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Great Fire Of London


RichardB
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The Great Fire of London began on 2nd September 1666 and was one of the most famous incidents in Stuart England.

The fire started in Pudding Lane.

The fire started in a baker’s shop owned by Thomas Farriner – who was the king’s baker.

His maid failed to put out the ovens at the end of the night. The heat created by the ovens caused sparks to ignite the wooden home of Farriner.

In her panic, the maid tried to climb out of the building but failed. She was one of the few victims of the fire.

Once it started, the fire spread quickly. The heat created by the fire was so great that the lead roof on the old St Paul’s Cathedral melted.

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The Great Fire of London began on 2nd September 1666 and was one of the most famous incidents in Stuart England.

The fire started in Pudding Lane.

The fire started in a baker’s shop owned by Thomas Farriner – who was the king’s baker.

His maid failed to put out the ovens at the end of the night. The heat created by the ovens caused sparks to ignite the wooden home of Farriner.

In her panic, the maid tried to climb out of the building but failed. She was one of the few victims of the fire.

Once it started, the fire spread quickly. The heat created by the fire was so great that the lead roof on the old St Paul’s Cathedral melted.

There seems to be a different story as who was to blame.

Who was blamed?

Almost as soon as the fire began rumours spread that it was a deliberate act of arson by the French or Dutch, with whom the country had recently been at war,

or by Catholics wanting to punish London as a Protestant city. Mobs roamed the streets in search of foreigners and attacked anyone they suspected. Cornelius Riedtveldt,

a Dutch baker from Westminster, was set upon and his bakery looted. There was wide-spread panic about the possibility of a French invasion.

The king himself went to speak to London’s refugees at Moorfields to assure them the fire was not a plot.

After the fire an official enquiry was set up as to the cause. Before any conclusion was reached, a Frenchman,

Robert Hubert, confessed to the crime and was hanged on 27 October 1666. Apparently the jury believed him to be a confused innocent but he was a convenient scapegoat.

Thomas Farriner, the baker in whose shop the fire started, seems to have escaped blame and even signed Hubert’s confession.

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/English/EventsExhibitions/Past/LondonsBurning/themes/1427/1429

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There was Channel Four documentary on how the baker's shop caused the fire. It turns out that flour is highly flammable meterial and would have done the trick on it's own, causing a firestorm.

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Almost as soon as the fire began rumours spread that it was a deliberate act of arson by the French or Dutch, with whom the country had recently been at war,

Now go into any history lesson at any school in Britain and they will all know the history of 2 famous London Events

1 )

The Great plague, 1665

2 )

The Great Fire 1666

But no one ever seems to mention (because it was a defeat?) the third event.

3 )

A Dutch fleet crosses the North Sea, sails up the Thames unchallenged, attacks and sinks a number of Royal Naval ships at harbour in the Thames and then casually makes its way home. 1667

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Now go into any history lesson at any school in Britain and they will all know the history of 2 famous London Events

1 )

The Great plague, 1665

2 )

The Great Fire 1666

But no one ever seems to mention (because it was a defeat?) the third event.

3 )

A Dutch fleet crosses the North Sea, sails up the Thames unchallenged, attacks and sinks a number of Royal Naval ships at harbour in the Thames and then casually makes its way home. 1667

:o And the other two were success stories?

The third's absent I suspect because of the belief that Britain rules the waves. Clearly the RN getting caught with their pants down doesn't sit well with that belief.

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:o And the other two were success stories?

The third's absent I suspect because of the belief that Britain rules the waves. Clearly the RN getting caught with their pants down doesn't sit well with that belief.

No of course they weren't success stories no more than the evacuation of the British Expiditionary Forces from the beaches at Dunkirk was a "success" (It was a brilliant military evacuation and tactical retreat for Britain, successfully carried out, but it was a military gain for Germany and a disaster for France. It was not the outcome the BEF had hoped for, - they would have liked to have stopped the German advance in its tracks, - and then pushed them all the way back to Germany)

The great plague was probably just an unpleasant fact of life in the seventeenth century with poor sanitation, lack of medical know how and consequently low life expectancy frequently terminated prematurely by disease (like the plague)

The great fire was more of an unprecidented accident. No one deliberately started it, or expected that a fire could get out of control to that extent, - but it did.

But the sinking of the fleet in the Thames was a humiliating defeat, as you yourself put it History Dude,-

"the RN getting caught with their pants down"

isn't eactly going to look like a piece of British History to look back at with pride at how we dealt with the problem.

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There was Channel Four documentary on how the baker's shop caused the fire. It turns out that flour is highly flammable meterial and would have done the trick on it's own, causing a firestorm.

Almost any material in the form of a fine powder, including metals, is flammable.

Fine powders have very large surface areas in relation to their size which gives them good contact with the air so that when ignited they react almost immediately with oxygen in the air (burn). The combustion is so rapid that an explosion with a fireball can result.

Several old flour mills have been destroyed by this type of combustion.

In the dangerous days of proper chemistry there was an "exploding can experiment" which replicated a flour mill explosion.

This consisted of a large tin with a push on lid (eg a gallon paint tin) with a hole in the base and lid to allow air to circulate. Inside the tin was a burning candle (source of ignition) and a small saucer of fine powdered flour. There was a third hole in the tin through which passed a long rubber tube, the end of which could be used to blow the flour on the saucer into the air in the tin. The other end of the long rubber tube, a suitable safe distance away you could blow down to cause the disturbance of the flour.

Having tried this many years ago (It wouldn't be allowed now) you can take it from me that,-

a ) under these conditions flour is very flammable.

b ) it can go off with sufficient explosive force to launch the push fit lid of a gallon paint tin about 20 feet up into the air, in front of a red flame of burning flour.

c ) had this happened in a London bakery in 1666 I can imagine it could quite easily, on the much larger scale involved, have caused a massive fire which, in dry conditions with houses made of wood and other flammable materials, would very easily have spread.

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