Tag Archives: Sir William Coventry

pepys diary: leagues of crafty and unruly gentlemen

There were rumors that he might succeed William Coventry as James’s secretary, and it is strange that he did not. Much lesser men, like Sir Joseph Williamson, took the short step from the civil service into government. But Pepys had … Continue reading

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pepys: finally, a man of fame…

Samuel Pepys’s diary of the 1660′s, Restoration England at its baddest and bawdiest. Human nature has not changed that much… Not until then did any member of the Navy Board think of going downriver. On Wednesday, June 12, 1666, the … Continue reading

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A career man’s crisis

“Chance without merit,” said Samuel Pepys, had won him his post as the navy’s Clerk of the Acts. Mischance without personal demerit almost cost him all on June 12,1667, when a Dutch squadron sailed boldly up the Thames, burned part … Continue reading

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Disasters of the day: plague and fire

The Great Plague spread slowly over London during the late spring of 1665. It was not until June 7 that Samuel Pepys first saw the dread quarantine sign: ‚ÄúThis day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see … Continue reading

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The king and his ladies

Samuel Pepys diaries gave us a view of the English Restoration unlike any other. It was the work of a slightly demented genius who described sex, Sundays, scandals, fires, plagues, office politics and marital discords in a manner that spared … Continue reading

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pepys: tangled up in hues

By now the plague was raging in London. It was an endemic disease appearing in London most summers, with varying severity. The seriousness of this particular outbreak was not appreciated until it had nearly reached its height, and even then, … Continue reading

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the restoration in shorthand

“Diligence,” Pepys reflected one morning while lying in bed, was the key to his success: “living as I do among so many lazy people… the diligent man becomes necessary … they cannot do anything without him.” The “lazy” were the … Continue reading

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pepys: the not so merry monarchy

Samuel Pepys diaries. There is nothing quite like his account of Restoration England. London observed, London at work and London at play… Pepys could listen avidly enough to accounts of the dissipated life at court. – of the amorous alarms … Continue reading

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