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Rebuilding of London Act 1666


Rebuilding of London Act 1666

The Rebuilding of London Act 1666 is an Act of the Parliament of England (19 Car. II. c. 8) with the long title "An Act for rebuilding the City of London."[1] The Act was passed in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London and drawn up by Sir Matthew Hale. An earlier Act, the Fire of London Disputes Act 1666, had set up a court to settle disputes arising from buildings destroyed by fire. This Act regulated the rebuilding as well as authorising the City of London Corporation to reopen and widen roads, making the anniversary of the fire a feast day and erecting the Monument. [2] A duty of one shilling on a tonne of coal was imposed to pay for all these measures.


  • Plans to rebuild the city 1
  • Sir Christopher Wren 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Plans to rebuild the city

Within a few days of the Fire, several proposals with sketch-plans for radical reorganisation of the City's streets were put forward, including one by Christopher Wren, but they had no chance of success, because so many interests were involved and the City wanted to get back on its feet quickly. One of them, by Richard Newcourt, which proposed a rigid grid with churches in squares, was however later adopted for the laying-out of Philadelphia, USA. Then, in October 1666, King Charles and the City appointed Commissioners, including Wren, to regulate the rebuilding. The Commissioners issued proclamations concerning the width of streets and the height, materials and dimensions of secular buildings. And in February 1667 a Fire Court started hearing many competing claims from owners and tenants as the rebuilding began.[3]

Sir Christopher Wren

  1. ^ 'Charles II, 1666: An Act for rebuilding the City of London.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 603-12. URL: Date accessed: 08 March 2007.
  2. ^ 'Book 1, Ch. 15: From the Fire to the death of Charles II', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 230-55. URL: Date accessed: 07 March 2007.
  3. ^ A City Full of People: Men and Women of London 1650-1750 by P. Earle (London, 1994)


See also
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