By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London

As dawn broke bright and clear on the first day of September 1666, no one dreamed they were waking to the last sunrise the old city would ever see. No one dreamed that over the next six days that hell would break loose as fear and flame turned the streets of London into Armageddon. In this lecture, historian Adrian Tinniswood will explore what it was like to walk through London in September 1666. He will piece together the untold story of the Fire—the mild curiosity which turned to fear as the flames spread, the panic, looting, bewilderment, savage violence and chaos. He will investigate the aftermath of the disaster, and the doomed efforts to create a modern, planned capital that would rival Rome. Above all, he will provide a dramatic account of what happened to ordinary people—schoolchildren, servants, clerks, courtiers and clergymen—when London burned.

Thank you to our co-sponsor: The Union League Legacy Foundation

Thank you to our cultural co-sponsors: Washington Decorative Arts Forum; American Friends of Attingham; The Boston Athenaeum

A Plan for rebuilding the City of London

Adrian Tinniswood, OBE

Historian and Author

Adrian Tinniswood is a Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Buckingham. He is the author of 15 books on architectural and social history including the New York Times bestseller The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars and Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household. His most recent book is The House Party: A Short History of Leisure, Pleasure and the Country House Weekend. Tinniswood was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to heritage.


Wednesday, October 21st at 2:00 pm (eastern)

Online via Zoom Webinar

$15, members*; $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members


Rent the recorded lecture to watch at your leisure between Thursday, October 22nd and Monday, October 26th

$15 members*, $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members

Register to Rent

The Zoom video link will be sent to you on Thursday, October 22nd at 12:00 p.m. (eastern). 
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The rental video will be hosted on the Zoom website and only available for streaming until Monday, October 26th at 11:59 p.m. (eastern).  The video will not be available after that date and time. It cannot be downloaded.
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