|Statutes for preventing Fires. ||240
This Notice was published in Print; being dated at Guildhall, the 15th of
Pursuant to this, at a Common Council, Sir John Moore Maior, November 16. 1681.
was agreed, That Books should be prepared by the First of December following,
lodged in the Chamber of London, for Receiving and Entring Subscriptions: And
Lands and Ground Rents belonging to the City, to the Value of One Hundred
Pounds, should be forthwith settled as a Fund, to ensure such Houses as should
subscribed for. And that hereafter, as Subscriptions should be made, a further
additional Fund, by the Prœmium which should be received, should be made.
The Prœmium for Ensuring Brick Houses, to be 4l. per Cent.; and for Timber
Houses, 8l. per Cent.
A Fund of 100000l. to be settled for it.
But this would not take; perhaps, because the Credit of the City at this Time
These sad Accidents in the City by Fire, occasioned oftentimes by the Negligence
Servants taking Tobacco, or not putting out their Candles, or putting Live
dangerous Places, or otherwise; moved the Parliament, in the Seventh Year of
Anne, to make an Act; wherein was a Clause for the Punishment of such Servants.
And by an Act of Common Council, Sir William Withers Maior, it was thought fit
printed and made publick, and to be sent into all the Wards of the City; that
whatsoever might be the better acquainted with it. And was as followeth.
The Punishments of Servants, by whose Carelesness Fires happen.
Martis, viijo Die Junij, Anno Dom. 1708. Annoque Regni
ANNæ, Magnæ Britanniæ &c. Septimo.
"IT is this Day ordered by the Court, That the Clause
relating to Servants in a late Act of Parliament, entituled, An Act for the
Preventing Mischiefs that may happen by Fire, be forthwith Printed, and sent
several Wards of this City, and by the Beadles delivered to every Housekeeper;
Servants may be acquainted with the same, and know the Penalties therein
Which Clause hereafter follows; Viz.
AND WHEREAS Fires often happen by the Negligence and Carelesness of Servants,
Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Menial, or other
or Servants, through Negligence or Carelesness, shall Fire, or cause to be
Dwelling House, or Out-House or Houses; such Servant or Servants, being thereof
Lawfully Convicted, by the Oath of one or more credible Witnesses, made before
or more of Her Majesties Justices of the Peace, shall Forfeit and Pay the Sum of
Hundred Pounds, unto the Churchwardens of such Parish where such Fire shall
happen; to be distributed amongst the Sufferers by
such Fire, in such Proportions as to the said Churchwardens shall seem just.
case of Default, or Refusal to pay the same immediately after such Conviction;
being lawfully demanded by the said Churchwardens; That then, and in such Case,
such Servant or Servants shall, by Warrant under the Hand of Two or more of Her
Majesties Justices of the Peace, be committed to some Workhouse, or House of
Correction, as the said Justices shall think fit, for the Space of Eighteen
to be kept to hard Labour.
A Statute was made, 7. Regin, Annæ, Cap. 17. for Preventing of Fires; That
Engines should be provided and kept in every Parish, and Stockblocks, and Fire
Cocks, and other Implements and Materials for that Use. But that if the
the Weekly Bills of Mortality, shall think it necessary to have more than one
Engine, or Hand Engine, they may provide it at the Parish Charge, by Assessment
Engines to be kept in every Parish.
And concerning Party Walls, in the same Statute it was enacted, That they be
Brick or Stone, excepting the Houses built upon London Bridge. And that all
to be built on old or new Foundations, within the Bills of Mortality, except on
Bridge, and on the River Thames below Bridge, shall have Party Walls between
and House, wholly of Brick or Stone; except Door Cases, Windows, Lentils,
All Party Walls to be built Nine Inches on each Man's Ground, &c.
The Splendor and Advantages to which the City is now advanced, tho' by means of
sad Providence, Dr. Woodward, of Gresham College, (excellently skilled in Roman
and Ancient Learning, as well as in his own Science of Physick) hath expressed
private Letter to Sir Christopher Wren;
"That the Fire of London, however
disastrous it might be to the then Inhabitants, had proved infinitely Beneficial
Posterity, and to the Increase and vast Improvement, as well of the Riches and
Opulency, as of the Buildings. And how by the means of the common Sewers, and
other like Contrivances, such Provision was made for Sweetness, for Cleanness,
for Salubrity; that it is not only the Finest and Pleasantest, but the most
Healthy City in
the World. Insomuch that for the Plague, and other infectious Distempers, with
it was formerly so frequently annoyed; and by which so great Numbers of the
Inhabitants were taken off, but the very Year before the Fire, (viz. Anno 1665)
Experience of above Forty Years since hath shewn it so wholly freed from, that
thought it probable it was no longer obnoxious to, or ever again likely to be
those so fatal and malicious Maladies."
State of the City, by means of the Rebuilding of it.
J. Woodward, M.D.
Concerning Rom. Antiq. digged up near Bishopsgate.