It is hard to imagine how, in the disaster that destroyed four-fifths of the City of London, anyone could emerge as a winner. Indeed, the list of losers is far longer but some did profit from the fire.
Carters made a great deal of money by hiring their services as removal men at huge cost. While the London printers and booksellers lost nearly their entire stock in the fire, another bookseller, Henry Herringman, took advantage of the new gap in the market.
Others were not so lucky, losing either their lives or almost everything they owned in the fire. Elizabeth Peacock was left with ‘not so much as a stool to sit upon’. Sarah Crofts, a previously wealthy woman, was reduced to working as a servant to survive. The home of Cornelius Riedtveldt, a Dutch baker, was looted by a mob and he was nearly beaten to death.
How many people died in the Great Fire?