Henry Pepys

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Styles of
Henry Pepys
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Reference styleThe Right Reverend
Spoken styleMy Lord
Religious styleBishop

Henry Pepys (18 April 1783 – 13 November 1860) was the Church of England Bishop of Worcester in 1841–60. He gave generously to the Three Choirs Festival, held in Worcester every third year.


Pepys /pɛpɪs/[n 1] was born in Wimpole Street, London, the son of Sir William Weller Pepys (1740/41–1825), a master in Chancery, descended from John Pepys, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, the great-uncle of Samuel Pepys the diarist.[1] He was the younger brother of Charles Christopher Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1804, and then migrated as a fellow to St. John's College, Cambridge, proceeding to MA in 1807, BD in 1814, and DD in 1840.[2]

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 February 1826 he was appointed a prebendary of Wells, and on 31 March 1827 rector of Westmill, Hertfordshire. On the recommendation of Viscount Melbourne he was elevated to become Bishop of Sodor and Man on 27 January 1840, consecrated at Whitehall on 1 March, and arrived at Douglas, Isle of Man on 27 April. He was installed at St Mary's, Castletown, on 8 May. However, 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 he voted in favour of the chief Liberal measures where he spoke twice. His speeches were 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 Rt 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.[3]

He died aged 77 and is buried at Hartlebury churchyard, where four other bishops of Worcester are buried.[4]


  • 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

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "Pepys, Henry (PPS800H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Pepys family tree...
  4. ^ http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMTCMF_Churchyard_St_James_Church_Hartlebury_Worcestershire_England
  1. ^ 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.

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
James Bowstead
Bishop of Sodor and Man
Succeeded by
Thomas Vowler Short
Preceded by
Robert James Carr
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Henry Philpott