England was at war with France and the Netherlands. English and Dutch ships were on the brink of battle at the beginning of September 1666.
Most people in England were Protestant, and prejudice against the Catholic minority was common.
With little news from London, the whole country wondered what might be happening in the capital.
Merchants across the country and overseas were concerned about how the fire would affect trade.
It was important to get the City of London, a centre for trade, on its feet again.
War and religious tensions had bred mistrust. An official investigation presented evidence on who was to blame for the fire.