Plague!

Oh Lord save us!  A great pestilence is upon us.

Reports reached London in 1347 of a terrifying and incurable disease which was spreading from the East.  It reached England in 1348 and is thought to have killed millions of people.  There are three different types of plague; bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic.  The most common variant is the bubonic plague where buboes Bubonic-plagueappear in the neck, armpits and groin areas which oozed blood and pus when opened. It is thought the plague which hit England was the Bubonic Plague and there were sporadic outbreaks between 1348 until the last in 1665-1666 (The Great Plague of London).  There were (known) outbreaks of the plague in Market Harborough in 1609, 1625, 1641 and 1645.  In 1609 the Townsmen’s Accounts record the provisions made for an outbreak of plague in the town.  Mr Walker’s bill details; aquavitie, saffron, cinnamon, orange, ginger, frankincense, nutmegs, cloves and mace, just to name some of the exotic spices listed which were thought to help cure the plague.  Although there isn’t any mention of the cause of deaths in the burial register, in 1625 there were 33 burials recorded, compared to 14 in 1626. During the outbreak of 1641 the minister recorded who had died of the plague in the parish register (spelling as in the parish register).

Anne Townsend a stranger who came from Stonie Stratford and brought with her the plague to the towne who lodged at one wid: Nowelle at the sign of the Meeremaide and infected first that house wt the pestilence and there dyed and was buried July 19 1641

Goodith Pickering the daughter Gilbert Pickering and sister to widow Nowill dyed of the plague and was buried July 31

John the sonne of widow Makkernes dyed of the plague and was buried August the first.

Mary Nowell widow and hostis of the meeremaide dyed of the plague and was buried August 5th

John Glover hostler at the Meeremaide dyed of the plague and was buried August 5th

Francis Yates widow hostis of the Talbott and sister to widow Nowill of the Meermaide dyed of the plague and was buried August the 10th

Christopher Mackernes sonne of wid: Mackernes dyed of the plague and was buried August 12th

Joseph Mackernes sonne of wid Mackernes dyed of the plague and was buried August 13

Edward Chapman the sonne of Edward Chapman dyed of the plague and was buried 15th of August

Sarah Mills daughter of John Mills dyed of the plague and was buried August 18th

In 1645, the plague returned:

Anne Tomlin the daughter of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried August 30

George Tomlyn the sonne of Robert Tomlin shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried August 30

Thomas Tomlin the sonne of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 13th

Mary (?) daughter of John (?) shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 13th

Mary Tomlyn the daughter of Robert Tomlin shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 14th

Susanna Tomlyn the daughter of Robert Tomlyn shoemaker dyed of the plague and was buried September 16th

Ffrancis (?) dyed of the plague and was buried October the first

Thomas Miller the sonne of Thomas Miller dyed of the plague and was buried October 12th

John the sonne of John Hoyt shoemaker dyed of the plague October 26th

The poor Tomlyn family were hit particularly hard – I’ll have to look into them at a later date.  A total of 41 burials were recorded in that year.  There were other burials in between the ones mentioned above but they were not recorded as having ‘dyed of the plague’.

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