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London Before The Great Fire.

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Prologue London Before The Great Fire Before the Fire, London had been through many years of the greatest contamination of the plague in its history. Nearly every household had lost a member of the family, and the people were desperate for it to stop. The Great Fire did this for them, but at a large cost, as the whole of London's infrastructure was destroyed at length. Surprisingly, calamities (the Fire) and 'Plagues upon plagues, Sickness upon sickness' had all been predicted for the year 1666 by the Puritans. The reason for this is that in the bible 666 is the mark of the beast in the book of revelation in the bible. However, it is not surprising that London burned in that year, as then the conditions of London were perfect for a great event such as this. After two consecutive hot summers, the Thames was nearly dried out. Also, the houses in the heart of the medieval city were crammed together with narrow dirty streets to separate them. Made of wood, they were highly combustible. These houses should actually not have been made of wood, for in 1189, parliament made a law that houses had to be built of stone and roofs of slates or tiles. But brick and stone were expensive in those days and so London remained a wooden city. ...read more.


6 Wednesday Wednesday started off hot and dry as usual, but there was no wind. This meant that the Fire slowed and there was more time to destroy houses in Cripplegate. Finally the mayor was doing something useful and directed the destruction of those houses. This time, when bringing down buildings, King and mayor used explosives instead of the normal method of pulling them down with engines. This was far more efficient as many more houses could be destroyed with much less effort. At midday the Fire reached a brick wall- literally, at Middle Temple and Fetter Lane. There, the wind changed direction and made the Fire blow onto itself and into the river. Thursday marked the end of the Great Fire, fire fighters weary after the past five days. A rare overhead view of London, as the fire gets to the banks of the Thames. 7 From a Citizen's Perspective At three on Sunday morning, Jane, Samuel Pepys' maid, woke Pepys to tell him of the Fire, visible from their house on Seething Lane. Pepys was a civil servant who kept a diary all throughout his life. His diary has helped many historians greatly. Pepys looked out of his window and decided that the Fire was to far away to cause concern and returned to his bed. ...read more.


Richard Newcourt's plan of rigid road grids was later adopted by Philadelphia in the U.S.A. The only monument that survived The Great Fire of London is a statue of the poet John Donne. Also, a monument was built, called 'The Monument' (same as in Chapter 8) to remind people of the incident. It was designed by Christopher Wren again. The distance from base to top is the same as the distance from base to the Farynors' bakery. Basically, the Fire wiped the slate clean so that a newer London could escape its medieval bounds. One could say that The Great Fire did more good than bad. Christopher Wren 1. 2. 1. A picture of The Monument. 2. The top of The Monument (symbolising the flames). 10 An interesting fact about the Monument * The Monument is marked with the following eteostichon: lorD haVe merCI Vpon Vs = L+D+V+M+C+I+V+V = 1666 Statistics 1. 65,000-100,000 people were made homeless. 2. 6 people lost their lives (real figure likely to be much higher). 3. 373 acres of land destroyed (buildings on it). 4. Fire insurance started after the Fire. 5. 6000 houses built afterwards. 11 Notes 1. Also master baker. 2. Note the spelling: Nowadays the street is spelt Pudding Lane (extra d). 3. Also spelt Faryner, Farriner. 4. Also spelt Bloodworth. 5. Interestingly, Samuel Pepys made the painter of this picture repaint the music in his hand. 6. Various sources have different 'official recorded' deaths, ranging from 3 to 16. ...read more.

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