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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 26, February 14-16, 1855

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Identifier: DX03824697

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 26, February 14-16, 1855

Description: Describes witnessing a fire burn in London.


left to read, also one from Dillon Mapother to his folks at home, dating nigh a year back. Copy of [James] Parton’s “Life Illustrated” from N Y, with parts of my last letter to Alf Waud in it.

15. Thursday. A letter from Hannah [Bennett], in honor of my birthday. In-doors all day, mostly writing.

16. Friday. In-doors till evening. Wrote letter to Hannah. At night to Sams [Gunn], and there in company with him and Minnie [Gunn], till 12 1/2. When leaving, and reaching the street, I saw in the sky the reflection of a great conflagration, so set off for the spot, in company with a young Londoner, who was bound on the same crowd. As we reached the Blackfriars Road, we find a great desultory crowd assembled, overhead a volume of smoke and flame drifting westwards, and a hail of fire sparks falling. The fire was raging in the rear of the block of buildings to the right of the Surrey side of the bridge, as you pass city-wards. A timber merchants yards, factories, and saw-mill, engine and boiler houses, grainaries and flour warehouses were all blazing, water freezing in the hosepipes, and a fierce deathly cold wind blowing. From the Bridge the view was magnificent. The whole city was lit up; the red glare fell on tower and steeple, on distant spire and weathercock, on St Pauls cross and hall, on the distant bridges and on the monstrous snow covered ice flakes hiding the surface of the river, here and there only a sluggishly shifting pool being visible. A steam boat with fire engine on board lay at the wharf fronting the scene, in the space thawed by the conflagration, but it’s efforts availed little, and indeed the crowd cried out more than once that it had caught fire. They were a very good-humored orderly lot, over increasing in numbers,

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-02-14

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Birthdays
Fire engines


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