Artist: J M W Turner : London’s burning
Read on this link more about him
First I want to apologise…I’m one day too late! Ok, for not being English, you can’t blame me…at least I knew about the fire and when it took place…I worked with an English guy and he knew about it, but he didn’t know the date…and I felt quite proud of myself…that I could tell him the date. We used to play this game…”When/Who…”-types of question…he and one other guy always had a question ready to be answered…more general knowledge-type of games…and this was my question set to him…the younger guy…but I will excuse him, as he’s still young..lol! Samuel Pepys kept a diary and also a diary of the fire…you can read all about “The Great Fire of London” and also read his account of the fire on the links I’ve given you.
The Great Fire of London, a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, was one of the major events in the history of England. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It threatened, but did not reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster (the modern West End), Charles II’s Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated that it destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City’s ca. 80,000 inhabitants.The death toll from the fire is unknown and is traditionally thought to have been small, as only a few verified deaths were recorded. This reasoning has recently been challenged on the grounds that the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded anywhere, and that the heat of the fire may have cremated many victims, leaving no recognisable remains.
The fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner (or Farynor) on Pudding Lane shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2 September, and it spread rapidly around London. The use of the major firefighting technique of the time, the creation of firebreaks by means of demolition, was critically delayed due to the indecisiveness of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth. By the time large-scale demolitions were ordered on Sunday night, the wind had already fanned the bakery fire into a firestorm which defeated such measures. The fire pushed north on Monday into the heart of the City. Order in the streets broke down as rumours arose of suspicious foreigners setting fires. The fears of the homeless focused on the French and Dutch, England’s enemies in the ongoing Second Anglo-Dutch War; these substantial immigrant groups became victims of lynchings and street violence. On Tuesday, the fire spread over most of the City, destroying St. Paul’s Cathedral and leaping the River Fleet to threaten Charles II’s court at Whitehall, while coordinated firefighting efforts were simultaneously mobilising. The battle to quench the fire is considered to have been won by two factors: the strong east winds died down, and the Tower of London garrison used gunpowder to create effective firebreaks to halt further spread eastward.
Samuel Pepys, FRS (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament, who is now most famous for his diary. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under King James II. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalization of the Royal Navy.
The detailed private diary he kept during 1660-9 was first published in the nineteenth century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.
Samuel Pepy’s diary links:
On this link, you can read his diary about The Great Fire of London
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