Financing the Rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666

38 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by D'Maris Coffman

D'Maris Coffman

University College London

Nathan Sussman

Graduate Institute Geneva, Centre for Finance and Development

Judy Z. Stephenson

University College London

Date Written: November 2020

Abstract

This paper presents new archival data to analyse how, in the absence of banking or capital market finance, the London Corporation funded the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. The City borrowed at rates much lower than previously thought from its citizens and outside investors to replace vital services and to support large improvement works. Borrowing was partly secured on its' reputation and partly secured by future coal tax receipts. Although records show that the funding from these sources was forthcoming and would have covered costs, and most of the rebuilding project was completed in less than a decade, having invested in public goods without generating the expected fiscal flows, the City defaulted in 1683.

JEL Classification: G23, N2, N23, O16, O43

Suggested Citation

Coffman, D'Maris and Sussman, Nathan and Stephenson, Judy Z., Financing the Rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666 (November 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3737604

D'Maris Coffman (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Nathan Sussman

Graduate Institute Geneva, Centre for Finance and Development ( email )

Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://https://graduateinstitute.ch/academic-departments/faculty/nathan-sussman

Judy Z. Stephenson

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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