A City Reborn: The Evolution of Seventeenth-Century Representations of the City of London after the Great Fire Open Access

Patel, Jena Chandrakant (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/s1784m34x?locale=en


After the devastation of the Great Fire of London in 1666, city planners and authorities were presented with the unique opportunity of rebuilding London from the ground up. The Great Fire created the possibility for expansion, bringing the city out of the medieval era and for accommodating the influx of European immigrants. The disaster also catalyzed the process of renovating the city of London so that it could adopt the most up to date architectural designs and assume a more modern infrastructure. The late seventeenth-century not only witnessed a changing physical landscape, but the beginnings of an intellectual revolution, particularly with the increasing discourse between nations regarding both scientific and architectural discoveries. In my thesis I will examine how plans for the reconstruction of London evolved over the course of the seventeenth-century in tandem with the emergence of scientific thought with the rise of the Royal Society of London. My study will focus on three images. The first is An Exact Survey of the Streets, Lanes and Churches Contained within the Ruins of the City of London First Described in Six Plates as surveyed by John Leake and engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar. The second image is Sir Christopher Wren's 1666 Plan for the City of London, and the final image is A Large and Accurate Map of the City of London by John Ogilby and William Morgan, published in 1677. I will place these maps in the context of other illustrations of the city to show that when viewed in sequence, these maps demonstrate the representational shift from the bird's-eye perspective to the ichnographic view, as well as the emergence of innovative designs for the reconstruction of London with the rise of scientific thought and reason.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: A City Destroyed - Wenceslaus Hollar's Exact Survey of London...5

Chapter 1 Images...16

Chapter 2: Paper Schemes - Christopher's 1666 Plan for London...25

Chapter 2 Images...36

Chapter 3: Ten Years Later - A Large Scale Survey of the City of London...44

Chapter 3 Images...55



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