©Magdalene College, Cambridge

Pepys's diary - the very first entry, at the start of a new decade (1 January 1660)

Beginning with the words 'Blessed by God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health', Pepys takes the first step in the great daily task which he continued until trouble with his eyes caused him to abandon it at the end of May 1669. He wrote it from the start in the Shelton system of shorthand, which was widely used at the time.

In his will he left his magnificent library, including the diary itself, to his Cambridge college, Magdalene.