The Great Fire of London

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In the early morning hours, the great fire of London breaks out in the house of the king Charles II's baker on pudding lane near London soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the great fire was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died. London was a city of medieval houses made mostly of oak timber, some of the poorer houses had walls covered with tar, which kept out the rain but made the structure more vulnerable to fire.Streets were narrow, houses were crowded together, and the firefighting methods of the day consisted of neighborhood bucket brigades armed with pails of water and primitive hand pumps. Citizens were instructed to check their homes for possible dangers, but there were many instances of carelessness

            Thomas Farrior, the king's baker, failed to properly extinguish the oven. He went to bed, and sometime around midnight sparks from the smoldering embers ignited firewood lying beside the oven. The fire spread to Thames Street, where riverfront warehouses were packed full with flammable materials such as tallow for candles, lamp oils, spirits, and coal. It has been a hot dry summer and a strong wing further encouraged the flames. As the conflagration grew, city authorities struggled to tear down buildings and create a firebreak, but flames repeatedly overtook them before they could complete their work. People fled into Thames River dragging their possessions and the homeless took refuge in the hills on the outskirts of London. Memorial column commemorating the great fire of London was erected near the source of calamity known as the memorial, it was probably designed by the architect Robert Hooke, though some sources credit Christopher Wren. The column stands 202 feet above the pavement and features engravings that tell the story of conflagration. Even though an official inquiry into the great fire concluded that the hand of God a great wind and a very dry season caused it, an inscription on the memorial blamed the disaster on the "treasury and malice of the Popish faction"

November 13, 2023

History World



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