Issue 13 and Volume 39.

“FIRE BRIEFS.” We of to-day who are familiar with the modern practice in fire insurance find it hard to realise how people fared before effective fire insurance existed, and before adequate methods of fire protection and fire extinguishing were known. One favorite plan of mitigating the disaster caused by fire was the issue of fire briefs. In the first year of Cromwell’s protectorate there was a great fire at Marlborough. A brief was issued hy the Council of State, which says, “That upon Thursday, the 28th April, 1653. the Lord, whose judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out, in His overruling providence disposing, a fearful and most violent fire broke out . . . which destroyed . . . . 224 houses, the value whereof and goods consumed is estimated at three score and ten pounds at the least, to the utter undoing of the greater part of…

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