33

The Great Fire of London – Cui Bono? 353 years on, we take a fresh look at the evidence

Gloria Moss

It is now 353 years since the Great Fire of London, a fire that caused the destruction of 436 acres of London including 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches (out of 109), St Paul’s Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities. In all, it is estimated that around 100,000 people, one third of London’s population, were made homeless since the start of the five-day fire on 2 September.

The official story

It is widely held that the fire started in Pudding Lane (see illustration 1) in the bakery of Thomas Farriner, provider of the bread for the Royal Navy’s nearby Victualing Office. Negligence was held out as a primary factor despite Farriner’s subsequent assurances that at midnight, a few hours before the fire broke out, only one grate had any smouldering embers and these had all been raked over. He claimed, moreover, that he had gone through every room in the bakery after midnight and that all the doors and windows had been closed to prevent draughts.

Illustration 1 – Pudding Lane

So, is there more to this story than meets the eye? Farriner maintained his innocence until his death in 1670 swearing in court that his house could only have been set alight maliciously. For the first time, we ask what evidence there is to support his claim, suggesting in fact that the balance of probability lies in his favour. A word first about the responsibilities for fire fighting at the time.

Fire-fighting

Responsibility for putting out fires lay with streets, parish or wards and preventative measures included pulling down buildings, dislodging the superstructure from its foundations and causing the framework to collapse. This approch will have been known to the authorities in London but the authority of the Mayor of London was needed before this could be done.

Unfortunately, the then post-holder, Thomas Bloodworth, was the man who declared that the fire was so small, ‘a woman might piss it out’ and so forcible demolition of buildings was not used until the third day of the fire when it had already spread extensively. Note also that Bloodworth declined the supply of additional soldiers on the first day of the fire.

Beyond the Mayor, responsibility for fighting fires lay with men at fire posts throughout the City but on the first day of the fire, 2 September, the diarist and clerk of the Privy Seal, Samuel Pepys, noted ‘nobody to my sight endeavouring to quench it’, remarking that the Mayor of London had stated that he needed no more soldiers to help with the fire (Milne, 1986, p.31). Why would he take that view?

Meanwhile, Thomas Vincent, the puritan minister, noted on 3 September how the wood removed from houses had been placed in the spacious and fashionable shopping area of Cornhill, towards the north of the city, but had not been removed from there, allowing the wood to catch fire. Likewise, on the third day of the fire, 5 September, the diarist, John Evelyn noted how the Gentlemen ‘began to bestir themselves, and not till now, who had stood as men interdict, with their hands a cross’. Then, on Thursday 6 September, many of the constables who should have been at fire posts were reported as absent by the Earl of Oxford, then undertaking a check. So, at best, the lack of action was a case of poor organisation and at worst purposeful negligence.

Act of nature or a malign plot?

What of the claim that the fire was started and spread maliciously? Although this way of thinking has been sidelines as evidence of a ‘plot mentality’ (Marshall, 2016), there is much to cause disquiet in the official story. We will focus on four points which suggest that the fire was no accident.

Fires common at the time

If the conflagration really had developed from a single fire in a building in Pudding Lane, it is perplexing – without other credible factors at play – that it could have spread so rapidly across the City of London. Indeed, the very relaxed attitude of contemporaries suggests firstly that fires were not untoward and secondly, not likely to spread.

For example, Pepys, on being informed of the fire at three in the morning on 2 September, and seeing it from his window, thought it ‘far enough off’ to justify going to bed.

Indeed, ‘fires were common’ at the time (McRobbie, 2016), explaining why the London Gazette, the city’s twice-weekly newspaper, ran a small item about the fire in its Monday edition, among gossip about the Prince of Saxe’s unconsummated marriage to the Princess of Denmark and news of a storm in the English Channel. So, Pepys had no particular reason for suspecting that the fire would be other than a small, local one, writing specifically that he was ‘unused to such fires as followed’ so had no reason to imagine that the fire would spark a major conflagration.

Drought and timber structures

What arguments do those who do not suspect any malfeasance use? Very often, they cite the fact that the summer had been hot and dry and, as one commentator put it, the ‘houses creaked with dry joints’. However, the combination of these two points do not immediately explain the extent of the fire since a major fire had occurred in 1633, also a time of drought (see weatherwebdotnet) but this fire destroyed no more than 122 buildings, 42 at the northern end of London Bridge and 80 on Thames Street. This figure that compares with the 300 buildings burned down in 1666 in the space of the first morning alone.

So, the conditions normally cited as causing the Great Fire (ie the hot weather and the timber frames of the buildings) cannot on their own explain the fiendish nature of the fire in 1666.

The wind

In reality, this was unlike other fires since all attempts to create firebreaks were in vain and the fire even leaped the river Fleet and the Thames down to Southwark. How could this be? Commentators past and present cite the strength of the wind blowing from the east with the British Library, for example, referencing ‘the dry weather and strong easterly wind’ as ‘creating the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of the fire’.

Likewise, the London Gazette of 8 September, offering what it claimed was a ‘true account of the fire’ (indeed the publication has been described by Jenner 2017 as offering the official account of the fire to its 13,000-15,000 readers) described how a ‘violent Easterly wind formented [the fire], and kept it burning all day, and the night following, spreading itself up to Grace-church street and downwards from Cannon Street to the Waterside as far as the Three Cranes’. The movement up to Grace-Church and Cannon street is in a northerly direction relative to Pudding Lane while that to the Waterside is to the south.

In point of fact, if you look at the way that the fire had spread in the course of the second day , you will see that it affected areas to the east and north of its starting point in Pudding Lane, whereas you would expect an easterly wind to restrict its spread to areas to the west of the starting point.

Illustration 2 – Map showing the spread of the fire

This is particularly strange since the direction of the easterly wind is said to have shifted only at 11pm on the third day at which point the fire moved towards the Tower of London. So how could the easterly wind have been responsible for the direction of a fire that headed north and south of Pudding Lane? (see illustration 2).

These anomalies did not go unremarked by contemporaries. Thomas Vincent, for example, referred to the ‘strange spreading of the fire’ on 2 September (Milne, 1986, p.35), stating how on 3 September the fire worked ‘fast against the wind’ (ibid, p.37) so that it ‘wrought backwards strangely against the wind’ moving its way eastwards to Tower Street (ibid, p.43.).

Likewise, John Evelyn described a ‘fierce, eastern wind’ but noted on 3 September the way in which the fire ‘kindled back against the wind as well as forward’ (ibid, p.41).

So, it seems that the presence of a strong easterly wind on the first two days of the fire cannot, on its own, explain the fire’s direction of travel.

Pitch

Among the burnt objects retrieved from a shop near Pudding Lane were melted pieces of pottery that revealed the effects of temperatures as high as 1700 degrees Celsius (Museum of London, p.1).

Illustration 3 – Melted pottery – evidence of extreme heat.

The Museum of London wrote (ibid) that pitch burns very easily and would have helped to spread the fire and certainly at temperatures such as these, the fire would have been enormously powerful. However, it is unlikely that without manufactured oxygen currents, as typically found in Firestorms, these high temperatures could have been produced.

Where does this leave us?

Having examined the factors to which the Great Fire has been attributed – drought, timber structures, a strong easterly wind and burning pitch – it seems that these alone cannot explain the strength and reach of the Great Fire. We are forced into the inevitable conclusion that a fire in Pudding Lane and hot weather could not have been the sole causes of the Great Fire. So, in the section that follows, we investigate the evidence for a plot, ending with the question as to who may have benefited from this.

Evidence of a plot

The notion that the Great Fire was not an innocent one is recorded on the original inscription on the Monument building, constructed by Wren in the 1670s to commemorate the fire. Whilst this text was erased in 1830, the first words read:

In perpetual remembrance of the most dreadful burning of this protestant city, begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the popish faction”

Plots were not uncommon and in fact people had been executed in April 1666 for a Papish plot intended go live in London on 3 September.

Indeed, many contemporary observers suspected foul play. Farriner, for example, the baker in Pudding Lane, concluded that ‘it was absolutely set fire on purpose’ (October Sessions of the Old Bailey, London 1666) and the puritan minister, Thomas Vincent, stated that there were rumours of fire balls being thrown to provoke the furious flames (Milne, 1986, p.30).

Moreover, on Tuesday 4 September, Vincent expressed surprise at the way that St Paul’s Cathedral, then the largest church in Britain and the third largest in Europe, had been affected by the fire. If you analyse what he said, there are no fewer than three main factors underlying his concern.

Firstly, where the construction of the building is concerned, he singled out the fact that the building was made of stone and that great beams and stones fell and ‘great flakes of stone scale[d] and peel[ed] off strangely from the sides of the walls.’

Then, in terms of its location, that it was ‘naked of houses about it’, something clearly apparent from contemporary engravings, and noted also noted its position high above all buildings in the City, a fact consistent with its location atop Ludlow Hill.

Finally, he drew attention to the manner in which the cathedral ‘strangely t[ook] the fire at the top’, a phenomenon clearly illustrated in Hollar’s engraving of 1666 showing the fire coming from, inside the roof of the building (see illustration 4).

Illustration 4 – Hollar’s 1666 engraving of old St Paul’s burning.

So, there is much to arouse suspicion. Who could have been behind a plot? Contemporaries of the fire proposed a variety of conspirators. Thomas Vincent, for example, proposed that ‘it smelt of a Papish design’ (Milne, 1986 p.30) while others suggested that the fire was started by French and Dutch attacker since England was at war with France and Holland at the time.

Just two weeks earlier, for example, the English had burned West-Terschelling in Holland to the ground and also used fire ships to burn up to 170 Dutch Merchant Navy ships, actions that not only attest to the animosity between Holland and England but also to English skills in pyrotechnics, a field that includes an understanding of fireballs and flares.

That was not all for Pepys wrote of rumours ‘that there is plot in it and that the French had done it’ (ibid, p.60) and a Frenchman, Robert Hubert, confessed to starting the blaze, and was found guilty and executed in London in October 1666.

What do we know of Hubert? Born in Rouen, he was arrested in Essex on suspicion of fleeing England and confessed to the justice who examined him, Cary Harvey, that he had started the conflagration by firing Thomas Farriner’s house. He claimed that he had been recruited in 1665 in Paris as one of twenty-three conspirators who were to set fire to London and had been paid one pistol (equivalent to a gold coin with a value slightly less than a sovereign) with another 5 promised in the future.

He also stated that nothing was attempted that year because of the plague but that in summer 1666 he and two others, including one Stephen Peidloe, or Pie-de-Low, had gone to Sweden, returning to London at the end of August, and that on the night of 2 September Peidloe had taken him to Pudding Lane.

There, according to his statement, he put a lighted fireball of gunpowder, brimstone, and other flammable material on the end of a pole, pushing it through a window in Farriner’s house and waiting to see the building aflame before making off. His companions, meanwhile, according to his account, had already escaped.

Interestingly, other suspected arsonist s had been roughly handled or arrested both during the fire and shortly after it had ended. Amongst these was a ten-year-old boy who told Lord Lovelace how he and his family, abetted by a Dutchman, had started the blaze in Pudding Lane with fireballs.

Hubert was convicted of a felony at the city sessions in October on his own confession, though he had pleaded not guilty when first indicted. Was he guilty or not?

In support of his guilt is the fact that he was unerringly able to describe the appearance of Farriner’s House in Pudding Lane and also identify its whereabouts amongst the ruins.

He also confessed his guilt to a friend of his father, a French merchant named Graves, who claimed that he had known Hubert and Peidloe before the fire and believed them capable of the crime. Moreover, despite multiple suspects, Farriner, his son, and his daughter signed the true bill against Hubert who was hung on 27 October 1666.

Note that it was not until 15 years later, on 17 December 1681 that the captain of the Swedish ship that had brought Hubert to London gave testimony to a new inquiry. On this occasion the captain stated that his boat had arrived in London 2 days before the fire but that Hubert had only disembarked after the start of the fire.

Many contemporary commentators put their weight behind this testimony but why would the captain have waited 15 years to convey evidence of this significance concerning one of the gravest fires in history? Not only that, but evidence that undermines the guilty verdict reached in respect of Hubert’s culpability.

In fact, in a fascinating article on post-fire events, Jenner (2017, p.24) writes of the controls exercised on post-fire narratives with the ‘suppression not only of inflammatory rumours that it had been started by conspirators … but also, it seems, of all unauthorised reports of the inferno’.

These restrictions involved arresting those responsible for publishing and selling unlicensed books and broadsheets, the case for example of the publishers of the broadsheet announcing that ‘the Dutch, French and Jesuite are the formentors in this treacherous design ‘ (ibid, p.25). This censorship of the non-official narratives even led the Privy Council in 1667 to order the public burning of a pamphlet that offered the evidence presented to the Commons’ inquiry into the causes of the Fire (Dolan, 2001).

Qui bono?

The final question relates to who stood most to gain from the Great Fire of London. These gains included financial profits from rebuilding (whether as a landowner, architect or tradesperson, insurance broker or tax authority) as well as the development of a new and more beautiful city.

It certainly seems that people were motivated to act with extreme promptitude – or unseemly haste – after the last ashes were laid to rest on 7 September. For, just three days later, on 10 September, the City established a committee to consider its “recovery out of the … deplorable ruins’ (Journal of Common Counsel) and, on the same day, Henry Oldenburg, Secretary to the Royal Society, wrote to Robert Boyle that he had attended “many meetings of ye principals Cittizens, … who … discoursed almost of nothing, but of a survey of London, and a dessein for rebuilding, … wth Bricks, and large Streets.” (Oldenburg correspondence).

Then, on the fourth day after the fire, on 11 September, Christopher Wren presented his plan for the City to the King. Note that on 1 May 1666, before the fire, he had recommended that a dome should replace the crossing tower of St Paul’s cathedral, with estimates ordered on 27 August of that year.

Then, on 13 September, less than one week following the end of the fire, Charles II issued his Declaration which spoke of his desire for “a much more beautiful City,” and which promised that with the assistance of the Mayor and Aldermen a design would be set out in “a short time.”(His Majestie’s Declaration).

Things moved apace after this.

By 25 September, a little over a fortnight after the end of the fire, a committee was appointed to enquire into the cause of the fire and by 4 October, a little under one month since the start of the fire, a committee was appointed for the rebuilding of London. The Privy Council, Royal appointments included Christopher Wren, Hugh May and Sir Roger Pratt while the City appointments included Robert Hooke, Edward Jarman and Peter Mills. This administrative wizardry happened in a city devastated by fire and in a pre-Internet era. Could forethought have played a part perhaps?

There was much at stake. In terms of finances, it is estimated that 80% of London had been destroyed by the Great Fire with the value of the value of the destroyed property put at around £1.5 billion in today’s money, so the profits from rebuilding would have been substantial. Who stood to gain?

In terms of the liabilities for rebuilding, most Londoners lived as leaseholders, renting their homes from the owners and their leases required them to cover the full costs of any damage (and also to pay the rent for the full term of the lease, even if the property no longer existed). The trial and execution of Robert Hubert in October 1666, in making the fire an act of war, put the responsibility back onto the property owners but a parliamentary report issued in January 1667 concluded that the fire was not a malicious act and so responsibility once again fell on tenants.

Their obvious inability to cover the costs of rebuilding London led to the setting up of the Fire Courts, to better distribute the burden (Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, Farriner) but the burden of the rebuilding still fell on the mass of people. rather than just landowners, through new taxation introduced. For, in 1667, King Charless II ordered a new tax on coal arriving in London, a tax that was doubled in 1670.

So, you might say that the landowners and Crown benefited from the fire and the financing of new stone and brick buildings.

Other profits emerged from the new activity of insurance that arose in 1680 when the first insurance company, the ‘Fire Office’, was set up by Nicholas Barbon. The creation of other insurance companies followed so that by 1690 one in ten houses in London was insured.

What we discover then is the extent to which a number of people gained directly from the fire of London.

The King stood to have a new capital city built with funding coming from taxation; landowners could rely on tenants to foot the bill for rebuilding; and Wren experienced a new career as architect extraordinaire following the fire. In fact, the benefits bestowed on the King and Wren are so extraordinary that we sketch some details below.

Christopher Wren

Illustration 5 – Christopher Wren

Before the fire, Wren’s forays into architecture had been limited to two commissions, one for the design of a Chapel at Pembroke College, one that had come from his uncle the Bishop of Ely, and a second for the design of the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford.

His background had been in mathematics and astronomy, not architecture and so in June 1655 he embarked on a ten month overseas trip to Paris, returning in March 1666, just sixth months before the Great Fire that provided his ‘big opportunity’ (Victoria and Albert style guide). This was his only journey abroad in the course of a long life spanning 90 years.

Although records of this single overseas journey are sparse—primarily one long letter from Wren himself—the two people that he expressly wished to meet, and undoubtedly met, were the French architect François Mansart and the Italian sculptor and architect G. L. Bernini, who arrived in Paris from Rome at the request of Louis XIV on 2 June 1665.

What is more, he viewed Jacques Lemercier’s church of the Sorbonne (1635-43) and the Val-de- Grâce by Francoise Mansart (1645-62), both domed-buildings, and fulfilled his aim of returning with ‘almost all France on paper’.

Back in England, in fact, he spoke of ‘daily conference with the best Artists’, French and Italian, and first-hand study of modern design and construction (Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, Wren).

This ten month stay in Paris proved extraordinarily timely since it provided Wren (illustration 5) with the apprenticeship in architecture that allowed him to assume the architectural responsibilities that came his way immediately after the Great Fire. There is evidence that he delegated much of the design of future buildings, for example in the design of St Paul’s Cathedral () and the City churches but some basic understanding of architecture would have been required even when directing the work of others.

King Charles II

Illustration 6 – Charles II

Before assuming the throne, Charles spent nine years in exile, with the first few years of this at the French court with his Bourbon mother, Henrietta Maria. Following his departure from France in 1654, he spent a spell in the Holy Roman Empire, before settling in the Spanish Netherlands, a dominion of the King of Spain. He was to remain there until his restoration in 1660.

This period overseas gave Charles a taste for the latest European styles, and encouraged his use of foreign-trained artists and craftspeople who used flamboyant forms and rich materials (Victoria and Albert, Restoration style guide). In matters of personal dress, for example, he used a Parisian tailor, Sourceau, who had worked for him while he was in exile in France in the late 1940s.

So, it seems that the fire provided Charles (illustration 6) with the opportunity to convert London from the timber-framed city that it was to something closer to the cities he had been accustomed to during his period of exile.

Concluding remarks

We have seen the care that Charles II took to ensure that post-Fire narratives accounts of the Fire conformed to that of the official narrative. Now, some 353 years since this event, we have been able to hold a light to the official story and allow a full and uncensored debate on the many anomalies in the official story.

References:

Charles II, His Majestie’s Declaration to His City of London, Upon occasion of the late Calamity by the Lamentable Fire (1666), London Correspondence of Henry Oldenburg Vol III, 1666, ed. A. Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall (Madison, 1966), 226.

Frances Dolan (2001), Ashes and ‘the Archive: The London Fire of 1666, Partisanship, and Proof, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31 (2), 391-93.

Jenner, Mark (2017) Print Culture and the Rebuilding of London after the Fire: The Presumptuous Proposals of Valentine Knight. Journal of British Studies, 1–26.

Journal of Common Council [Jnl.] 46 fo. 120, LMA.

Marshall, A. (2016), The Great Fire, 1666, and the conspiracy mentalitiè in Restoration England, The Great Fire reconsidered.

McRobbie, L. (2016), The Great Fire of London was blamed on religious terrorism, Smithsonian.com, 2 September (accessed on 21 August 2019).

Milne, G. (1986), The Great Fire of London, Historical Publications Ltd: Herts and London

Museum of London, What happened in the great fire of London?

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for Thomas Farriner.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for Christopher Wren.

The Great Fire of London.

Victoria and Albert, Style guide to the Restoration.

Vincent, T (1667), God’s Terrible Voice in the City.

Weatherwebdotnet, 1650-1699 and 1600-1649.

Gloria Moss PhD FCIPD is a Professor of Human Factors and the author of six books and c.70 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. Her research is inter-disciplinary and spans the fields of Leadership and History, with several journal articles devoted to the anomalous findings concerning the Dead Sea Site of Qumran. She will be speaking about the Great Fire at the Alternative Viewpoints event on 14-15 December just outside London.

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

Unlike the Guardian we are NOT funded by Bill & Melinda Gates, or any other NGO or government. So a few coins in our jar to help us keep going are always appreciated.

Our Bitcoin JTR code is: 1JR1whUa3G24wXpDyqMKpieckMGGW2u2VX

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
33 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
nige
nige
Mar 23, 2020 9:33 AM

the fire of london also brought us the “cestui que vie” act that made all people cattle and gave title ownership to the government.

James C
James C
Oct 28, 2020 6:17 PM
Reply to  nige

Interesting, but there’s a simple and plausible rebuttal here: Rebuttal here: https://venerablepuzzle.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/the-boring-truth-about-the-cestui-que-vie-act-1666/

Natalie Robinso
Natalie Robinso
Sep 5, 2019 9:08 AM

It appears more and more historical events are not what they seem when looked into with a contemporary critical eye. The “awake And Aware” conference in December (14th & 15th) is just what we need to keep up the momentum. Have a look who’s appearing and grab a discount when booking before 15th September (tickets numbers are limited) https://tinyurl.com/y2x9eqd5

Paul Hargreaves
Paul Hargreaves
Sep 4, 2019 7:32 PM

Fantastic stuff Gloria, I am looking forward to the weekend event on 14-15 December. There are some great speakers presenting. I actually feel like more and more people are waking up to the false narrative (history) that shapes our future.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Sep 4, 2019 2:57 AM

And to think that right here, right now, well over three centuries later, Below These haLlowed electronified interquibbles, a couple of world-class, ‘all you need to do is feel your cat or dog from its living insides and all else will be jake’ Emollients are trying to convince me that “psyops” and “post-truths” are an invention of our own times. Sheesh, I could do better with half a fingerbowl of good mayonnaise with a drizzling of runny acacia honey. Apply to the affected part and rub in gently.

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich
Sep 2, 2019 7:18 PM

“The trial and execution of Robert Hubert in October 1666, in making the fire an act of war, put the responsibility back onto the property owners but a parliamentary report issued in January 1667 concluded that the fire was not a malicious act and so responsibility once again fell on tenants.”

So, the ol’ boys club worked wonders, 353 years ago as well.

Not much changed since forgone days, reaching back all the way, deep into what we see today as antiquity…

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit
Sep 2, 2019 8:31 PM
Reply to  Daniel Rich

The empire never dies, it just appears in different forms.

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich
Sep 3, 2019 12:58 AM

@ pablomillerunit,

Indeed. Actors change. The story itself not that much. Some variations here and there perhaps, but nothing to set us, the grey masses free.

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 2, 2019 1:18 PM

You really have to wonder how much of a psyop the Great Fire was. There seems to be a number of intricate storylines designed to distract and confuse with the typical kinds of contradictions you see in psyops today … plus the pushing out of truth in various ways – because they always tell us.

They always like to have as much control of the story as possible so no doubt Farriner was in on it and when he said it was deliberately lit he was telling the truth, of course.

  • So the London Gazette gives a report on how the fire spread that doesn’t match reality just like NIST’s model of the collapse of WTC-7.
  • Drought and hot weather blamed just like unusual design of WTC buildings and failure of fire-proofing material.
  • Constables reported absent from fire posts similar to failures of the FAA and NORAD on 9/11.
  • The fire worked “fast against the wind” so that it “wrought backwards strangely against the wind” – echoes of JFK’s magic bullet?
  • Was the “In perpetual remembrance … of the popish faction” and claims in that direction equivalent to all the 9/11 Israel-implicating propaganda – not to say that there wasn’t popish faction involvement nor Israeli involvement, it’s just that obviously the King and the US govt are the primary culprits.
  • Thomas Vincent – disinformation agent extraordinaire? He tells lots of seemingly truthful and incriminating information but perhaps mixed with some lies? He proposed “it smelt of a Papish design”. Perhaps I should read his book – or give it a try anyway.
  • So Hubert has an interesting tale to tell in his confession (as well as having things told about him) and 15 years later we’re told he arrived two days after the fire started. A typical psyop contradiction all those centuries ago in which they clearly tell us he didn’t do it. They told us he was hung but do we believe it – just as they told us they put Jack Ruby in jail but there is no reason to believe it and just as there is no reason to believe Chelsea Manning has spent any time in jail either.
  • “Restrictions involved arresting those responsible for publishing and selling unlicensed books and broadsheets, the case for example of the publishers of the broadsheet announcing that ‘the Dutch, French and Jesuite are the formentors in this treacherous design.” Surely propaganda to distract focus from the real culprits.
flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 2, 2019 1:34 PM
Reply to  flaxgirl

Actually, the captain saying Hubert only disembarked two days after the fire reminds me of the terrorists popping up alive – the captain’s testimony says Hubert couldn’t have done it just as the popped-up alive terrorists couldn’t have done it.

Gloria Moss
Gloria Moss
Sep 2, 2019 1:36 PM
Reply to  flaxgirl

Some thought-provoking points here. It is so difficult to disentangle truth from untruth although we can usually tell when the evidence does not fit the official version of events.

I will be giving a talk on the Great Fire at an event on 14-15 December near London (see https://tinyurl.com/y2x9eqd5) and there is space for the audience to present their own topics so maybe you could present a talk on threads linking past and recent historical events?

Lots of food for thoughts in any case, and disturbing too of course.

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 2, 2019 2:11 PM
Reply to  Gloria Moss

Thanks, Gloria and thank you for doing such great research including reading that awful Thomas Vincent book – how on earth? and working out a much more truthful explanation than is presented in the history books now. The event looks fascinating. I live in Sydney so I probably won’t make it but you never know.

Just read the story of Farriner escaping from his house … while his poor unnamed maid didn’t make it – am I simply too indoctrinated with psyops? – sounds phony to me and just exactly the kind of thing you’d insert into the story to preempt any suspicion of Farriner being part of the plot.

It is difficult to disentangle truth from untruth but with psyops they are helpful in that they always give signals such as contradictions in the story, things that don’t add up, different versions of the story, the actual truth, Masonic numbers and symbology, etc. I notice you say the number of steps in St Pauls Cathedral, 311, is an interesting number.

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 2, 2019 2:19 PM
Reply to  flaxgirl

Oh and “According to the Venetian ambassador in Paris the crowd tore his body to pieces after the execution, reflecting the strength of the upsurge of anti-French feeling.” I’m afraid I struggle.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Sep 5, 2019 1:20 AM
Reply to  flaxgirl

“It is difficult to disentangle truth from untruth but with psyops they are helpful in that they always give signals such as contradictions in the story, things that don’t add up, different versions of the story, the actual truth, Masonic numbers and symbology, etc. I notice you say the number of steps in St Pauls Cathedral, 311, is an interesting number.”

I don’t know what was in Prof Moss’s mind when she said that the number of steps to the top of Wren’s Monument to the Great Fire of London (aka “the Monument”), 311, was an “interesting” number, but I’ve got a doozy for you to work your own magic on:

If you browse to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_the_Great_Fire_of_London and scroll down to the fourth paragraph, you’ll see it says:

Text on the east side originally falsely blamed Roman Catholics for the fire (“burning of this protestant city, begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the popish faction”), which prompted Alexander Pope (himself a Catholic) to say of the area:

Where London’s column, pointing at the skies,
Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies.
– Moral Essays, Epistle iii. line 339 (1733–1734).*

Now, keeping in mind the evil Masonic trick of (what I’m told) is called “reversing” the numbers in their evil “signals”, “reverse” that 339 and divide it by their evil Masonic number 3. OMG flaxgirl, they’re doing their evil chortling at us down through the centuries. They’ve probably been chortling at us ever since Solomon built the first temple. And everyone round here knows what that means.

P.S. You might find the immediately preceding link to the Popish Plot and master 17th century conspiracy theorist Titus Oates interesting too.

* For proof, see Pope’s entire poem, with line numbers, online at https://www.bartleby.com/203/145.html

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 6, 2019 1:49 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

I’m not quite sure if you’re you’re mocking or chiming in Robbo but I will say:

… they’re doing their evil chortling at us down through the centuries.

Could not have said it better myself!

Thanks for the tip on Titus. Hey guess what? It’s funny how they’re so clueless in identifying the REAL fake news. They don’t get that Titus was a deep fake not a simple fake.

http://elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk/analysis/item/the-great-brisish-fake-off-how-startups-are-fighting-fake-news
Fake news stories are in themselves nothing new. “The business of disinformation is as old as the world,” says James Chappell, co-founder and CTO of Digital Shadows, the digital-risk-management scaleup. Indeed, look back through the ages and you’ll find no shortage of individuals spreading lies for personal gain or to undermine others. For instance, between 1678 and 1681, England fell victim to the so-called Popish Plot where protestant clergyman Titus Oates convinced the country that Catholics plotted to assassinate King Charles II. Despite being an utter fabrication, the lies played on the anti-Catholic sentiments of the time and resulted in the executions of 22 innocent men before the hysteria ended and Oates was sentenced for perjury. “And we’ve got examples dating as far back as Roman times,” says Chappell.

The slaughter of 22 innocent men! Yeah, I bet.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Sep 4, 2019 5:30 AM
Reply to  flaxgirl

“You really have to wonder how much of a psyop the Great Fire was.”

In the context of the Great Fire you should ask Prof Moss for some help backdating the nomenclature of your three favourite frisson words. Nothing like adding a bit of historical range to your everyday vocabulary. Along with her analysis of the Qumran site, she could probably teach you a few things about conjectural caution and rigour as well.

But hey, the good news is that Sami Zeidan, the CNN news presenter, has found a new victim for your faux razor cum 10-bladed machete-like character assassination device. A few days ago he was half way through an interview on the prosecution of Omar al-Bashir, currently inhabiting a cage in a Sudanese courtroom, when the interviewee suddenly confided to his international audience that the guy in the cage was not al-Bashir. Some expert had borrowed your machete to ‘take the camera closer’ to look at the accused’s face and listen to his voice before issuing the other-evidence-free proclamation that he was a fake and that the real one was living the high life in Saudi Arabia. Sami looked at a loss to know what to do with revelation so I thought it might be appropriate for you to take on the case.

axisofoil
axisofoil
Sep 2, 2019 8:49 AM

Well…….I think this is also food for thought.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Sep 2, 2019 8:37 AM

From our experience with regular large conflagrations in Australia, we know that when a fire gets big enough it creates its own weather.
Large fires are constantly sucking oxygen from every direction.
In forests, gullies, ravines or built up areas this can cause unusual and unpredictable winds.
Just sayin.

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Sep 2, 2019 2:44 AM

OMG! This blows my mind. Having virtually no knowledge of history bar staged events I’ve studied going back only as far as Pearl Harbour I wondered about much older historical events. The echoes of 9/11 are simply eerie.

“Melted pieces of pottery that revealed the effects of temperatures as high as 1700 degrees Celsius” similar to iron spheres found in the WTC rubble.

The historic date and the plan at the ready, just like Silverstein’s WTC-7 plan presented a year before: “on 11 September, Christopher Wren presented his plan for the City to the King.”
https://www.mintpressnews.com/911-larry-silverstein-designed-new-wtc-7-one-year-attacks/214821/

“a little over a fortnight after the end of the fire, a committee was appointed to enquire into the cause of the fire” just like the bogus 9/11 Commission (that they made appear delayed in forming when the timing was, of course, all planned in advance).

The insurance scam.

The imported patsy, Robert Hubert, just like the Saudi patsies who no doubt was not hung at all but simply returned to France.

Simply mind-blowing.

Bal S
Bal S
Sep 2, 2019 2:10 AM

Putin did it…..

Anticitizen one
Anticitizen one
Sep 3, 2019 8:54 PM
Reply to  Bal S

Yes, I bet they found his uncharred passport at the scene. And don’t forget his bio weapon attack the year before!

nondimenticare
nondimenticare
Sep 1, 2019 10:52 PM

CUI BONO, please (only because everything, everywhere now is explained by this phrase) to whom the good, not who good.

Fire Bug
Fire Bug
Sep 1, 2019 10:29 PM

Don’t try and pin any of this on me – for I was yet to be born

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit
Sep 2, 2019 12:01 AM
Reply to  Fire Bug

What’s your name? bedbug – oh sorry firebug.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Sep 1, 2019 10:01 PM

A most enjoyable read. Thank you very much. Maybe since some water has flown down the Thames, the emotional impact of the revelations about the truth in regards to this conflagration is not very strong. The story as to who benefitted from this event are however timeless. It goes to show that deception has a long history and the attempts of the owner class to cover things up feel as fresh as from today.

While reading this beautiful work, I had it read to me in my imagination by Margaret Rutherford, Miss Marple. She and Mr. Stinger would have also figured out what went on in this ‘hot renovation’. As to the past terms and conditions pertaining rental agreements, we might be a bit better off today – provided one can find any affordable housing in the first place.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit
Sep 1, 2019 8:12 PM

As I read the article, a sensation began to grow on me concerning the things we apply our minds to. In this case, my knowledge of the Great Fire was limited to images of a Ladybird book. You know the sort of thing – Slovenly baker, through a mixture ineptitude and back luck caused the whole event. Then the phoenix in the ashes, thoroughly technically competent but also a bit arty, Sir Christopher Wren, reconstructed London’s skyline and saved every ones aesthetic day. The deeper I read into the article, the more the realisation hit me – everything resembles an onion – the deeper you go into a subject, so many more layers of the onion are revealed. I once read about a scientist, who spent his whole professional career, studying the life cycle of a parasite of a barnacle. His understanding of the parasite was deep and intimate. When he expressed his views on the parasites behaviour I was spellbound, enlightened, enthralled. I realised he was tailoring his writing for the lay person, yet a combination of his passion, the complexity of the parasites behavior , and the work he had done to reveal that behaviour – it all completely blew me away.
The digital era is maturing – we will be in the informational promised land in a few heart beats. Yet in that digital promised land, we confront a new problem – The Rollerball problem. In that film James Caan finds half of the fourteenth century history page has been removed by his all powerful corporate employers because for some reason, “the Company” is embarrassed by something in that archive. The enormity ( and effectiveness ) of this dawns on him as the film plays out.
The tension between those who wish to peel back the onion layers and those who wish it remain unexposed has never been stronger. Yet if the past can be rewritten at the press of a button, how could anyone peel the layers back? To rewrite the past in 1666 they had to burn half a mighty city down.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Sep 4, 2019 4:06 PM

“Then the phoenix in the ashes, thoroughly technically competent but also a bit arty, Sir Christopher Wren, reconstructed London’s skyline and saved every ones aesthetic day.”

Not in my opinion. For sheer mercantile ugliness restated in stone and defacinfg the City of London skyline for centuries thereafter, Wren’s legacy of urban eyesore takes the cake.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit
Sep 4, 2019 6:40 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Satirical observation Robbobbin . I was alluding to being brainwashed as a kid by lady bird books ( of which i read many. )

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 1, 2019 7:23 PM

All the usual suspects of the time were suspected. Plus ca change.

Jules Moules
Jules Moules
Sep 1, 2019 7:05 PM

I found this article very interesting. I’d always believed the Pudding Lane bakery incident to be accidental and the Great Fire a result of the crowded rows of timber framed buildings rapidly succumbing to the blown embers and ashes of the source and its surroundings. Interesting to note the Monument’s erased text in 1830.

As to whether there is enough evidence, readily available in this day and age, to suggest arson is much too late to determine. Although, in times of great upheaval – social, religious, political, along with the endless continental wars of the period – the use of underhand means, of the many disparate cabals of motivated groups, both foreign and local, hostile to the state, is a dream for any conspiracy theorist looking back through the ages.

I have no idea of the cause of the Great Fire, but a long and dissolute life has taught me not to rule out anything. Or anybody.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit
Sep 1, 2019 9:37 PM
Reply to  Jules Moules

” a long and dissolute life has taught me not to rule out anything. Or anybody”
Jules Moules, one doesn’t come across someone who’s actually learnt something during their sojourn on this planet – you have. Now I have too. Cheers

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Sep 4, 2019 3:51 PM

“Interesting to note the Monument’s erased text in 1830.”

Nothing special. After the English Reformation, when Henry VIII split from the Church of Rome in 1534 and its churches in England were pillaged and defaced, a serious campaign of persecution of its adherents got underway with a whole bunch of prohibitions and restrictions written into law against them. About a couple of hundred years later these restrictions began to be relaxed and in 1829 an Act of Parliament saw a major rehabilitation of their status in the realm. The following year the words blaming the Popists for the fire were removed from the inscription.