Essay about The Great Fire of London

Throughout recorded history, fires have been known to cause great loss of life, property, and knowledge. The Great Fire of London was easily one of the worst fires mankind has ever seen causing large scale destruction and terror. Samuel Pepys described the fire as “A most malicious bloody flame, as one entire arch of fire of above a mile long… the churches, houses and all on fire and flaming at once, and a horrid noise the flames made.” (Britain Express 1).Although it started as a small fire in a baker’s shop and the official death toll was low, nevertheless the Great Fire of London heavily impacted England’s social, political, and economic history because the outcome allowed for changes in many subjects from building codes and property insurance to the eventual revival of England’s economy.The Great Fire of London, as documented by Samuel Pepys and other writers, began on the early morning of Sunday, September 2nd 1666 when a fire erupted at Pudding Lane in Thomas Farriner’s bakery (Dailey and Tomedi 43). Farriner, who was the king’s baker, went to fetch a candle some time close to midnight. While going to get the candle, Farriner observed that his oven was not lit and that there were no embers. However, two hours later Farriner and his family awoke feeling “almost choked with smoked” (Shields 80). Farriner quickly dashed over to the top of the stairs and found flames making their way up from the shop below. According to Farriner, the fire was not in the proximity of his over nor the pile of wood close to his house (Shields 81). However this and the actual cause of the fire in the house are debatable due to Farriner possibly attempting to remove any blame placed on him from the fire by lying in his testimony of the in…

… Bechard 6end London was rebuilt with essentially the same street plan, but with wider streets and no houses blocking access to the Thames River.The citizens and government were desperate to find a scapegoat to place the blame on for the fire. An investigation was started and William Lilly was brought in for questioning as were many foreigners. Lilly had predicted a fire would destroy London on September 3, 1666 years earlier but charges against him were dropped when it became clear he had nothing to do with the fire (Shields 97). The case was closed when Robert Hubert, a French silversmith was hung after he admitted to starting the fire. However, Hubert was said to be crazy and a drunk and changed his story multiple times during his trial, so he was not considered to really have anything to do with the starting of the Great Fire (Shields 102).

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