Samuel Pepys Award Trust: 2017 Award

5 April 2017

The Samuel Pepys Award 2017 – Rules

The Trustees of the Samuel Pepys Award Trust invite submissions for the eighth Samuel Pepys Award, to be presented at the annual Pepys Club dinner on Monday 20 November 2017.

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

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 (5 copies of each book or 5 proofs of each book) must be made no later than Friday 30 June 2017.
  2. Books must be published between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017.
  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 Monday 20 November 2017.


The judges of the seventh Samuel Pepys Award are:

  • Julian Amey – Chairman of the Samuel Pepys Club
  • Dr Richard Luckett – formerly Pepys Librarian, Magdalene College, Cambridge with particular interest in the music and literature of the seventeenth century
  • Robin O’Neill  – 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 enclosed form, and sent with five copies of each book or five proofs of each book by 30 June 2017 to: Dr William Pettigrew, The Samuel Pepys Award, School of History, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

Proofs may be submitted provided publishers undertake to submit five copies of the finished book when available.

To apply, go to: