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Chroniclers of the Great Fire of London, such as the diarist Samuel Pepys, praised King Charles II and his brother James the Duke of York for their indefatigable assistance to fire fighting. Statistically 13,200 houses, 87 churches and 52 livery company halls were destroyed, as were courts, gaols and civil administration buildings, obliterating the city infrastructure.
The Act for the Rebuilding of the City of London was passed in February 1667. It proposed that all new buildings had to be constructed of brick or stone against the future perils of fire. It also imposed a maximum number of storeys per house for a fixed number of abodes to eliminate overcrowding. The medieval ancient system of Guilds was reformed and there would be a clarion call to ‘all carpenters, bricklayers, masons, plasterers & joiners’ to help with reconstruction.
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