The reasons for educational patronage were various. Piety and devotion were important; but there was also a pragmatic element. Society was in a state of transformation. The governance of towns and cities, the management of the professions such as law and medicine, the pursuit of science and the day-to-day functioning of the army and navy were all routinely placed in the hands of professional bureaucrats, often from the urban lower and middle classes. This created a real incentive to educate bright but poor city boys such as Pepys.I went to the exhibition about Pepys in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich just before Eastercon last year, and this is the book-of-the-exhibition. I was actually a little disappointed that the exhibition did not have the diary except in electronic replica, but otherwise it was a very good display of artifacts illustrating Pepys' life and times. I found the book a lot more satisfying, oddly enough. As well as explanatory illustrations of the material that was on display in the exhibition, it has sixteen substantial essays by academic researchers on different aspects of Pepys. One might have thought that there was little to add to Claire Tomalin, but there's always something to be gained from new perspective. I found the chapters on Tangier and Islam (by the book's editor, Margarette Lincoln) and on religion (by Clare Jackson) particularly interesting, but they are all good, and I hope that the book will get a deserved long run of life among Pepys fans.
This was the first book I finished in 2017!!! It was also the top non-fiction book on my unread shelf recommended by you. Next in that list is Europe In The Sixteenth Century by H. G. Koenigsberger and George L. Mosse.