Samuel Pepys was born on February 23rd 1633 in Salisbury Court off Fleet Street. His father, John, was a tailor, his mother Margaret Kite was sister of a Whitechapel butcher and Samuel was fifth in a line of eleven children.
The accepted pronunciation today of his curiously spelled name is PEEPS. Sam definitely pronounced his name PEEPS as do the descendents of his sister Paulina. However other branches of the family pronounce it PEPPIS.
The Pepyses were country people who, from the 13th century onwards had held land around Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, including the manor of Impington. In 1618 Paulina Pepys married a brother of the 1st Earl of Manchester, Sir Sydney Montagu, who in 1627 acquired the house and estate of Hinchingbrooke, near Huntingdon (below).
Samuel attended the Grammar School at Huntingdon, whose ex-pupils included not only Oliver Cromwell but also Edward Montagu, the young squire of Hinchingbrooke. Edward, eight years older than Samuel, inherited the Hinchingbrooke estate from his father, Sir Sydney, in 1644.
The most famous of Huntingdon's medieval buildings was dedicated to John The Baptist. Part of this hospital for the poor, founded around 1160, still stands today as the building which houses the Cromwell Museum. ...the town acquired it to accommodate the Huntingdon Free School. ...it was here that Oliver Cromwell and Samuel Pepys received their elementary education."The Free School later became Huntingdon Grammar School, the forerunner of the present Hinchingbrooke Comprehensive School.