The Plague and the Fire: Reminiscences of Restoration Times

A contemporary account of life in Restoration London and Oxford by William Taswell, spanning the years 1660 until circa 1675. Includes personal obervations of the Plague and the Great Fire. Originally featured in the December 1977 issue of History Today.

Detail of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September 1666. Little is known of the author of this hitherto unpublished manuscript, apart from the information he gives us in his prefatory notes. There he tells that his father was ‘a considerable merchant in the Isle of Wight’; that he was born on May 1st, 1652 ‘at a seaport town . . . called Cowes’; and that he had an elder brother, James, ‘who at this time enjoys the paternal estate situated in the parish of Lymington in the county of Somerset’.

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