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People of EC3 London

There have been some important and well known residents of this area during the last 500 years.

This page details those of special interest.

Samuel Pepys

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In 1660 Samuel Pepys became Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board and moved, with his wife Elisabeth, to live in a house alongside the Navy Office located in Seething Lane. It was here he made his name as an accomplished naval administrator and it was during the years he lived here that he wrote his diary.

Best known today for his diary, Samuel Pepys left us his first‐hand account of life in London in the 1660s; years which saw the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Pepys became a man of influence and importance. He accompanied Charles II back from the Netherlands in May 1660 and he was the first person to inform the King of the Great Fire.

His breadth of interest and achievement is hugely impressive. In 1662 he was sworn in as a Younger Brother of Trinity House and was later to become an Elder Brother. He was twice elected Master of Trinity House and in 1677 he was appointed Master of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers. He became Secretary to the Admiralty and an MP, and in the 1680s President of the Royal Society.

A fire at the Navy Office in 1673 led to Pepys moving from Seething Lane and from 1679 to 1688 he lived at number 12 Buckingham Street which lay south of the Strand.

On his death in Clapham in 1703 his body was brought for burial at the church of St Olave Hart Street which Pepys referred to as our own church. Both Samuel and Elisabeth are buried at St Olave’s where there are memorials to Elisabeth and Samuel. A sculpture of Samuel Pepys is situated in Seething Lane gardens at the rear of 10 Trinity Square. 

Tubby Clayton

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In the church of All Hallows by The Tower is an effigy of Phillip Byard Clayton, better known as Tubby Clayton. He was Vicar of All Hallows from 1922 to 1962.

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His name appears again close by Tower Hill underground station at 43 Coopers Row where a blue plaque marks the house as Tubby’s home when he was Vicar at the church.

Well known in the Tower Hill area, Tubby was also known by many people internationally as founder of TOC H.

This was an organisation that grew out of what originally was a house used as a place of respite for battlefront soldiers during World War I.

Situated just across the French border into Belgium, Talbot House was set up by Tubby. Open to officers and men alike, Talbot House became a sanctuary away from the front line.

For more information, see Tubby Clayton and TOC H.

Admiral Sir William Penn

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Admiral Penn was appointed a Commissioner of the Navy Board and in 1660 became a neighbour of Samuel Pepys.

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He and his wife Margaret had three children one of whom was Young William Penn who was born in Tower Hill in 1644 and baptised at All Hallows by The Tower.

Young William is best known as the man who founded Pennsylvania after being given land in America by the King on condition it was named after Admiral Penn.

Louisa Catherine Johnson

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Image © The National First Ladies' Library

Louisa’s parents, as well as other observers over the years, noted her unusual sensitivity towards others with an intensity in her quest for answers on existence. She also had brilliant musical and literary skills. These traits stood out more because Louisa had an openness that was uncommon among young women of her era.

In 1795, whilst attending one of the many lavish parties held at the Johnson home on Cooper›s Row, the young American diplomat John Quincy Adams was attracted to her because of her unusual qualities.

Louisa married John Quincy Adams in July 1797 at All Hallows by The Tower and he later became the sixth President of the United States, serving from 1825 to 1829.

Up until the election of Donald Trump, Louisa had been the only foreign born wife of a US President. Melania Trump became the second as she was born in Slovenia.

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