He was born in London, above the shop, just off Fleet Street, in Salibury Court, where his father John Pepys ran a tailoring business, one of many serving the lawyers living in the area. The house backed on the parish church of St. Bride’s, where all the babies of the family were christened and two were already buried in the churchyard;when he was a man, Pepys still kept the thought in his mind of ‘my young brothers and sisters’ laid in the ground outside the house of my youth. Salibury Court was an open space surrounded by a mixture of small houses like John Pepys’s and large ones, once the abodes of bishops and ambassadors, with gardens; it was entered through narrow lanves, one from Fleet Street opposite Shoe lane, another in the south-west corner leading into Water lane and so down to the Thames and river steps fifty yards below. The south facing slope above the river was a good place to live; people had been settled here since Roman times , and when Pepys was born in 1633 a Christian church had stood on the spot for at least five hundred years. A block to the east was the Fleet River, with the pink brick crenellated walls of Bridewell rising beside it; it had been built as a palace for Henry VIII and deteriorated into a prison for vagrants, homeless children and street women, known to the locals as ‘Bridewell Birds’. A footbridge spanned the Fleet between Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill, and from St.Bride’s you could look across its deep valley – much deeper than it is today – with houses crammed up both sides in a maze of courts and alleys, to old St.Paul’s rising on its hill above the City.