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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), Diarist and naval administrator

Naval administrator and diarist; Magdalene College, Cambridge; BA 1654, MA 1660; married 1655 Elizabeth de St Michel; exchequer clerk c.1655-60; secretary to his cousin. Edward Montagu (later 1st Earl of Sandwich and vice-admiral of England); kept a celebrated, confessional, shorthand Diary 1660-69; [1] clerk of the Acts, Navy Office, 1660-73; commissioner for Tangier 1661; surveyor general of victualling 1665-67; FRS 1665, and president 1684-86; in France and Holland 1669; secretary to the Admiralty 1673-79 and 1684-89; MP 1673, 1679, 1685; governor of Christ’s Hospital 1676-79, 1681; master of Trinity House 1676-77 and 1685-86, and of the Clothworkers’ Guild 1677-78; as an associate of James II barred from office after 1689, when he retired to his library, which was bequeathed to Magdalene College in 1724; ‘a very worthy, industrious and curious person’ (John Evelyn).

‘a little over five foot tall, and his sensitivity about his appearance may have led to some discreet over-statement on the artist’s part ...’ (R. Barber in Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, discussing the ‘Greenhill’ portrait).

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1) Translated in the 19th century; a selection published 1825; an edited version, 8 vols, published 1893-96; first fully published by R. Latham & W. Matthews in 9 vols + companion and index, 1970-83.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.