jan 1, 1665 - The Great Plague
The only other outbreak of plague in England since the Black Death, this makes it very useful to compare against.
There was very little change in what people believed to cause the great plague. Miasma was a very common explanation. Far fewer people believed it was an imbalance of the four humours. Despite a loss in power of the church, sinfulness and Gods anger were still thought to cause the plague
There was very little change in treatment of the plague. Praying, supernatural charms, herbal remedies bleeding and purging all remained and most physicians fled London. New treatments included:
- The transfer theory
- It was thought the disease could be 'sweat out'
The real difference between the two plagues was the government action. The king ordered the following to stop the plague from spreading:
- Theatres and large gatherings were banned
- Dogs and cats were killed
- Streets were regularly cleaned
- The dead were collected every day and carted off to be burnt and buried in mass graves
- Days of fasting and public prayer were introduced
- If someone caught the plague their whole family were boarded into their house or taken to a pest house
These orders were unsuccessful however due to parliament refusing to turn them into laws. The king, his council and 6/9 men tasked with dealing with the plague all fled London meaning people just ignored the orders.
Added to timeline:
Work in progress