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1666 : The great fire of London

1666 : The great fire of London, by Dylan Dos Santos et Jérémy Piguet

What we call "The great fire of London" occurred in the seventeenth century, precisely from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. It was an intense fire so it destroyed about 80 percent of the historical City Of London.

At that time, London was a very large city, one of the biggest in Europe. The city was full of buildings of all sizes, made with timber.
The fire started in Pudding Lane, in the premises of a baker ; the exact reason of the fire remains unknown : maybe because of an oil lamp, a candle, an oven or a domestic fireplace. But we know that it started burning very early in the morning, and because of the narrow streets and the buildings close to each other, the fire spread very fast. London firemen tried to stop the fire but they failed.

The city burnt for four days, and some destroyed parts continued to smoulder for many days after ; about thirteen or fourteen thousands homes were destroyed so after this fire numerous London inhabitants remained homeless. Eighty-seven churches, including old St-Paul’s Cathedral, burnt, as well as a lot of businesses. The residence of King Charles II of England, the aristocratic quarter and the Palace of Whitehall were destroyed as well.

We are not sure of the amount of deaths resulting from the great fire, only six deaths were recorded ! But some historians think that middle and lower-class people were not recorded, and many corpses completely burnt so the exact number of deaths is unsure.

A high loss of money for the City of London resulted from this fire. The city was rebuilt approximately and the great fire was the biggest fire in London

Dylan D. & Jeremy P.


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