The Samuel Pepys Award 2019

June 2019

The Trustees of the Samuel Pepys Award Trust invite submissions for the ninth Samuel Pepys Award, to be presented at the annual Pepys Club dinner on Tuesday 12 November 2019.

The biennial prize of £2,000 is for a book that, in the opinion of the judges, makes the greatest contribution to the understanding of Samuel Pepys, his times or his contemporaries.

The first Samuel Pepys Award marked the tercentenary of Pepys’s death in 2003 and was won by Claire Tomalin for her biography, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self.

Subsequent prize winners were:

  • 2005 Frances Harris for Transformations of Love
  • 2007 John Adamson for The Noble Revolt
  • 2009 JD Davies for Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-1689.
  • 2011 Michael Hunter for Boyle: Between God and Science.
  • 2013 Henry Reece for The Army in Cromwellian England 1649-1660
  • 2015 Paul Slack for The Invention of Improvement: Information and Material Progress in Seventeenth-Century England
  • 2017 John Walter for Covenanting Citizens: The Protestant Oath and Popular Political culture in the English Revolution

A specially cast medal by Philip Nathan, in memory of Robert Latham, joint editor of the eleven-volume The Diary of Samuel Pepys, will be presented to the winning author.

The Rules

  1. Submissions must be made no later than Friday 30 June 2019.
  2. Books must be published between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2019.
  3. Submissions, non-fiction and fiction, must have been written in the English language.
  4. Books published in the UK, Ireland, USA and the Commonwealth are eligible for the Samuel Pepys Award.
  5. The judges of the Samuel Pepys Award reserve the right to call in books.
  6. The Samuel Pepys Award will be presented at the annual dinner of the Samuel Pepys Club in London on Tuesday 12 November 2019.


The judges of the ninth Samuel Pepys Award are:

  • Eamon Duffy is Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge and the author of numerous books including The Stripping of the Altars and Saints and Sinners, a history of the Popes
  • Robin O’Neill  is a former British ambassador, read English at Cambridge and has a particular interest in diplomatic history and English literature in the seventeenth century
  • Caroline Sandwich read English at Cambridge and Middle Eastern politics at London. Has served on the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Historic Houses Association amongst others.  Her work at her husband’s family house, Mapperton, has given her an interest in seventeenth century history.
  • Sir Keith Thomas is a Fellow of All Souls and a distinguished historian of the early modern world, whose publications include Religion and the Decline of Magic, and Man and the Natural World.


Submissions should be made on the Samuel Pepys Submission Form 2019.

Please post completed forms by 30 June 2019 to:

Professor William Pettigrew, Department of History, Bowland College, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT


And post one copy of each submitted book to the following addresses by 30 June 2019

Professor Eamon Duffy, Magdalene College, Cambridge CB3 0AG

Robin O’Neill, 4 Castle Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1BP

Caroline Sandwich, Mapperton, Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3NR

Sir Keith Thomas, All Souls College, Oxford OX1 4AL

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