The Great Fire of London, Reconsidered

Sat 3 September 2016 – Wren Suite, St Paul’s Cathedral

The Great Fire of London has long been held as a pivotal moment in London’s history. Over the course of four days in September 1666, an infernal blaze claimed over 13,000 houses, 87 churches and 52 livery halls, and rendered an estimated 70,000 people homeless. Yet while cellars still burned there were whispers at court that the conflagration might actually be ‘the greatest blessing that God ever conferred’ upon King Charles II because it had crippled the ‘rebellious’ City of London; forever opening its gates to royal power.

Three hundred and fifty years on, The Great Fire: Reconsidered aims to re-examine the impact of the Great Fire of London and explore its wide-ranging legacy.


9:00 – 9:30 Registration & Welcome

9:30 – 10:30 Keynote lecture

Michael Hebbert (UCL), FVMANTIBUS IAM TVM RVINIS – Reconstruction Reconsidered

10:30 – 11:45 Panel One, ‘London mourning in ashes’

Hazel Forsyth (Museum of London), Butcher, Baker, Candlestick maker: Surviving the Great Fire of London

Una McIlvenna (University of Kent), Ballads about the Great Fire of London

Elaine Tierney (V&A), ‘Miserable Huts and Hovels’: Temporary Shelter after the Great Fire of London

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 13:45 Panel Two, Religion and Conspiracy

Jewell Johnson (University of Sydney), The Present Future Past: Prophecies and Conspiratorial Fascinations

Lara Thorpe (Royal Holloway, University of London), A designed buisines’: post-Fire Anti-Catholic Hysteria according to Ejected Puritan Minister John Allin

Alan Marshall (Bath Spa University), The Great Fire, 1666, and the conspiracy mentalitiè in Restoration England.

13:45 – 14:15 Coffee break

14:45 – 16:00 Panel Three, ‘A More Beautiful City’

Marit Leenstra (MOLA), The archaeology of the Great Fire of London

Mark Kirby (University of York), The City churches and “The Glory of all Christendom”

16:00 – 16:10 Final Remarks

Clare Jackson (Trinity Hall, Cambridge) offers final thoughts on the day’s proceedings.

16:15 Wine Reception

Refreshments and lunch are provided and delegates will receive a complimentary visitor ticket to St Paul’s Cathedral that day (open until 9pm), which can be used following the event.

Registration: Please click on the link to register for the conference: