Wednesday, 13 April 2011

1664-5 Bills of Mortality!

Hello all,

We have just acquired a most unusual if rather daunting document listing the mortalities in London during the year of the plague.

This booklet has proved to be fascinating in more ways than one, not least, its listing of the various 'diseases and casualities' week by week , and its mention of what qualifies for a 'wheaten loaf' each week.
So being April 13th today , here are some details about what people were poorly with this week some 347 years ago.

1 person drowned at St Katherines, near the Tower.
8 people suffered 'Rising of the Light' ,light being an old word for lungs and this illness now known as croup!
2 people suffered with 'Kingsevil' a tuburculosis of the neck, which ,it was believed would be cured by the touch of a Monarch.
1 person was found having died in St Giles in the Fields
6 people were executed (in 1 week!!!)
1 person suffered with head-mold-shot (an inflammation or water on the brain)
4 suffered with Rickets

Also this week, 237 people were christened and 344 buried! none from the plague (yet)
and a penny loaf to contain 10 ounces and 3 half penny loaves the like weight.

What is most interesting about this pamphlet is you can see week on week the growth of the plague.
Only 2  people had died from the plague by April 20th.
By the end of May, 28 people had died from the plague and by the end of June a further 870!

2010 people died in the week of 25th July - 1st August
3880 died in the week of 8th - 15th August,(and also mentioned in the mortality list 1 person died of fright,and 1 of grief !)
and it goes on...the number rising hugely each week..what is interesting is there are no listings for executions once the plague took a grip, although 21 people were exectued in that year.

During the week of Oct 3rd only 4 of 130 parishes were clear of the plague and by the end of 1665 a staggering 68596 people had died from the plague.

What a terrible year 1665 was.

Keep well Londoners and all

Goodbye for now

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