by the dreadful fire, their offices were held at Exeter House, in the Strand, until the year 1672, when they returned to their former place, rebuilt in a very splendid and convenient manner, at the proper cost and charges of the said doctors.

The college of physicians had purchased a house and ground at the end of Amen-street, whereon the famous Dr. Harvey, at his proper charge, did erect a magnificent structure, both for a library, and a public hall; this goodly edifice could not escape the fury of the dreadful fire ; and the ground being but a leasehold, the fellows purchased a fair piece of ground in Warwicklane, whereon they have erected a very magnificent edifice, with a noble apartment for the containing an excellent library, given them partly by the Marquis of Dorchester, but chiefly by that eminent professor, Sir Theodore Mayerné, knight.

The former burse (or Royal Exchange) began to be erected in the year 1566, just one hundred years before it was burnt, at the cost and charge of that noble merchant, Sir Thomas Gresham. It was built of brick, and yet was the most splendid burse then in Europe.

It is now rebuilt within and without, of excellent stone, with such curious and admirable architecture, especially for a front, a high turret or steeple, wherein are an harmonious cbime of twelve bells, and for arch-work, that it surpasses all other burses. It is built quadrangular, with a large court wherein the merchants may assemble, and the greatest part, in case of rain or hot sunshine, may be sheltered in side galleries or porticos. The whole fabric cost fifty thousand pounds, whereof one-half was disbursed by the Chamber of London, or corporation of the city, and the other half by the Company of Mercers.

Before the dreadful fire, there were all around the quadrangle of this Royal Exchange the statues of the sovereign princes, since what was called the Norman Conquest, and by the care and cost of the city companies most of those niches were again filled with the like curious statues, in marble or alabaster.

St. Paul's Cathedral was new building at the time of the fire, the stone work almost finished; but, it is now re-built with greater solidity, magnificence and splendour, by the most renowned architect, Sir Christopher Wren.

Not far from the college of Doctor's Commons stood the College of Heralds, in an ancient house called Derby House, being built by Thomas Stanly, Earl of Derby, who married Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of King Henry the



Seventh, where their records were preserved. This college was burnt down, but the books and records were preserved, and placed, by the king's appointment, at the lower end of the Court of Requests.

Since the late dreadful fire this college has been handsomely rebuilt, upon St. Bennet's-hill, near Doctor's Commons, where their library is now kept. The house of St. Bartholomew's Hospital escaped the fury of the great fire, but most of the estates belonging to it were consumed.

The companies' halls were rebuilt, all at the charges of each fraternity, with great magnificence; being so many noble structures or palaces, with gallant frontispieces, stately courts, spacious rooms. The halls, especially, from which the whole are named, are not only ample enough to feast all the livery in each company, some to the number of three or four hundred, but many

of them are fit to receive a crowned head with all its nobles—those of each of the twelve companies especially. The Company of Mercers, beside their hall, have a sumptuous and spacious chapel for divine service.

Those city gates which were burnt down, as Ludgate and Newgate, were rebuilt with great solidity and magnificence.

The attempt to make Fleet brook or ditch navigable to Holborn Bridge, was a mighty chargeable and beautiful work, and though it did not fully answer the designed purpose, it was remarkable for the curious stone bridges over it, and the many huge vaults on each side thereof, to treasure up Newcastle coals for the use of the

poor. The whole damage sustained by the fire is almost inconceivable and incredible; but the following method of computation hath been taken, to form some sort of gross estimate; and at the time was accounted very moderate : Thirteen thousand two hundred houses, one with

another, at twenty-five pounds rent, at the low 3,960,000 rate of twelve years' purchase Eighty-seven parish churches, at eight thousand

696,000 pounds each Six consecrated chapels, at two thousand pounds

12,000 each The Royal Exchange



* The certificate says, eighty-nine parish Churches ; but see the Act of Parliament and inscription on the monument.


[ocr errors]

The Custom House

10,000 Fifty-two halls of companies, most of which were

magnificent structures and palaces, at fifteen 78,000

hundred pounds each Three city gates, at three thousand pounds each 9,000 Jail of Newgate

15,000 Four stone bridges

6,000 Sessions House

7,000 Guildhall, with the courts and offices belonging to it 40,000 Blackwell Hall

3,000 Bridewell

5,000 Poultry Compter

5,000 Wood Street Compter

3,000 Toward rebuilding St. Paul's Church, which, at

that time, was new building; the stonework being 2,000,000

almost finished Wares, household stuff

, monies, and moveable goods lost and spoiled

2,000,000 Hire of porters, carts, waggons, barges, boats, &c.,

for removing wares, household stuff, &c., during 200,000

the fire, and some small time after Printed books and papers in shops and warehouses 150,000

Wine, tobacco, sugar, plume, &c., of which the city 1,500,000

full Cutting a navigable river to Holborn Bridge The Monument


£10,730,500 Besides melioration money paid to several proprietors who had their ground taken away, for the making of wharves, enlarging the old, or making new streets, market places, &c.

The fire spread itself, beside breadth, from almost Tower-hill, to St. Dunstan's church in Fleet-street. After it had burnt almost three days and three nights, some seamen taught the people to blow up some of the next houses with gunpowder ; which stopped the fire: so that, contrary to the inscription on the Monument, there were human counsels in the stopping of the fire. It stopped at Holborn Bridge, at St. Sepulchre's church, when the church was burnt, in Aldgate and Cripplegate, and other places on the wall; in Austin Friars, the Dutch church stopped it, and escaped. It stopped in Bishopsgate-street, in



Leadenhall-street, in the midst of Fenchurch-street, and near the Tower. Alderman Jefferies lost tobacco to the value of twenty thousand pounds.

Extract from the certificates of the Surveyors appointed to survey

the ruins. The fire began September 2nd, 1666, at Mr. Farryner's, a baker, in Pudding-lane, between one and two in the morning, and continued burning till the 6th ; did overrun three hundred and seventy-three acres, within the walls. Eighty-nine parish churches, besides chapels burnt. Eleven parishes, within the walls standing. Houses burnt, thirteenthousand and two hundred.

Jonas MOORE,



The superstition and zeal of those times made canonization much cheaper in a Protestant than a Popish Church. A vehement preacher was a chief saint among the godly, and a few warm expressions were esteemed little less than prophecies.

In the dedication to the Rev. Mr. Reeves's sermon, preached 1655, are the following queries :

“Can sin and the city's safety, can impenitency and impunity stand long together ? Fear you not some plague ? Some coai blown with the breath of the Almighty, that may sparkle and kindle, and burn you to such cinders, that not a wall or pillar may be left to testify the rememberance of a city ?

The same gentleman says:* “ Your looking-glasses will be snatched away, your mirrors cracked, your diamonds shivered in pieces; this gondly city all in shreds. Ye may seek for a pillar or threshhold of your ancient dwellings, but not find one. All your spacious mansions and sumptuous monuments are then gone. Not a porch, pavement, ceiling, staircase, turret, lantern, bench, screen, pane of a window, post, nail, stone, or dust of your former houses to be seen. No, with wringing hands you may ask, where are those sweet places where we traded, feasted, slept? where we lived like masters, and shone like morning stars ? No, the houses are fallen, and the householders dropped with them. We have nothing but naked streets, naked fields for shelter ; not so much as a chamber to couch down our children

* London's Remembrancer, page 33,-ten years before the fire.


or repose our own members, when we are spent or afflicted with sickness. Woe unto us ! our sins have pulled down our houses, shaken down our city. We are the most harbourless people in the world ; like foreigners rather than natives ; yea, rather like beasts than men. Foxes have holes and fowls have nests, but we have neither holes or nests : our sins have deprived us of couch and covert. We should be glad if an hospital would receive us, dens or caves shelter us. The bleak air and cold ground are our only shades and refugeş. But, alas ! this is but the misery of the stone-work, of arches, roofs, &c.”

The following paragraph is taken from Mr. Rosewell's causes and cures of the pestilence, printed at London, in the year of the grcat plagne 1665—a year before the fire of London.

" Is it not of the Lord that the people shall labour in the very fire, and weary themselves for vanity ? It is of the Lord, surely! It comes to pass, by the secret counsel of God, that these houses and cities which they build, shall either come to be consumed by fire; or else, the people shall weary themselves in vain, for vanity to no purpose; seeing it comes so soon to be destroyed and ruinated, what they build.”



[blocks in formation]


Sept. 2.-About two o'clock this morning, a sudden and lamentable fire broke out in this city ; beginning not far from Thames-street, near London Bridge, which continues still with great violence, and hath already burnt down to the ground many houses thereabouts : which said accident affected his Majesty with that tenderness and compassion, that he was pleased to go himself in person, with his royal highness, to give orders that all possible means should be used for quenching the fire, or stopping its further spreading: in which care the right honourable the Earl of Craven was sent by his Majesty, to be more particularly assisting to the Lord Mayor and magistrates; and several companies of his guards sent into the city, to be helpful in what means they could in so great a calamity

Whitehall, Sept. 8.--The ordinary course of this paper being interrupted by a sad and lamentable accident of fire, lately happened in the city of London, it hath been thought fit to

« ElőzőTovább »