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‘And one man in his time plays many parts’ – Samuel Pepys business administrator, accomptant and auditor

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The (his)story of Samuel Pepys is interlinked with that of administration, accounting, auditing and their concepts. In terms of nascent ideas of accounting and business administration of the time, Pepys and his contribution are under-researched. Many scholars have considered the life of Samuel Pepys, studying his famous diary and marvelling at the wonderful insight this gives us to the time in which he lived, few have viewed his naval career in terms of its business administration and accounting contribution. This paper studies Pepys’s diary, his correspondence and secondary literature to provide an insight into his business world. It explores his role, as he perceived it. Pepys had modern attitudes to business, professionalism and the role of accounting, this forward-thinking attitude helps explain his extraordinary achievements. Pepys was not only a skilled naval administrator but also a natural ‘accomptant’ in the more modern and all-encompassing sense of the word accountant.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalBusiness History
Early online date2 Jul 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 2 Jul 2020


  • McBRIDE_2020_cright_And one man in his time plays many parts

    Rights statement: his is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Business History on 02.07.2020, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 944 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 2/01/22

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