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    In Store

  • Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board at the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666. His famous diary (written 1660-1669) gives a vivid account of the fire and his reaction to it. He went to look at the fire at about 8am on Sunday 2 September and because he observed 'nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it', he went at once to tell the king and the Duke of York about the situation. As a result the king and the duke took over fire-fighting operations. From then on Pepys' role during the fire was principally as an observer. He travelled around the City on foot and by boat, watching the progress of the fire with growing horror. He was anxious to rescue his household goods and even buried some in the garden, including wine, papers and a Parmesan cheese. Fortunately his house on Seething Lane was untouched. At dawn on Thursday 6 September, Pepys took charge of team of seamen to extinguish a fire at Bishopsgate. Pepys had nightmares about the fire for some time afterwards.

  • Measurements

    H 277 mm; W 222 mm (paper)

  • Materials

    paper; ink

  • Last Updated





    permanent collection


    digital image copyright Museum of London

  • Related Event

    Great Fire of London 1666 (referenced)

  • Related Person

    Pepys, Samuel (depicted)


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