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  • Writer's pictureErin

Samuel Pepys

23 February 1633 - 26 May 1703

The famous diarist who gave us one the best insights into how London was really like during events such as the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.

Career wise he was an administrator of the navy, and also a Member of Parliament, but he's best known for his eye witness account of London during the English Restoration period.

He kept his diary from 1660 until 1669, with it being first published in the 19th century. It has been a valued piece of literature every since.

"Great fears of the Sickenesses here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all."

The Great Plague of 1665 was the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to happen in England, and is estimated to have killed around 100,0000 people - a quater of London's population.

The Great Fire of 1666 completely destroyed the medieval City of London - over 13,000 houses, 87 churches and even St Paul's Cathedral were all lost....and this was Samuels first thoughts on it!

“Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her window...but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep.”

You can find plaques dedicated to Samuel Pepys across the city (and across the UK infact!). The one photographed is at 14 Buckingham Street close to Trafalgar Square, and you can also find another at number 12.


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