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A Diary of the Great Fire of London from the point of view of King Charles II

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A Diary of the Great Fire of London from the point of view of King Charles II Never before have I been so terrified. No such calamity had ever befallen London. Therefore I as king Charles 11 ruler of England and my associates will indefinitely make sure no such thing ignites again. The fire destroyed large part of our City including most of the civic buildings, old St. Paul?s Cathedral, 87 parish churches, and about 13,000 houses. I kept insisting that we try to protect the cathedral but be it so, I was ignored. It began on a normal Sunday, my menservants were scrubbing me and my maids were feeding me grapes when at one o'clock in the morning, a servant woke to find the house aflame. The fire began accidentally in the house of the king?s baker in Pudding Lane near London Bridge. ...read more.


The only thing that stopped the fire from spreading to Southwark, on the other side of the river, was the gap that had been caused by the fire of 1633. And as I gazed out into the distance, I could see The River swarmed with vessels filled with persons carrying away as many of their goods as they were able to save. Some fled to the hills of Hampstead and Highgate, but Moor fields was the chief refuge of the houseless Londoners. The standard procedure to stop a fire from spreading had always been to destroy the houses on the path of the flames, creating ?fire-breaks?, to deprive a fire from fuel. Lord Mayor Bludworth, however, was hesitant, worrying about the cost of rebuilding. That old chap. Never listens to what others have to say! The Trained Bands of London were called in to demolish houses by gunpowder, but often the rubble was too much to be cleared before the fire was at hand, and only eased the fire's way onward. ...read more.


But don?t tell anyone! James mustn?t get any praise for anything. ? Wait I forgot! You?re only a piece of parchment and ink! Aye, a good substance came out of this catastrophe; one positive effect of the Great Fire of London was that the plague, which had ravished London since 1665, diminished greatly, due to the mass death of the plague-carrying rats in the blaze. The only good thing that Of course afterwards, I appointed six Commissioners to redesign the city. The plan provided for wider streets and buildings of brick, rather than timber. I am hoping that by 1671, 9000 houses and public buildings should be completed. The ever reliable Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of nearly 50 churches, not least of them a new St. Paul's Cathedral, construction of which will begin in 1675. I The King also had Wren design a monument to the Great Fire, which stands at the site of the bakery which started it all. ...read more.

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