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Teachers' Notes

About the Samuel Pepys Interactive

You will need Adobe Flash Player to view the Samuel Pepys interactive.

The interactive helps pupils learn more about Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London. Children also find out about 17th Century housing and objects and practise their knowledge of vocabulary associated with this topic (buildings, fire, passing of time and so on).

Please note: KS1 pupils will need adult help in reading some of the instructions and information within the interactive.

See also the downloads section for accompanying resources, including:

  • an example one day diary entry inspired by Samuel Pepys diary
  • entries from Samuel Pepys' diary with highlighted sections relevant to the online interactive
  • quotes from the diary
  • blank storyboard to print out for your class to colour in the scenes from the story, fill in the speech bubbles and write captions below each picture.

Samuel Pepys by John Hayls, 1666

On 17 March 1666, Pepys wrote this about having his portrait painted:

'I sit to have it full of shadows and so almost break my neck looking over my shoulders to make the posture for him to work by'.

There were more sittings on 20, 23, 28 and 30 March, when he sat 'till almost quite darke upon working my gowne which I hired to be drawne in; an Indian gowne'. Pepys paid Hayls £14 for the picture and 25s for the frame on 16 May, commenting that he was 'well satisfied' with it. The music he holds is his own setting of a lyric by Sir William Davenant, 'Beauty, retire'.