Three of the City of London’s prisons were destroyed by the fire. Prisoners were released or moved elsewhere, although some escaped.
Poultry Compter was the first prison to catch fire, during the night of Monday 3 September. Compters were small prisons for people who had committed minor crimes such as drunkenness. The prisoners from this prison were released.
On Tuesday 4 September, Wood Street Compter was destroyed. It was later rebuilt.
The same day, the prison at Newgate was badly damaged and the prisoners were marched out under armed guard. They were taken to Southwark, although some escaped.
Also on Tuesday, the Great Fire surrounded the area of Ludgate. This City gate doubled as a prison for people who could not pay their debts. The guards fled, but first opened the cells so that the prisoners could escape.
Later that evening, another debtors’ prison, the Fleet, was destroyed. The prison warden, Sir Jeremy Whichcote, took the homeless prisoners to Caronne House in Lambeth. After the fire Sir Jeremy paid for the prison to be rebuilt with his own money.