St Olave Hart Street and St Katharine Cree: Churches with London at Heart

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Sanctuary in the City

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SAMUEL PEPYS at St Olave Hart Street


Pepys died quietly in Clapham and his body was brought back to be buried at St Olave’s alongside his wife, Elizabeth, and of one of his brothers, John. Their shared vault lies, as the Parish Register says, ‘under the Communion Table’.


St Olave’s, which Pepys called ‘our own church’, is proud of this association and numerous people–of all ages and of many different nationalities–come to visit the church through the year to pay homage to Pepys and deepen their understanding of him and his times. In May each year, as close as we can get to the anniversary of his death on 26th May, St Olave’s holds a Pepys Commemoration Service at 12 noon, at which a distinguished speaker gives an address on some aspect of Pepys's life. Recent subjects have included: Pepys’s Musical World, Pepys and Trinity House and Pepys and St Paul’s School. The service is organised in association with The Samuel Pepys Club.


There is a beautiful memorial to Elizabeth that Pepys commissioned from the celebrated sculptor, John Bushnell, as well as a 19th-century memorial to Pepys himself that marks the location of the door through which he and his Navy Office colleagues would enter the church to sit in the galleried pew specially built for their use.


Read more about Samuel Pepys’s Diary and related articles 




A plaque to mark Samuel Pepys's house in Salisbury Court, just off Fleet Street


Samuel Pepys plaque