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Great Fire of London Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Great Fire of London Quizzes, Trivia

Great Fire of London Trivia

Great Fire of London Trivia Quizzes

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  10 Questions about The Great Fire of London   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Great Fire of London of 1666 was one of the greatest disasters of the age. See how much you know about it.
Average, 10 Qns, bullymom, Aug 07 17
Aug 07 17
5945 plays
  Average The Great Fire of London Trivia   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The fire that destroyed much of medieval London is one of the City's most historic events. Test your knowledge of this great tragedy.
Average, 10 Qns, Morrigan716, Apr 14 10
Morrigan716 gold member
5169 plays
  When London Burned   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
In 1666 a fire broke out in the English capital and would go on to destroy the city. How much do you know about how it happened, when it happened and who was involved?
Tough, 10 Qns, Red_John, Nov 30 20
Nov 30 20
448 plays
  Great Fire of London   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I was born in London and have been raised to love and appreciate its history and beauty. The Great Fire changed the city for ever, and because of this I thought it would be interesting to do a quiz about it!
Average, 10 Qns, booboo11, Jul 08 11
2777 plays
  Phoenix from the Ashes   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
London was decimated by fire in 1666. How much do you know about its rebuilding?
Tough, 10 Qns, penne1234, Dec 20 11
432 plays
trivia question Quick Question
On what street did the Great Fire start?

From Quiz "The Great Fire of London"

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Great Fire of London Trivia Questions

1. It's widely known that the fire began at a bakery, but do you know the name of the proprietor?

From Quiz
When London Burned

Answer: Thomas Farriner

Thomas Farriner was at the time Conduct of the King's Bakehouse, his primary role being to provide ship's biscuit to the Admiralty.

2. Which other disaster, of 1665, was prevented from causing even more loss of life due to the accident of the fire of 1666?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: A plague epidemic

London was devastated by plague from 1665-6. Around 100,000 people, or 20% of the city's population, were killed. It has been argued that the fire actually saved lives in the long term by destroying much of the affected area and wiping out the virus, although it seems that the plague was dying out by the time the fire struck anyway, and the most affected areas were largely untouched by the fire. There were strong religious and political tensions between England and Spain throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but the closest any Spanish ships came to attacking English territory was the failed Armada of 1588. The army, along with Parliament, had overthrown Charles I and dominated English politics in the 1640s and 1650s. However, his son Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, and the army's loyalty to the crown no longer an issue by 1666. London's buildings were not in great condition in 1666. The famous diarist John Evelyn compared London unfavourably with Paris, calling it a "wooden, northern and inartificial collection of houses." The fire provided an opportunity to plan and rebuild London's buildings but their greatest danger at the time was simply as a fire hazard.

3. Who kept a famous diary of events in London from 1660 to 1669?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys was born in London in in 1633. His father was a tailor and his mother was the sister of a butcher in Whitechapel.

4. On what date did the fire start?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: September 2, 1666

Ironically, Londoners were at first not alarmed when the fire started, as fires were so frequent an occurrence in the city of tightly-packed wooden buildings. After the fire ended, an area of one and a half miles by half a mile was reduced to ashes - 373 acres inside the city walls and 63 acres outside. Amazingly, only six deaths were reported, although the actual figure was probably higher.

5. When did the Great Fire start?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: September 2, 1666

The fire began at approximately 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It burned out of control for five days and destroyed an area of one and a half miles by a half mile. It destroyed 373 acres inside the city walls and 63 acres outside. Flames swept through more than 400 streets and lanes. In all, 13,200 houses, 87 churches, and 52 Company halls were destroyed.

6. Who is regarded as the first victim of the Great Fire?

From Quiz When London Burned

Answer: The Baker's maid

While the Farriner family escaped the bakery via an upper window, their maid did not make it out of the building. Why this might be is unknown, although it is suspected she was afraid of heights.

7. Whereabouts in London did the Great Fire of London start?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: Pudding Lane

The fire started on 2nd September 1666 in Thomas Farynor's baker's shop. The Monument is very close to the site.

8. What is generally said to have started the fire?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: embers from a baker's oven

In one of the biggest "Oops!" moments of history, Thomas Farynor, baker to King Charles II in Pudding Lane, failed to extinguish the fire in his oven on the night of September 1. Embers from the oven hopped over to the stack of firewood that was nearby, and by 1:00 am, the house and shop were aflame. Farynor's assistant awoke to find the house filled with smoke and raised the alarm. Farynor, his family, and one servant escaped via an upstairs window and climbed to safety along the roof tops. Unfortunately, the maid was too frightened to climb out of the window and stayed in the burning house, sealing her fate.

9. On what street did the Great Fire start?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: Pudding Lane

The fire started in the home of Thomas Farynor, the King's Baker. At 10:00 p.m., he had drawn his ovens and went to bed. Four hours later he was awakened by a servant screaming, "Fire!". He, his family, and the servant escaped through an attic window to the roof of the house next door.

10. Christopher Wren produced a famous design for the rebuilding of London in the days following the fire. Which European city had Wren recently visited which influenced his ideas for the new city?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: Paris

Wren took a trip to Europe from September 1665 to March 1666, during which time he visited Paris. He was taken with many features of the French capital, notably the grid-like planning of streets and riverside quays, which he incorporated into his (unbuilt) design for London. It is also likely that Wren saw the use of domes in Paris at the Val de Grace and College des Quatres-Nations, which influenced any of his later designs such as St Paul's Cathedral, St Stephen Walbrook and Greenwich Hospital. Both Amsterdam and Madrid were expanded in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in a formal and planned manner, but there is no evidence that Wren visited them or was influenced by them. Rome was often seen as the home of architecture during this period due to its ancient heritage and prestige as the seat of the papacy. As such it had an indirect influence in the mind of Wren, even though he never visited.

11. What is believed to have been an important, unintended benefit of the fire?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: It killed off the rats that carried the plague-bearing fleas

It is thought that the fire actually saved lives because of this, as there was only six deaths at most from the Great Fire. (Records differ). However, after the fire the deaths from the plague fell sharply.

12. Samuel Pepys, greatly disturbed by the fire, went about alerting officials to do something. Then he went home and dug a hole, where he safely buried _________ .

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: wine and cheese

Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist and Secretary of the Admiralty, sat and observed the progress of the fire from a safe vantage point across the Thames. In his words, the fire was "a most malicious bloody flame, as one entire arch of fire... of above a mile long. It made me weep to see it. The churches, houses, and all on fire and flaming at once, and a horrid noise the flames made, and the cracking of houses at their ruin ...Over the Thames with one's face in the wind you were almost burned with a shower of firedrops.." At one point, he ran home and quickly buried his most prized possessions, some wine and parmesan cheese. We can assume that after the fire, Sam dug up his yard and had himself a nice feast.

13. The King, upon hearing news of the fire, sailed along the Thames to view the conflagration for himself. At which spot did he land?

From Quiz When London Burned

Answer: Queenhithe

Samuel Pepys travelled to the Palace of Whitehall to inform King Charles II on the first morning of the fire. The King was said to be distressed by the news and the lack of action undertaken by the Lord Mayor of London. Particularly after viewing the extent of the raging fire, His Majesty elected to take an active role in directing the firefighting efforts.

14. How many churches were built in accordance with the Act of Parliament for the rebuilding of London following the fire?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: 51

89 churches were destroyed during the fire, but Wren's initial plan for London only included 19. In the end the 1670 Act for Rebuilding the City made provision for 51, as several parishes were united. The churches were paid for by a tax on coal coming into the city. Several richer parishes raised some of their own funds to hurry the process and gain greater prestige, like St Stephen Walbrook and St Mary-le-Bow. Wren was at the head of the redesigning and rebuilding process, although much of the work has also been attributed to Hooke.

15. How do we know so much about the fire?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: Because of Samuel Pepys' diary

Samuel Pepys lived on the other side of the Thames and documented what he saw.

16. Samuel Pepys wrote perhaps the most famous account of the Great Fire. On which London street did he and his family live?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: Seething Lane

Samuel Pepys served on the Navy Board as Clerk of the Acts, and was one of the first to notify King Charles II of the fire. The fire did not burn his home but did destroy Barking Church at the foot of Seething Lane. Pepys wrote of the fire: "Over the Thames with one's face in the wind you were almost burned with a shower of firedrops." It is said that he buried wine and parmesan cheese to keep them safe.

17. Who did the King appoint to take charge of the firefighting effort?

From Quiz When London Burned

Answer: James, Duke of York

The Duke of York, younger brother of the King, was an experienced military leader, having served as Lord High Admiral since the Restoration in 1660. He fought tirelessly night and day to battle both the fire and the emerging violence against Roman Catholics and foreigners who were suspected of causing the fire.

18. Christopher Wren was responsible for the building of many of London's churches after the fire. Which of his designs is famous for its use of all five classical architectural orders in its tower?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: St Mary-le-Bow

In Parentalia, a history of the Wren family published in the mid-eighteenth century, St Mary-le-Bow is noted for using all five orders in ascending order of ornamentation moving up the church's tower. These are Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The church became well-known in its time and featured in "Vitruvius Britannicus", a 1715 volume celebrating English architecture by Colen Campbell. It was one of only four churches to appear in this work alongside Wren's St Paul's Cathedral, Michaelangelo's St Peter's in Rome and Thomas Archer's St Philip's in Birmingham (now Birmingham cathedral), showing its pre-eminence in church design at the time.

19. How long did the fire take to burn out.

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: 4 days

It finally burned out at Temple Church, near the present site of Holborn Bridge.

20. How long did the fire last?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: 4 days

After the fire was over, fully 80 percent of the city was destroyed, including over 13,000 houses, 89 churches and 52 guild halls. 100,000 people, or a sixth of London, was left homeless.

21. What famous landmark was destroyed by the fire?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: St. Paul's Cathedral

Before the flames reached St. Paul's, people had been hiding their property in the basement, thinking that even if the cathedral burned, the items would be safe in the basement. Christopher Wren is famous for redesigning St. Paul's afterward. The cathedral has survived ever since, even during World War II. Also lost in the fire were Baynard's Castle, Royal Exchange, and The Temple, the district for London's lawyers.

22. One of the most famous losses during the Great Fire was St Paul's Cathedral. At what point during the fire did the building succumb to the flames?

From Quiz When London Burned

Answer: Tuesday 4 September 1666

In 1663 a commission had begun work on plans to restore St Paul's. This included the architect Christopher Wren, who favoured demolition of the entire building but was overruled. Eventually, in late August 1666 agreement was reached on a proposal to re-clad the cathedral and install a dome in place of the original tower. Six days after the commission came to agreement, the fire started.

23. What ornament was finally chosen to sit atop the Monument, which was built to commemorate the rebuilding of London after the fire?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: A flaming urn

Parentalia also details the options for the top of the Monument, which commemorated the fire and London's rebuilding. A phoenix with a 15ft wingspan was rejected due to fears it might be blown off by the wind, while the wounds of Civil War and the Protectorate were too raw for a statue of the king to be erected in the City of London, one of the heartlands of the rebellion. It was also deemed too expensive, as was the statue of London itself.

24. Who was Lord Mayor of London at the time of the fire?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: Thomas Bludworth

Although Bludworth was Lord Mayor at the time, he had little or no hand in dealing with the fire as nearly every decision he made was overruled by King Charles II.

25. According to the text originally inscribed on the Monument, who was to blame for bringing about "the most dreadful Burning of this City"?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: Catholics

In the period from the Monument's construction until the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1830, excepting James II's brief reign from 1685-88, an inscription on the base of the column read "but Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched". Anti-Catholic sentiment was strong in England at this time, and had even been one of the causes for the Civil War and led to the deposition of the Catholic king James II in 1688. Spain was a Catholic state but was not specifically blamed for the fire. Jews had been expelled from England in the Middle Ages but were readmitted by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s and there was no strong feeling against them. Women had less social status than men in this period but were not used as a scapegoat for the fire.

26. Why did it take so long for the fire to be put out?

From Quiz Great Fire of London

Answer: Because there was no fire brigade

There had been laws set into place where each district of the city should have buckets and ladders ready for use in case of fire, but due to disuse most of the ladders were rotten and the buckets had been mislaid. Also strong winds made the fire spread far quicker than had been thought possible.

27. This poor guy became a scapegoat for Londoners looking for someone to blame for the fire.

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: Robert Hubert

After the fire, as with most disasters, people started looking for someone to blame. As the English were always looking to blame the French for something, this fit nicely into the search for a scapegoat. Someone started a rumor that the fire was part of a Catholic plot, and foreigners were looked upon suspiciously. Eventually, a French watchmaker named Robert "Lucky" Hubert was settled on as a scapegoat. It helped that the guy was what we call "slow", and confessed to starting the fire on behalf of the Pope. Despite overwhelming evidence in his favor, he was convicted and hanged at Tyburn. By the way, guess who was on his jury? Three members of the Farynor family (remember, the guy who really started the fire?)

28. Where did most of the people run to escape the fire?

From Quiz The Great Fire of London

Answer: Moorfields

The people fled mainly to Moorfields and Finsbury Fields. After the fire, many of them had to remain there, having been left homeless. King Charles II had biscuits sent to them from the Navy. Most of them remained uneaten because even though the refugees were hungy, they couldn't stomach the hard Navy fare. Then Charles II ordered bread sent in from adjoining counties, to be distributed daily.

29. The strong easterly wind blew the fire west towards Westminster, the location of both Parliament and the King's London residence. What was expected to provide a barrier to the flames?

From Quiz When London Burned

Answer: River Fleet

Due to the long-lasting drought that London had been suffering since 1665, the River Fleet was low and the flames easily jumped the banks, sending the Duke of York and his officers into panic as the fire proceeded unexpectedly towards Westminster, and courtiers started packing.

30. Construction on the new St Paul's Cathedral began in 1675. It was officially declared completed by Parliament in 1711. How many ruling monarchs did England have during this time?

From Quiz Phoenix from the Ashes

Answer: 5

There were five monarchs in this period: Charles II (1660-85), James II (1685-88), William III and Mary II (1688-1702, although Mary died in 1694) and Anne (1702-14). A statue of Anne stands outside the cathedral in recognition of the fact that she oversaw the completion of the building.

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