as they say. "Americans think that a hundred years is old, and Brits think that 100 miles is far"
Never heard that; thank you.
Fri 2 Sep, 2016 05:46 pm
What a dog with a harelip says?
Mon 5 Sep, 2016 05:02 am
The BBC has set up an interactive page detailing the fire, and looking at what might have been.
When the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, it was so large the smoke could be seen in Oxford. It raged for four days, destroying 80 per cent of the city. Diarist Samuel Pepys wrote that “with one's face in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower of firedrops.”
But as London’s medieval heart lay smouldering, some saw a golden opportunity to break with the past and create a modern, magnificent city. They began making plans for a revolutionary new London.
With the embers still burning, London's intellectuals finalised their plans for the city. The most famous of these came from Royal Society members John Evelyn, Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke.
Hooke designed a regimented grid-iron plan, inspired by the cities of the ancient world, while Evelyn and Wren imagined a city of piazzas, with St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exchange at its heart.
Sadly for the men who dreamt of progress, Wren's brave new city was rejected. Citizens didn't want to surrender their plots of land to his vision and refugees from the fire, camping out at Moorfields, were facing starvation. The King decided to restore London along its original medieval plan but gave his architects the opportunity to embark on some innovative architectural ventures.
The reign of Charles II seemed to have gotten off to a rocky start--the plague in 1665, the fire in 1666, and the abrupt end of the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667, when de Ruyter descended upon the Royal Navy base in the Medway (a river) at Chatham. The latter was the worst English defeat in home waters, and brought that war to an abrupt end. It needn't have happened, too. Aphra Behn, a restoration playwright, was also a secret agent in Antwerp. She was the wife of a Dutch merchant, and admirably placed to pass on gossip about Dutch plans. She warned that the Dutch were planning the raid, and was ignored. The disaster of the Medway--13 ships burned and two hauled away--was the cap stone of the debacle of Charles' early years. But he and his brother James, Duke of York, were well regarded for their behavior during the Great Fire, so they were popular with the people, if not with Parliament. James had captured New Amsterdam in 1664, and in the negotiations of 1667, the Dutch gave up their North American colonies, which became New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The Royal Navy recovered their honor in the third Angl0-Dutch War, when France was no longer an ally of Holland. On balance, although off to a shaky start, the Stuarts justified the restoration.
Charles II knew what it was like to be up against it. That's what made him a good king. He also remembered those who helped him back then.
When he returned to England in 1660 the King granted various annuities and gifts to the people such as the Pendrill brothers and Jane Lane for their services. They were summoned to Whitehall Palace to attend the King and did so for a number of years. For Thomas Whitgreave and Richard Pendrell, Charles created annual pensions of £200 to be paid to them and £100 to the descendants of Richard Pendrell in perpetuity. At some point the Whitgreave pension lapsed (it may never have actually been paid) and so did Jane Lane's because she had no children. The other Pendrell brothers also received lesser pensions. The pensions to the Pendrells are still being paid to a number of their descendants today
Charles paid off a lot of the debts he had incurred during his decade of exile with land in North America. New Jersey was New Jersey because he had been on the island of Jersey at the time his father was executed, and that was then the extent of his kingdom. He and James borrowed 15,000 pounds from Admiral William Penn when they returned to England in 1660, and so, many years later, he gave Admiral Penn's son, also William Penn, a huge tract of land which became Pennsylvania (Penn's woods). He gave away huge tracts in many places, but his biggest gift was the charter for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. The Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay had virtually sovereign powers, and given the vague geographical notions of the time, Charles gave them about of third of present day Canada. Prince Rupert, his cousin and a general in his father's army during the civil wars, was the first governor of the company. George Monck had a big slice of the pie, too, for obvious reasons. Young John Churchill, whose father Winston has suffered for his unswerving loyalty to Charles I, also got a hefty chunk of the new company, which made the Dukes of Marlborough and the Churchill family very well off for centuries to come.
I don't know if the nursery rhyme is popular your side of the ocean, but I've heard tell it's about the siege of New Amsterdam you've mentioned previously.
Tue 6 Sep, 2016 06:52 am
For anyone who might actually be interested, the Royal Navy policy in the Anglo-Dutch wars, largely the effort of James, was very effective over the long run. See The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Boston, 1890. It is the most important book on naval policy ever written.
Thu 8 Sep, 2016 05:55 am
Not really about the fire, but as you've specifically mentioned the plague I thought this a good place to post. It's quite a long article, way too long to post here in its entirety.
DNA testing has for the first time confirmed the identity of the bacteria behind London's Great Plague.
The plague of 1665-1666 was the last major outbreak of bubonic plague in Britain, killing nearly a quarter of London's population.
It's taken a year to confirm initial findings from a suspected Great Plague burial pit during excavation work on the Crossrail site at Liverpool Street.
About 3,500 burials have been uncovered during excavation of the site.
DNA studies of Y pestis were taken from known victims of plague in the 2nd and 3rd pandemics of Europe. The third, which extended for almost 350 yers, showed the magic of evolution as the pestis evolved to become less virulent to the host.
In the third pansemic which lasted for almost 100 years , the actual recovery rate was way higher than earlier forms
It like the Spqnish flu virus . The Spanish flu (or a variant) evolved a lesser lethal form by 1920 (when it disappeqred for the most part).
Having a host actually die during infection does the micro orhanisms no good, so apparently there was enough biological variation in the strain (Y pestis) to allow the less virulent strain to outcompete its killer form.
Historyused to be subject to the "pleasures of geology" and now (as we learn more) its really a big genetics lab. (Thats not me sayin that. )