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Why Did It Take So Long To Control The Great Fire Of London In 1666

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Introduction

Great Fire Of London Coursework Part 2: Why did it take so long to control the fire? In the early hours of Sunday 2nd Setember 1666 in Thomas Farrinor's Royal bakery on pudding lane, a deadly fire broke out from the remains of the days fire. Few people would have known that the fire would rage for four days until Thursday 6th September. The growth of the fires path of destruction from one street to 350 acres of land was caused, aided and not prevented because of many factors. Weather was in my opinion the most clinical factor in the decline of the wooden structure that was 17th century London. The previous two years had seen significant droughts and so in September 1666, London was a vulnerable place in the event of a fire. However, the reason the fire lasted so long was because of the wind. The spread of the fire from one easily flammable wooden roof to another was made effortless and uncontrollable by the East wind which also added Oxygen to the fire. This deadly wind lasted for the first three days of the fire and as soon as the wind subsided on the fourth day the fire was brought under control. ...read more.

Middle

He is often credited for orgnising an effort to stop the fire. The negligent and selfish attitudes of the people towards the fire were another reason it spread so quickly. Most people spent their time desperately salvaging personal possessions and getting them out of danger by boat or cart. Many people profited by renting out carts and boats and paying poorer people to move their goods. Renting a cart would have cost a modern equivalent of �8000. The city gates were so congested that on Monday afternoon they were ordered shut. Many people thought that fighting the fire was pointless as it was too widespread, Others however, simply refused to fight the fire as they believed it was a "punishment from God" and was too powerful and that fighting it was pointless and immoral. The general public weren't the only ones not working to put the fire out, as by Monday the authorities had already launched an investigation into the causes of the fire and were already rounding up foreigners (who they believed to be behind a plot to burn London, due to the ongoing Second Anglo-Dutch War.) Another reason that the fire wasn't stopped sooner was the lack of resources in tackling the fire. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of the city's most iconic buildings such as St. Paul's Cathedral and the Royal Exchange. Around 13,500 houses were destroyed along with 87 churches, 44 company halls and three city gates. Many people, especially the poor, lost all their possessions and savings. The damages from the fire were estimated to be �10,000,000 (over �1,000,000,000 in 2005 pounds). The immediate death toll is reported to be in single figures, but this is considering that the deaths of working and middle class people were not seen as important and the amount of people who froze or starved to death living homeless on the streets in the following months and years is unknown. I feel that there are many combined factors as to why it took to long to control the Great Fire of London. Thomas Bloodworth's disobeyal of the King and reluctence to sacrifice a few houses cost the city much more than a few house reparation would have. Bloodworth however, wasn't the only person to neglect the issue and not act upon it seriously as this was the general attitude of the public and I think if the fire had been looked at more seriously, it wouldn't have caused such widespread damage. Once the fire had passed a certain stage without being dealt with, it was an impossible task considering the resourses availible and the detering factors such as the wind. ...read more.

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