Extra information to support your teaching of Key Question 5 – Crowdfunding is nothing new

As we stress in this KQ5 enquiry, it is important that you focus on the human as well as material cost of the fire and to draw pupil’s attention to the way people helped each other cope with the catastrophe. One way to do this is to look at a humble document which shows evidence of a massive national fundraising scheme. Crowdfunding is nothing new!!

Using the example of the village of Cowfold, not far from where my daughter lives in West Sussex, we can see how even a small village was moved to help the 100,000 Londoners left in homeless despair by the Great Fire. The Cowfold contribution was just one of thousands. I mention the one from Lyme Regis, close to where I live in East Devon. Well, all these village contributions were actually arranged by Charles II who, it must be said, had ‘a good fire!’ Money was paid into the coffers held at the parish church. In total, over £16,400 was raised, equivalent to £10 million in today’s money.

In the case of the example of Cowfold the village contributed 53

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