Talk:Great Fire of London

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Great Fire of London is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 28, 2006.
Article milestones
November 11, 2006Featured article candidatePromoted
November 11, 2008Featured article reviewKept
Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on September 5, 2004, September 5, 2005, September 2, 2006, September 2, 2007, September 2, 2008, September 2, 2009, September 2, 2010, September 2, 2012, September 2, 2016, and September 2, 2019.
Current status: Featured article

Talk:Great Fire of London/Archive 1

extra link?Edit

Would it be possible to directly link the page to the search "1666 london" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lhippocampe (talkcontribs) 22:00, 29 May 2013 (UTC)


Given that this is today's featured article, shouldn't it have been temporarily locked? The vandals are having a field day...

Certainly not. The selection of the daily featured article is crucial: anyone not already a Wikipedia addict may base a substantial part of their judgment on its appearance and content, so it should be a model, and this means not just proof that we can be as good as Encyclopædia Britannica, but a demonstration that, because we're open source, we're better. To lock would be to turn this from a model Wikipedia article to something less than a Wikipedia article. There have been dozens of works of vandalism here today, most of them replacing the entire article with a single sentence. Examine the history page, and you'll see every single one has been reverted within a few seconds.

I'm sure I've seen a "Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled" message on featured articles before now. The reason I made this post was that I kept getting redirected to some random movie every time I clicked on the featured article link, it was starting to get annoying.

Note re. wordingEdit

Re. "This reasoning has recently been challenged on the ground that poor and middle-class people were not recorded anywhere..." in the intro, perhaps the words in bold should be reworded. I don't have any specific suggestions, but perhaps even just saying "this reasoning has been challenged by modern scholars on the ground...". 23:55, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


How reliable is The Dreadful Judgement: The True Story of the Great Fire of London? Secondary deaths from lynching or hunger really don't count - otherwise the death toll becomes negative as the fire killed remaining plague rats and flees cutting the number of deaths there would otherwise have been. (The last plague death was in fact a few years later in Rotherhithe). This is a fire which travelled 1 mile or 2 km in three days - most people can travel a little faster than that. --Henrygb 01:45, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization of "City"Edit

I noticed this throughout the article- is there a special reason for the word "City" always being capitalized? Is it part of London's official name? Nothing urgent- I'm just curious. --Wafulz 02:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The "city of London" and "City of London" aren't the same thing. It's pretty crazy, but take a look at London, Greater London and especially City of London for the gory details. --Spangineerws (háblame) 02:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, Spangineer, for that clarification! It is really nice when people bother to explain some local naming detail that can make the reader really confused. I wonder if there is a good, non-intrusive way of working that fact into the text of the article itself? Maybe the introduction? All in all, an absolutely beautiful article, especially considering the grim story it has to tell. Big thanks to all who did this! --Ronja Addams-Moring 07:59, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I managed to miss the expression "the City proper—the area bounded by the City wall and the river Thames" - that makes it quite clear. --Ronja Addams-Moring 16:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Quote sourceEdit

The quote, "But the fire overtakes us faster then we can do it" was recently changed to "But the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it." Could someone with access to the source verify that this change is correct? --Spangineerws (háblame) 02:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, you could say both are correct. It's from Pepys, and I originally quoted it exactly, with "then". But somebody changed it to "than", which could be seen as modernized spelling. It's probably clearer to the reader in modernized form. As far as I remember, it doesn't come up with the other Pepys quotes, and both original spelling (well, not original, as Pepys wrote a kind of shorthand, but your basic 17th-century spelling) and modernized spelling have their proponents. I figure we might as well leave it modernized. Or indeed, change it back... whatever. I don't see it as a problem. Bishonen | talk 14:09, 28 November 2006 (UTC).
Wasn't the source published recently though? I'd think that we would want to stick with whatever their editorial decision was. But eh, not a big deal. --Spangineerws (háblame) 23:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


Why is there no mention of the progroms that ensued as a result of Jew not sucumbing to the plague etc? Chavatshimshon 04:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

As I recall, only a modest number of Jews remained in England at the time, as most were expelled by the time of the outbreak of the Thirty Years War. See discussion of Jewish harrassment and persecution in Black Death. WBardwin 07:39, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi there, W! What do you think, do you like it? Bishonen | talk 22:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC).
It's not germane to an article on the Fire, you know. However, Oliver Cromwell had taken a "moderate" position of tolerance toward Jews. This did not sit well universally with other Puritans, but he was very definite about it. The actual effect of such nominal tolerance is hard to measure. There may not have been very many Jews, and certainly not so many as to have had a pogrom over. The mob could go amok over the thought of Jews, of course, and rumors of Jews, as it did with Catholics and rumors of Catholics, but that's just the mob. I have never heard of Jews getting blame during the Fire. Geogre 11:02, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Anti-Jewish riots in London following Great Fire - unheard of. Targets of abuse tended to be French (at the time likely to have been predominately Catholic - the Hugenot element came mainly 1682 onwards post revocation Edict of Nantes) and Dutch. Cromwell did allow Jews to resettle in England, allowing them land for a synagogue and cemetery in the East End. The original question above is more germane to an article on the Great Plague of previous year, and the medieval plagues before it.Cloptonson (talk) 19:21, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Possible VandalismEdit

Under the section, "Fire hazards in the City", the following sentence appears to be vandalism: "The City was the biggest little whore town in texas." However, when attempting to edit the sentence, the editing page shows a correct statement. Someone with more Wikipedia experience should to address this. Ifruit 18:20, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your attentiveness. What that means is that someone had already rolled back the vandalism between the time you loaded the page and the time you went to edit. It's a good thing. Geogre 18:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect figures!!Edit

"It is estimated that over 100 billion people died in this tragic fire" 100 Billion people?!?! consierding only 80,000 lived in the city and that the whole world doesn't even have this! lol

Oh, all is well, the article is now called Weekend at Bernie's, so no worries. :-) Thanks for your concern, but this is simply what happens to articles on the Main Page. On the upside, vandalism is even easier to revert than to perpetrate. Bishonen | talk 19:04, 28 November 2006 (UTC).
100 billion? I guess it ain't called the "great fire" for nothing :oP -- 01:23, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect Figures IIEdit

London in the 1660s: 80,000 people = 1/6th pre-plague population (implying 400,000 remaining.)Aftermath: 80,000 people = 1/4 of population. Not a desparately important point but these figures don't add up. 08:58, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

A very important point, it seems to me. 80,000 is described as 1/4 of the population (implying a population of 320,000) just after the population is described as half a million. (otherwise a fantastic article!). Dast 18:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
No, 80,000 is given as the population of the City of London — the central district — today's financial district — not for the whole of London. Please see the second sentence in the introduction, and click on the wikilinked City of London. There's a reference given for the figure of 80,000 (Tinniswood, pp. 4 and 101), so please don't change it to the population of the entirety of London. I'm changing it back.
I tried to explain these distinctions in the article, but I guess they remain confusing. Can anybody think of a better way to make them clear? Bishonen | talk 11:34, 2 September 2007 (UTC).
No. Honestly, you either get it or you don't. The article on the City even explains how it came to be. Even in 1666, the City wasn't the city. Although in 1666 the population of "London" wasn't dwarfing the population of "the City," it was still a great, big pile of people who did not live within the walls. Geogre 14:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


As a ringer I find this statement somewhat implausible:

Public-spirited citizens would be alerted to a dangerous house fire by muffled peals on the church bells,

First off I've always been told that the "alarm" signal was ringing "back-rounds" i.e. ringing the bells in turn from lowest to highest (instead of highest to lowest, the normal "default") - unfortunately I have no sources for this. Second, muffles (a leather pad which fastens on to the clapper) take a reasonable amount of time to fit - not ideal when you are trying to raise the alarm. David Underdown 10:29, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The fire burned for days, I don't think these leather doowhackies could possibly have taken more than a day to put on JayKeaton 11:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


The Great Fire of London, with Ludgate and Old St. Paul's, oil on canvas, ca. 1670

A gift for the editors of this article:

Thank you! That's great. I've put it into the Tuesday section. Anybody got any better ideas? Bishonen | talk 11:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC).

12/07/2012 - Note to eds, the painting at the top right of the feature article is not "unknown painter" but in fact by Lieve Verschuier. However, I'm not allowed to edit the piece. Would be nice if Wikipedia were as open as its claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 12 July 2012 (UTC)


I really don't think that "conflagration" should be the word of choice for this page. Conflagration also means a great war or a fight, but I really don't think it is the most suitable word here. I don't think that using the word fire instead would "dumb down" the page, rather it would make it more accessible and more descriptive. I think the word "conflagration" was used mainly because it sounds "smart", as it does not otherwise fit the tone of the writing in this article or even match it's subject name, The Great Fire of London. The word "conflagration" seems mainly there to confuse or make people thing "that must be another word for a big fire". While I'm all for increasing vocabularies, it simply does not fit the tone of this article and seems to mainly throw people off before they even get past the first sentence JayKeaton 11:11, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

According to the OED conflagration means only
  1. The burning up of (anything) in a destructive fire, consumption by a blazing fire. Obs[elete]
  2. A great and destructive fire; the burning or blazing of a large extent or mass of combustible, e.g. of a town, a forest, etc.
  3. transf[erative] Severe inflammation Obs[elete]
no mention of a war/fight connotation (although I can see the possibility of transference, as in the fever example given above). So it seems to me to be the perfect word to use for this sort of fire. It's useful to use a synonym a few times virtually every sentence contains the word "fire", which whilst unavoidable to some extent does get a little wearing. David Underdown 12:00, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I was looking for my dictionary (I had never heard "conflagration" used to mean a war) but David Underdown beat me to it! With regard to the choice of words, it seems to me that people will have read the title and understood that the article is about a fire, so the first sentence needs to expand on that a bit, rather than simply restating "fire". "Fire" is very general and is often used to describe something small and controlled, whereas "conflagration" has the meanings of "great and destructive". I therefore think that it fits the requirement very well. I believe it is an improvement on "fire", or even "big fire". With regard to non-English-speakers (who were mentioned in the original edit), "conflagration" actually works quite well for Romance languages.Bluewave 12:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Online OED access has its uses... David Underdown 12:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above two comments. Conflagration is a useful synonyn and avoids the repetitive use of the word fire. Natalie West 12:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

If it's purpose is to be a useful "synonym" and avoid the repetitive use of the word fire, then perhaps it should be used a little later on in the article rather than the top, that way it could serve its purpose and not put people off or confuse them from the get go? It can be like a special little synonym surprise to break up the word "Fire" used throughout the article, rather than just starting off with the word conflagration then only using "Fire" for the rest JayKeaton 12:55, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree with Natalie (or at least to be more pedantic than her) but I don't think conflagration is just a synonym for fire. Conflagration is much more specific: David's online OED (confirmed by my trusty Concise version) tells us that it means a "great and destructive fire". To me (and I assume to others!), it also carries a connection with "flagrant" (implying glaring and notorious). I believe the word very concisely conveys exactly the shade of meaning that is needed. By the way, I didn't write it and I don't think I've got a particular ax(e) to grind but it just seems a great word for this sentence. Bluewave 13:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I like both holocaust and conflagration, they are good solid descriptive English words, and I would vote that they stay in the article. This is particularly true as the source, Hanson, used the word holocaust. (Sigh) ----- it seems to me that the internet has led to, among other things, the "dumbing" down of English vocabulary. Words of one syllable are faster to type and even easier to "text" abbreviate, and so............ WBardwin 20:53, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Not to sound like I'm arguing and being picky here, but the word "holocaust" may not necessarily be the best choice here. I am a college student, and when I read this article the word through me off completely because I have always thought of "holocaust" as referring to the genocide of Jews in Nazi-occupied territory before and during World War II. In fact, I have never even heard that word used to refer to anything else. I don't want to sound like I'm doing a personal attack here, but are you sure that usage isn't obsolete? (talk) 11:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The size of the panoramaEdit

Gulp... it's not a panorama anymore, after this edit ! :-( I guess User:Meowist has a really small window. I'm no good with this stuff. Does anybody know how to code this so that is looks reasonable on all screens? I'm going to revert while I await suggestions, I'm afraid. Having a scrollable panorama is surely better than having a tiny strip in the middle of the page, that could represent pretty much any early modern city as seen from outer space... and actually, nobody else has complained of the look of the panorama, as far as I know, since the article became Featured, many months ago. Bishonen | talk 21:22, 2 September 2007 (UTC).

I've seen a form of scroll-box be used before. I'll have a poke around. Cheers, Daniel 11:00, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
How about something like Second Severn Crossing#Controversies? Daniel 06:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I've implemented this scroll-style, and readily await the input of Meowist and Bishonen, amongst others. Just throwing some ideas around, hopefully we can find something that works :) Daniel 10:54, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Bishonen | talk 11:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC).

Esperanto translationEdit

Hi Bishonen, this message was actually supposed to be on your talk page, but I don't have an account here and thus couldn't edit it. Just wanted to let you know that I translated this fascinating article into Esperanto (see eo:Granda incendio de Londono). Thank you so much, it was quite a stimulating challenge to render your brilliant prose in the "Internacia Lingvo". The translation, hopefully, should promote fastly to featured status and remain on our main page for a week or so. Keep up the great work ! Thomas Guibal, Sep 15th 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


What was the cause of the poor dental condition of the London poor in this period? Not sugar, presumably, as the triangular trade did not really kick off until later. Gritty flour in the bread, perhaps? -- !! ?? 09:58, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Malnutrition may also have been a significant factor, plus poor understanding of oral hygiene which became more enlightened in more recent centuries than the 17th.Cloptonson (talk) 19:25, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

which calendar is being used? please make this clearer than "New Style"!Edit

The article starts "The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London, England, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September, 1666" with a note to the effect that "dates are given according to the New Style". Now the linked article tells us that "New Style" can mean two entirely different things: either that the year is numbered to start on January 1 rather than March whatever (but this shouldn't matter in this case, because everyone will agree that September 1666 is indeed part of 1666), or that the Gregorian calendar is being used rather than the Julian calendar. But 2 September, 1666 of the Gregorian calendar (Julian day 2329799) was a Thursday: only in the Julian calendar is 2 September a Sunday (Julian day 2329809). So I'm confused.

This page explicitly states that the Great Fire of London started on Julian day number 2329809, and though it may not be particularly well informed I am inclined to believe it. That would fit with the days of the week. If this is the correct version, then the footnote should be amended to specify that dates are given in the Julian calendar. Otherwise, the days of the week should be fixed. In any case, the calendar used should be made clearer. --Gro-Tsen (talk) 02:14, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

The article on New Style dates says (correctly!) "When recording British history it is usual to use the dates recorded at the time of the event with the year adjusted to the start on the 1 January." That is what has been done in this article. At the time, 2 September 1666 was a Sunday (Pepys noted "Lord's Day" at the beginning of his diary entry, for example). I think it would be immensely confusing if we tried to recast all the dates and days of the week into the Gregorian calendar. Bluewave (talk) 10:33, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
The article on New Style is immensely confusing and seems to say that "New Style" also means that the Gregorian calendar is being used, because both changes (calendar and start of the year) were made simultaneously in 1752. Maybe that's wrong, I don't know, but even if it is, it must be a common confusion or misconception — cf. the article on Isaac Newton for example (which gives his dates of birth and death in Gregorian and Julian calendar) and particularly the first footnote — so the term "New Style" should best be avoided altogether. Why insist upon it?
I'm not advocating the use of the Gregorian calendar: the Julian calendar is fine for English history before 1752. What I am advocating is an explicit statement of which calendar is being used rather than a confusing "New Style"/"Old Style" label. Why did you revert my modification to the footnote? It is pointless to specify that years are counted from January 1 ("New Style") rather than March 25 ("Old Style") because September is past March 25 anyway: the year would be 1666 whether in "New Style" or in "Old Style", so why would we care to mention this? On the other hand, the fact that the Julian calendar is used is unclear and should be made explicit. Why did you remove the mention?
I tend to think the article on the Glorious Revolution (which gives some dates in both Julian and Gregorian calendar and otherwise makes it clear which calendar is being used even when it uses the confusing "New Style" term) is the model to follow. --Gro-Tsen (talk) 14:20, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

London, or London, EnglandEdit

There is a disagreement as to if we should say "London" or "London, England" in the opening sentence. This edit[1] calls it an "Americanism", I have not been to America and it does not seem odd to me. There are many many cities called London, so I figure we should say which one.

Perhaps there is something cultural I am missing? (1 == 2)Until 22:45, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I think there are some major cities that don't require qualification by stating their country. We don't need to say "Paris, France" or "New York, USA". London is in the same category. "London, England" sounds very strange to anyone from England. Bluewave (talk) 22:53, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate that you were able to disagree with me in such a respectful manner. I wish it could be said that all Wikipedians respected civility. (1 == 2)Until 23:01, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I am on the conservative European side here: no Americanisms in articles on "our" events. I am inclined to consider hypothetical readers who do not know which London this is about, once they have reached the words "medieval" and "Roman City Wall" in the second sentence, unlikely to know what "England" is. (But perhaps that's why we need the England link???) I would think it much more likely that we are dealing with a reflex of American readers here, who just feel that a naked city name sounds wrong. Of course, should this be a matter of American tastes vs. British tastes, then the British have a home field advantage and win automatically. (Think of it this way: when you go to Paris, you want to see people carrying baguettes.)
The logical solution seems to be to define the "London" that we are talking about without resorting to an Americanism. I have replaced the battleground "London" / "London, England" by "England's capital London". I consider this slightly better, but others may disagree. Perhaps someone has a better idea how to drop an inconspicuous "England" without getting rid of "London" altogether? --Hans Adler (talk) 23:52, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
We should never underestimate the level of ignorance in our readers, many of whom are hopefully third world children. I think we should always include country location in any article concerning people or places and find it extraordinary that anyone would want to remove such information. We aren't saying London is in England what we are saying is that The Great Fire of London occurred in England, I think its inclusion is a no-brainer. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
No one is saying you cannoy identify that in this instance by London, one means the "real one" - it is the way in which it is done, London, England - Rome, Italy sounds laughable to European ears and vey much a pure Americansim. The present test seems a good comporomise to me. Giano (talk) 09:28, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Americanism Schamericanism! The first time you use an acronymn, you must expand it. The first time you use a city, you must expand it. The first instance of London, must be London, England. Otherwise, you sound like a chauvinist (or like the old 1911). If I were writing for publication even in a regional publication, I would need to locate the city in print. In a hypertext setting, it's even more proper. The same would be true of Little Chough, England, even though no one is likely to think there is more than one of them. First instance: expand. After, do not. Everyone is so ready to get their hackles up that no one is paying attention to a good style sheet. Geogre (talk) 09:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
no problem with the location, it is the way in which it is located - "Rome, Italy" is an Americanism, unsuited to a European page - by all means say "New York, America" (for the benefeit of us poor European who may never have heard of it, but European cities, towns and villages are always "in" and in the case of a major European city (London is quite well known) then if you must - as is currently in the page - the capital of England - London. I know you just don't get it but "Madrid, Spain" sounds completely wrong to us, and instantly an Americanism. Personally, I am always quite happy to trust the blue link - what's the name of the medical condition where people start not to beleive the labels on cans of food? Giano (talk) 10:04, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Look, expand it with whatever prepositions you choose, but expand it on the first usage. Of course everyone would know New York or Atlanta, or Reno, but one still expands on the first use. "New York, United States" (not "America") would look curious to any and all, but to simply say "New York" is something even natives would reject, as there is a state, too, and so "New York, New York" or "New York City" is a minimum, and the first usage would have to be that. (N.b. city/state is an expansion, as no other nation has state names that can be confused with the 50 in the US. Hence, "Birmingham, Alabama" is an expanded reference to the same degree as "London, England"; "Alabama" is a division of the US in the same way that "England" is a division of the UK.) Geogre (talk) 10:21, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Not quite, the same George, not quite. Giano (talk) 11:04, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
It's moot now because we seem to have found consensus, but since Geogre doesn't seem to know it, WP:ENGVAR has a rule on this: "An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the appropriate variety of English for that nation." In other words: not the variety that some of the people here are familiar with, but the one some of the others here are familiar with. "London, England" would be about as wrong here as would be "It is 1,063 ft (325 m) high" in the article on the Eiffel Tower. --Hans Adler (talk) 11:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Quite right Hans, it can only be a matter of time though before I have to describe myself as a resident of "Italy, Europe" lest anyone should begin to think I have defected to Italy, Texas. Giano (talk) 11:39, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Someone was offended by the claim that London was the capital of England and removed it. Therefore I changed it to read that the fire was one of the major events in the history of England. It would be great if someone could contribute a reference for this claim, in case it provokes a fact tag. Of course, Britain instead of England should be fine, too. --Hans Adler (talk) 02:32, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

1666 is pre Acts of Union 1707 so london was definetly not the capital of britian at the time.Geni 09:17, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I see that what I said was ambiguous. What I meant was: If someone finds a reliable source saying that "The Great Fire of London was one of the great disasters in British history", then this should make the "London, England" crowd sufficiently happy, and so the sentence should be changed and the reference added. I hope that you don't mind referring to pre-union English history as British history, if it can be sourced. --Hans Adler (talk) 11:09, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Conflagration 2Edit

I suppose nobody doubts that the present anti-conflagration IP edit warrior, who reverts without discussion and has been warned by David, is the same as previous anti-conflagration IP edit warriors. Bishzilla has therefore blocked the person with extra deathray (=48 hours) as a repeat offender. Per David's suggestion, she'll show them Great Fire if necessary. Bishonen | talk 08:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC).

Besides arguing sense with the editor, one can argue style. "The Great Fire of London was a fire" is a tautology. Geogre (talk) 10:05, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure about the exact capabilities of Bishzilla, but I think automatically redirecting all access from that IP address to an appropriate version of Wikipedia would be even better. What's the purpose of the deconflagrated expurgated version if nobody forces its target audience to actually use it? :o) --Hans Adler (talk) 12:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
[ Bishzilla rise from deeps, chuckle appreciatively, stuff little article defenders in pocket.] Mighty 'zilla capabilities unlimited! bishzilla ROARR!! 16:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC).

London Gazette imageEdit

The typography in the London Gazette scan at en:Image:London-gazette.gif looks to me like a 19th- or early 20th-century reprint. The original is reproduced on the official London Gazette page as a TIFF: [2] and looks quite different, especially the headline. Can the caption be adjusted to make this apparent? Omassey (talk) 14:36, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Hard to be sure - these editions are not currently available on the main gazette website. Unfortunatley it looks like the original source info for the image used here has been lost when it was transferred to Commons. David Underdown (talk) 11:11, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
The London Gazette site now has all issues on-line including issue 85 for the 3 September 1666 to 10 September 1666. It can be found here which shows that image in question is different from the original. I have made a note of this on the image description page. --DavidCane (talk) 23:25, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Billingsgate plaqueEdit

From the Billingsgate article:

The ward includes Pudding Lane[1], where in 1666, the Great Fire of London began[2]. A sign was erected upon the house in which it began:

Here, by the permission of Heaven, hell broke loose upon this protestant city, from the malicious hearts of barbarous Papists, by the hand of their agent Hubert, who confessed, and on the ruins of this place declared the fact, for which he was hanged, viz. That here began the dreadful fire, which is described and perpetuated on and by the neighbouring pillar, erected Anno 1680, in the mayoralty of Sir Patience Ward, knight[2].

Can we or should we address the issues raised by this plaque?--Filll (talk | wpc) 14:11, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Hubert's "confession" and hanging is alredy mentioned in the "Aftermath" section of this article. It might be worth mentioning the fact that the plaque is still there I suppose. David Underdown (talk) 10:13, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
It might or might not be worth mentioning it only in an "Aftermath" section, by noting Pope's lines: the monument, according to him, "Raises its head and lies." I.e. protest at the "lie" goes pretty far back, and the monument was a mixed, ambivalent item from the start. People seem to have liked the landmark and hated its intolerance simultaneously. Geogre (talk) 11:26, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Never mind. There is already a link to Monument to the Great Fire of London, and all the business about the lie is there, including Pope's lines. It would be nice if our link system worked better, but this article's not to blame for readers not clicking. Geogre (talk) 11:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Derived the name from the butchers in Eastcheap "having their scalding house for hogs there; and their puddings with other filth being conveyed thence down to their dung boats in the Thames" (Stow).
  2. ^ a b 'Book 2, Ch. 7: Billingsgate Ward', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 551-53 accessed: 21 May 2007

Golden BoyEdit

I wonder if anyone knows any more about the Golden Boy of Pye Corner? Reading the article made me wonder when it was put there, who by, whether it had another more formal name, whether it represents a story about the putting out of the fire, where the explicit connection of the fire with Gluttony comes from. Any one with more info? Millichip (talk) 12:47, 3 September 2008 (UTC)


I have blocked the obstinate "conflagration" --> "fire" vandal for 31 hours. Bishonen | talk 21:10, 29 March 2009 (UTC).

London, EnglandEdit

Just wanted to say that this edit seems to be a nice way of wording things. It does need to be made clear which of the many Londons is being referred to but the "London, England" way of saying it does seem clumsy. "the English city of London" seems to work very well. Chillum 19:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for that! Bluewave (talk) 14:51, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Additional link suggestionEdit

Is this appropriate as another 'External Link'?

cheers, Andrew —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Archives and reaction in EuropeEdit

Were state archives lost? What was the reaction on the continent?--Revery (talk) 16:36, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

State archives were then basically held in Westminster which was not affected by the fire. David Underdown (talk) 16:43, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually some were probably in the Rolls Chapel but this was I think also just outside the fire zone. David Underdown (talk) 16:55, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 11 May 2010Edit

{{editsemiprotected}} I am studying at the University of Combria and would like to edit the page, because i believe that i have some information of which has been missed out. (talk) 16:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

You need to say what you want to change, as we will do the edit for you. You cannot edit the semi-protected page yourself until you create an account and make more than 10 edits and is more than four days old. Any additions that you request to make to the article will need to have a reference to prove it, as per WP:CITE. Please make another edit request with what you want to change or add to the article as well as the references that you have to prove it. More information on references can be found in the rules and policies at WP:CITE. Thank you and I hope you understand!. Chevymontecarlo. 17:57, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Recording of deaths of "poor and middle-class" peopleEdit

Respectfully I take issue with this sentence regarding the fire's death toll: "This reasoning has recently been challenged on the grounds that the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded anywhere, ..."

I'm currently transcribing London parish registers from around the time of the fire, and they record everyone who was buried in a parish, irrespective of class: from archbishops and merchants to parish orphans and anonymous bodies found in the street.

If it was actually asserted by a historian or other expert that the deaths of the not-so-well-off were unrecorded, could the article author please give the source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phthia (talkcontribs) 20:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

  • But the point that's trying to be made is that there may well have been casualties who were effectively cremated - there was nothing to bury, so in this particular unusual instance, normal processes broke down. Details of who made the claims, and what precisely is meant is given in the "Deaths and destruction" section of the article - the opening is intended to summarise the article, and it is not normal to place citations in this section, unless a direct quote is used. David Underdown (talk) 11:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't get a bit your saying please make a children version —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
  • How many of the parish records were lost in the fire? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:24, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Just a note - This article is what Wikipaedia should be, accurate, concise and elegantly written with contribution undertaken in a civilised and thoughtful manner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 18 October 2011Edit

puto kevin jajajaj — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gitaniko77 (talkcontribs) 09:45, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

"See Also" linksEdit

Not to sound like I'm whining or anything, but since there are links in the "See Also" section to articles for other cities' "Great Fires", shouldn't there be a link to the article for the Great Chicago Fire? Not to insult anybody's intellegence here, as I don't know how many other people involved in this discussion know much about the Great Chicago Fire, but it destroyed nearly the entire city (with the exception of a single water tower), and Chicago's MLS soccer team is named after it (the Chicago Fire), so it definitely is important. (talk) 11:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

There really shouldn't. The Pittsburgh and Toronto fires were added to the See also section just a couple of days ago — not a good idea, in my view, and I have removed them. Please take a look at List of historic fires, section "City fires", and you'll see how long our See also section could become, once people started adding major city fires on the "if those, then why not this one" principle! Overlong See also sections are far less useful than short, pithy ones. The very first thing that happens on our article page, before the lede begins, is that it links to the List of historic fires. That, and not this article about the London fire, is the go-to place for people interested in Wikipedia's quite impressive coverage of historic fires. The list links, naturally, to the Pittsburgh, Toronto and Chicago fires. Bishonen | talk 20:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC).
I agree, the link at the top of the article to other "great fires" should be sufficient. Including other "great fires" in the see also section would be problematic because how would one decide what is appropriate. None at all seems to be the best option. Nev1 (talk) 22:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
In edit mode (or, for an IP, in "view source" mode), there's a slightly exasperated commented-out request right at the top of the See also section, begging people not to add their favourite city fires to it. Bishonen | talk 04:33, 18 November 2011 (UTC).


"Great Fire" currently redirects here, which seems more than a little Anglocentric. I'd move that "Great Fire" leads to list of historic fires instead. This fire is on that list, after all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Influence of the Great Fire of London is actually still alive in Australia !!!Edit

The building codes for most cities in Australia specifies that the wall of a building that is not rated as fire resistant for that coded area may not be closer than 90cm (3 feet) from the property boundary. That is, buildings may not be closer than 1.8m (6 feet) apart. My friend the constitutional lawyer says that this, like much of Australian legislation, is based on British law, and that this particular requirement stems from the Great Fire. It was inserted into British Law, never changed (as there was no good reason to change it), and passed into Australian Law.

Assuming that this is true (and I sincerely believe it to be so), there is an obvious problem how one would "prove" it.I certainly can't. So I'm simply leaving this comment here in Talk. (talk) 08:59, 2 September 2012 (UTC)


This article requires more footnotes, especially for direct quotes, per FA Criteria 1c. I recall reading in the FA nomination that this is based mainly on a single source, but the statement regarding such a reliance does not seem to be in the article. Note that such a method does not allow the use of page numbers to better follow WP:V — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:01, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

"Citation needed" for 'Samuel Pepys, looking back on the events, wrote in his diary on 7 September 1666: "People do all the world over cry out of the simplicity [the stupidity] of my Lord Mayor in general; and more particularly in this business of the fire, laying it all upon him."'. Where could that quote possibly have come from? It's a mystery that I doubt anybody would be able to solve without a footnote. Oh wait, there is one: "17. ^ All quotes from and details involving Samuel Pepys come from his diary entry for the day referred to." Still, it's a bit obscure, this Pepys bloke and his diary - it could be any one of the obscure diarists named Samuel Pepys. "I recall reading in the FA nomination that this is based mainly on a single source" - maybe you should try re-reading the nomination and the article and then take it FAR if you still don't like the citation style. Yomanganitalk 10:48, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I wrote the FA version, as well as the two-line FAC nomination, and the article definitely was not based "mainly on a single source". In case you go check your recollection against the FAC page, Crisco, you might also be interested in the lively discussion there of how much (or little) inline citing Pepys' diary needs. Bishonen | talk 11:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC).
  • Right, I misremembered the bit about Pepys' diary.
That being said, numerous uncited statements are made about things which are not related to the diary. The whole second half of #London in the 1660s (not its subsections), for example. Further paragraphs, such as the one that starts "The crucial factor which frustrated firefighting efforts was the narrowness of the streets." do not indicate a source at all.
Others, such as the source for "as it does facilitate a conflagration, so does it also hinder the remedy" ... "the covetousness of the citizens and connivancy [that is, the corruption] of Magistrates" should be at the end of the statement supported to better show that it covers the whole quote. Quotes such as "all Cities and Towns whatsoever shall without any contradiction receive the said distressed persons and permit them the free exercise of their manual trades." appear to be completely unreferenced.
These are basic issues which would hold the article back at FAC, because it doesn't meet the criteria as generally understood by editors. I agree with SandyGeorgia and Piotr's statements at the original FAC back in 2006. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Footnotes 6 and 54 cover much of your complaint. The section heading "Failures in fighting the fire" was introduced here without a corresponding transfer of the referencing which is why "The crucial factor which frustrated firefighting efforts was the narrowness of the streets" is no longer obviously sourced, but that should be trivial to correct; presumably Tinniswood 1-11 covers it. Personally I think the most heinous transgression of the article is the use of cquote. Yomanganitalk 14:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. That being said, WP:INTEXT does say quotes need an in-line citation after the sentence with the quote. The current format, although admittedly easier to read in code, is (in my opinion) less than logical for reviewing, especially as new material can be inserted willy-nilly. The FA criteria do not force a particular style, but I don't know how well this style would do in a new FAC. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt it would do well at all but that says more about FAC than the quality of this article. WP:INTEXT (added here in the midst of the panic surrounding l'affaire Grace Sherwood) says the quote needs an in-text attribution in addition to the inline citation, which seems to assume the presence of an inline citation as read rather than insisting on one be added to an in-text attribution (aside from which there are inline citations in this article, just not in the form of superscript links at the end of every sentence). Inline cites don't prevent the willy-nilly addition of new material either - they just makes it look like it's supported by the next cite tag. Yomanganitalk 16:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
i have a refrence to add to this page. it is an article on the national archives about the great fire of london that will add to this articles reliability refrence Rydino53 (talk) 15:51, 24 January 2013 (UTC)rydino53

The other conspiracy theoryEdit

Everyone knows the story of how Wren had just presented his new plans to the City Fathers, who voted to reject them on budget grounds. Supposedly, a few of them privately approved the plans, and organized the fire as a pretext to re-develop the site of the ruined buildings. Perhaps a mention of this theory could be added to the various others. Valetude (talk) 15:49, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

I have never heard this story. It sounds more like contemporary gossip circulated by Wren's enemies. Whatever, it would need a reliable source before being included in the article.  Giano  16:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I have also never heard this story. Although Wren did propose rebuilding Old St Paul's before the fire, nobody aiming to destroy St Paul's would have started a fire at Pudding Lane, which is at the opposite end of the City and against the prevailing winds—it was only a string of extraordinary circumstances that led to the fire spreading westwards as far as St Paul's and Pye Corner. Plus, Wren's was only one of many suggestions for the reconstruction and it wasn't at all obvious that his would be the scheme chosen. In any event, it was a singularly unsuccessful conspiracy given that both of Wren's pet schemes (for a rationalisation of the City's street layout, and the rebuilding of St Paul's as a basilica), were rejected. – iridescent 2 10:42, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

In Popular CultureEdit

The novel 'Old St. Paul's' by the Victorian fiction-writer Harrison Ainsworth gives a most vivid account of the fire. Perhaps other historical novels, poems, plays, films and TV programmes might be listed in a new section 'In Popular Culture'. Valetude (talk) 15:55, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Unless these 'historical novels' give reliable sources for their descriptions of the Great Fire, there seems little point mentioning them. Mostly such novels take great liberties at the expense of accuracy.  Giano  16:48, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Panorama used in articleEdit

I've recently been reading about some of the pre-1666 panorama artworks of London, some mentioned at Panorama of London. The one used in this article is the Visscher panorama from around 1600. There is a later panorama, the Hollar panorama of 1647, which is at the image file: Long view of London From Bankside (no article yet, but it would be possible to have one). The Hollar panorama is described here in A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677 (2002) by Richard Pennington. Following the description of the original state, Pennington goes on to describe some of the later states, including some versions that show details from after the fire. Pennington also quotes from another work (Printed maps of London circa 1553-1850 by Darlington and Howgego) that says the Hollar panorama is "the most important ... and the most accurate of the pre-Fire panoramas". Given the differences between the Hollar panorama and the Visscher panorama (particularly the use of a single perspective in the Hollar panorama), maybe a crop of the Hollar panorama could be used here instead, or at least referred to for a more accurate representation? It might also help to make clear (I'd not fully realised this before) that the Visscher panorama is from several different viewpoints, and doesn't quite show what the actual view looked like (i.e. the bend in the river is 'flattened' somewhat in the Visscher panorama). I suppose what is needed is to find someone able to crop the massive file we have of the Hollar panorama, and see if the result is worth using or not. Carcharoth (talk) 11:16, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 August 2014Edit

As pointed out in the "talk page", the painting in the upper right hand corner is not from an unknown artist, but is by Lieve Verschuier, "The Great Fire of London, 1666." Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Thanks! (talk) 20:03, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

  Not done: The current image used in the article does not appear to be the one you are talking about. From what I can tell the Verschuier one you mention is and looks very different from what is currently being used in the intro. The other image described as being by an unknown artist that another IP has attributed to Verschuier earlier in the talk page seems to be this one. That presumably reliable source says its by an unknown artist as well Cannolis (talk) 03:50, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Why is this article protected?Edit

It appears this article has been protected for several years. If Wikipedia policy has changed, please indicate, but my understanding is articles should only be protected from editing if there is consistent and ongoing vandalism, edit warring, etc. Closest I can see from looking at the history is some editor claimed to have never heard of Pepys' Diary, though that may have been in jest. (talk) 20:01, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

kkjxjx# — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

There's a comma after "however" missing here: "However an enormous stroke of bad luck meant". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 November 2015Edit

Spuddha (talk) 11:43, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

  •   Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format.
  • You have to actually tell us what you want to do with that link. Where do you want it added? Do you want to use it as a reference somewhere? Please be specific with your request. --Stabila711 (talk) 06:16, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Doctor WhoEdit

Someone needs to add to the main page, in the "In Culture" section, the following info: In the Doctor Who story The Visitation, it is revealed that the Great Fire Of London was caused by a conflict with an alien. ClintJCL (talk) 18:23, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

William TaswellEdit

>"Leaving school, young William Taswell stood on Westminster Stairs a mile away and watched as the flames crept round the cathedral and the burning scaffolding ignited the timbered roof beams. Within half an hour, the lead roof was melting, and the books and papers in the crypt caught with a roar. "The stones of Paul's flew like grenados, the melting lead running down the streets in a stream, and the very pavements glowing with fiery redness, so as no horse, nor man, was able to tread on them", reported Evelyn in his diary."

That's a lot of detail to see from a mile away. Are we sure he wasn't closer? Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 22:42, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

@Risssa: Thanks, the first sentence only was from Taswell's perspective, but I've now expanded this and removed the second sentence which was unattributed.----Pontificalibus 07:38, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Number of destructed houses.Edit

In the article there are two different information about destructed houses: 13,200 and 13,500. Can anybody check which one is correct?--Saliner (talk) 20:10, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 March 2016Edit

this is wrong you need to involve the great fire of dylan Blazecross90 (talk) 15:02, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

If you have a serious request for a change, state it. Bishonen | talk 15:05, 21 March 2016 (UTC).

Recent edits by DilidorEdit

The recent edits by user:Dilidor seem to me to have made the article worse, not better. They seem to have an obsession about split infinitives but then don't seem to understand what the term means. Also they have swapped lots of clauses around in sentences to make the wording very pedestrian and added lots of unnecessary words such as "that" everywhere. Changing further to farther seems to be an unnecessary Americanism that doesn't belong in a British English article. Looking at User talk:Dilidor it would seem that they have a history of doing this to British English articles and have been asked not to do it - especially to featured articles. Was the English in this article article really so bad when it passed FA? Richerman (talk) 09:50, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 January 2017Edit

Please add the following quotation from Samuel Pepys'account [Development of the Fire - Tuesday - End of paragraph]:"In a letter to Sir William Coventry, Pepys wrote he « saw how horribly the sky looks, all on a fire in the night, was [sic] enough to put us out of our wits ; and, indeed, it was extremely dreadful, for it looks just as if it was at us, and the whole heaven on fire. »[1] ORANSIGLOT (talk) 07:59, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

  Done Aurato (talk) 21:27, 6 January 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Pepys,Samuel(1996). The Great Fire of London. London: Phoenix Paperback. p. 15. ISBN 1 85799 521 x Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.

Semi-protected edit request on 14 January 2017Edit

Would you please add the following paragraph in : Aftermath, following "Abroad in the Netherlands, the Great Fire of London was seen as a divine retribution for Holmes's Bonfire, the burning by the English of a Dutch town during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.[60]":

On October 5th Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, reported to the Doge and the Senate that Louis XIV announced that he would not « have any rejoicings about it, being such a deplorable accident involving injury to so many unhappy people » Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). [61] . He offered the Queen, Catherine of Braganza, to send food and whatever goods might be of aid in alleviating the plight of Londoners. Yet the King made no secret that he regarded « the fire of London as a stroke of good fortune for him » as it reduced the risk of French ships crossing the Channel and the North Sea being taken or sunk by the English fleet.

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). [61] : Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 35, 1666-1668, ed. Allen B Hinds (London, 1935), pp. 80-97. British History Online --ORANSIGLOT (talk) 19:49, 14 January 2017 (UTC) ORANSIGLOT (talk) 19:49, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

  Already done — Train2104 (t • c) 17:53, 19 February 2017 (UTC)


Fix categories. Change Category:1666 events to Category:1666 fires. Change Category:History of London to Category:17th century in London. Add Category:History of the City of London. (talk) 08:31, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

  Done Izno (talk) 13:11, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

What's wrong with this picture?Edit

The caption in: 'A panorama of the City of London in 1616 by Claes Visscher', states "...much would be destroyed in an earlier fire in 1632" (emphasis added). Huh? (talk) 21:53, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

 Y Partly done Corrected, but "pending review" — (talk) 03:32, 13 December 2018 (UTC) --P.s: I realize that "earlier" is not incorrect in the global article context, but confusion can arise from ambiguity in the local caption context.
  Done Thanks User:Redactyll2606:A000:1126:28D:6024:292F:BF55:5BD0 (talk) 01:15, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

Useful images?Edit

London before and after the fire of 1666, by Wenceslas Hollar
These two images (when joined) show a panorama of London: top image before the fire, bottom after

Might these images be useful? It would be great if they could somehow be joined together better than attempted here. —2606:A000:1126:28D:6024:292F:BF55:5BD0 (talk) 05:26, 14 December 2018 (UTC) — Modified:20:31, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Use of "The section '...' is based on ..."Edit

Is the use of "The section '...' is based on ..." (see e.g. ref 37) up to today's FA standards? Doesn't it take away the WP:INTEGRITY of the sections? Also, there are many refs where the page ranges are way too broad, especially in these "The section '...' is based on ..." refs. —Biscuit-in-Chief :-) (TalkContribs) 11:03, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

It only becomes an INTEGRITY problem if someone inserts material not from that source and does not cite it; otherwise material in these sections can be assumed to come from that source. As to the page ranges, they seem reasonable under the circumstances. Nikkimaria (talk) 16:48, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Close to not meeting featured article criteriaEdit

The article has multiple issues at the moment, including a lack of citations, and some outdated information, contradicting research published in 2016. I'll give it a few weeks before opening a featured article review. Renerpho (talk) 20:40, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

I've addressed these issues; just waiting on a book to come in for some additional touchups. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:19, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
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