Eyam - Historical Context

  • Created by: e.lliecox
  • Created on: 30-04-18 18:58
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  • Eyam ~   1665-66
    • Historical Context of Plague
      • Two different types of the plague.
        • Bubonic Plague - spread by fleas from black rats. When person gets infected by being bitten by a flea, large swellings called buboes appeared in armpits and groin. Then high fever and bad headache and boils. More common during warmer weather.
        • Pneumonic Plague - spread by people breathing or coughing germs onto one another. Cough up blood and then die quickly.
      • Plague during medieval period.
        • Worst pandemic episode of bubonic plague was Black Death 1346 and 1353. Britain experienced it between 1348 and 1349 between one third and two third of population died.
        • Further outbreaks affected England and Wales for next three hundred years. 1361-62, 1369, 1379-83 and 1389-93. Outbreak in 1471 killed between 10 and 20% of population. Outbreak in 1479-80 killed 20%.
      • Outbreaks during 16th and 17th century.
        • 1535, 1543, 1563 and 1589, 1603, 1625, 1636. London recorded 30,000 deaths 1603, 35,000 in 1625, 10,000 in 1636. Last major epidemic of plague in England 1665-66, killed 100,000 people and reduced London's population by 1/4.
    • Great Plague London 1665
      • Plague first reported in April/May 1665.
      • Rich people including King Charles 11 fled the capital.
      • Efforts of authorities to contain epidemic failed.
        • Orders issued to restrict movement of people in and out but hard to enforce.
          • Houses containing plague sufferer sealed for 40 days and door marked with red cross and 'LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US'.
        • Theatres and public entertainment closed to avoid large gatherings.
          • Dogs and cats caught and killed.
            • Bodies buried after dark to reduce disease spread.
      • This all did little to stop spread and during hot summer thousands died. End 1665 no dead were between 70,000 and 100,000. Great Fire of London 1666 cleansed the disease.
    • Beliefs about causes.
      • Nobody understood the cause but there were numerous theories.
        • Sent by God as punishment.
        • Miasma.
        • Spread by cats and dogs.
    • Medical Treatment.
      • Carried sweet smelling herbs and flowers.
      • Men smoked pipe of tobacco.
      • Bad air spread infection. Windows and doors closed.


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