Pepys was born in Wimpole Street, London, the son of Sir William Weller Pepys (1740/41–1825), a master in chancery, who was descended from John Pepys, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, the great-grandfather of Samuel Pepys the diarist. He was the younger brother of Charles Christopher Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1804, and, then, migrated as a fellow to St. John's College, Cambridge proceeding to M.A. 1807, B.D. 1814, and D.D. 1840.
Pepys was rector of Aspenden, Hertfordshire, from 12 June 1818 to 28 April 1827, and held with it the college living of Moreton, Essex, from 16 August 1822 until 1840. On 3 Feb. 1826 he was appointed a prebendary of Wells, and on 31 March 1827 rector of Westmill, Hertfordshire. On 27 January 1840 he was, on the recommendation of Lord Melbourne, elevated to become Bishop of Sodor and Man, was consecrated at Whitehall on 1 March, arrived at Douglas, Isle of Man, on 27 April, was installed at St. Mary's, Castletown, on 8 May. He left the island on 4 May 1841, on his translation to the see of Worcester.
In politics he was a Liberal. In the House of Lords, although he voted in favour of the chief Liberal measures, he only spoke twice on ecclesiastical questions of small importance. Personally he was very popular, and was conscientious in the discharge of his diocesan duties. He was a generous patron of the triennial Three Choirs Festival. He died at Hartlebury Castle, Stourport, Worcestershire, on 13 November 1860.
Pepys married, on 27 January 1824, Maria Sullivan, third daughter of the Right Hon. John Sullivan, commissioner of the Board of Control. She died on 17 June 1885, in her 90th year. Four of their children lived to adulthood:
- Philip Henry Pepys (1824–1886), registrar of the London court of bankruptcy, who married Louisa Eleanor Anne Disbrowe.
- Maria Louisa Pepys (born 1827), who married Rev. Edward Winnington-Ingram (1814–1891), rector of Stanford-on-Teme; her son was Arthur Winnington-Ingram, a future bishop of London.
- Herbert George Pepys (1830–1918), honorary canon of Worcester, who married Louisa Harriet Isaac.
- Emily Pepys (1833–1877), a child diarist, who married Rev. Hon. William Henry Lyttelton.
- The Remains of the late Viscount Royston, with a Memoir of his Life (London, 1838)
- Six charges (to the clergy or to ordinands of the diocese)
- Two single sermons
- Pronounced "peppis", not "peeps" in this branch of the family. Gillian Avery: Introduction. In: The Journal of Emily Pepys (London: Prospect Books, 1984. ISBN 0-907325-24-6), p. 11.
- Joyce Hemlow, ed.: The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame d'Arblay). IV (West Humble 1797–1801) (London: OUP, 1973), pp. 180–81; Pepys family tree. In: The Journal of Emily..., p. 11.
- "Pepys, Henry (PPS800H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Pepys family tree...
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Pepys, Henry". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Sodor and Man
Thomas Vowler Short
Robert James Carr
|Bishop of Worcester