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The Fatal Conflagration of the Custom House on the morning of the 12th February 1814

The Fatal Conflagration of the Custom House on the morning of the 12th February 1814

Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured

Date: 1814

Shelfmark: Ktop XXV

Item number: 2-e

Genre: Topographical Print

View of the Custom House on fire on 12th February 1814. Three years later it was replaced by a new building by David Laing, surveyor of buildings to the Board of Customs. A customs house was where the monarch levied customs duty, a tax on good entering the country. As London was a large port city, with a rich trade from all over the world, the customs house was especially important. There had been a customs house in London since 1275, but it was rebuilt many times, including by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in1666, although this was damaged in 1714 by a gunpowder explosion and rebuilt by Thomas Ripley on Wren's foundations..

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