The Diseases and Casualties this Week
London 39 · From the 12 of September to the 19 · 1665
|Drowned 3. one at Stepney, one at St. Katharine near the Tower, and one at St. Margaret Westminster||(3)|
|Flox and Small-pox||8|
|Found dead in the street at St. Olave Southwark||1|
|Griping in the Guts||45|
|Rising of the Lights||15|
|Stopping of the stomach||5|
The Aßize of Bread set forth by Order of the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen:
A penny Wheaten Loaf to Contain Nine Ounces and a half, and three half-penny White Loaves the like weight.
The list is, as Henry James might put it, suggestive. One wonders about the person frightened to death, or the one who died of grief. There is something faintly humorous, too, in the poor soul ‘Found dead in the street at St. Olave Southwark,’ as though being ‘in the street at St. Olave Southwark’ were somehow the essential cause of death. Not, of course, that the Bills of Mortality were primarily concerned with the cause of death as such, being a mere table of corpses, but the need to assert some authority over death—even by listing the manner, if not the cause—is as touching as it is futile. Also:
- John Graunt’s Natural and Political Observations mentioned in a following index and made upon the Bills of Mortality: ‘Autumn, or the Fall is the most unhealthfull season’ (cf. Hippocrates, Aphorisms).
- Macabre London: extracts from the Bills of Mortality.1
- Old disease names and their modern definition (with discussions generated by the topic).
- Cf. Mortality statistics in England and Wales.
- Cf. also the classification of mortality from the CDC: terrorism codes.
- This was an exhibit at the Museum of London which sadly they have taken offline. [↩]