In 1631, after finding that indoor conditions were causing health problems, King Charles I, in what may have been the first ventilation code, decreed that the ceilings in houses must be 3 m high or greater and that windows must be higher than their width to allow for ventilation. These improvements were slowly implemented into the British building stock. Implementation was hastened only when the great London fire of 1666 destroyed many of the inadequate houses and made way for construction of larger, better ventilated houses with chimneys and large windows. This trend towards better air quality, however, was suddenly thwarted and possibly reversed when citizens decided to board up their windows to avoid the chimney and window taxes of the early 1700s.
Source: ASHRAE´s new residential standard by Max Sherman