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Fire! fire! fire doth resound the furious flames. Now goods are hastily streets; many citizens start out of their removed from the lower parts of the city; sleep, look out of their windows; some and the body of the people begin to retire, dress themselves and run to the place and draw upwards, as the people did The lord mayor of the city comes with from the tabernacles of Korah, Dathan, his officers; a confusion there is; counsel and Abiram, when the earth did cleave is taken away; and London, so famous asunder and swallow them up: or rather for wisdom and dexterity, can now find as Lot drew out from his house in Sodom neither brains nor hands to prevent its before it was consumed by fire from ruin. The hand of God was in it; the heaven. Yet some hopes were retained decree was come forth; London must on the Lord's-day that the fire would be now fall, and who could prevent it? No extinguished, especially by them who wonder, when so many pillars are re- lived in the remote parts; they could moved, if the building tumbles; the pray- scarcely imagine that the fire a mile off ers, tears, and faith, which sometimes should be able to reach their houses. London hath had, might have quenched But the evening draws on, and now the violence of the fire; might have opened the fire is more visible and dreadful : heaven for rain, and driven back the wind: instead of the black curtains of the night, but now the fire gets mastery, and burns which used to be spread over the city, dreadfully.
now the curtains are yellow; the smoke That night most of the Londoners had that arose from the burning parts seemed taken their last sleep in their houses; like so much flame in the night, which they little thought it would be so when being blown upon the other parts by the they went into their beds; they did not wind, the whole city, at some distance, in the least suspect, when the doors of seemed to be on fire. Now hopes begin their ears were unlocked, and the case- to sink, and a general consternation seizmeits of their eyes were opened in the eth upon the spirits of people; little morning, to hear of such an enemy invad- sleep is taken in London this night; the ing the city, and that they should see amazement which the eye and ear doth him, with such fury, enter the doors of effect upon the spirit, doth either dry up their houses, break into every room, and or drive away the vapour which used to look out of their casements with such a bind up the senses. Some are at work threatening countenance.
to quench the fire with water; others enThat which made the ruin the more deavour to stop its course, by pulling dismal, was, that it was begun on the down of houses ; but all to no purpose · Lord's-day morning : never was there the if it be a little allayed, or beaten down, like sabbath in Loudon; some churches or put to a stand in some places, it is but were in flames that day; and God seems a very little while; it quickly recruits, to come down, and to preach himself in and recovers its force; it leaps and them, as he did in Mount Sinai, when mounts, and makes the more furious the mount burned with fire; such warm onset, drives back ils opposers,
snatcheth preaching those churches never had ; such their weapons out of their hands, seizeth lightning dreadful sermons never were upon the water-houses and engines, burns before delivered in London. In other them, spoils them, and makes them unfit churches ministers were preaching their for service. farewell sermons, and people were heating On the Lord's-day night the fire had with quaking and astonishment: instead run as far as Garlick-hithe, in Thamesof a holy rest which christians have taken Street, and had crept up into Cannonon this day, there is a tumultuous hurry- street, and levelled it with the ground; ing about the streets towards the place and still is making forward by the waterthat burned, and more tumultuous hurry- side, and upward to the brow of the hill, ing upon the spirits of those that sat still
, on which the city was built. and had only the notice of the ear of the On Monday, (the 3d) Gracechurchquick and strange spreading of the fire. street is all in flames, with Lombard-street,
Now the train-bands are up in arms on the left hand, and part of Fenchurch watching at every quarter for Outlandish- street, on the right, the fire working men, because of the general fear and (though not so fast) against the wind that ealousies, and rumours, that fire-balls way : before it were pleasant and stately were thrown into houses by several of houses, behind it ruinous and desolate them to help on and provoke the too heaps. The burning then was in fashion
of a bow, a dreadful bow it was, such as and astonishment doth fall upon them at mine eyes never before had seen; a bow this unheard-of, unthought-of, judgment. which had God's arrow in it, with a flam- It would have grieved the heart of an ing point: it was a shining bow; not like unconcerned person to see the rueful that in the cloud, which brings water looks, the pale cheeks, the tears trickling with it; and withal signified God's co- down from the eyes, (where the greatness venant not to destroy the world any more of sorrow and amazement could give leave with water : but it was a bow which had for such a vent,) the smiting of the breast, fire in it, which signified God's anger, the wringing of the hands; to hear the and his intention to destroy London with sighs and groans, the doleful and weepfire.
ing speeches of the distressed citizens, Now the flames break in upon Corn- when they were bringing forth their hill, that large and spacious street, and wives, (some from their child-bed,) and quickly cross the way by the train of their little ones (some from their sickwood that lay in the streets untaken away, bed,) out of their houses, and sending which had been pulled down from houses them into the country, or somewhere into to prevent its spreading: and so they lick the fields with their goods. Now the the whole street as they go: they mount hopes of Loudon are gone, their heart is up to the top of the highest houses; they sunk; now there is a general remove in descend down to the bottom of the lowest the city, and that in a greater hurry than vaults and cellars; and march along on before the plague, their goods being in both sides of the way, with such a roaring greater danger by the fire than their pernoise, as never was heard in the city of sons were by the sickness. Scarcely are London; no stately building so great as some returned, but they must remove to resist their fury: the Royal Exchange again, and, not as before, now without itself, the glory of the merchants, is now any more hopes of ever returning and invaded with much violence; and wien living in those houses any more. once the fire was entered, how quickly Now carts, and drays, and coaches, and did it run round the galleries, filling them horses, as many as could have entrance with flames; then came down stairs, into the city, were loaden, and any money compasseth the walks, giving forth flaming is given for help; 5l. 101. 201. 301. for å volleys, and filleth the court with sheets cart, to bear forth into the fields some of fire : by-and-by down fall all the kings choice things, which were ready to be upon their faces, and the greatest part of consumed; and some of the carmen had the stone-building after them, (the foun. the conscience to accept of the highest der's statue only remaining,) with such a price, which the citizens did theu offer in noise as was dreadful and astonishing. their extremity; I am mistaken if such
Then, then the city did shake indeed; money do not burn worse than the fire and the inhabitants did tremble, and flew out of which it was raked. Now casks of away in great amazement from their wine, and oil, and other commodities, are houses, lest the flames should devour tumbled along, and the owners shove as them ; rattle, rattle, rattle, was the noise much of their goods as they can towards which the fire struck upon the ear round the gate : every one now becomes a poner about, as if there had been a thousand to himself, and scarcely a back either of iron chariots beating upon the stones : man or woman, that hath strength, but and if you opened your eye to the opening had a burden on it in the streets : it was of the streets, where the fire was come, very sad to see such throngs of poor citi. you might see, in some places, whole zens coming in and going forth from the streets at once in flames, that issued forth unburnt parts, heavy laden with some as if they had been so many great forges, pieces of their goods, but more heavy from the opposite windows, which folding laden with weighty grief and sorty of together, were united into one great flame heart, so that it is wonderful they did not throughout the whole street; and then quite sink under these burdens. you might see the houses tumble, tumble, Monday night was a dreadful night: tumble, from one end of the street to the when the wings of the night had shadowed other, with a great crash, leaving the the light of the heavenly bodies, there was foundations open to the view of the no darkness of night in London, for the heavens.
fire shines now round about with a fearful Now fearfulness and terror doth sur- blaze, which yieldeth such light in the prise the citizens of London; confusion streets, as it had been the sun at noon
day. Now the fire having wrought back- break through into Faith church underward strangely against the wind, to Bil- neath; now great flakes of stone scale and mgsgate, &c., along Thames-street, east- peel off strangely from the side of the ward, runs up the hill to Tower-street, walls; the conqueror having got this high and having marched on from Gracechurch- fort, darts its flames round about. Now street, making further progress in Fen- Paternoster-row, Newgate-market, the church-street, and having spread its wing Old Bailey, and Ludgate-hill, have subdeyond Queenhithe, in Thames-street, mitted themselves to the devouring fire, westward, mounts up from the water-side, which with wonderful speed rusheth down through Dowgate, and Old Fish-street, the hill into Fleet-street. Now Cheapside .nto Watling-street : but the great fury of fire marcheth along Ironmonger-lane, Old the fire was in the broader streets; in the Jewry, Lawrence-lane, Milk-street, Woodmidst of the night it was come down street, Gutter-lane, Foster-lane. Now it Cornhill, and laid it in the dust, and runs runs along Lothbury, Cateaton-street, &c. along by the Stocks, and there meets with From Newgate-market, it assaults Christanother fire, which came down Thread- church, and conquers that great building, needle-street; a little further with an- and burns through Martin's-lane towards other, which came up from Wallbrook; a Aldersgate, and all about so furiously, as little further with another, which comes if it would not leave a house standing up from Bucklersbury; and, all these four, upon the ground. joining together, break into one great Now horrible flakes of fire mount up flame at the corner of Cheapside, with the sky, and the yellow smoke of London such a dazzling light, and burning heat, ascendeth up towards heaven, like the and roaring noise, by the fall of so many smoke of a great furnace; a smoke so houses together, that was very amazıng'; great, as darkened the sun at noonday: and though it were something stopt in its (if at any time the sun peeped forth, it swift course at Mercers'-chapel
, yet with looked red like blood :) the cloud of great force in a while it conquers the smoke was so great, that travellers did place, and burns through it; and then, ride at noonday, some miles together, in with great rage, proceedeth forward in the shadow thereof, though there were no Cheapside.
other cloud beside to be seen in the sky. On Tuesday (the 4th,) was the fire burn- And if Monday night was dreadful, ing up the very bowels of London; Cheap- Tuesday night was more dreadful, when side is all in a light, (fire in a few hours far the greatest part of the city was contime,) many fires meeting there, as in the sumed: many thousands who on Saturcentre; from Soper-lane, Bow-lane, Bread- day had houses convenient in the city, street, Friday-street, and Old Change, the both for themselves, and to entertain fire comes up almost together, and breaks others, now have not where to lay their furiously into the Broad-street, and most head; and the fields are the only recepof that side of the way was together in tacle which they can find for themselves flames, a dreadful spectacle; and then, and their goods; most of the late inpartly by the fire which came down by habitants of London lie all night in the Mercers'-chapel, partly by the fall of the open air, with no other canopy over them bouses cross the way, the other side is but that of the heavens: the fire is still quickly kindled, and doth not stand long making towards them, and threateneth after it. Now the fire gets into Black- the suburbs ; it was amazing to see how friars, and so continues its course by the it had spread itself several times in comwater, and makes up towards Paul's pass; and, amongst other things that church, on that side, and Cheapside fire night, the sight of Guildhall was a fearful besets the great building on this side, spectacle, which stood the whole body of and the church, though all of stone out- it together in view, for several hours toward, though naked of houses about it, gether, after the fire had taken it, without and though so high above all buildings in flames, (I suppose because the timber was the city, yet, within a while, doth yield to such solid oak,) in a bright shining coal, the violent assaults of the conquering as if it had been a palace of gold, or a flames, and strangely takes fire at the great building of burnished brass. top: now the lead melts and runs down, On Wednesday morning, (the 5th) when as if it had been snow before the sun; and people expected that the suburbs would the great beams and massy stones with a be burnt, as well as the city, and with great noise fall on the pavement, and speed were preparing their flight, as well as they could, with their luggage into the streets, 13,200 dwelling-houses, eighty countries, and neighbouring villages, then nine churches, (besides chapels,] four o the Lord hath pity on poor London ; his the city gates, Guildhall, many public bowels began to relent; his heart is turned structures, hospitals, schools, libraries, and within him, and he stays his rough wind a vast number of stately edifices. in the day of the east wind; his fury begins to be allayed; he hath a remnant of
The preceding relation by Thomas people in London, and there shall a rem- Vincent, with the philosophic Evelyn's, nant of houses escape: the wind now is will acquaint the reader with as much as husht; the commission of the fire is with- can here be told of the most direful visidrawing, and it burns so gently, even tations the metropolis ever suffered. Evewhere it meets with no opposition, that it lyn's account is in his “ Diary,” or “ Mewas not hard to be quenched, in many moirs” of himself, a manuscript which is places, with a few hands : now the citi- known to have been preserved from prozens begin to gather a little heart, and bable destruction by Mr. Upcott. encouragement in their endeavours to quench the fire. A check it had at
John Evelyn's Narrative. Leadenhall by that great building; a stop Sept. 2, 1666. This fatal night, about it had in Bishopsgate-street, Fenchurch- ten, began that deplorable fire near Fishstreet, Lime-street, Mark-lane, and to- streete in London. wards the Tower; one means, under God, Sept. 3. The fire continuing, after was the blowing up of houses with gun- dinner I took.coach with my wife and powder. Now it is stayed in Lothbury sonn, and went to the Bankside in SouthBroad-street, Coleman-street; towards the wark, where we beheld that dismal specgates it burnt, but not with any great tacle, the whole citty in dreadful flames violence; at the Temple also it is stayed, neare the water side; all the houses from and in Holborn, where it had got no great the bridge, all Thames-street, and upfooting; and when once the fire was got wards towards Cheapeside downe to the under, it was kept under, and on Thurs- Three Cranes, were now consum'd. day the flames were extinguished.
The fire having continu'd all this night But on Wednesday night, when the (if I may call that night which was as people, late of London, now of the fields, light as 'day for ten miles round about, hoped to get a little rest on the ground, after a dreadful manner,) when conspiring where they had spread their beds, a more with a fierce eastern wind in a very drie dreadful fear falls upon them than they season: I went on foote to the same had before, through a rumour that the place, and saw the whole south part of French were coming armed against them the citty burning from Cheapeside to the to cut their throats, and spoil them of what Thames, and all along Cornehill
, (for it they had saved out of the fire: they were kindld back against the wind as well as now naked and weak, and in ill condition forward,)Tower-streete, Fenchurch-streete, to defend themselves, and the hearts, es- Gracious-streete, and 'so along to Baipecially of the females, do quake and nard's-castle, and was now taking hold of tremble, and are ready die within St. Paule's church, to which the scaffolds them; yet many citizens, having lost their contributed exceedingly. The conflagra. houses, and almost all that they had, are tion was so universal, and the people so fired with rage and fury: and they begin astonishd, that from the beginning, I to stir up themselves like lions, or like know not by what despondency or fate
, bears bereaved of their whelps, and now they hardly stirr’d to quench it
, so that “ Arm! Arm!” doth resound the fields there was nothing heard or seene but and suburbs with a dreadful voice. We crying out and lamentation, running about may guess at the distress and perplexity of like distracted creatures, without at all the people this night, which was some- attempting to save even their goods
, such thing alleviated when the falseness of the
a strange consternation there was upon alarm was perceived.
them, so as it burned both in breadth and The ruins of the city were 396 acres; length, the churches, publiq halls, es: (viz. 333 acres within the walls, and 63 change, hospitals, monuments
, and orna: in the liberties of the city,) of the six and ments, leaping after a prodigious twenty wards, it utterly destroyed fif- from house to house and streete to streele, teen, and left eight others shattered, at greate distances one from the other, and half burnt ; and it consumed 400 for
the heate with a long eet of faire and
warme weather, had even ignited the air, quenching of Fetter-lane end, to preserve and prepar'd the materials to conceive if possible that part of Holborn, while the fire which devour'd after an incredible the rest of the gentlemen tooke their semanner, houses, furniture, and every veral posts (for now they began to bestir thing. Here we saw the Thames cover'd themselves, and not till now, who hitherto with goods floating, all tne parges and had stood as men intoxicated, with their boates laden with what some had time hands acrosse), and began to consider and courage to save, as, on the other, the that nothing was likely to put a stop but carts, &c. carrying out to the fields, which the blowing ap of so many houses as for many miles were strew'd with move- might make a wider
had ables of all sorts, and tents erecting to yet ben made by the ordinary method of shelter both people and what goods they pulling them down with engines; this could get away. Oh, the miserable and some stout seamen propos'a early enough calamitous spectacle! such as haply the to have sav'd neare the whole citty, but world had not seene the like since the this some tenacious and avaritious men, foundation of it, nor to be outdone till aldermen, &c. would not permit, because the universal conflagration. All the skie their bouses must have ben of the first. was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a It was therefore now commanded to be burning oven, the light seene above forty practic'd, and my concern being particumiles round about for many nights. God farly for the hospital of St. Bartholomew grant my eyes may never behold the like, neere Smithfield, where I had many now seeing above 10,000 houses all in one wounded and sick men, made me the fame; the noise and cracking and thun- more diligent to promote it, nor was my der of the impetuous flames, the shrieking care for the Savoy lesse. It now pleas'a of women and children, the hurry of peo- God by abating the wind, and by the inple, the fall of towers, houses, and dustry of the people, infusing a new spichurches, was like an hideous storme, and rit into them, that the fury of it began the aire all about so hot and inflam'd that sensibly to abate about noone, so as it at last one was not able to approach it, came no farther than the Temple westso that they were forc'd to stand still and ward, nor than the entrance of Smithfield let the flames burn on, which they did for north ; but continu'd all this day and peere two miles in length and one in night so impetuous towards Cripplegate breadth. The clouds of smoke were dis- and the Tower, as made us all despaire : mall, and reach'd upon computation neer it also broke out againe in the Temple, fifty miles in length. Thus I left it this but the courage of the multitude persistafternoone burning, a resemblance of ing, and many houses being blown up, Sodom, or the last day. London was, such gaps and desolations were soone but is no more!
made, as with the former three days' conSept. 4. The burning still rages, and sumption, the back fire did not so veheit was now gotten as far as the Inner mently urge upon the rest as formerly. Temple, all Fleete-streete, the Old Bailey, There was yet no standing neere the Ludgate-hill
, Warwick-lane, Newgate, burning and glowing ruines by neere a Paul's Chain, Watling-streete, now flam- furlong's space. ing, and most of it reduc'd to ashes; the The poore inhabitants were dispers'd stones of Paules flew like granados, the about St. George's Fields, and Mooremelting lead running downe the streetes fields, as far as Highgate, and severall in a streame, and the very pavements miles in circle, some under tents, some glowing with fiery rednesse, so as no under miserable huts and hovells, many horse nor man was able to tread on them, without a rag or any necessary utensills, and the demolition had stopp'd all the bed or board, who from delicatenesse, passages, so that no help could be ap- riches, and easy accommodations in stateplied. The eastern wind still more im- ly and well furnish'd houses, were now petuously drove the flames forward. reduc'd to extreamest misery and poverty: Nothing but the Almighty power of God In this calamitous condition I return'd was able to stop them, for vaine was the with a sad heart to my house, blessing help of man.
and adoring the mercy of God to me and Sept. 5. It crossed towards White- mine, who in the midst of all this ruine hall; Oh, the confusion there was then at was like Lot, in my little Zoar, safe and that couri ! it pleased his majesty to com- sound. inand me among the rest to looke after the · Sept 7. I went this morning on foote