The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration of the central parts of London, England in 1666. Though 373 acres of the city were destroyed, the death toll is generally thought to have been relatively small.
On 2 September 1666 at 2:00 a.m., the house of King Charles II's baker Thomas Farriner caught fire. It started in the house located on Pudding Lane, near London Bridge, and quickly spread across the whole city, taking advantage of the close proximity of buildings made primarily of timber. It lasted for several days, only being extinguished on the 5th. As an attempt to avoid a rebellion among the refugees, King Charles II encouraged an evacuation of the city to resettle elsewhere.
A Parliamentary Committee was set up to investigate the fire. Although a French watchmaker, Robert Hulbert, confessed to the arson and was hanged for it on 28 September 1666, his testimony was inconclusive, and there was proof that he was not even in the city when the fire began. The tension of the era ended up contributing to the development of several conspiracy theories to explain the source of the fire, and in turn, the fire contributed to greater political and religious tensions. It was only after the Great Fire that the idea to build an official residence for the Lord Mayors of London came about.
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