Samuel Pepys, the son of a tailor, John Pepys, was born in London in 1633. After being educated at St. Paul's School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, he found work as secretary to Sir Edward Montagu.
On the Restoration Montagu was given command of the royal fleet. With the help of Montagu, Pepys was appointed Clerk of the King's Ships. This was followed by Pepys becoming Survey-General of the Victualling Service (1665) and Secretary of the Admiralty (1672).
In 1678 Titus Oates announced that he had discovered a Catholic plot to kill Charles II. Oates claimed that Charles was to be replaced by his Roman Catholic brother, James. He went on to argue that after James came to the throne Protestants would be massacred in their thousands. The government believed the story and eighty people were arrested and accused of taking part in the plot. This included Pepys who was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Several people were executed, including Oliver Plunkett, the Archbishop of Armagh, before it was revealed that Titus Oates had been lying.
Pepys was released and in 1683 and the following year was reinstated as Secretary to the Admiralty. However, he was forced to resign after James II was ousted from power and replaced by the joint monarchs, William III and Mary II. Pepys was imprisoned by the new government and was not released until 1700. Samuel Pepys died in 1703.
Pepys, like his friend, John Evelyn, kept a diary and on his death was left to the library at Magdalene College. The diary was in code and was not deciphered and published until 1825. The diaries cover the period from January 1660 to May 1669.