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What is this document? Why is it useful for investigating what happened? PowerPoint Presentation
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What is this document? Why is it useful for investigating what happened?

What is this document? Why is it useful for investigating what happened?

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What is this document? Why is it useful for investigating what happened?

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  1. What is this document? Why is it useful for investigating what happened? Is there anything else you want to know when using this document? Why? How many have died from the plague during one week? What would you need to know to work out if this was a very bad week for deaths? Bubonic Plague, known as the Black Death, first hit the British Isles in 1348, killing nearly a third of the population. Although regular outbreaks of the plague had occurred since, the outbreak of 1665 was the worst case since 1348.

  2. Which months were particularly bad? Why? Spring 1665When plague broke out in Holland in 1663, Charles II stopped trading with the country to prevent plague-infested rats arriving in London by ship. However, despite these precautions, plague broke out in the capital in the Spring of1665.   11 had died of plague by the beginning of May London had changed little since 1480. Houses were tightly packed together and conditions unsanitary - ideal conditions for the plague to spread, particularly during the hot summer of 1665.

  3. If only they had known that plague was spread by the blood-sucking fleas that lived on the black rat. Why didn’t they know that information? What did they think caused the plague? 100,000 people - Dead!40,000 dogs - destroyed!200,000 cats - destroyed! Why were cats and dogs destroyed? Did that help or hinder? London 1665

  4. What is going on in these pictures?Are there any signs of organisation or panic?

  5. Bring out the dead! • London had around half a million inhabitants - twenty times the size of the next largest town. Its size and overcrowding made it very prone to diseases such as this. • Its death toll in 1665 from plague was over 68000. • Incubation took just 4 to 6 days and when the plague appeared in a household, the house was sealed, thus condemning the whole family to death!  These houses had a painted red cross on the door and the words, 'Lord have mercy on us'.  • At night the corpses were brought out in answer to the cry,' Bring out your dead', put in a  cart and taken away to the plague pits.  One called the Great Pit was at Aldgate in London and another at Finsbury Fields.

  6. What have we here? The government made sure that everyone did their bit to reduce the spread of plague. Obey or else…

  7. London newspaper July 1665The temperature and the numbers of deaths continued to rise. The Lord Mayor of London, desperate to be seen to be doing something, heard rumours that it was the stray dogs and cats on the streets that were spreading the disease. He ordered them to be destroyed. In fact this action caused more deaths since there were no stray dogs and cats to kill the rats! June 1665The Summer of 1665 was one of the hottest summers recorded and the numbers dying from plague rose rapidly. People began to panic and the rich fled the capital. By June you had to have a certificate of health in order to travel or enter another town or city. Forgers made a fortune issuing false certificates!

  8. Plague doctor The full-length gown was made out of thick material which was then covered with wax. Underneath the gown the doctor would wear leather breeches. The mask covered the head completely and was gathered in at the neck for extra protection. Many doctors, knowing that they could do nothing for plague victims, simply didn't bother trying to treat the disease. Those that did made sure that they were as protected as possible from the disease by wearing the 'uniform' shown below.

  9. What was it like to live during the plague year? • Bells tolled continually, announcing new deaths. As thousands died, carts went round London, collecting the dead bodies and taking them to newly dug plague pits on the capital's edges. • Ten thousand people camped on boats anchored in the Thames, hoping to escape infection. • Fires were lit outside every sixth house and kept burning for days and nights, in the hope that the fumes would drive away the infected air.

  10. Which job would you have chosen? • Victims were shut into their houses and the doors were nailed shut and marked with a large red cross. • Nurses were hired to take in food and carry out basic care, • Guards were set on watch to make sure that the sick (or their families) did not escape. • Normal life virtually stopped. Stall owners couldn’t do business. • Thousands of families were locked into their homes, the well along with the sick, waiting to die. • Parishes hired local volunteers to carry out the plague orders. • ‘Examiners', found and reported the sickness; • ‘Scavengers' and 'rakers', cleaned the streets; • ‘Watchers' guarded them. • Women were paid to go into houses as 'nurses' and as 'searchers', to find out who had died. • Forgers made money selling fake travel passes and health certificates

  11. In September 1665, a travelling tailor received a parcel of cloth that was infested with plague-carrying fleas. One by one, the villagers came down with the disease. It might have spread to the rest of the county. However the vicar persuaded the villagers to stay in self-imposed quarantine until the plague had run its course. By October 1666, almost three quarters of the villagers – 259 people from 76 families – were dead. What would you have done? The vicar of Eyam, William Mompesson The Derbyshire village of Eyam – with almost 350 inhabitants before the plague – has achieved particular fame for the tragedy and courage seen there. Why? Where did Plague spread and how?

  12. Plague hit Southampton in 1665 and got worse in 1666. In 1666 it also broke out in Basingstoke, Portsmouth and Winchester. Charles II moved his court to Salisbury from London, hoping to avoid the plague. However, plague reached Salisbury in August 1665 and the King’s court moved on! In 1666 Salisbury was badly affected when over 10% of its population died. How local to Ringwood?

  13. The end of the Plague? • At last, by November and the onset of cold weather there was a huge reduction in the number of deaths. Not that Charles II felt it was safe to return to the capital until February 1666! • Could anyone be sure that it wouldn’t return the next Spring? • And why do we know so much about the year 1665?

  14. Here’s one reason: Bill of Mortality for one week How do we know?

  15. Samuel Pepys who wrote a diary at the time "June 7th. This day I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon their doors and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there, which was a sad sight to me." June 21st. I found all the town almost going out of town, the coaches and wagons being all full of people going into the country." …and here’s another

  16. Your task: • Describe what happened during 1665 in London in a paragraph. • As an historian today, explain what sources you can use to find out what happened during that year. • Make sure you say why you have to be cautious about pictures, bills of mortality and diaries that were produced at the time.