PEPYS, Samuel, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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Signed twice by Samuel Pepys

PEPYS, Samuel (1633-1703). Diarist.
Letter Signed, to the clerk of the cheque at Chatham, 1 page folio, 30 April 1667, with a further document on the reverse also signed by Pepys, 27 April 1667. The letter instructs the clerk to receive a consignment of timber (as described in the contract overleaf) from Mr John Mason. Signed also by Brouncker, William Penn (jnr.) and John Hervey.

The contract dated 27 April 1667, signed by Pepys alone, is particularly informative as it gives in some detail the quantities and price of various sorts of timber, required for ship-building and repairs.
'... Large streight Oake timber to meete at seaventy f[ee]t in a peece. Two hundred Loades at Two pound twelve shillings p[er] Load.
Large Compass Oake timber to meete at twenty five f[ee]t in a peece. Fifty Loades at Two pounds fifteens shillinge p[er] Loade. ...
Elme and Beech to meete at forty f[eet] in a peece together forty Loades at Two pounds p[er] Load.
All the said timber to be good sound, merchantable and fitt for his Ma[jes]t[y']s service. ...'

The final three words of the contract ('for the same') are added in Pepys's hand. The letter confirms the terms of the contract. Pepys's co-signatories to the letter are William, second viscount Brouncker, a Navy Commissioner and assistant to the Comptroller (described by Pepys in the Diary (5.341) as 'a modest civil person ... wholly ignorant in the business of the Navy as possible'); William Penn (ca. 1621-1670, father of the founder of Pennsylvania); and John Hervey (1616-1680, politician and courtier).
The letter and accompanying document were written during the period of Pepys's Diary. On 27 April, the date of the contract, he describes being late at the office in the afternoon, and on the 30th, when he signed the letter, he had shown his bladder stone to Sir John Winter before going to the office 'where we sat all morning, but little to do'.

A suggestion was made the following year that Pepys was about to be accused of having received a gift of £50 from the timber merchant John Mason (Diary, 9.90). It was in fact his clerk, William Hewer who had received the gift, described later by Pepys as having been £30 and as 'having no harm in it ... he having done them several lawful kindnesses' (ibid. p. 283.
[No: 26547]


The first image shows the signed contract.

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