October 25, 1834.
One of the most terrific conflagrations that has been witnessed for many years occurred shortly before 7pm on Thursday night when the House of Lords and Commons and the adjacent buildings caught fire. The ill news spread rapidly through the town, and the flames in increasing attracted the attention of thousands of people who in a few minutes were seen hurrying to Westminster. We scarcely ever recollect to have seen the large thoroughfares of the town so thronged before.
How the fire originated is still matter of doubt. The general belief appears to be that it broke out in some part of the buildings attached to the House of Lords, from whence it spread to the House itself with such vast celerity that before 8pm the whole range of structure was in flames.
The conflagration viewed from the river was peculiarly grand and impressive. On the first view of it from the river it appeared as if nothing could save Westminster hall from the fury of the flames.