PEPYS, Samuel, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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PEPYS, Samuel (1633-1703). Diarist.
Letter Signed to [Edward] Gregory (later Sir Edward), Clerk of the cheque at Chatham, 1 page folio, Navy Office, 29 November 1668. Also signed by Sir John Mennes, comptroller of the navy, and Colonel Thomas Middleton, surveyor of the navy. Appointing Samuel Pett to the position of clerk of the survey at Chatham in the place of the late [James] Norman.
'haveing this day received from the Surveyour of his Ma[jes]t[ie]s Navy his desire in writeing that the Clerke of the Survey at Chatham may during the extra[ordinary] occasions w[hi]ch are now upon his hands be assisted with an other Clerke, as upon like grounds his Predesessor Mr Norman some time before his death was, and he proposeing to us Sam[ue]l Pett the person employed by Mr Norman as most fitt for the same, Wee doe hereby authorize you to enter the said Sam[ue]l Pett & confirme him on your Quarter booke ...'
A particularly attractive document, which although on routine naval business was written at a particularly turbulent time in Pepys's emotional life and close the end of his diary. Only a month had passed since Pepys had been caught by his wife in a compromising embrace with their servant girl Deborah Willett, who had been dismissed on 14 November. The entry in the diary for the day of the present letter records a further twist to the story:
'Up, with great joy to my wife and me, and to the office, where W. Hewer [his servant] did most honestly bring me back that part of my letter under my hand to Deb wherein I called her "whore", assuring me that he did not show it her - and that he did only give her to understand that wherein I did declare my desire never to see her, and did give her the best Christian counsel he could; which was mighty well done of him. But by the grace of God, though I love the poor girl and wish her well, as having gone too far toward the undoing her, yet I will never enquire after or think of her more - my peace being certainly to do right to my wife.
 At the office all the morning; and after dinner, abroad with W. Hewer to my Lord Ashly's ...'

[No: 24056]

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