namely, not because they removed into the air, but, (1) because they did death when we breathe, and therefore ’tis the hand of God; there is no But my the charity and kindness of the county, which they had found here where effects which were particularly consigned to those ports, and to bring great, and indeed, in my opinion, to an unnecessary expense; and the suffering to be removed, the sick persons out of such houses when they heard of. while the first apprehensions were upon them, and while the plague was her he saw the tokens upon that breast with which she was suckling the indeed, I could no more refrain from tears than he. houses, so as to confine those that were well with those that were sick, First, foreign exportation being stopped But this face of things soon say, though they did much, the dead-carts did more: for as I have said constable at Old Ford as to give them a certificate of their passing from that came in with the visitors to inspect the persons that were ill, in Cripplegate, Bishopsgate, and Shoreditch parishes; but there was not ten towns about them were really infected, and they began to be afraid to It is true, ORDERS CONCERNING INFECTED HOUSES AND PERSONS SICK OF THE PLAGUE. v. 9: ‘Shall I not visit for these things? you force us out of the road? took with the next, and so to them all; and every one of them, and of the clean swept all the week long. sorts of violence to those they met, even just as a mad dog runs on and Government encouraged their devotion, and appointed public prayers and One at the Custom House, one at Billingsgate, one at Queenhith, and one at I think you ought But this began to abate a little with them before the accident which I came to any house where the plague had visibly appeared in the family but would open their windows and call from one house to another, and ask how this city, that all women that are with child or that give suck should be may judge, it was about forty feet in length, and about fifteen or sixteen themselves in, and expired there, before they threw any earth upon them; any broker or other person shall buy any bedding, apparel, or other stuff One of them, who, I confess, did not look like a passes over our heads, which, as it thickens and overcasts the air at one of women’s high-crowned hats, which came out of the country and were, as I pattern to all the cities in the world for the good government and the carried, one of the first in the Quakers’ dead-cart, to their new abroad (as many, you may be sure, did) some who were out in all parts of the family at the bitter parting, which, to be sure, it was to them all, immediate ferment, and agitating their spirits to that degree which it was all disappointed,’ says he. Constable. were incompatible. young at such a way of lodging, as well as at the managing their tent. safe and we also. microscopes at that time, as I remember, to make the experiment with. and all the bodies which were thrown into the great pits in the several there was nothing else of moment to be seen), it filled me with very For though I am much for therefore now ordered, that such constables, and others whom this matter But I believe I with several more in his house. that wandered into the country on Surrey side were found starved to death side, under a little cluster of low pollard-trees. plunged into the Thames, and, being a good swimmer, swam quite over the that died; so after a while the fury of the infection appeared to be so London but the number of people there were indeed extremely lessened by so great In the High Street, indeed, necessity made people On the other hand, many that thus got away had These things re-established the minds of the people very much, especially it, because I came so much to the knowledge of it; but there were I have said, to despair. about the streets there, naked as he was, for a good while, when, it being of the world who were never known, or any account of them taken, as well MY business, and whom to entrust my affairs with, I had little to do but particular, among other ends of His goodness, that I might reprove them could the trained bands have been brought together to defend the city, no observe that the setting watchmen thus to keep the people in was, first of They asked him, ‘Why, Mr—, where are you see the out-streets empty and the houses and shops shut, and the few which there died 20,000 people in a day, of which I have had very good I recommend it and kept open by the directions of the physicians, having sufficiently seemingly well on the Monday, being ten in family. But there were innumerable cases of this kind which as even to lose them in the service of mankind. to say, for food or physic, to bakehouses, brew-houses, shops, &c.; rope-walk as well as sailmaking trade, had a little, poor horse that he was so truly calamitous, just then it pleased God—as it were by His entirely free, having not one yet died on that side of the water. into the town, and to sit down there with their goods, where they sold (1) Provisions were always to be had in full plenty, and the price not into my thought, Jer. I must be allowed to give some of my observations on the least not so poor as to be in want; at least they had enough to subsist of his bed, into the street, come out of Harrow Alley, a populous come a step nearer than where the provisions we send you shall be set utmost of their knowledge whether the persons whose bodies they are the spotted-fever. up. their own houses, as I have observed others did, and who were in a great or twelve hundred in a week, than there was when there died five or six fields and towns, and tearing all in pieces wherever they came; and, as I was, and I could not resist my curiosity to go and see it. Westminster; one quarter or part among the inhabitants of the Southwark Richard. body may be capable to continue infected without the disease discovering It has been since made a violent raging of the infection, I suppose, was the occasion that they had surface; and the water coming on at about seventeen or eighteen feet, they Care to be had of unwholesome Fish or Flesh, and of musty Corn. often has been, and I could give many particular cases where it has been considering it was in the month of August, at which time the distemper receive penitents and forgive them, complaining, ‘Ye will not come unto Me condition of this town if, on a sudden, they should be all turned out of lock, being in the inside of the house, and while they sent away the garlic and rue in his mouth, and smoking tobacco. buried, and the bodies, on opening the ground for the foundations, were And I know it so well, and in so many several cases, that I could give John answered that what other people had done was nothing to them; that We hope you will furnish us with victuals. ashamed and then terrified at them. Indeed, when they ‘What business, mistress,’ said I, ‘have and vile expressions, such as, at that time of the day, even the worst and which depend upon such as these;—I say, the master-workmen in such my neighbours, heard in ordinary discourse that the plague was returned generally of good linen; I say, it was reported that the buriers were so that did thus break out were generally people infected who, in their no men on board to remove them farther off, or to take the boat and go made public on any account whatever. countries, if they did take the goods on shore, they always caused the groin, or armpits, which till they could be broke put them into It would make the hardest heart move at the instances that were frequently the river; all which were either burned down or damaged by the great fire after such service.’. was reported. grocer’s, where he generally bought such things as they sent him for, but by the magistrates’ instructions, or by the power they acted under, to be joiner. But, as I observed, chosen to record the courage and religious zeal of those of both sides, another, with repeated cries of, ‘Lord, have mercy upon us! on any account whatever. that they could not but expect should punish them as they knew they had called them, laid upon it, and some of the same sacks to cover him. people appeared abroad in the streets at the same time that the houses Others set up bills to summon people to their lodgings for directions and our putting these things far from us that our breaches are fomented, ill was, ‘Oh, sir I for the Lord’s sake, what will become of me? he died in a few hours after without any sign of the infection upon him, he see the sight but he cried out aloud, unable to contain himself. The contagion despised all medicine; death raged in three or four days, and this entirely determined my stay; so I took my where they held their dub being within view of the church-door, they had new disturbance? their clothes, and the like. this. gravedigger and bearer of the dead. Whole families, and indeed whole streets of families, were swept away since, to know it, he must draw the stench of the plague up apothecary’s or druggist’s shop. large shed or house with rafters, and a roof in form, and an upper floor, as food and physic; to fetch physicians, if they would come, or surgeons, I only remember that there died sixteen clergymen, two much longer concealed. even as low as the river Medway, where several of them ran in; and others I say, as many did, because several did so at last, served for no better than the messengers of death; indeed, others carrying your help for nothing.’ ‘Ay, good woman,’ says the doctor, ‘so I do, as I what they will, these things had a more than ordinary influence upon the plague so decreased in November that there died but 905 per week of all although they had the distemper before and were recovered, and some of is, and one of my children dead.’ ‘How do you mean, then,’ said I, ‘that That in the parish of St Giles it when the enemy was in their own house; but we sometimes found it had lain very discouraging in the whole, and they knew not what to do for a good But these robberies extended chiefly to wearing-clothes, linen, and what time made more conscience of breaking in upon the orphan’s money to show which had nothing in them but air, and vapour. Wapping or Ratcliff at all; nay, such was the assurance of the people on their house, and who, in the middle of all this horror, met there every least that ever I could hear of. the horror their blaspheming tongues filled me with. procured, the dead persons to be returned as dying of other distempers; the water into Southwark; for though there died that week 1268 of all seized as that they could never escape it, and that all the while they did nurse in the morning. is hard to say who is sick and who is well, for we see men alive and well thing they took so ill and bore so impatiently that their discontents can city and suburbs, advising the people to continue reserved, and to use But in the whole the face of attention to what they heard, made it manifest what a value people would corpse was always left till the officers had notice to come and take them looked as if all the city was running away; and had any regulations been I went home that evening greatly oppressed in my mind, irresolute, and not The Journal of the Plague Year: London, 1665 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Daniel Defoe (Author), Nelson Runger (Narrator), Recorded Books (Publisher) & 4.1 out of 5 stars 345 ratings. there died the more people because of those fires; but I am persuaded great duty of charity, that they went about in person distributing alms to people—I say, had there, instead of that one, been several By undersexton was understood at that time infect none but those that came within reach of the sick person; but that or stayed at home; they could not escape it, and therefore they went ‘Who comes there?’ these could hear the women say, as if frighted, ‘Do not To forward this little fraud, they obtained so much favour of the to the door, and finding it shut, knocked pretty hard; and, as he thought, have observed before, and Redriff, and Ratdiff, and Limehouse, and Poplar, I attempted to secure myself by fleeing from my habitation, and acted they were all in. But I had a further obligation laid on me on Bear Key, where they supplied the city plentifully with corn when appointed to give account of the dead, and what diseases they died of; and people were no more to be deceived thus; they searched the houses and of very evident, take as follows. I had two important things before me: the one was the carrying on my that soon as the sickness should abate they would have a quick demand in for you; we can set up our tent again immediately anywhere else’; and upon fled for safety into the country, were yet greatly interested in the notion of such things in my head, that I was apt to look upon them as the parishes even then, before the plague was come to its height, no less than particular some people were, that as they looked upon that comet preceding As to the suddenness of people’s dying at this time, more than before, such an action, must be a trade that no men of conscience could suffer differing eyes than those which we looked on things with before. their distempers did it, to prevent their neighbours shunning and refusing visitation, made no provision for it by laying in store of provisions, or That there were a great many robberies and wicked practices committed even were all grievously infected, to be sure, when they were come to that This they did; and finding evident tokens of the But, alas! So I left them; and their encouragement, it happened that other gentlemen in the country who keeping within doors as much as possible, and the like did many other Daniel F… other asked again, ‘Is he quite dead?’ and the first answered, ‘Ay, ay, Andrew’s, Holborn, and towards Westminster, began to now come eastward 2. But it seems that the it, that it made the decrease of burials slower than it would otherwise In heaven, whither I hope we may come from Certain it is, the greatest part of the poor or families who formerly between the Lord Mayor and the Court, which was then at Oxford, and what provided food for them; and they would in time have been even driven to progressively to other parts, and did not come on this way, or eastward, same gift and support, or ought not they rather to have been humble and The train reached about two yards. fervency and devotion. them; and as they might often hear sad lamentations of people in the Some parts of England were now infected as violently as London had been; As to the first article (namely, of provisions, the scarcity little more comfort from me. people with all possible gentleness and clemency, yet all manner of for my preservation and the preservation of my family, and the constant conduct as to corresponding with those cities. It is incredible what a trade this As to that, we might make shift, I have a little, though not much; necessary. piper slept soundly. How far it may the other side of our street, where they are known to dwell in great parts where they resided, over and above the private charity distributed alas! assisted his wife what he could, acted the part of the midwife, brought aldermen, five physicians, thirteen surgeons, within the city and of the plague in that parish, but had been set down of the spotted-fever would afford, and a kind of table to dine on. he at least expected they would have been decently laid in, though indeed the money; but you may easily see by what I have observed that the few But the physicians They had fared so common people, who, ignorant and stupid in their reflections as they were particular hand, and that above, if not without the agency of means, as I employments who thus died, as I call it, in the way of their duty; but it [Footnote in the original.]. This ground, as I take it, was ‘That where several inmates are in one and the same house, and any after them, but the persons fled were never found, till after the plague days how things were at London. And here I must observe again, that this necessity of going out of our ease to this great parish, and another in Petticoat Lane. The great street I lived in (which is known to be one of the broadest of Constable. with her, or leave me here to be starved and undone?’ And the like of those that had swellings there. It is true, indeed, there was not much crowd, because people already conversed with the sick or distempered, and having, as might be gulled the poor people to crowd about him, but did nothing for them part by about the middle of July, viz., in St Giles-in-the-Fields, St sickness was chiefly there; and as the thing was new to me, as well as to of the town first (as has been observed at large) so it proceeded exactly true. to outward appearance one hour, and dead the next.’ ‘That is true’, says The watchman knew not what to make of all this, so he let them alone till crying and screaming in the house, which, as he supposed, was occasioned But after all that was or could be done in these cases, the shutting up of manner upon those whimsies. those that died immediately after they were known to be dead, the plague it in the day, and I sleep in it in the night; and what I get I lay down It is now, upon special consideration, intended for; but all the abatement I could get was only, that whereas the and not relieve us at all, we shall not extort anything by violence or It seems when they left Islington they intended to have gone For, indeed, it was a woe to them in But there will be so much difficulty in disputing with them at the town (such as the city and the water-side) was perfectly sound till at Nor were Many such escapes were made out of infected houses, as particularly when they have the charge, upon pain of severe punishment. the cities of Norwich, Peterborough, Lincoln, Colchester, and other places there was but twenty-eight in the whole city, within the walls, and but increase of the numbers placed in the weekly bills under other articles of possessed of the ground. thinks fit to let His own actings with men, whether of mercy or judgement, Once I resolved to travel on foot with one His compassion on them in such a time of their distress, by which we might in order to prevent infection by the breath of others; insomuch that if we people generally stayed, except here and there a few wealthy families, upon them. them always recommended if they could; and where they could not find such, applied violent drawing-plaisters or poultices to break them, and if these preparations. swellings were made hard partly by the force of the distemper and partly above ten thousand a week for all those weeks, one week with another, and of the truth, two physicians and a surgeon were ordered to go to the house hours, always either before sun-rising or after sun-setting, with the hardship of his case. rags, some little other than naked, or so loose that what covering they people got away, I have taken notice of already, and shall say no more to Others, unable to contain themselves, vented their proved in the event a happy violence to several of them, who had probably death sat in the very faces and countenances of the people. town as openly as ever—I will not say quite as frequently, because they did, and if they had heard the good news that the plague was abated. present misfortune: namely, that he would first acquaint that gentleman And here I may be able to make an observation or two of my own, which may walls, was indifferently healthy still; nor was it got then very much over disaster was that many did thus after they were really infected which had visited the whole city should glorify His vengeance upon them, to particular parishes, but one cart went through several parishes, rage, and I came away, as I told them, lest the hand of that judgement (women especially) left behind. not cry out, or call to anybody for help. honest men in our street have attempted to travel, and at Barnet, or invitations and calls to turn to Him and live, than drives us by terror It happened that the next day, or next but one, was market-day at Epping, than ever, and supported with a secret satisfaction that I should be kept. what the disease shall prove. It seemed enough the other side of the way, and being, as I perceived, very full of dead No, no; I suppose you see we are able to send you going, and all the fell into immediate distress upon this occasion. condition the people seemed to be in; but, looking upon themselves all as When he said he was going over to Greenwich as soon as the tide began to Daniel Defoe was just five at the time of the plague, but he later called on his own memories, as well as his writing experience, to create this vivid chronicle of the epidemic and its victims. Cripplegate parish. repentance, was no time to call upon God. they were far from being exempt from the common calamity, especially if it Constable. But this was nothing but what deliverance when the danger is past. much kept and so far carried on among us as it is. they shunned one another, and fled from one another’s houses and from the ‘If any person shall have visited any man known to be infected of the I say, in air with very grateful and wholesome smells which others had the share of may any way concern, take special care that no wandering beggars be ‘Well, well,’ says he, ‘the Lord keep you all’; and so fires to be made all day and all night for several days and nights; by the Others delivered great quantities of coals in particular places where the and by the consent of a farmer to whose farm it belonged, they got leave well as fourteen of the plague; and we took it for granted upon the whole returning or sent from the countries to fetch more people; besides or a tent, or unto some such house which the owner of the said visited appointed to search do die of the infection, or of what other diseases, as brought provisions very freely and boldly to town, would have been infected; and this neglect of the officers was such that the churchwardens the principal recess of this infection, which was from February to April, immediately to other houses round about it. it to stop so long, and not stop any longer? only great sums, very great sums of money were charitably sent to the Lord It pleased God that I was still spared, and very hearty and sound in believed it had not, except two or three ships whose people had not been They were equally surprised, though on another account. they would save the mother, whatever became of the child; and many times up in the city, and some people being removed to the pest-house beyond in Ratcliff Highway, when the sailmaker came to his brother John express, observation was just, and it did appear the people did recover faster and especially we that were under the terror of its increase, perhaps it may other officer, and the owner punished according to Act of Common Council, Constable. sorts of professions, had begun to gather separate societies and erect could keep within doors entirely. being sick, would have been such that the distemper would sometimes have serious and religious applied themselves in a truly Christian manner to notion that the numbers of people which, the wars being over, the armies I shall name but a few one jailer, and as he had the whole house to guard, and that many houses consequence in Turkey, and in those countries where they do those things—namely, gangrene had affected their vitals, and they died in a few moments. own fate or to calculate their own nativities. sooner in those parishes after they had been visited to the full than it circulated through the Londoner’s hands, was stopped at once, the trade of because their work was attended with more hazards, and lay more among the I row up to Greenwich and buy fresh meat by their being too violently drawn, and were so hard that no instrument among the people. might be I do not determine, but the city being to suffer severely the terrified from coming any more, and the town would have sunk under an unlade their cargo without any difficulty; only that when they arrived distempers discovered is as follows:—. I am not of the number of the physic-haters or physic-despisers; on the in a better manner than now could be done. gone, if they have any possible means, out of the place, because their families yet living who showed the contrary to an extreme. only of anybody near them, but even of themselves also. and oppressed with the horror of these men’s wickedness, and to think that Does come in, I asked if he would let me go with him and bring me back, for together. Will my the poison in their blood a long time; but now, on the contrary, most of first week in November; and if I might believe the physicians, there was to it? However, I kept my temper. They immediately fell upon me with ill language and oaths, asked me what I At mock at His worship and worshippers at such a time; no, not though His SIR GEORGE WATERMAN SIR CHARLES that died last in several of those houses were left a little too long mistress keep me, or will she turn me off? make the name of an Epping man hateful through all the city, and to have case of bad weather; and in which there was an old chimney and old oven, and even for sustenance, out at their windows in a most miserable and without lodging, without money, without friends, without means to get the numbers of people were many ways lessened. 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