Samuel Pepys’s Naval Minutes

Vol 60 (1925), Dr. J.R. Tanner

Over the years the NRS has published various volumes relating to Samuel Pepys including the catalogues of his letters.

His Naval Minutes mainly cover the period from 1680-1696. As the Naval Minutes are a series of random notes made by Pepys in connection with his proposed History of the Royal Navy, as well as notes and memoranda of his thoughts on naval affairs ranging from shipbuilding and navigation to manning and the hazards of going to sea, as well as acerbic comments on the admiralty commissioners of 1679-1683, they provide invaluable information about the navy.

The volume includes Pepys’s famous dictum that Englishmen love their bellies. It also shows Pepys’s relationship with the Duke of York, and how much the Duke was still consulted over naval affairs, even though he had resigned his post as Lord High Admiral in 1673, because of his Catholicism.

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About Joseph Tanner

Joseph Tanner was born 28 July 1860 in Frome, Somerset, and educated at Mill Hill and St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took a First in History in 1882. He was President of the Cambridge Union Society in Easter Term 1883. He was a Lecturer in History at St. John’s from 1883 to 1921, and lecturer on Indian History to the Indian Civil Service from 1885 to 1893. In 1883 he became a Fellow of St. John’s and was an Assistant Tutor from 1895 to 1900, a Tutor from 1900 to 1912, and Tutorial Bursar, 1900 – 1921. He was Deputy to the Regius Professor of Modern History, 1926-27. He gave the Lees Knowles Lectures on Pepys and the Royal Navy in 1919. He died 15 January 1931 in Aldeborough, Suffolk.

His publications include
• Holland’s Discourses of the Navy (Navy Records Society, 1896).
• A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library 4 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1903, 1904, 1909, 1922)
• Pepys’ Memoirs of the Royal Navy (1906).
• Samuel Pepys and the Royal Navy (1920).
• Tudor Constitutional Documents, 1485 – 1603 (1922).
• Mr. Pepys, An Introduction to the Diary (1926).
• Pepys Naval Minutes (Navy Records Society, 1926).
• Private Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1679 – 1703 (1926).
• English Constitutional Conflicts, 1603 – 1689 (1928).
• Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662 – 1679 (1929).
• Constitutional Documents of the Reign of James I (1930).