Great Fire of London

From Londonhua WIKI


The century from the accession of Elizabethi in 1558to Great Fire of 1666 was one of the most tambulent in London's history. London was a divided metropolis: home to pleasa eseelers who focked to Shakespeares plays and evaneeilical Puritans who wished to bum the theatres dowm. But it was also acente of trade with a network starting to each around the aidbe The population trebled and suburbs sprang up amound the City walls. Times were changing from mediemalto modem. In 1643 London saw the Civil Wars most momentous enent the execution of King Charles L More troubles were to come. In 1665 plagueraged through the killing some 7000 people a week. Then London suffered its most cataclysmic disaster, the Great Fine of 1666. London] is the great beehive of Christendom. 'she swarms with people of all ages, matures, 'sexes, callings... she seems to be a glutton, "for she desires always to be full"

Civil War

1642-1651 Between 1642 and 1651 the country was ravaged by civil war. Royal power collapsed and 80,000 people were killed. The conflict had complex causes, but at its centre was the authority of the crown. Charles I believed that kings were divinely appointed to rule. Parliament asserted their right to govern. The king's lavish lifestyle was also a factor, an affront to the growing tide of Puritan zeal. London sided with Parliament, and in 1642 charles fled the capital for Oxford. To safeguard London from Royalist attacks, citizens built 23 forts and 18 miles of trenches. The city's militia were mobilised. The king did not return to London until his trial for treason and in January 1649 he was executed on a scaffold set up in Whitehall. Many of our citizens, who seemed very forward and willing at the first to march upon some pretences and fair excuses returned home again hiring others to go in their room Henry Fostec a Sergeant in the London Trained Bands 1643

London from Southwark

c1630 oil on panel, Dutch school, not signed or dated This rare view of London is one of the few painted records of the City before it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. It was probably painted by a Dutch artist working from an engraved print. The panel-maker's mark on the back of the painting tells us that it was made in Antwerp Purchased with the aid of the MGc/v&A Purchase Grant Fund

The Great Plague

1665 The Great Plague of 1665 was the last major plague in England. The outbreak began in February and within seven months 100,000 inhabitants, a fifth of the population, were dead. The bustling city was transformed into a place of "dismal solitude" and according to one eye-witness: "every day looks with the face of a sabbath-day. shops shut, people rare, very few places to walk about insomuch that the grass begins to spring up in some places Many left the capital but those who remained tried to protect themselves from infection. Victims were shut in their homes and a red cross with the words 'Lord have mercy upon us' was daubed on the door. Watchmen stood guard and citizens passed "fearful looks'. Some Londoners drank themselves into a stupor. "It kills where it comes without mercy... suddenly [and] sometimes within a few hours after its first approach.