PEPYS, Samuel (1633-1703). Diarist.
Letter Signed to Colonel Robert Whiteley 'at the Citty of West Chester', 1 page folio with full address-leaf with seal and postal cancellation, Navy Office, 20 May 1672. Signed also by three others, sending a copy [not included] of their letter of the 16th, for which it would appear that no answer had yet been received.
The other signers are William second Viscount Brouncker, a Navy Commissioner and assistant to the Comptroller (desccribed thus by Pepys: a 'modest civil person ... wholly ignorant in the business of the Navy as possible, but I hope to make a friend of him, being a worthy man' [Diary 5.341]; Sir Jeremiah Smyth, commissioner for victualling accounts ('a silly, prating, talking man' and 'but very moderately qualified' [ibid 9.382]; and Sir Thomas Allin, naval officer.
'Though wee have noe reason to doubt your haveing ere this rec[eive]d our l[ett]re of the 16th inst[an]t yet for feare of any miscarriage and as the most satisfactory answer to yo[ur]s of the 18 inst[an]t wee heere enclose you a Coppy thereof, to w[hi]ch wee referr you ...'Chester Castle had been held by the royalists during the Civil War and was attacked by parliamentary forces in 1643 and 1645 and beseiged between September 1645 and February 1646. After the civil war the castle was used as a prison, a court house and a tax office.
The letter bears the anchor seal (a good impression) and an early London Bishop Mark (indistinct impression), the first British impressed postmark, invented by Henry Bishop when Postmaster General (1660-1663) ['A stamp is invented, that is putt upon every letter shewing the day of the moneth that every letter comes to this office, so that no letter Carryer may dare to detayne a letter from post to post; which, before, was usual.']
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