|Great Horwood History||
A fire broke out at a malting at Great-Horwood … which in a short time burnt down the malting, with a barn, stable and two dwelling-houses; but the wind being very still, and there being great help, and an engine from Winslow, it was kept from spreading any further, though all the buildings round about were thatch’d. It was occasioned by a boy leaving the fire when attending, which is very often the case. Near 100 Quarters of malt, and a great quantity of beans, were burnt or spoil’d.
spread with such astonishing rapidity, that in little more than half an hour sixty houses (amongst which number were about sixteen farmhouses and four malthouses) with all their barns, stables, wheat ricks, bean ricks, hay stacks, waggons, carts, ploughs, harrows, and most part of their household goods were all on fire together and entirely consumed in the space of about two hours; several of the inhabitants saving no more than the clothes upon their backs. Many neighbours, at the beginning of the fire, in a few minutes were prevented from giving assistance to others, by their own houses being on fire.
Amongst the lives that are lost was a poor man of a neighbouring village that had been drinking at one of the public-houses; he went, as is supposed, into one of the barns to lie down to sleep, and was unfortunately burnt to death in a most shocking manner. His legs and thighs were burnt quite off close to his body; his arms burnt off, his head, when he was moved, separated from his body, quite burnt to a cinder. Another poor old man was pulled out of a house that was all on fire by the leg, burnt in so terrible a manner that he died two days after.
that newly erected messuage, cottage or tenement … with the pightle [small enclosure] thereunto belonging adjoining the churchyard of Great Horwood … in the tenure or occupation of Mary Keen widow.
the place full of smoke, and on opening the front room door the fire burst out, driving him away. He, however, got in through the pantry, where he was soon overpowered by the smoke and was dragged out at great risk by his daughter [16-year-old Elizabeth or 14-year-old Amy], who singed her eyebrows and hair in so doing. An alarm was given and the fire was got under, but not before it had burned one room and the passage.
Wednesday last at three in the afternoon, a fire broke out at Great Horwood … which consumed eight dwelling houses, one large malthouse, three cottages with the out buildings, as also a large quantity of malt, farming stock, household goods, and wearing apparel: in short some of the inhabitants had a narrow escape with their lives, The flames were rapid but by the timely assistance of the engines from Winslow and Buckingham, the fire was got under.
Inclosed and hedged in a spot of ground part of the waste and the site of houses lately [burnt] and at the time of the fire the property of the parish who took them by copy, and occupied by paupers put therein by the parish officers.