PEPYS, John (c.1657-96), of Holy Trinity, Cambridge and St. Andrew’s, Holborn

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - 29 Sept. 1696

Family and Education

b. c.1657, 2nd s. of John Pepys of Great Bardfield, Essex by Thomasine, da. of John Symonds of Great Yeldham, Essex.  educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1670; L. Inn 1674.  m. 10 Oct. 1689, Susanna Morden of Thriplow, Cambs., 2s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1665.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Cambridge 1677, coroner 1678–9, common councilman 1679, alderman 1684–Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688–d., mayor 1689–90.2


Pepys’s grandfather, a younger son of John Pepys of Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, ancestor of the diarist, had established a branch of the family in Essex, but the Member himself, who succeeded to the Great Bardfield property when his elder brother was disinherited, returned to his ancestral county and settled in Cambridge. He was already an active member of the city corporation (in whose records his social status was given as ‘gentleman’) before he was named an alderman in Charles II’s charter. Having lost office with the other Tory corporators in April 1688, he was restored by King James’s proclamation the following October and in 1689 was elected mayor, appointed to the commission of the peace for the borough and named its militia captain. In his capacity as mayor he greeted King William on the royal visit to Cambridge in October 1689. He was returned for Cambridge with a fellow alderman, Isaac Watlington*, in 1695, replacing two country gentlemen. Forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, he was listed as having voted in March against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. However, he signed the Association promptly. On 11 Mar. 1696 he was given leave of absence for three weeks.3

Pepys died on 29 Sept. 1696, before the Parliament reassembled. When letters of administration were granted to his widow, on 7 Oct., his former residence was given as St. Andrew’s, Holborn. His younger son, Samuel Symonds Pepys, served as sheriff of Cambridgeshire in 1728–9.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. E. Chappell, Eight Generations of Pepys Fam. 51–52, 64–65, 70; W. C. Pepys, Genealogy of Pepys Fam. ped. vii; A. Gibbons, Ely Episcopal Recs. 239; Mar. Lic. Fac. Off. (Harl. Soc. xxiv), 157; St. Vedast and St. Michael Le Quern (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxx), 30; St. Helen’s Bishopsgate (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxxi), 51, 373; Cambs. RO (Cambridge), Holy Trinity par. reg.
  • 2. Cambs. RO (Cambridge), Cambridge bor. recs. common day bk. 1647–81, ff. 302, 309, 314, 316; 1681–1722, pp. 52, 105, 134, 149; F. Blomefield, Collectanea Cantabrigiense, 227.
  • 3. Chappell, 39; Diary of Samuel Newton (Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxiii), 102, 104; C. H. Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iv. 10–11.
  • 4. D. Cook, ‘Rep. Hist. Cambridge’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1935), 380; PCC admon. Oct. 1696.