Perambulations with Pepys: the man and his city – Thurs 11 Jan 24

On a chilly January evening what better way to explore the City of London than in the company of Andy Catto, a City of London guide, from the warmth and comfort of our own homes. Andy led us through the life and times of Samuel Pepys, with very edited quotes from his original 3,000-page (1 million word) diaries. The diaries were written between 1660 -69, and were originally written in a code (Pepys did leave a crib sheet for readers). They weren’t published in full until 1970.

Andy cleverly guided us along a virtual walk interspersed with appropriate anecdotes. Starting in Salisbury Court where Pepys was born on 23rd Feb 1633, to St Brides where he was baptised then onward through the City. He illustrated his talk with photographs and historical pictures with added multimedia interjections.

It was amazing to us all that nearly an hour later we were at St Olave’s Church in Hart Street, the site of his resting place following his death on 26th May 1703.

Along the way Andy told us about many Livery Companies in particular Clothworkers where Samuel Pepys was the Master. He endowed a loving cup, which is still in use today. Samuel Pepys worked for the Naval Office and was responsible for the modernisation of the Royal Navy in his day. He was also an elder and Master of Trinity House, a Member of Parliament, and President of the Royal Society.

A man who walked with Kings and commoners, and to whom we owe a debt for leaving us such detailed accounts of everyday life in the 17th Century. Andy Catto gave us a thoroughly educational and entertaining evening; I feel privileged to have been able to join this Zoom meeting.

Wendy Allen