Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1

Wilkinson, Robert


Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765.

Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765.


of the most fatal conflagrations which have occurred in London since the entire destruction of the City, have broken out within a very short distance of each other; the devastation of the continuing, as it were, the ravages of the . Of the former of these some account is given in the note beneath,[a]  and the latter is the subject of the present pages; while the annexed Plate, originally published within a few days after the melancholy event,[b]  exhibits the spot where it began and the extent of its destruction.

This terrific Fire broke out soon after o'clock in the morning of Thursday, , at the house of William Rutland, Peruke-maker, marked A on the Plan, situate the building on the east side of Within, opposite the White Lion Tavern. At this time the wind was high in the south-west, and the flames soon spread across the way, and set fire to the residence of Mrs. Thomson, a milliner; and as it was some time before assistance could be procured, they extended to the corner house kept by Burkuit Fenn, a hosier, whence the other angles of , Grace , and , soon caught the blaze, and were all on fire at the same time. The turncock had been summoned immediately on the alarm, but after having turned off the water in , in order to make it flow higher in , the streets being then supplied by main,—he found that the pipes in had been already cut open by the crowd, and that none would rise at the plug where it would have been most serviceable.[c]  There was also some delay in the arrival of the office fire engines; the want of which was at supplied by a large belonging to Mr. Ephraim Brookes, of Long-Acre, which had been sent to Grocers' Hall in the Poultry, until he completed for the Company. This was of the earliest at the spot, and was ordered thither by the Lord Mayor, who sent his own horses to fetch it, immediately on being informed of the fire. It is represented in the papers of the time as having been greatly instrumental in checking the progress of the flames: which is corroborated by a subsequent public advertisement of thanks from the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.[d]  The fire, however, continued still to spread in the most alarming manner. It soon reached the Church of St. Martin Outwich, at the corner of , the interior, and much of the walls of which it destroyed; and wholly consumed the steeple, whence the great bell fell down with a prodigious noise. The south and east sides of Merchant-Taylors' Hall also caught fire, and the whole building was saved with great difficulty; but about in the morning, the wind shifted to the west, and drove the flames back from the part where they were then raging, otherwise the whole of Great St. Helen's must have been destroyed, and their course was changed to the north side of , in which upwards of houses were consumed. At o'clock several parties of guards arrived from the Tower, and soon after Sir William Stephenson, the Lord Mayor, who gave orders for lodging such goods as could be saved in the , and was otherwise particularly active in affording assistance. From the advertisements of the several sufferers and others, which were published immediately after the fire, it appears that much energetic aid was given to them all, and that many of their goods were saved; but the loss was still immense, and, from the rapidity of the flames, numbers escaped with little more than their lives. The accidents, both at the fire itself and subsequently in the ruins, were very melancholy and numerous, but several of those at related in the newspapers of the time


were afterwards contradicted;[a]  and notwithstanding the many reports of loss of life during the conflagration, they generally were believed to be all uutrue. The fire continued to rage with fury until after o'clock at noon on Thursday, but was at length stopped in , at the house of Mr. Nesbit, a merchant, and at the Rectory, nearly opposite; at in ; at the old edifice of Leaden-Hall; and at the eastern side of the Black Bull Inn, . In the alarm it was computed that about an houses were consumed, which, however, afterwards proved to be , or under; though the claim on the Sun Fire Office alone amounted to . When an accurate return was capable of being made, the best account of the entire destruction was found to be as follows.[b] , , houses burned:—William Rutland, Peruke-maker and Hair-dresser, where the fire originally broke out;—Marjerum, Tinman; houses up Black Lion Court, viz. Butler, Parish Clerk,—How, Hair-dresser, &c.—Jarvis, of the Black Lion; John Merry, Stationer;—Clements, Tallow-chandler;—William Cam, Silkman; Deputy Thomas Long, Packer; John Long, Sugar-broker; James Higginbotham, Glass and China-seller; and Messrs. Draper and Coxeter, Milliners; in addition to which the houses of Crips, Perukemaker, and Kingsley, Attorney, were very considerably damaged.—On the of houses were destroyed, a part of only, the parsonage, in the occupation of the Rev. Mr. Fayting, being left standing; Mrs. Mottershead, Beer-warehouse; Messrs. Cooper and Ward, Packers; Messrs. Holt and Edwards, Milliners; Benjamin Finch, Merchant; William Guy, Gunsmith; William Reeves, Academy; Mary Huddlestone, at the Wheatsheaf, Milliner; Messrs. Le Gros and Le Cras, Merchants; Josiah Hoskins, Ironmonger; Messrs. Burdon and Vasten, Tobacconists; The White Lion Tavern; Mrs. Thompson, Milliner; Burkuit Fenn, Hosier.—On the of houses were destroyed:—Thomas Malleson, at the Golden Cup, Goldsmith, Jeweller, and Toyman; Richard and Joseph Cleaver, at the Fleece and Woolpack, Woollen-drapers; Messrs. Kemp and Button, Cabinet-Makers; Mrs. Cripps; William Shapley, at the Crown and Cushion, Upholder and Cabinet-maker; Joseph Vaux, Haberdasher and Weaver, at the Packhorse and Star, and houses in ; Dr. John Silvester, Messrs. Nail and Son, Tailors, where suits of clothes were consumed,[c]  Messrs. Abraham Spalding and Brander, Merchants, and Thomas Lamb, Stationer. There were also houses considerably damaged on the North side of , those of Henry Pyefinch, Optician, the corner of , Messrs. Whiteside and Co. Attorneys, in the same Court, and Pinder, Linen-draper, in ; but the destruction of this part may be better imagined from the circumstance, that within a week after the fire, a considerable number of labourers was employed in clearing a highway from , , to the Bull Inn, ; the passage being opened for carriages on the morning of Friday the .[d] —On the of there were not any buildings entirely destroyed, though several were damaged, both by the engines and the fire itself: but the morning after, William Angel, Pastry-cook at the corner, advertised that his house was only slightly damaged, though reported to have been burned down, and requests the orders of his friends and the public as usual. Mary Shard and Sarah James, Fan-makers, under , also announce their escape; but Messrs. Cogan and Palmer, at the next door westward, removed until their house was repaired, and returned again on the .[e] —In on the were houses destroyed:—John Hardy, Hardwareman, at the corner house; Thomas Hanson, Glover, at the Crown and Glove; Willot, Linen Draper, Nicolas Farmborough, at Eating-house; William Thornton, at the Nag's Head Tavern; John Merryman, Trunk-maker; Messrs. Treadway and Bailey, Glovers, and William Mace, Slopseller. The Bull Inn was also very much damaged, with the houses of Margaret Grant, Brush-maker and Turner, at the eastern corner. On the of , the corner house belonging to Robert Warham and John Cartwright, Pastry Cooks, was destroyed; and that of David Court, Haberdasher and Milliner, at the Lamb and Sun, was much damaged, with all the other buildings up to Leadenhall gate.—At the Northern extremity of the fire in , were damaged or destroyed the premises of James Spence, Hair Merchant; Archer, Goldsmith; Messrs. Lydell and Medcalf, Attorneys; part of the kitchens, &c. of Merchant Taylors' Hall;[f]  and much of the Church of St. Martin Outwich.—At the Southern extremity of the conflagration in , the premises of Messrs. Gilman and Allen, Grocers, at the Grasshopper and Coffee-Mill; William Wallis at the Star, and some others appear to have suffered more or less.[g]  To provide an immediate, though temporary, shelter for the very numerous persons thus expelled from their houses, Deputy Ellis procured them the use of the area and several of the upper apartments of the , in consequence of which there was no change held on the day succeeding the fire,[h]  and on the it was advertised that unowned goods would be received into Merchant-Taylors' Hall.[i]  A Mr. George Morris, also, a Surgeon in , gave public notice that he held distinct empty rooms, at Mr. Carmichael's facing , until Christmas, which any of the sufferers were welcome to use for counting-houses, or other light employments, rent free. The publisher of the Public Ledger, Whiston Bristow, at the west end of Yard, likewise advertised that any single gentleman who had been burned out might be accommodated with the use of a small dining-room and bed-chamber, either for a continuance, or until he could provide himself more to his liking.[k]  In consequence of this and other prompt assistance, even so early as the , advertisements appeared from several of those who had been burned out, returning thanks for the exertions of their friends, enquiring after any goods which might have been saved and taken away, and mentioning the


places whither they had removed,[a]  or where they were carrying on their trades. In little more than a week after the fire several of those who had suffered the least damage had returned to their dwellings.[b]  The original cause of this conflagration was of course variously stated. It was asserted by some that the workshop of Marjerum, the tinman, on the east side of , was immediately under the house of Rutland where the flames broke out; and that the workmen in the former sat up very late on the night of the fire, having an order to complete which required great expedition, during which time a boy going to a jar for a supply of oil for their lamps let the snuff of a candle fall into it.[c]  From the remarkable coincidence, however, that the fire in of and the present, both began at a peruke-maker's, the most general report attributed its commencement to Rutland's own house; where it was affirmed the boy was sitting late to let in a lodger, and falling asleep, the light caught some of the wig-boxes and rapidly spread from the combustible nature of the surrounding articles. This very general belief occasioned some strong remarks in the public prints on the danger of permitting hair-dressers to have their apprentices sleep in their shops, and it especially appears to have excited so hostile a feeling against Rutland himself, that the of Friday, , contains his declaration of the mischief done to him by the report, and his entire ignorance of the place or manner in which the fire began.[d]  The assistance rendered during the conflagration was not more prompt than the liberal subscription which immediately followed it. Of this the notice appear in , from Friday, , to Monday, , pages , , where it is stated that a collection is already begun in several parishes in the City, for the benefit of the sufferers; that the Ironmongers' Company had ordered to be given for their relief; and that the managers of both Theatres had generously resolved each to contribute a benefit play. The same paper from Monday, , to Friday , page , announces that the Deputy and Common Council of Ward collected on Monday in that Ward only: and that on the following evening Mr. George Alexander Stevens would exhibit his Lecture on Heads in aid of the same charitable purpose.[e]  The most munificent donation, however, came from the Sovereign, the particulars of which are related in the same paper, page . The great fire in of happened in the Mayoralty of Sir Robert Ladbroke, to whom King George II. was graciously pleased to send, ordering to be paid towards the relief of the various sufferers, in such a manner as the Lord Mayor should think proper. After the fire of Sir Robert mentioned this act of royal benevolence to some of his friends, and the circumstances fortunately reached the Most Hon. the Marquis of Rockingham, who immediately acquainted his Majesty with it, in consequence of which Alderman Ladbroke and the late Lord Mayor received a message from the Minister requesting an interview. They attended him accordingly, and the former being asked to whom it would be proper to pay a donation for the benefit of the sufferers by the week's fire, answered to Sir William Stephenson, as it


happened during his Mayoralty. Lord Rockingham then stated that his Majesty, after the example of his Royal grandfather, had ordered to be applied to that purpose, and gave directions for paying it accordingly.[a] — With these notices appeared the following announcement of a general subscription in the and of Saturday, , and Monday .

To all the charitable and humane. Whereas by the late Fire in

Bishopsgate Street


Gracechurch Street


Leadenhall Street

, and


, on Thursday last, several families and Persons are in the utmost distress, and from its rapidity many have lost their all,—it is to be hoped, from the experienced humanity of the Nobility, the Public Companies, Merchants and others, in the Cities of London and


, that they will contribute to the present relief; a Subscription being opened for that purpose at Messrs. Lee and Ayton's, and at Messrs. Boldero, Kendall, and Adey's, Bankers, in

Lombard Street

; Sir George Amyand and Co's.; and Messrs. Welch and Rogers,


; Messrs. Pewtress and Robarts, and Martin and Co. Bankers in

Lombard Street

; where accounts of the several subscribers and their respective subscriptions will be kept. N.B. A committee from the subscribers will be elected to receive the applications, and order the distributions.—The Proprietors of the Public Ledger beg leave to inform the gentlemen concerned in the above laudable and benevolent scheme, that this paper is at their service,


, for the insertion of all such advertisements, paragraphs, &c. as they shall think proper to send to this paper; which will always be immediately inserted, with the same punctuality as was some time ago observed on a like melancholy occasion at



[b] —The same paper for Thursday, , calls the meeting of the several subscribers, and Bankers who had received subscriptions, for the evening of the next day, at o'clock, at the King's Arms in ; to elect a committee to receive the accounts of the respective sufferers, and to examine the same, that a speedy distribution might be made to all such as should be deemed proper objects. After this arrangement, on Monday, , and Friday , the committee announced that it would sit again on that day, at o'clock, and every afternoon during the week, at Merchant Taylors' Hall, to receive the accounts of such persons as had sustained any damage by the fire, and were desirous of taking any benefit from the subscription. The advertisement added farther that

all subscribers, either in partnership or otherwise, who have, or shall hereafter, subscribe


guineas or upwards, are appointed to be of the committee:

all accounts or claims for losses were to be delivered to this committee on or before Saturday, . Of this subscription some of the other principal donations were the following. , The Lord Chancellor[c]  (Lord Henley) ; George Nelson, Esq., the new Lord Mayor, , and the promise of more if it should be required; the Grocers' Company , and a similar promise procured by Deputy Long;[d]  the Armourers' Company, The Society of Quakers out of their grand fund, [e]  On Monday, , the committee announced that having received returns of the subscriptions paid to the bankers, and having examined into the losses and claims of the sufferers, it was found that there was already collected considerably more than would be required for their relief; and it was probably this circumstance which prevented the intended benefits at the Theatres Royal, the Opera House, and Ranelagh.[f]  The whole loss by this fire, however, was computed to amount to and the subscription to about but the greater number of the persons who suffered by it were of a station of life which would not permit them to receive any other compensation than that paid by the insurance-offices. As the assistance given to those burned out by the fire of had been made most ungenerously notorious, it is probable also that on that account many declined of accepting relief; but even the very limited notice of the subscription and distribution of , inserted in the of , occasioned the publication of some severe remarks on the proceedings of the committee for conducting them in another paper.[g]  That distribution took place at Merchant Taylors' Hall, on , , and , at o'clock in the afternoon.[h]  From the time that the flames of the conflagration were actually extinguished, a strong belief seems generally to have prevailed that some individuals had been buried beneath the ruins of the fallen houses, and


even long afterwards remained living there. This belief probably arose from a statement in the of Tuesday, , that yesterday men were taken alive out of the ruins of the White Lion Tavern in . They went down to secure them when the house took fire on Thursday morning, and soon after the building fell in upon them. The day following some gentlemen informed the Lord Mayor that there was reason for suspecting that others lay beneath the ruins; on which he sent Cook, the City-Marshal, with them, to prevent strangers approaching the place, and to direct the workmen to make the strictest search around the supposed spot: but after unceasing digging there from about noon until at night, there appeared no cause for their suspicion. Other persons, however, still remained doubtful, and again applied to the Lord Mayor on the subject, stating that they believed they could even hear sounds and knocking under the ruins; on which he again sent the City-Marshal to order a farther search, which has continued in his presence during the whole night in vain. To give complete public satisfaction a reward of was then offered to any person who should discover any human being alive under the ruins.[a]  The of , page , nevertheless contains an extraordinary narrative, that

yesterday afternoon as a person was standing upon the ruins where the White Lion Tavern stood, he heard a noise beneath him which he imagined might proceed from some persons in the vaults lately belonging to the said tavern; and immediately several people were employed to clear away the rubbish: when to their great surprise there were dug out


men and a woman, a dog, and


cats, alive. The men and woman had subsisted by drinking cherry-brandy; but it is thought that the woman cannot survive, being extremely weak.

Though this story were positively denied in of to , page , it was repeated with many variations; of which makes the event to have taken place the day after the fire, and adds to the persons saved other women, and a child of years old.[b]  These reports, however, produced the order mentioned in the of , page , that the workmen employed in clearing away the rubbish should use the greatest despatch in breaking into all vaults and cellars, to release any unfortunate persons who might still continue in them alive.[c]  The deficiency of water at the commencement of this fire, and the fearful rapidity with which the flames spread, were the cause of several schemes being projected for the better supply and protection of London upon such occasions, and of some prudent regulations being adopted and published. The principal of the former was a proposal by Mr. Thomas Long, a merchant, who addressed a memorial to the Corporation, for the remainder of the then existing lease of years and a half, of the unoccupied ground call Upper and Middle Mutton Fields, or more commonly Upper and Middle , belonging to the City, for the erection of houses, and a reservoir of water to supply London in case of fire. The Rev. Christopher Wilson, D.D., Prebend of Finsbury, had already agreed to grant a lease to Mr. Long; but his memorial was rejected by the Court of Common Council on Wednesday, , the same day that it was presented.[d]  Another design was that proposed by Mr. Yoeman for improving the distribution of the waters of the River Lea, so as to require only a part of the quantity then used for its navigation and mills, leaving the remainder to be employed for other purposes or retained in a reservoir.[e]  In the of Thursday, , is a letter signed W. Efford, stating that since the preceding Christmas houses had been burned in London, partly from the deficient supply of water; when perhaps an part of their value, or about would have paid for bringing a branch of the river Coln to the City to a reservoir. It is added, that about years previous, a scheme was proposed to erect such a reservoir in Upper . A design for a similar reservoir, to be built on Upper Windmill-hill, , high enough to throw the water up to the highest street in London, is brought forward in the of Saturday, .

As the great cross formed by the streets where this fire took place, was in the and centuries distinguished by a stone conduit standing in the centre, so it was proposed in the same paper for Thursday, , that a grand pillar should be erected on the same spot, as a columna milliaria or standard for measuring distances out from London. Another notice of an improvement in the rebuilding is contained in the , to , where it is stated, that

a scheme is on foot for building on the ground where the late fire happened in

Bishopsgate Street

, &c. upon a plan of forming the same into


fine open streets, on the east and west sides of

Bishopsgate Street

; which will be more advantageous to the promoters and neighbours in general, and will not interfere with the rebuilding the present main streets, excepting that the openings at the ends of the new streets, and the new buildings at each side of the south end of

Bishopsgate Street

, and the north side of

Leadenhall Street

, will be farther back: and it is also

proposed that all the inhabitants who have had the misfortune to be burned out, shall have the preference of others in having any lot they shall select.

The of to , states that

this week the Grocers' Company let upon a building lease a piece of the vacant ground near

Sun Court



, part of the late ruins, which is


feet in front, at



per foot; the buyer to lay out



in building a house thereon.

As the Great Fire of London stopped short of this spot, in , many of the houses remained specimens of the ancient and irregular buildings of the City; but after the destruction above described. they were replaced by the present lines of handsome residences. of the largest buildings destroyed was the White Lion Tavern, for which between and had been paid only the evening before: it appears to have been a large mansion with a garden, as delineated in the older plans, and formerly occupied by Sir Samuel Barnardiston. Upon or near the site of this building, was erected that spacious and stately house of entertainment, the London Tavern.


[a] The conflagration referred to above broke out about 1 o'clock in the morning of Friday, March 25th, 1748, at the house of Mr. Eldridge, a peruke-maker in 'Change Alley, and burned with the greatest fury for ten hours. It spread in three different directions, communicating chiefly by the tops of the houses over the party-walls; and thus consumed almost all the buildings in the Alley itself, Birchin Lane, and thence along the stately line of houses in Cornhill, about twenty in number, to George Yard and St. Michael's Alley : including several eminent Coffee-houses and Taverns, five booksellers, and many other valuable shops; though there were fifty engines at the fire, and a good supply of water. By the care and activity of the Lord Mayor and several other Magistrates who were present, the diligence and dexterity of the firemen and officers, and the assistance of the foot-guards from the Tower and St. James's,—the greater part of the most valuable effects of the sufferers was preserved: and the wind also being south-south-west, the houses of the bankers in Lombard Street were saved, and the only public office destroyed was that of the London Assurance; from which, however, there was time sufficient to remove the goods. The houses burned down were at first estimated at 160, but were subsequently found to be only about 80; the principal being Garraway's, the Jerusalem, and Jonathan's, Coffee-houses; the residence of Mr. Young, a woollen-draper, and the whole of Change Alley, excepting Baker's and Sams's Coffee houses, which were greatly damaged. In Cornhill were destroyed the shops and dwellings of Messrs. Astley, Meadows, Strahan, Walthoe and Brotherton, booksellers; Deputy Cleve, pewterer; Warner, stationer ; Tom's and the Rainbow Coffee-houses; the Fleece and the Three Tuns Taverns, with a milliner's next door to the latter; a cabinet-maker's, and Legg's a woollen draper's, at the two corners of Birchin Lane; those of a shoemaker and woollen-draper adjoining; the Widow Harrison; Mr. Vaughan, haberdasher; and Mrs. Sarrazin, at the corner of St. Michael's Alley. In St. Michael's Alley itself, were burned Knight's shoe-warehouse; the Cock and Lion Public-house; and the houses of Guyther, a peruke maker, and Olde's a saddler: the Jamaica Coffee-House, and St. Michael's Church were only slightly damaged. In Castle Court, and White Lion Court, Birchin Lane, all the buildings were consumed; the back part of the George and Vulture Tavern, Helford's Coffee house, and the dwelling of Willmore, a hosier, in George Yard, with considerable damage to others in the same place. Cole's, the Pensylvania, the Marine, the Sword-blade, and the Carolina and Georgia Coffee houses, the houses of Shaw, a shoemaker, Wilson, a stationer, and all the others in Birchin Lane, excepting only eight towards Lombard Street.—Mr. Eldridge, his wife, and two daughters, perished in the flames, his two apprentices and maid-servant only escaping; whilst Mr. Cooke, a merchant, who lodged in the house, broke his back in leaping from the second story window, and died soon after.—A public subscription was opened for the sufferers by this fire, for which by April 11th, 3320l. had been collected; the claims for relief, however, then amounted to 8000l. and the subscription was continued. The payments were, the whole sum to those whose claims did not exceed 20l., and half to those whose losses were above. To this subscription the King gave 1000l. ; the Prince of Wales, 200l. ; the Princess of Wales, 100l. ; the Princesses Amelia and Carolina, 100l,; the Lord Chancellor, 50l.; the Duke of Bedford, the Bishops of London and Salisbury, and many other 50l. each; the Skinners' and Goldsmiths' Companies 50l. each ; a benefit at Drury Lane Theatre, being all the money taken at the doors at a performance of King Lear, 208l. 1s. ; a benefit-concert at the Opera House, 300l. ; a benefit of Covent Garden Theatre, April 6th, 218l. 12s. 4d.; a donation from a Company of Comedians at Norwich, 20l. The King's taxes, also, to the amount of 300l. per annum, were taken from the Ward of Cornhill, and laid on that of Bishopsgate, and still continued to be paid by it even at the time of the great fire of November 1765, though the destroyed houses had been then recently rebuilt. Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Tuesd. Dec. 31st, 1765.—A large engraved plan of the destruction occasioned by this fire was published at the time, and a reduced copy of it will be found in the London Magazine for March, 1748, Vol. xvii. p. 139.

[b] This Day is Published, Price 6d. A correct Plan of all the Houses destroyed and damaged by the Great Fire which began in Bishopsgate Street on Thursday, Nov. 7th, 1765. Printed for W. Nicoll, in St. Paul's Church Yard and T. Jefferys at Charing Cross: and sold by all Printsellers in London and Westminster. Lloyd's Evening Post, and British Chronicle, from Wednesday, Nov. 20th to Frid. 23rd. Another survey of the ruins is entitled a Plan of part of the City of London from the Bank to Leadenhall Street, including the houses destroyed and damaged at the late Fire: half-sheet with letter-press beneath List of the Sufferers. London. Printed by John Ryall, at Hogarth's Head in Fleet Street. A reduced copy of this latter print is in the London Magazine for Nov. 1765, Vol. xxxiv. p. 553.

[c] Lloyd's Evening Post, Mond. Nov. 11th, to Wednesd. 13th, p. 470.—Public Ledger, Saturd. Nov. 16th.

[d] Lloyd's Evening Post, Wednesd. Nov. 6th to 8th, p. 455. Gazetteer, Frid. Nov. 13th.

[a] The most fatal and remarkable of these accidents was the following, related in the London Chronicle from Saturday Dec. 7th to Tuesday 10th, p. 556. About a quarter past three o'clock, on Monday afternoon, (9th,) a number of labourers employed by Mr. Wicks, a bricklayer, to clear away the rubbish from the ruins, were standing on the Western side of Bishopsgate Street, in a cellar at the spot whereon the house of Mr. John Burdon, tobacconist, formerly stood; when a large stack of chimneys behind suddenly fell down upon them. Not only almost all the labourers were killed, but as many of the bricks fell quite across the street, several persons passing by were severely wounded. Eight bodies were carried into the Church of Peter upon Cornhill, including those of a female and Robert Clarkson, foreman to Mr. Burden, who attended the labourers to receive any of his employer's goods which might be found in the ruins. Three other persons were carried to the hospital with broken limbs, and a passenger was taken back to his home in a similar state. During the removal of the bodies St. Peter's church-yard was crowded to excess, and many robberies were committed there. The compassion excited by this accident, was scarcely less than that occasioned by the fire itself: a liberal portion of the Lord Mayor's donation to the sufferers at the former, was ordered to be given to the widows and families of the persons killed in the ruins; and the money paid to the Jurors of Aldersgate and Cornhill Wards, for their sittings after Michaelmas term in the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall, amounting to 26l 16s. was also unanimously presented. Lloyd's Evening Post, Mond. Dec. 9th to 11th, p. 566, and Dec. 11th to 13th, p. 574. On December 10th the Court of Aldermen ordered the remaining stacks of chimneys in the ruins to be surveyed, when they were reported dangerous, and the day following they were all removed. Ibid.—Public Ledger, Frid. Dec. 13th.

[b] Public Advertiser, Frid. Nov. 8th; Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 6th to 8th, p. 455. Ibid. Nov. 8th to 11th, p. 457. Ibid. Nov. 13th to 15th, p. 478. St. James's Chronicle, or the British Evening Post, Tuesd. Nov. 5th to Thursd. 7th. Ibid. Nov. 7th to 9th.

[c] St. James's Chronicle, Thursd. Nov. 7th, to Sat. 9th.

[d] Lloyd's Evening Post, Wednesd. 13th to Frid. 15th, p. 478. Public Ledger, Frid. Nov. 15th, p. 1094.

[e] Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 8th to 11th, p. 456.—Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Mond. Nov. 11th.—Public Ledger, Nov. 11th.

[f] In the Public Ledger of Saturday, Nov. 9th, there is an official advertisement to the Livery of the Merchant Taylors' Company, stating that there can be no dinner at the Hall on Lord Mayor's Day, on account of the damage done to the same by the fire.

[g] Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Nov. 11th.

[h] Ibid. Friday, Nov. 8th.

[i] Public Ledger, Wednesd. Nov. 13th, p. 1086.

[k] Public Ledger, Nov. 9th, p. 1074. Ibid. Nov. 12th, p. 1082.

[a] Perhaps it is impossible to convey a more perfect conception of the complete dispersion of the inhabitants produced by this fire than that which may be derived from the following notices of their temporary residence. Public Ledger, Frid. Nov. 8th, Dr. Silvester, at Mrs. Loubier's, in Austin Friars; Le Gros and Le Cras, at Messrs. Butler and Manger's, Abchurch Lane; Burkuit Fenn, Boar's Head Court, Grace Church Street, Cogan and Palmer in a room adjoining the Royal Exchange Assurance Office; J. Vaux hopes this day to open a shop on the Royal Exchange, up the great staircase from Cornhill.—A large assortment of goods for mourning to be sold wholesale and retail very cheap. (At this time there was a general morning for the Duke of Cumberland, who died Oct. 31st. 1765.) Any haberdashery goods offered to be pawned or sold by suspected persons, are desired to be stopped, and give notice as above. Nov. 9th, T. Lamb, and Mrs. Crips, in Lombard Street, three doors from Birchin Lane; R. & J. Cleaver, at Butchers' Hall, Pudding Lane near the Monument; W. Shapley, at Mr. Carmichael's opposite the South Sea House in Bishopsgate Street. Nov. 11th, D. Court, to Mr. Cork's, opposite Jeffery's Square, St. Mary Axe; H. Pyefinch, Optician, to Mr. Jones, Linen Draper, opposite the East India House If any brass or lead tools, something like dishes or basons, should be offered to be sold or pawned, pray stop them, and give information as above. Gazetteer, Nov. 11th, J. Spence, at Mr. Longer's Brazier, Golden Lane, Barbican; Gillman and Allen, to James Allen's, Lombard Street; M. Huddleson, in a court opposite the Ship Tavern in Grace-Church Street; T. Malleson, to Edward Vaughan's Fan-warehouse, at the Golden Fan, St Michael's Alley, Cornhill; Nail and Son to Mr. Methold's, Billeter Square, Fen-Church Street, Nov. 12th, W. Mace, at Mr. Briggs', Pudding Lane; W. Thornton, opposite the East India Coffee House Leadenhall Street; Kemp and Button, Crooked Lane: a general list of the acknowledgements and temporary residences of the principal of those burned out also appears in the same paper. Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 11th to 13th, Warcham and Cartwright, orders to be sent to Mr. James Wareham, Stationer in Cornhill, or to Leather-sellers' Hall, Little St Helen's, Bishopsgate Street; Treadaway and Bailey, at Mr. Davis's, Cabinet Maker, the Corner of Gresham College, Bishopsgate Street, (the site of the present Excise Office); W. Reeves, from the Academy, at an apartment in Gresham College, will endeavour to be prepared to receive his pupils to pursue their studies on Monday next (Nov. 18th); the way to the office is up the stairs at the lower end of the piazza, next to the stable yard in Broad Street, Public Ledger, Nov. 14th, Nail and Son, in Basinghall Street, within two doors of Blackwell-Hall, near Cateaton Street. Gazetteer, Nov. 14th, J. Hardy, Birchin Lane; N. Farnborough, at Mr. Watt's, Butcher. Nicholas Lane; T. Hanson, opposite the Three Tuns, within Aldgate; Draper and Coxeter, on the Royal Exchange; Wareham and Cartwright, at the Three Anchors, corner of Abchurch Lane; Cooper and Ward, at Mr. Barnard's, Lime Street; T. & J. Long, No. 7, Brown's Buildings, St. Mary at Axe; J. Merriman, facing Mr. Barnsley's, Chemist, Leadenhall Street; J. Merry, Corner of Angel Court, Bishopsgate Street Within; Holt and Edwards, at Mr. Horncastle's, Copthall Court, Throgmorton Street; Mrs. Mottershed, at Mr. Dodson's, Threadneedle Street.

[b] Francis Kensall, of Leadenhall Street, returned, Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 11th to 13th, Cogan and Palmer of Cornhill, returned, Public Ledger, Nov. 13th, John Grantham, of Bishopsgate Street, returned, Gazetteer, Nov. 14th.

[c] Annual Register, 1765, Vol. viii. p. 144, (Chronicle).

[d] In Lloyd's Evening Post of Nov. 15th to 18th, p. 486, it is recommended that it should be made penal for hair-dressers to lodge their servants in their shops which have proved so combustible. The Public Ledger, of Friday, Nov. 15th, contains the following declaration. William Rutland, Peruke-maker and Hair-dresser, burned out from Bishopsgate Street, is removed into Finch Lane, the first door from Cornhill on the left hand; where he most humbly entreats the favours of his friends and customers. Whereas some evil-minded persons have currently and maliciously spread a report that I set fire to my house in Bishopsgate Street, giving out that I was not at home that night; the reason of which mistake, I suppose, might arise from the manner of my escape, and their not knowing that I had no part of the house in front over my shop. And as such a report has already so far prevailed as to hurt me in my character, and injure me in my business, it is therefore at the request of some of my fellowsufferers in the late dreadful fire, who have willingly subscribed their names, that, if called upon, they are ready to make an answer in my defence against such an aspersion. I therefore take this opportunity to inform the public that I am ready to make oath, before one or more magistrates, that I am totally ignorant, either in the whole, or in part, how, where, or after what manner, this unhappy accident began; for myself and wife made our escape out of a one pair of stairs window; my two 'prentices, maidservant, and two lodgers, made their escape over the tops of the houses; and all of us very narrowly escaped with our lives, but with the loss of my accompt-books. It is therefore hoped that this advertisement will be a sufficient satisfaction to all my customers and the public in general, that me and mine are in no ways concerned in so wicked and base an action, utterly abhorred and detested by us all. William Rutland. John Grantham, C. Thomson, John Merry, William Cannon.

[e] The following is a copy of the original advertisement of this performance, as it appeared in the Public Ledger of Thursday, Nov. 14th—For the Benefit of the Sufferers by the late Fire in Bishopsgate Street, &c. At Plaisterer's Hall, near Addle Street, Aldermanbury. This Evening, beginning exactly at six o'clock, Mr. George Alexander Stevens will deliver his Lecture upon Heads, complete: as never before exhibited. Divided into Five Parts. Tickets to be had at the Hall and the Guildhall Coffee-house. At the conclusion of the entertainment, the performer added the following address, which was published in Lloyd's Evening Post, of Wednesday, Nov. 13th to 15th. Ladies and Gentlemen. The Exhibitor takes the liberty to conclude the Lecture of this evening with an address to his audience on the occasion of this their meeting. How amiable must that assembly appear, which is formed for the relief of distress! It adds dignity to titles, and loveliness to beauty. The gate of wealth is too often barred against necessity; and whilst the rich are crowded with proffered services, who extends compassion's arm to the wretched? Behold here glorious examples! By such liberalities the so-lately-undone sufferers will, from the ruins of that dreadful conflagration, re-assume domestic happiness. What inexpressible satisfaction must they feel who bestow such felicity on their fellow-creatures? Even your enemies, when in captivity, were supported by your generosities! But it is not throughout Europe only that misfortune addresses you with supplications: from Canada affliction has implored your assistance. Thus we find that compassion and valour are twin-virtues; and the world acknowledges that the Courage of the English can be equalled only by English Humanity. The price of admission to this very popular Lecture was 3s.; and in Lloyd's Evening Post of Frid. Nov. 15th to 18th, p. 486, it is stated that on Saturday Mr. Stephens paid 15l. into Sir George Amyand's as the produce of this benefit

[a] The King's gift of 1000l. was paid to Sir William Stephenson on Monday last. Gazetteer and Daily Advertiser, Wednesd. Nov. 27th.

[b] This fire took place on Saturday, June 1st, 1765, at a Mast-yard in Prince's-street, near Rotherhithe Church, between 6 and 7 o'clock in the evening; and before its progress could be stopped, it destroyed 206 dwellings, besides warehouses and other buildings, according to the parish books, occupying a space of ground equal to the quarters of Moorfields. It reduced 240 families to the greatest distress, and consumed property to the amount of 2945l. 15s. 2d. The subscriptions for the sufferers was proceeding at the time of the above advertisement. The year 1765 had been also previously most fatally celebrated for conflagrations, as may be seen by the following notices of the principal. March 27th. The town of Creutzburg, in Germany, burned by the blowing up of the gunpowder of a boy at play. May 15th. Upwards of 60 houses, &c. destroyed in Narrow Street, Limehouse. May 19th. A dreadful fire at Montreal, in Canada, increased by a gale of wind, and want of engines, that it consumed 108 houses and property to the real amount of 87,780l. or 133,445l. 16s. 8d. in currency. There was in London a public subscription for these sufferers also, at the time of the appearance of the above advertisement. June 12th. 70 houses burned down at Heytesbury in Wilts. June 13th. A fire at a Livery-stable in Surrey-street in the Strand, which destroyed five horses, and five adjoining houses. June 22nd. A fire broke out in the sail-dock warehouse, at Gun-dock, Wapping, which in a short space of time consumed 30 dwellings, exclusive of warehouses, &c. June 25th. A fire at Ratcliff Cross; 11 houses destroyed, besides other buildings, and several damaged. July 14th. 400 houses burned at Bolebec in Normandy. July 31st. A petition presented from the Citizens of Königsburg, in Prussia, to the Corporation of London, for relief on account of a fire there which had destroyed property estimated to amount of 600,000l. August 21st. A fire at Honiton, in Devon, which in 8 hours consumed 14 houses and a chapel, the clergyman of which was burned to death. Aug. 23rd, 25th. Two fires at Constantinople ; the former of which burned 15 houses. Aug. 24th, 25th. 153 houses consumed at Murhard in Germany. Sept. 10th. A fire at a Linen-drapers shop in Cheapside, which burned down several large houses, and destroyed considerable property within them. Oct. 18th to 21st. The town of Calmar, in Sweden burned, containing 160 houses.—In the London Chronicle of Nov. 16th to 19th, p. 484, it is stated the surplus of 205l. 8s. 11d. raised for the Rotherhithe subscription and then remaining in the Treasurer's hands, was equally distributed between those for the sufferers at Heytesbury, Honiton, Montreal, and Cornhill. After the fire at Bishopsgate Street was supposed to be subdued, even in a part where it had been the least destructive, the Public Ledger, of Nov. 9th states, that yesterday morning about 4 o'clock the house of the Rev. Mr. Fayting, adjoining to St. Martin Outwich Church was discovered to be on fire, and presently blazed out very violently; but some firemen being on duty with their engines, it was soon extinguished without doing much damage.

[c] Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Tuesd. Nov. 26th.

[d] Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 13th to 15th, p. 478.

[e] Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Wednesd. Nov. 20th.

[f] Reported that the managers of the Opera House have come to a resolution of giving a benefit for the relief of the sufferers at the late fire. Public Ledger, Nov. 16th. It is reported that the proprietor of Sadler's Wells intends one night this week to give a benefit to the sufferers in Bishopsgate Street, &c. St. James's Chronicle, Nov. 16th to 19th. Reported that the proprietors of Ranelagh will give a benefit next week. Ibid. Nov. 22nd to 26th.

[g] Public Advertiser, Dec. 18th, 19th, 26th.—In this paper it is also stated that after the fire of 1748, it was a common occurrence for some persons who had subscribed to the relief of the sufferers, to carry with them the newspapers in which their donations were recorded, to shame any of those individuals whom they might meet in society with the assistance which they had received!

[h] Gazetteer, Dec. 15th.

[a] Gazetteer, Friday, Nov. 15th.

[b] A New History of London, by John Noorthouck, Lond. 1773. 4to. p. 435.

[c] The ruins afterwards became notorious as a shelter for a number of friendless persons, the discovery of whom is related in the Gazetteer of Saturday, Jan. 4th, 1766. On Thursday night, about 11 o'clock, the constable and watchmen of Bishopsgate Ward found in a celler under the ruins of the late fire, 25 miserable and almost naked vagrants, chicfly boys under 14 years of age; some of whom were broiling fish on a quantity of coals, which were then burning in the said cellar. They were secured for the night in the Poultry Counter, and in the morning the Lord Mayor passed several of them to their parishes, and sent the remainder to Bridewell.

[d] Lloyd's Evening Post, Dec. 18th to 20th.

[e] Annual Register, 1765, Vol. viii. p. 145 (Chronicle). Mr. Yoeman also proposed that, as there were always at every fire more engines than can be used, such as could not find room to work should be disposed in a line to the nearest place where water could be prepared in plenty. The deficiency of water in London is in this article attributed to the very great increase of buildings in the suburbs; but the Gazetteer of Dec. 21st states, that the cellars of a considerable number of houses in Broad Street, London Wall, and the parts adjacent, have been lately overflowed with water from the leaden pipes running to waste belonging to the houses burned down in Bishopsgate Street. Beside the schemes above mentioned, the Public Ledger of Nov. 8th contains a hint for preventing coals and timber from rekinding after a fire, by forming channels into them from the bason of the fire-plug: and in the Gazetteer of Dec. 4th a plan is mentioned by Dr. Hales for restraining fires where water cannot be immediately procured, by digging up gravel, sand, or earth, or the dirt and rubbish of the streets, and throwing it five or six inches deep over the floors and staircases of the houses: upon the fire arriving at this covering it will be almost smothered by the density of the mass.—Directly after the fire in Bishopsgate Street, the Parish-Officers of St. Paul, Covent-Garden, distributed to every housekeeper, and affixed in most public places, a list of the names and residences of the several turncocks belonging to the respective water-companies which served the parish; that in case of accident by fire recourse might be had to them immediately; subjoined to which was an abstract of the Act 7th Anne, 1708, for preventing fires by carelessness of servants. Lloyd's Evening Post, Dec. 8th to 11th. This appears to be the first notice of the use of such lists by parochial authority.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 Howell's View of London
 View of the Fire of London
 City Wall
 The Conduits of Cheapside and Cornhill
 Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765
Frost Fair on the River Thames
 Part of the Strand: St. Clement's Danes
 Ancient Structure in Ship Yard: Temple Bar
 St. Paul's Cross and Cathedral: With King James I and his Court at a Sermon
 Ancient Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London
 Paul's Cross (and Preaching There)
Elsinge Spital, Sion College, and the Church of St. Alphage, London Wall
 Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle
 Sion College
 The Priory and Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield
 The Church of St. Bartholomew the Less: Giltspure Street, West Smithfield, in the Ward of Farringdon Without
Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street
The Priory and Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street
 Monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Knight: In the Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Within
St. Michael's Church: Cornhill
The Parish Church of St. Paul, Shadwell: In the County of Middlesex
 The Parish Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: In Cornhill Ward
Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
 St. Saviour's Church
 St. Saviour's Church, Southwark
 Winchester Palace, Southwark
 Chapels at the Eastern End of the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark
 Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
 An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey
 Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate
 St. Martin-le-Grand College, and St. Vedast, Foster Lane
 Guildhall Chapel
 A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London
 Knightsbridge Chapel
 Lambe's Chapel and Alms-Houses: Monkwell Street, Cripplegate
 The late Mr. Skelton's Meeting House, Erected Near the Site of the Globe Theatre, Maid Lane, Southwark
 Zoar Street, Gravel Lane, Meeting House and School
 Oratory, Under the Antient Mansion, or Inn, of the Priors of Lewes in Sussex
 Whitehall: Plate I
 Whitehall: Plate II
 Whitehall: Plate III
 St. James's Palace
 Fawkeshall, or Copped Hall, Surrey
 Toten-Hall, Tottenham Court Road
 King John's Palace
 Clarendon House, called also Albemarle House
 Somerset House
 Suffolk House
 York House
 Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses
 Sir Paul Pindar's House
 Montagu House: Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury
 The British Museum
 Bedford House, Bloomsbury Square
 Peterborough House, afterward Grosvenor House, Millbank, Westminster
 Craven House, Drury Lane
 Ancient Mansion called Monteagle House: Montague Close, Southwark
 Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn