Richard Wood assists victim of the 'Disastrous Fire in Leadenhall Street'
The Public Advertiser of Jan 24, 1782 carried this plea for assistance for a man badly injured in the ‘Disastrous Fire in Leadenhall Street':
"A real Scene of Distress, occasioned by the fatal Fire last Friday Night, in Leadenhall-Street.
"To the Affluent and Humane, whom Providence has blessed with easy Fortunes and feeling Hearts, to enable them to contribute towards the Relief of their Fellow-Creatures in Distress.
"A Poor Labouring Man, whose honest Endeavours have hitherto brought him in the small Pittance of Twelve Shillings a Week, and thereby enabled him to support a Wife and two young Children (the oldest not above four Years old), being intimately acquainted with Mr. Noble, Breeches-maker, next Door to Mr. Woodmason's (where the Fire broke out), as hearing the Alarm of Fire, prompted by Humanity and Feeling for his Friend in so perilous a Situation, immediately repaired (without entertaining the most distant Idea of the Consequence) to his Assistance: But alas, how transitory is worldly Happiness! in assisting his Friend, and endeavouring to prevent the Ravages of the Flames, being in the Garret, a Stack of Chimnies fell in through the Roof, and buried him with two others, (one of whom was killed on the Spot close by his Side) in the Ruins and Flames; but by the timely Interposition of Providence, by directing the Firemen to the Assistance, after plying the Engine on him a considerable Time to extinguish the Flames, he was dragged out of the Rubbish alive, tho' insensible and mangled almost to pieces, with his left Leg broke, his right Collar-bone broke, his Forehead laid open over his left Eye (the sight of which is almost despaired of, should he ever recover), and his Skull fractured; so that he now lies in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, a shocking Spectacle of human Misery indeed, almost without Hopes of Recovery; and should he ever recover, it must be several Months before he will be able to get out of Bed, and then most probably will be crippled; in the mean time, his Wife and little Family being deprived of his Labour and Assistance, are reduced to the greatest Distress, and must inevitably perish, except the kind Hand of Providence should direct those humane good Christians, who have it in their Power, to relieve them from their present Calamity.
"The smallest Donations will be thankfully received and faithfully applied, by Mess. Pigg and Benham, Boyce, at the Spread Eagle Inn, Gracechurch-Street; Mr. Thomas Backmaker, the Corner of Store-Street, Tottenham Court Road; and Mr. Wood, scale-maker, Queen-Street, Cheapside."
It is pleasing to note that later editions of the Public Advertiser reported that £14 had been raised, around 23 weeks pay for the man injured.
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