The great fire near London Bridge, Saturday June 22nd 1861
This awful conflagration, only inferior to the Great Fire of London in 1666, commenced on Saturday afternoon, June 22nd 1861, at Cotton’s Depot Wharf, on the Surrey side of the Thames, near London Bridge, which is utterly destroyed, as also the immense Bonded Warehouse belonging to Messrs. Scovell & Co. and many very extensive waterside premises adjoining, with ships alongside extending for at least a quarter of a mile down the river, including also numerous dwelling-houses in Tooley Street &c., &c.
The colossal warehouses were filled with every variety of goods, among which were many of a highly combustable nature, which, igniting, exploded with awful crashes, lighting up the vast metropolis and country round for thirty miles.
It was during one of these fearful explosions that Mr. Scott and the gallant Mr. Braidwood were crushed to death by the blowing out of a stupendous wall. Many other lives have also been lost. The fat and oil ran like molten fire into the stream, and for a long time threatened with destruction the numerous vessels in the pool.
The scene altogether was of the most fearful and terrific description. The burning ruins have continued to smoke and blaze for several days and nights, while hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of the metropolis gaze on with wonder and awe. The destruction of property is valued at upwards of Three Millions sterling.