Did people efficiently combat the plague of 1664? • Read Pepy’s diary and ask questions about what this tells us. 2 Use the picture of the quack doctor - match the captions (two part captions). Create a quick bar graph from the facts. • Read and highlight the information sheet on the plague. • Make a table with three columns of 1/ Action; 2/ How Effective - give a rating ( /5); 3/Explanation (explain your rating).
Labels for the quack doctor Stick to keep people away Gloves to keep hands clean Waxed cloth robe for protection of the body Leather hood to keep out ‘foul air’ Glass eye So he can still see “Beak’ (stuffed with herbs and spices) To sweeten the ‘foul’ air Facts Pop growth 120k - 500k in 200 years Living conditions were not very nice in towns - cramped Many small outbreaks of disease since 1348
Samuel Pepy’s diary 31st December 1666 Truly have these last two years seemed to be apocalyptic years for our fair capital city. First in the year of our Lord 1665 came a vile pestilene from across the southern sea. At first cases of this demonic plague with its dark blotches, bulging swellings and terrible fever, were few and far between .Within days however, panic gripped the city with people dying thousands upon thousands! In their droves people sought to escape London, trampling each other down and scattering their possessions in their desperation to find respite from the vile death. Most were turned back and forced to endure the purgatory of the city. Those who escaped only brought the plague like a vast foul cloud with them to the surrounding towns and countryside. Overall did that foul pestilence rob London of the lives of above 100 thousands of its people….. And this, of course, was not all. Just when we thought God was granting us some respite from this punishment for our sins, did he send down an even more apocalyptic scene - that of a great fire, which for five years did ravage our fair city. This all started with the simple carelessness of one baker - a mistake which could have been made by any man - but which, thanks to an ill westerly wind soon grew to a furnace made up of the most horrible, malicious, bloody flames, quite unlike the fire flames of an ordinary fire. Truly, after a day, did the scene resemble hell, with above half the city ablaze and even the wings of pigeons being seen to catch fire in the heat of the furnace….Only now are the city’s people beginning to piece back the London they once knew and loved….a city repentant of its sins which can surely be no longer the same again?
What Could You Do? • If you were an ordinary Dr what could you do? • You could wear your own special protective suit. The most of this frightening looking costume was supposed to act as a filter, as it was filled with perfumes and what where thought of as cleaning vapours. The lenses were glass and protected the eyes from bad air. Your protected with gloves and a long robe as well as boots. You could make sure you patient had sweet swelling perfumes and herbs around to get rid of bad smells, you could also try bleeding them. • Because of the pointed nose of this costume, plague doctors came to be known as quack doctors. Would it have helped? Well, maybe the suit kept the fleas off and stopped the doctors breathing in so many germs - but remember people wouldn’t know why it worked. Most doctors knew they couldn’t help and stayed away. • Bring out your dead! • When a relative died, family members were supposed to obey the command of the street criers shouting out: ‘Bring out your dead’. The dead body was taken by the authorities and buried far below the ground as possible in a special ground for plague victims. You might be able to guess why this made little difference to the spread of the disease.