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Day of fasting after the Great Fire

A year before the Great Fire, London had been ravaged by bubonic plague. So great was the epidemic that King Charles II and his Court moved from London to Salisbury, while Parliament found a temporary home in Oxford. One positive result of the Great Fire was that it helped defeat the menace of the plague.

It was alleged by some that a Roman Catholic conspiracy had caused the Great Fire, but the findings of a House of Commons Investigatory Committee were inconclusive. Popular opinion saw the plague and subsequent fire as acts of divinity to punish the non-conformism of Restoration society. At the end of a troubled month, the Bishops in the House of Lords declared an appointed day for ‘Fasting and Humiliation, in the Abbey Church at Westminster, in Consideration of the late dreadful Fire'.