The Great Plague Outbreak in 1665 Summary

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  • The Great Plague, 1665
    • Cause
      • Astrology
        • Comet Spotted
        • Odd alignment in October 1664
      • Punishment from God
        • Disease sent to clean up God's kingdom
      • Miasma
        • This theory was by far the most popular.
        • Vapour came up from the soil when it got warmer
          • This  theory fitted because bigger outbreaks generally appeared when the weather was warmer
      • Contagion
        • Untitled
    • Treatment
      • Sweating
        • Wrapping up  in thick, woollen clothes and sitting in front of a fire to sweat off the disease.
      • Transference
        • Strapping chickens to buboes and hoping the disease would transfer to the chicken and leave the patient was  commonplace
      • Herbal Remedies
        • Very popular. Came in forms of medicines, poultices and rubs.
    • Prevention
      • Run away from London
      • Prayer and repentance
      • Quarantine anybody infected with the plague
      • Carry a pomander to drive away miasma
      • Various diets include: fasting and diets heavy with garlic and sage fried in butter.
      • Plague doctors wore special  costumes. They had bird-like masks, with herbs to ward of miasma. Birds were thought to attract disease so the disease might be attracted to the bird-like shape and leave the patient.
      • Smoking tobacco was used to ward off miasma..
      • Because buboes were symptoms of the Great Pox and the Great Plague, people thought that could only catch one at a time. People tried to catch the Great Pox to avoid the plague but it did not work.
    • Government Preventions
      • Public meetings, fairs, and large funerals banned.
      • Theatres closed
      • Streets and alleyways swept and cleaned.
      • Fires set up at street corners to drive away evil miasma.
      • Stray animals like cats, dogs and pigeons were killed if seen on the street  in case they spread disease.
      • Mayor sent out searchers to each house checking for plague victims. If there were then they were sent o plague houses or kept in quarantine for 40 days. Every day carts would drive through town to pick up dead bodies.


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