Samuel Pepys’ first visit to city

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On this day in 1661 Samuel Pepys and his wife arrived by coach at the Red Lion. He had recently been appointed Clerk of the King’s Ships and this was his first visit to Portsmouth.

Pepys was not impressed by the accommodation, although he was pleased and flattered when several officers from the Dockyard visited him.

The following morning Pepys walked around the town walls and earthworks and noted in his diary that Portsmouth seemed ‘a very pleasant and strong place’.

He also visited Buckingham House in High Street, where the Duke of Buckingham had been murdered in 1628 – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.