The Great Fire – KQ5 – How did people manage to live through the Great Fire?

Miraculously for a city that was the third largest in the world, consumed by a fire that lasted for days, very few people died, as far as we know. There is some real doubt as to whether there really were so few, suggesting that it is the lack of records that explains why we don’t have more names of the dead. It certainly seems much more likely that hundreds perished. What is certain is that there were, however, over 70,000 displaced people. It is very important not to lose sight of the chaos this caused and the human suffering resulting. So how did people cope? Where did they live? How did they manage to feed themselves?

Learning objectives

  • Pupils are able to identify at least three major problems caused by the fire
  • Pupils understand that there was little government help available, so they had to find their own salvation
  • They know that most people set up camp outside the city in tented fields often living there in makeshift accommodation, some for years
  • They know that a relief fund was set up and know that the king set up markets to provide food
  • They are able to empathise with the plight
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