28 September 1666 – Robert Hubert

London's burning...but anyone caught singing in a round will be hanged!

London's burning...but anyone caught singing in a round will be hanged!

An angry mob of Londoners tore French watchmaker Robert Hubert’s corpse limb from limb on this day in 1666, after Hubert blagged that he started the Great Fire of London.

Forget an errant bale of straw at a bakery in Pudding Lane, our French friend thought it would be a great idea to claim he’d sparked the conflagration.

Death wish

Of course we’re not sure why Hubert would want to admit it. Some say he was simple and thought it’d be a good idea at the time. Others reckoned on a more sinister reason – that he was coerced into a confession by the government to appease the baying bank of livid Londoners. After all, people had lost their loved ones, their houses and their livelihoods and they needed someone to blame.

Cue Frenchman Hubert who set about further unleashing the angry mob’s ire. But his story was ridiculously flaky and more importantly irrelevant. The source of the fire had already been identified and he hadn’t even been in the country at the time.

Nevertheless, he was strung up by gaolers at Tyburn. When his body was cut down, it had been destined for medical research. But, immersed in hatred, the lynch mob launched in on the lifeless corpse and pulled it to little pieces.

Also on this day

28 September 2005 – Alan Matheney
28 September 1949 – William Jones

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