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Apprendre l'anglais > Cours & exercices d'anglais > Exercices d'anglais > test d'anglais n°3307 : Culture et langue : 'The Great Fire of London'
Culture et langue : 'The Great Fire of London'
The Great Fire of London was a major fire that swept through the City of London from September 2nd to September 5th, 1666, and resulted more or less in the destruction of the city.
The fire of 1666 was one of the biggest calamities in the History of London.
It made homeless
The fire broke out on Sunday morning, September 2nd, 1666. It started in Pudding Lane at the house of Thomas Farrinor, a baker to King Charles II. It is likely that the fire started because Farrinor forgot to extinguish his oven before retiring for the evening and that some time shortly after midnight, smouldering embers from the oven set alight some nearby firewood.
A neighbour called Samuel Pepys was woken up by the fire at around 1 a.m. Farrinor managed to escape the burning building, along with his family, by climbing out through an upstairs window. The baker's housemaid failed to escape and became the fire's first victim.
Within an hour of the fire starting, the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, was woken with the news. He was unimpressed however, declaring that 'a woman might piss it out.'
Most buildings in London at this time were constructed of highly combustible materials like wood and straw, and sparks emanating from the baker's shop fell onto an adjacent building. Fanned by a strong wind, once the fire had taken hold it swiftly spread. The spread of the fire was helped by the fact that buildings were built very close together with only a narrow alley between them.
The progress of the fire might have been stopped, but for the conduct of the Lord Mayor, who refused to give orders for pulling down some houses, without the consent of the owners : buckets and engines were of no use.
As stated, the fire consumed a staggering 13,200 houses and 87 churches, among them the beloved St. Paul's Cathedral, but incredibly only 9-16 people are known to have died.
The destructive fury of this conflagration was never, perhaps, exceeded in any part of the world, by any fire originating in accident. Within the walls, it consumed almost five-sixths of the whole city; and without the walls it cleared a space nearly as large as the one-sixth part left unburnt within. Scarcely a single building that came within the range of the flames was left standing. Public buildings, churches, and dwelling-houses, were alike involved in one common fate.
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