The Great Plague by Jamie P

The Great Plague


In 1665 there was a huge outbreak of the Plague, which was also known as the Black Death, in London.  This was a feared disease which caused people to die a horrible death!

A Foul Disease

The first recorded case was in April in 1665.  It began in the poorer areas of London because there was plenty of food for rats, however, it wasn’t rats that gave people the Plague, it was fleas.  Rats carried lots of fleas.  When a flea bit a person they became infected with the Plague.  It was also passed on if someone coughed or sneezed, so people thought it was the air they breathed in.  The symptoms were shivering, sweating, aching, vomiting and coughing.  Furthermore, people would get diarrhoea, fever and confusion.  Finally, sores and boils grew on the body, closely followed by death.  It was a fatal disease.

A Red Cross on the Door

By the following spring, more and more people were dying.  If you had the Plague at that time, you had to go to a house with a red cross over the door.  Watchmen were positioned outside the door to make sure nobody entered or left the house for forty days.  People who didn’t have the plague couldn’t even leave.

Taking Action

New laws were introduced.  For example, nobody was allowed in or out of London meaning that the disease couldn’t get out of London to another town or city.


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