Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

350 years ago - today!

Collapse
X
Collapse
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • snafu
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2013
    • 2825

    350 years ago - today!

    On this day in 1666 a fire started in the bakery of Thomas Farriner in Pudding Lane, London, gutting the old medieval city within the 5.5metre high Roman city walls. It consumed St Paul's Cathedral, 87 churches, 13,200 houses as well as the buildings of the City authorities; the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants were destroyed, yet it is amazing to think that there were only six verified deaths - although this could be put down to the authorities interest in the gentry, with no concern for the middle or lower classes who may have been cremated and their remains unrecognisable. Few of the aristocracy lived in the city, those that had maintained a presence even after it became popular to move west left to escape the plague the previous year; in fact the fire had the effect of ending the recurring cycle of bubonic plague outbreaks by clearing the old city of most of its close-nit, wood and thatch built medieval domiciles allowing newer and more spread out building to be put in in place. Until then only wealthy homeowners constructed with stone, and then usually with some space around them.

    The lord mayor of London, wary of allowing royalist troops into the republican city of the civil war, just a few years before, refused the kings offer and dithered until the fire was out of control and Charles II took control.
    Fire control at the time essentially consisted of demolishing the building and those around it to prevent the fire spreading; tools such as ladders, axes, buckets and firehooks (used to pull down buildings) were required to be kept in parish churches. Gunpowder was frequently used to bring down taller building and create firebreaks. There should have been a line of bucket passers from the nearby river along Pudding Lane to the fire, but the mayor failed to organise anything until it was too late - the streets were stuffed with refugees and the firefighters needed to evacuate their owner families and belongings. Soon the city was suffering a firestorm due to the harsh winds and the king demanded that no property was to be spared in an effort to prevent the conflagration from spreading further. When the wind dropped, on the 5th, the fire became easier to control and burned itself out.

    A Frenchman, who happened to be at sea when the fire started, was hung at Tyburn on the 28th.

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse

 

Working...
X