His Majesties Navy-Royal (London, 1666) and A List of His Majesties Navy Royal (London, 1672) — which were both at Hereford City Library (the former now lost, but photographs are preserved) have contemporary manuscript annotations attributed to Pepys, but they do not appear to be in his hand.

A list of official account books and naval papers in Pepys's possession is among the Rawlinson Manuscripts in the Bodleian (MS Rawl. D. 794). Various examples of such books and papers are indeed among the Rawlinson collections, including notably MSS Rawl. D. 750, D. 752, D. 754, D. 794, D. 916A (Tangier Papers), and D. 919, as also D. 421 (which has his secretary Paul Lorrain's dedication to him on 1 January 1677/8). One item, MS Rawl. D. 147, which Rawlinson has marked as a ‘MS Pepys’ was evidently written in 1710 after Pepys's death. The Rawlinson Manuscripts also contain extracts from Pepys's will relating to his library (MSS Rawl. D. 908, f. 78; Rawl. D. 923, f. 296 (and see also ff. 292r, 300r).

Other Collections

Outside Magdalene College, the greatest collection of autograph material by Pepys is to be found in the 27 volumes of Pepys Papers among the Rawlinson Manuscripts in the Bodleian (MSS Rawl. A. 170-195[A]), a collection supplemented not only by volumes in the D series owned by Pepys and noted above but also by MS Rawl. C. 859, the so-called ‘Second Diary’ covering Pepys's official visit to Tangier and subsequent private trip to Spain in 1683-4 (*PpS 15). It is not clear how these papers — an unsorted mass of both official and private letters and documents, in a variety of hands — came into the possession of the antiquary Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755). However, he certainly owned them by 1749 and it was he who had them bound up.

The papers are briefly calendared by W. Dunn Macray in Catalogi codicum manuscriptum Biblioth. Bodl., Part V, fasc. I-IV (Oxford, 1862-98). They include much of the documentation assembled by Pepys when preparing his defence against the accusations of Colonel John Scott following the Popish Plot scare (supplementing such collections as those in Magdalene College, Cambridge, PL 2881-2). Some papers relate to Tangier in 1683 (in MS Rawl. A. 190). Yet others include Pepys's notes on the management of the Navy following an interview with James II on 6 April 1688 (MS Rawl. A. 170, ff. 214r-25r). A notable autograph account of ‘The present Ill state of my Health’ on 7 November 1677 is written by him in a rounded longhand on eight folio leaves (MS Rawl. A. 185, ff. 206r-13r). This has been edited in Arthur Bryant, Samuel Pepys: The Years of Peril (London, 1935; new edition, 1948), Appendix, pp. 405-13, and a facsimile of f. 208r appears in IELM, II.ii (1993), Facsimile VI, after p. xxi.

An undated list of ‘Loose notes & Queries Musicall’ of Pepys (Bodleian, MS Rawl. A. 312, ff. 143r-6r), now detached and on permanent exhibition in the Divinity School) was once thought to be autograph, but is, in fact, in the hand of William Hewer, one of Pepys's chief clerks. Covers which were formerly on some of the Pepys manuscript in the Rawlinson collection are now in the Bodleian (MS Eng. misc. b. 4, ff. 116-17v). A large collection of typed transcripts of many of these Rawlinson MSS, made before 1955 by Mrs Helen Heath, is now in the Clark Library, Los Angeles.

Some particularly interesting notes on naval and other subjects form part of another especially important cache of manuscripts, the Pepys Cockerell Collection, which is discussed further below.

Official and Miscellaneous Documents

What may be called Pepys's official papers, including countless orders and warrants bearing only his signature or endorsement, survive in numbers so large that only the briefest of summaries can be attempted in the present survey. Outside the Magadelene and Rawlinson Manuscripts, the principal repositories are the National Archives, Kew, and the National Maritime Museum. The Navy Office papers in the National Archives are summarised, with indexes, in nine volumes of the Calendar of State Papers Domestic, ed. M.A.E. Green, for the period 1660-9 (London, 1860-94), with two volumes of addenda (1895 and 1939). Some of this material is discussed by J. W. Ehrman in The Mariner's Mirror, 34 (1948), 225-70. Information regarding the National Maritime Museum's holdings can be found in Edwin Chappell, The National Maritime Museum and Samuel Pepys: A Paper read before the Samuel Pepys Club May 27th 1937 (privately printed, 1937), and in K. F. Lindsay-Macdougall, A Guide to the Manuscripts at the National Maritime Museum (London, 1960).

Among the more personal papers of interest are the fifteen Freshfield Manuscripts at Magdalene College, Cambridge (MSS 2-3, 6-8, 10-11, 13, from 1661 to 1664, which document the legal and family problems arising from the death of Pepys's uncle Robert on 5 July 1661. Samuel and his father acted as executors. Most of these manuscripts (Nos. 2, 3, 6-8, 10-11, 13, and 15) bear Pepys's autograph endorsements. MS 9 is his autograph variant copy of MS 8, an account of Robert Pepys's estate at the time of his death. MS 15, concerning the sale of Robert Pepys's lands for the repayment of debts, July 1664, is also in Pepys's hand. A further, unnumbered, manuscript from the Freshfield collection, a fragment of autograph shorthand script, has been missing since 1961.

Yet other interesting documents of a similar kind were offered for sale at Sotheby's on 22 July 1988, lots 338-47, variously sold to Quaritch and to Maggs. Partly illustrated in the sale catalogue, these documents include not only financial memoranda relating to his ‘Cozen’ Thomas Trice, but also papers relating to Pepys's attempt to secure promotion just before his disastrous involvement in the Popish Plot fiasco, among them the autograph letter on his behalf by James II with a ‘flying seale’ which Pepys never sent on to Charles II because by the time it arrived he was languishing in prison, his career temporarily ruined. Various of these documents were previously sold at Sotheby's on 30 November 1970, lots 223, 225 (with other Pepys papers, ‘The Property of K. Marr Johnson, Esq.’). Those of 1679 were edited from copies in the Pepys Cockerell Collection in Private Correspondence, ed. J. R. Tanner (1926), I, 2-11.

Another group of documents which is of some interest is the notes made by Pepys in connection with the so-called ‘Warming-Pan Affair’, relating to the legitimate birth of James II's son (the Old Pretender) in 1688 (confuting the charge that the baby was surreptitiously conveyed to the Queen in a warming pan). Manuscripts, with Pepys's additions, of ‘Notes towards ye History of the D. of York’ were sold at Sotheby's, 30 November 1970, lot 229, to T. Rogers, and again on 29 October 1975, lot 75 to Dawson. Other notes, previously sold at Sotheby's on 11 April 1919, were offered there again on 29 November 1971, lot 148 (various ‘Notes taken from Mis Dawson touching the Birth of the Prince of Wales’, 22-29 August 1695). These are now in the Pierpont Morgan Library (MA 3387). A facsimile example appears in British Literary Autographs, Series I, ed. Verlyn Klinkenborg et al. (New York, 1981), No. 59 (and a photocopy of one is also in the British Library, RP 694). Lot 149 in the same sale was Pepys's related notes on the Royal Family from 1660 to 1688 (also now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, MA 3387, and a photocopy is in the British Library, RP 694). Lot 150 was his copy of an address by the exiled James II, 1697 (sold to John Wilson; a photocopy is in the British Library, RP 713); and lots 151-2 were notes and copies relating to William III (both also sold to John Wilson).

The many other extant documents and memoranda that bear Pepys's signature or other traces of his hand — some of them also signed by Charles II or James II — include the following:

Berkshire Record Office (D/ELIC1)

Bodleian (Ashmole H. 24 (147); Broxbourne 84.22; MSS Clarendon 73, ff. 299-300; 75, ff. 997-8; 92, ff. 140-1; Eng. misc. c. 75, f, 5; Eng. misc. 627, ff. 1-2)

Boston Public Library (MS Ch. G. 4. 29a; MS E. 9. 4. P5)

British Library (Add. MSS 9303, ff. 124-5; 11602, f. 341; 16497, f. 1; 18986, f. 397; 19399, ff. 100, 115; 20085, ff. 4-20; 22183, ff. 8, 9; 24064, f. 7; 38849, f. 79; 39822, ff. 1-32 [including shorthand notes on the birth of the Old Pretender, 1688-95, and a memorial to the King on the Navy, 26 January 1685/6]; 42577, f. 25; Egerton MS 928, ff. 108, 109, 165, 167, 177; Sloane MS 1519, f. 208 [as secretary to Edward Montagu, 11 May 1660])

Clark Library, Los Angeles (G7861Z 1687 May 23; M6785Z ca. 1664, and *PR3618PZD51b 1875)

Folger (MS V.b.265)

Harvard (series in Autograph file/Pepys; bMS Am 1631 (322); bMS Eng 991; TS 934.5 (I:99))

Haverford College (MSS 620, 628)

Historical Society of Pennsylvania (AM.04851 folio; Etting Papers, Early Quakers; Society Collection [Penn letter, 4 June 1671])

Parliamentary Archives (Committee Books, etc)

Library of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat House (Coventry MS 98, ff. 173-5 [autograph memorandum, 1666])

Lyme Regis (Philpot) Museum (letter to the Mayor and Corporation, 23 March 1663)

Magdalene College, Cambridge (Misc MSS 17, 19, 20 (1-2), 23, 32; Ropes MS 2; Jackson MS 3)

Maine Historical Society (Coll. 420, Fogg v. 10)

Muniments of the Montagu family, Mapperton, Dorset (Sandwich MSS, App., ff. 200-4 [Pepys's autograph copies of correspondence between Edward Montagu and General Monck, 1660]);

National Library of Ireland (in MSS 2324-2503 [Ormonde MSS]);

National Maritime Museum (ADL/B/3; AGC/19-20; AGC/P/5; AND/68/1; CHA/E/1A/ CLU/4/ COP/1; DAR/23 [report on Tangiers signed by Pepys and William Trumbull, 1683, among the Dartmouth Papers]; and OBK/8)

New York Public Library (NYPL 8 - MWES (Glyn)

Pierpont Morgan Library (some 70 naval documents signed, 1662-88, in MA 940; Rulers of England.-Charles II, pt. 1, Nos 41, 46-7; pt. 2, No. 29; pt. 3, No. 66; James II, Nos. 28, 32, 36-8);

Library of Robert S. Pirie, New York

Princeton (RTCO1, Box 13, fl. 6 [Pepys's ‘Account attested by His Royal Hs. of the terms of encouragement on which His Majesty in June 1673 was pleased to advance Mr. Pepy's…to that of Secretary of the Admiralty’, signed by Charles II and with two signed statements by James II, endorsed 2 March 1678/9])

National Archives, Kew (SP 29 series; SP 46/136/133; Adm 2/1733; Adm 20/1, p. 84/ Adm 106/3520; Adm 106/520; E 351/358-60; PRO 30/24/3, No. 96)

A large number of other documents written, signed or endorsed by Pepys have appeared for sale at auction or in booksellers' catalogues during the past two hundred years. They are too numerous to be listed here in detail, and some will probably correspond to manuscripts listed above, but a few of the more notable items may briefly be recorded as follows:

Sotheby's, 8 April 1919 (4th day, J. W. Freshfield MSS, lots 928-61), lot 953 (‘A Memoriall and Proposition from the Secretary of ye Admiralty touching ye Navy’, 17 pages, 26 January 1685/6), to Quaritch; 22 December 1919, lot 28 (‘Propositions upon…the Navy’, on three folio pages, 26 January 1685/6), to Maggs; 31 May 1927, lot 525 (collection of Navy Office reports to Edward Gregory, Clerk of the Cheque, 9 February ‘1671’ to 20 March 1674/5), to Heym for Cockerell [resold 11 November 1930, lot 381, to Spencer]; 9 April 1968, lot 531 (long series of Navy Office letters to Chatham dockyard, 23 June 1668 to 14 January 1668/9), to Maggs; 30 November 1970, lot 226 (‘Publiq: Depravity of Manners’, December 1692), to Quaritch.

Christie's, 11 June 1980 (Arthur A. Houghton, Jr sale), Part II, lot 364 (scribal compilation of Pepys's naval instructions, including his ‘Proposition upon …the present ill State of the Navy’, 26 January 1685/6), to Quaritch.

Maggs's sale catalogue No. 433 (Christmas 1922), item 3611 (‘A list of 50 independent words dictated this evening in my presence by Dr. Gale…’).

Besides those items owned today by various members of the Pepys Club, various letters and documents by Pepys in a number of private collections are also recorded in the HMC reports from 1870 onwards. Although many of these collections have been widely dispersed, and some are represented in the locations noted above, others are still known only from these references.

Yet other manuscripts preserve scribal copies of documents and reports by Pepys. For instance, a volume of Parliamentary reports for 1668-78 in the Osborn Collection at Yale (Files/Gt. Brit.) includes (item 7) an estimate of the charge of a year's sea service as reported to the Commons by Pepys on 5 February 1676/7, as well as (item 9) a copy of Coleman's tract on establishing a standing force in England which was found among Pepys's papers seized before his trial in 1678. A copy of an estimate by Pepys of annual charges for the Navy in Harbour is in the Bodleian (MS Tanner 296, ff. 115-17v).


Several hundred letters by Pepys, a number of them in shorthand, are known to be extant. No collected edition of them has ever been attempted, but a considerable number have been printed in such publications as: Memoires of Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S.…comprising his Diary from 1659 to 1699…and a Selection from his Private Correspondence, ed. Richard, Lord Braybrooke, 2 vols (London, 1825); Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S., ed. the Rev. Mynors Bright, 6 vols (London, 1855-79); Private Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Samuel Pepys 1679-1703, ed. J. R. Tanner, 2 vols (London, 1926); Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys 1662-1679, ed. J. R. Tanner (London, 1929); Letters and the Second Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. R. G. Howarth (London, 1932); Shorthand Letters of Samuel Pepys, ed. Edwin Chappell (Cambridge, 1933); Clara Marburg, Mr. Pepys and Mr. Evelyn (Philadelphia & London, 1935); Rudolf Kirk, Mr Pepys upon the State of Christ-Hospital (Philadelphia and London, 1935); E. V. Unger and W. A. Jackson, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library: English Literature, 1475-1700, 3 vols (New York, 1940), III, 805-12; The Letters of Samuel Pepys and his Family Circle, ed. Helen Truesdell Heath (Oxford, 1955); C. E. Doble, ‘Letters, In Part Unpublished, of Samuel Pepys’, The Academy, 38 (1890), 109-11; Howard Murray, ‘A New Pepys Letter’, Dalhousie Review, 16 (1936), 212-15; G. S. Rousseau, ‘Two New Pepys Letters’, RES, NS 19 (1968), 169-72; and The Letters of Samuel Pepys 1656-1703, ed. Guy de la Bédoyère (Woodbridge, 2006).

A number of letters by Pepys are also edited and discussed in some editions of the diary and correspondence of John Evelyn.

Fourteen volumes of Pepys's official letterbooks for the period 1673-89 are in the Pepys Library at Magdalene College (PL 2849-62). Of these, the first four volumes were calendared in J. R. Tanner, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Navy Records Society 27, 36 ([London], 1902-23). A large number of letters, either originals or copies, are among the Rawlinson Manuscripts in the Bodleian, including a secretarial letterbook for the period 1679-83 (MS Rawl. A. 194) and Pepys's correspondence with Thomas Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln (MS Rawl. A. 174, ff. 307r-498r). Another secretarial letterbook, 147 pages long, containing copies of Pepys's correspondence principally with John Matthews between 3 January 1689/90 and 21 April 1702, is at Harvard (fMS Eng. 9991.3). Copies of official letters to and from Pepys also appear in the journal of Thomas Baker, British Consul at Tripoli, 1677-85, in the Bodleian (MS Eng. hist. c. 236). Letters and drafts by Pepys concerning the Christ's Hospital controversy in the 1690s are in the British Library (Add. MS 20732) and are discussed in Kirk, op. cit. (1935).

The most important collection of letters which, until recently, remained in private hands is the so-called Pepys Cockerell Collection. Five volumes of Pepys's letters not incorporated in the Pepys Library came into the possession of his nephew John Jackson and descended through his family until 1931. The collection was arranged and bound by Lord Braybrooke, first editor of the Diary, early in the 19th century. Four volumes were classified as ‘Private Correspondence’ for the period 1679-1703, and the fifth as official papers, although the distinction is often arbitrary. The four volumes of private correspondence, comprising nearly 600 letters, including 155 by Pepys (36 of them autograph), have appeared twice at auction: at Sotheby's, 1 April 1931 (John Pepys Cockerell sale), lot 18, and at Christie's, 11 June 1980 (Arthur A. Houghton, Jr sale, Part II), lot 363, to Davids. These four volumes have since been acquired by J. P. Getty, Jr. Most of the documents have been described and edited in Private Correspondence, ed. J. R. Tanner, 2 vols (London, 1926). Among the pages illustrated in the Christie sale catalogue is one (Plate 11) of a three-page autograph memorandum of ‘Home-Notes for my selfe to attend, when able’ (c.1700), in Volume IV, f. 151r, a memorandum edited in Tanner (1926), I, 165-70. The volumes also include Pepys's corrected list of ‘Works of Publick Utility and Charity Least Subject to Corruption or Abuse in their Execution’ c.1702 (Volume IV, f. 145r; edited in Tanner (1926), II, 294), as well as ‘Notes touching ye Navall Strength of England employ'd in the Spanish Invasion 1588’ (Volume IV, ff. 155r-6v; Tanner (1926), II, 244-7) and ‘On the conditions of a Private Library’ (Volume IV, f. 153r; Tanner (1926), II, 247-8). The fifth volume of the collection, comprising three gatherings of largely official letters for the periods 1662-5, 1665, and 1665-79, about 450 leaves containing texts of some 940 letters and documents in all, was separately offered in the Pepys Cockerell sale in 1931 as lot 19 and is now in the National Maritime Museum (LBK/8). Its contents have been largely edited in Further Correspondence, ed. Tanner (1929), and in Shorthand Letters, ed. Chappell (1933). Several pages of these divided collections are illustrated in the respective sale catalogues.

A substantial group of letters by Pepys is among the papers of his friend (and fellow diary-keeper) John Evelyn, which are now in the British Library. At least twenty-two of Pepys's letters, from 9 August 1665 to 24 December 1701, are preserved there, although over 130 letters altogether are known to have been exchanged between the two men, the majority of which are now dispersed. A list in a clerk's hand of enquiries addressed by Pepys to Evelyn, 25 June 1680, is at the University of Texas (Pforzheimer MS 105B). The most comprehensive edition of these letters to date is Particular Friends: The Correspondence of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, ed .Guy de la Bédoyère (Woodbridge, 1997).

Letters of Pepys, either autograph or signed originals, drafts or secretarial copies, are known to be in a variety of other repositories including:

Bodleian (MSS Lister 35, f. 105r; Smith 53, ff. 29r, 31r, 33r, 35r, 37r, 39r, 41r, 42r, 43r, 45r, 49r, 53r, 55r, 57r, 63r, 69r, 71r [series to Thomas Smith]; Tanner 24, ff. 22r, 190r; Tanner 25, f. 303r; Tanner 30, ff. 80r, 87r, 127r; Tanner 38, f. 39r)

British Library (Add. MSS 5752, f. 394r; 12097, ff. 31r-2v; 19399, f. 120r; 19872, ff. 23r-4v, 31r-6v; 21948, ff. 126r, 130r; 22852, f. 144r; 22920, f. 188r; 28084, f. 8r; 29300G, f. 25r; 29556, f. 108r; 32094, ff. 15r, 36r; 38849, f. 35r; Sloane MSS 4037, ff. 182r-3v, 228-9v, 315r-16v; 4038, ff. 121r-2v, 149r, 256r, 357r-8v; 4039, ff. 12r-13v; 4060, ff. 93r, 99r; Stowe MS 747, ff. 45r, 118r)

Clark Library, Los Angeles (P425L C478 1694 Aug. 4-9; P425L G664 1687 May 24 & June 10; P425L 1699-1700 Feb. 8)

Harvard (bMS Eng 991)

Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Dreer Collection, English Prose Writers and William Penn's Letters; Gratz Collection, British Authors, Case 10, Box 33; Penn Papers, Admiral Penn Letters)

Parliamentary Archives (passim)

Huntington (HA 10143; HM 7584; HM 25798; HM 52160)

Library of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat House (passim)

Magdalene College, Cambridge (Ropes MS 1)

National Library of Wales (Margam & Penrice L147)

National Maritime Museum (AGC/P/12; AGC/19)

Pierpont Morgan Library (MA 940; MA 6000; Autographs Misc.-English)

Princeton (series in Robert H. Taylor Collection)

University of Texas at Austin (Pforzheimer MSS 105A, 105C-G)

Trinity House, Tower Hill (recorded in HMC, 8th Report, Part I (1881), Appendix, pp. 255, 258-9)

Yale (Osborn MS fb 190; Osborn Gordonstoun Papers).

Booksellers' and auction catalogues of the past two centuries provide patient researchers with yet further copious records of letters by Pepys, many of them probably now in the locations noted above, but many others still at large, in private collections or otherwise unaccounted for. Early examples include a series of letters by Pepys sold at Sotheby's, 109 August 1881 (H.J.E. Rawlins sale), lots 4-28; Sotheby's, 14 April 1875, lot 772; and 27 February 1882, lot 64.

Sale catalogues often contain useful facsimile illustrations of the letters. Some recent examples include Maggs's catalogues No. 991 (Spring 1979), items 83 and 164; No. 1021 (1981), item 136; Sotheby's, 14 December 1989 (‘The Trumbull Papers’), lot 49, and 13 December 1990, lot 411. Among sale catalogues of earlier years in which notable facsimile examples can be found are Sotheby's catalogues for 22 April 1914 (Hodgkin sale), lot 199 [Pepys's oath at Trinity House, 15 February 1660/1; resold at Sotheby's, 28 June 1932, lot 10, to Clark]; 13 July 1936, lot 150 [letter to Sir Isaac Newton, sold to Robinson]; 30 November 1970, lot 224 [‘Account…of the terms of encouragement…’ now at Princeton]; 24 July 1978, lot 101; and Maggs's sale catalogue No. 449 (1924), item 343 [letter to Evelyn, 19 November 1700].

Photocopies and microfilms of a few letters and documents exported from 1968 onwards are in the British Library (RP 235 (2), 244, 2054 and 2110, as well as RP 694 and 713 noted above). Among the many other publications where facsimile examples of letters and documents by Pepys can be found are: Lawrence B. Phillips, The Autographic Album (London, 1866), p. 29; Catalogue of the Collection of…Alfred Morrison, 6 vols (1883-92), V, after p. 122; John Eliot Hodgkin, Rariora (London, 1902), I, before p. 17; Garnett & Gosse (1903), III, after p. 140; The Huntingdon Papers (London, 1926), IV, Plate XXII, after p. 144; Clara Marburg, op. cit., after p. 60; Shorthand Letters, ed. E. Chappell (1933), frontispiece; Letters, ed. H.T. Heath (1955), after p. 16; K. F. Lindsay-Macdougall, A Guide to the Manuscripts in the National Maritime Museum (1960), Plate V; Maurice F. Bond, A Short Guide to the Records of Parliament (House of Lords Record Office, 1963), after p. 10 [a report on the state of the Navy, 9 August 1689]; Geoffrey Trease, Samuel Pepys and his World (London, 1972), pp. 50, 95; Ann Morton, Men of Letters (Public Record Office Museum Pamphlets No. 6, London, 1974), No. V; Richard Ollard, Pepys: A Biography (London, 1974), pp. 292-3; and Adam Matthew Publications 1991 Catalogue, p. 1 [advertising the publication in microfilm of a Parliamentary History series, Part I].

Many of the repositories noted above also possess letters sent to Pepys by various of his correspondents.


As a popular literary and historical figure from the early nineteenth century onwards, Pepys has attracted much attention from collectors and amateur enthusiasts, as well as scholars, and a variety of compilations of ‘Pepysiana’ have accumulated over the years. Among the later collections and notes on Pepys that may be recorded are: modern notes on Pepys's Diary by Sir Stephen Gaselee (Folger, MS Y.d.72; Harvard, MS Eng 991.2); and a collection partly relating to Samuel Pepys Cockerell and J.W. Freshfield sold at Sotheby's, 22 July 1988, lot 348, to N.D. Tarling; while papers relating to the early stages of the Latham and Matthews edition of the Diary, including lists of ‘questionable’ passages relating to the diarist's sexual proclivities, are among the publishing archive of George Bell & Co. offered at Sotheby's, 18 July 1991, lot 264, and now at the University of Reading. ‘An Exhibition of Pepysiana’, including various of his original letters and documents, calendared in a printed leaflet, was presented by the Samuel Pepys Club at Stonor Park, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in June 1981, and other similar exhibitions have taken place on occasions. The well-known portrait of Pepys by Kneller is now in the National Maritime Museum (as is Kneller's portrait of Pepys's clerk William Hewer). Other notable portraits of Pepys by Closterman, Riley and Hayls are in the National Portrait Gallery.

Peter Beal