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The year 1666 as any student of English history should be able to tell you marked disaster for London, as it was the year in which the Great Fire of London occurred, which destroyed so much housing. The housing then was primarily made out of wood, and the houses were built very close together, meaning that the fire, which began in a bakery, was able to grow and strengthen as it was swept through the city by the wind. In this journal entry, Samuel Pepys records the way that he and many others transferred their belongings to other, safer, parts of the city in order to protect them from being burned up. The scene he describes is clearly one of panic, as indicated by the large number of people filling the streets and the attempts of the authorities to calm the crowds:
...but there was no passing with any thing through the postern, the crowd was so great. The Duke of Yorke of this day by the office, and spoke to us, and did ride with his guard up and down the City, to keep all quiet (he being now Generall, and having the care of all).
The journal entry for this day ends with a rather sad picture of Samuel Pepys with his wife eating yesterday's leftovers cold, and trying to get to sleep on a borrowed quilt, as all they have has been stored for safekeeping. This journal then records the response of so many citizens of London as they sought to do everything they could to protect themselves and their belongings from the encroaching fire, and the panic that ensued.
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