Charles II was king of England when London was under serve stress and change. His reign roughly corresponds to the life span of Edward Mashborne, Sr., the father of Edward Mashborne, the North Carolina schoolmaster.
Two catastrophic events occurred in London while Charles was king. While it appears Edward Mashborne, Sr. had yet to arrive in London, these two events were root causes for the favorable conditions that brought him there.
The Great Plague
In 1665, the Great Plague of London broke out in the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. In the span of one month, the earthen mounds of 1,391 burials covered the churchyard and the plague spread throughout the city.
The Great Fire
As soon as the population began to recover from the Plague, the Great Fire of London destroyed one-third of the city in 1666.
The Rise of the Middle Class
After recovering from two disasters, the citizens rolled up their sleeves and began rebuilding London Town. Tremendous growth and the rise of a large middle class would characterize the city’s next decade.
Many houses were built in St. Giles-in-the-fields to meet the needs of the incoming population.
During this time period, Edward Mashburn Sr. married his first wife, Sarah Sindery, in the St. Giles-in-the-fields parish church. Since there are no earlier records that place Mashburns in the parish, it appears that Edward and possibly Elizabeth were part of this mass migration from the countryside to the city to take advantage of the economic boom.
Roseveare, Henry. (2011). “Charles II,” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 27 Novemeber. 2011 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/106788/Charles-II