Samuel Pepys

1633 (London) – 1703 (London)

A notable naval moderniser, it is the vivid depiction of everyday life and historic events in Pepys’ diaries that have made him famous. Dryden was a Cambridge friend, and again much later in life. A great consulter of opinion, Pepys took Flamsteed’s advice on mathematical schooling for navigation, and Boyle’s advice about his own worrisome eyesight. He admired Wilkins and Hooke, conversing with Wilkins about his proposals for a Philosophical Language, and with Hooke about musical concord and discord. His fellow diarist Evelyn was a greatly loved friend for life. Sloane doctored him and performed the autopsy when he died.

Samuel Pepys knew…

Michel-Étienne Turgot

1690 (Paris) – 1751 (Paris)

Turgot was effectively mayor of Paris for some years. Bretez was the architect-cartographer he charged with drawing up the superbly clear and descriptive bird’s-eye-view map of Paris that carries his name (‘Plan Turgot’ of 1734–39). Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, the great enlightenment economist, was his son.

Michel-Étienne Turgot knew…