Pepys’ First Diary Entry,

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History on 1st January


The Act of Union Signed

Fred West Found Hanged

Pepys’ First Diary Entry,

London The 1st of January 1660 AD

The diary of Samuel Pepys only covers the period 1660 to 1669, curtailed because of failing eyesight, but it is an invaluable reference source for historians of the last days of the Commonwealth and the early years of the Restoration . With its fascinating blend of the very personal along with the great events of the day – or one man’s view of them – Pepys remains fascinating for a wide range of readers.
Setting the tone for the bulk of his entries, the very first, on January 1 1660, sets out his own state of health – reasonable, with his recurring kidney stone ailment not then bothering him except in the cold – his dashed hopes for a child as his wife belatedly has her period – and the delicate political situation nationally with comments on two of the major players, Monke and Lambert.
His words were written in a contemporary form of shorthand as befitted this rising clerk and suited his needs for privacy from his wife - given his honest recording of extra-marital dalliances - and from his superiors given his frequent criticism of them. The transcribed diary is a treasure-house for anyone who enjoys gossip, politics, history, household management and even scandal.

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All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change - GK Chesterton
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On this day:
Battle of Bannockburn - 1314, Battle of Sluys - 1340, First Recorded Tynwald Day - 1417, Punch Invents the Cartoon - 1843, Mersey Tunnel Opens - 1971, The Humber Bridge Opens to Traffic - 1981
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