The Great Fire from Samuel Pepys’s Diary

January 24th

By agreement, my Lord Brouncker called me up; and though it was a very foul windy and rainy morning, yet down to the waterside we went, but no boat could go, the storm continued so.

… my Lord and I, the wind being again very furious, so as we durst not go by water, walked to London quite round the Bridge, no boat being able to stirre; and Lord what a dirty walk we had, and so strong the wind, that in the fields we many times could not carry our bodies against it, but was driven backwards. … It was dangerous to walk the streets, the bricks and tiles falling from the houses, that the whole streets were covered with them – and whole chimneys, nay, whole houses in two or three places, blowed down. But above all the pales on London-bridge on both sides were blown away so that we were fain to stoop very low, for fear of blowing off of the bridge. We could see no boats in the Thames afloat but what were broke loose and carried through the bridge, it being ebbing water. And the greatest sight of all was, among other parcels of ships driven here and there in clusters together, one was quite overset, and lay with her masts all along in the water and keel above water.

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