Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament, now most famous for the diary he kept while still a young man. With no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and administrative talent, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II.
His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalization of the Royal Navy.
The detailed diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.