The Black Death

Front Cover
Rosemay Horrox
Manchester University Press, Oct 15, 1994 - History - 364 pages

From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between a third and one half of the population dead. This source book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349.

Rosemary Horrox surveys contemporary attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind. Moralists all had their particular targets for criticism. However, this emphasis on divine chastisement did not preclude attempts to explain the plague in medical or scientific terms. Also, there was a widespread belief that human agencies had been involved, and such scapegoats as foreigners, the poor and Jews were all accused of poisoning wells. The final section of the book charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy.

 

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This book is comprised of primary source materials on 14th century outbreaks of the plague. Much of the material is English, though Italy, Germany, France and Ireland are also represented. Not light ... Read full review

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Contents

The fourth pestilence 137479 88
11
The plague in continental Europe
14
The plague in Florence
26
The plague in Padua
34
The plague in Sicily
35
The plague in Avignon
41
The plague seen from Tournai
45
The plague in France according to Jean de Venette
54
Plague regulations of Bernaḅ Visconti Lord of Milan 2O3 66 London butchery regulations 1871
203
Parliamentary statute of 1888
205
Human agency 2O7 68 Wellpoisoning
207
The persecution of the Jews
208
Measures taken against the Jews in Lausanne
210
Examination of Jews captured in Savoy
211
Letter from Cologne to Strassburg
219
Mandate of Clement VI concerning the Jews
221

The plague in France according to the Great Chronicle
58
The plague in central Europe
59
The plague in the British Isles
62
The arrival of the plague in Dorset
63
The plague spreads to London
64
The plague in York
65
The plague seen from Lincolnshire
66
The plague at Meaux Abbey
67
The plague seen from Rochester
70
The plague according to John of Reading
74
The plague according to Henry Knighton
75
The plague according to Geoffrey le Baker
80
The plague in Ireland
82
The plague in Scotland
84
The second pestilence 1361
85
The third pestilence 1369
88
The fifth pestilence 139093
91
EXPLANATIONS AND RESPONSES
93
The religious response
111
Intercessionary processions 2
112
The importance of prayer
113
The response in Exeter
115
Edward III to the bishops 5 September 1849
117
Causes for gratitude
118
Processions against the plague in 1861
119
A call for prayers in 1875
120
A prayer against pestilence to the Virgin Mary
124
A prayer made to St Sebastian against the mortality
125
The sins of the times
126
The failings of the clergy
127
Divine disapproval of tournaments
130
Indecent clothing as a cause of the 184849 epidemic
131
The disobedience of children
134
The Sermon of Reason
135
The sins of the English
137
Be watchful
143
Pilgrimage to Merevale 1861
148
A wholesome medicine against the plague 14 9
149
The flagellants
150
The flagellants in England
153
Rumours of Antichrist
154
Millenarianism in Germany
155
Scientific explanations
158
Simon de Covino De Judicio Solis
163
The astrological causes of the plague Geoffrey de Meaux
167
The dangers of corrupted air
173
6O Earthquakes as the cause of plague
177
The transmission of plague
182
The treatise of John of Burgundy 1365
184
A fifteenthcentury treatise on the pestilence
193
Ordinances against the spread of plague Pistoia 1848
194
Accusations of wellpoisoning against the poor
222
An accusation of wellpoisoning
223
CONSEQUENCES
227
The impact of the plague
248
The death of Princess Joan
250
The death of Abbot Michael of St Albans
252
Deaths among the nuns of Malling
253
Deaths in Walsham le Willows
256
The plague in Lancashire
262
A new burial ground in London
266
Burial problems in Worcester
268
A new burial ground in Newark
269
A shortage of priests to hear confession
271
A papal licence for extra ordinations
273
A failed chantry endowment
274
The deaths of officials
275
A wrong redressed
276
An immediate fall in revenue
277
Decayed rents
280
Unwillingness to take on vacant properties
283
The renegotiation of labour services
285
A reduction in labour services
286
The ordinance of labourers 18 June 1349
287
An episcopal response to the ordinance
290
Repercussions
292
An increase in value
295
Diminished vills
296
An early enclosure
299
Appropriations of parishes
300
An amalgamation of parishes
302
Amendments to a chantry foundation 1351 3O4 107 Amendment of statutes governing a chantry 1865
304
Effrenata
306
Unwillingness to take on parochial responsibilities
310
Simon Sudbury increases priests wages 3 11
311
The statute of labourers 1351
312
A case under the ordinance of labourers
317
Cases brought under the statute of labourers 3 18
318
A selection of cases from Lincolnshire
319
Cases before the justices in Kesteven 1871
321
Additions to the statute of labourers 1388
323
Difficulties in finding tenants
326
Rebellious serfs at Wawne
331
The sin of pride
339
Sumptuary legislation 1863
340
The unprepared death
342
The prepared death
344
It is good to think on death
347
Suggestions for further reading
353
Index
357
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About the author (1994)

Rosemary Horrox is Fellow in History, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge.

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