|Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). © NMM|
Keeping his diaries, which cover ten years that saw such historical events as the coronation of Charles II (1660), the Great Plague (1665) and the Great Fire of London (1666), and give an unrivalled insight into London life in those years.
Establishing a professional naval service for the first time in English history.
Leading a vigorous social and private life. He was fond of drinking and woke up in a pool of his own vomit after celebrating the coronation of Charles II. He also liked flirting with women; his wife once caught him with a female servant.