William Godwin's Diary


Despite being dubbed a 'fireproof theatre', the third Theatre Royal at Drury Lane went up in flames during the night. The Times commented, somewhat maliciously, on the effect of the fire: ‘The Thames and St Paul’s were rendered unusually beautiful. Thus the effect was rather that of an elaborate work of art than of a fatal casualty to be lamented by all the Arts’. The theatre was completely destroyed in five hours but there were no fatalities.

See The Times, 25 February 1809.