Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662-1679: From the Family Papers in the Possession of J. Pepys Cockerell

Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662-1679: From the Family Papers in the Possession of J. Pepys Cockerell

Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662-1679: From the Family Papers in the Possession of J. Pepys Cockerell

Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662-1679: From the Family Papers in the Possession of J. Pepys Cockerell

Excerpt

The manuscript volume from which the letters and papers printed below are taken consists of three folio letter-books bound up together,--the first containing 172 pages, the second 264, and the third 462, making 898 pages in all. The calf binding appears to be of the eighteenth century, and the lettering on the back, "S. Pepys' Official Correspondence 1662-1679," must be of a later date than the contents, and since it is scarcely an accurate description of them, later also than Pepys's death.

It is true that a certain number of the letters have' an official character, for instance those to the Governors of the Chatham Chest or to the Commissioners of Public Accounts, but many are only semi-official, and some are private in the strictest sense of the word. The long series of letters addressed by Pepys to Coventry when he was absent with the fleet in 1665 in attendance upon the Duke of York as his secretary, although they give him an account of what was going on in the Navy Office, are too friendly and intimate in tone to fall into the strictly official category. The correspondence relating to Pepys's candidatures for Parliament,--first for Aldeburgh in 1669, in which he was not successful; secondly for Castle Rising in 1673, when he was elected; and finally for Harwich in 1679, when Portsmouth also was competing for his services,--can scarcely be regarded as more than semi- official, even in the days when the Government concerned itself with elections, and the candidate, backed by the influence of the Duke of York, is to be found commenting on the drawbacks of "Court-dependence" (pp. 338, 346). A good many of the letters, especially those belonging to the later years of the period, are frankly private and personal. Those to his father and his sister Paulina deal with family matters.

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