Plague – The Black Death or Bubonic Plague 1348 – 1350

The plague, commonly known as The Black Death, reached England in June 1348, it originated in from Asia, most likely Mongolia in 1320’s and then spread across China. Europe was then covered with the unstoppable plague before eventually getting to England.

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The country was completely unprepared and medieval medicine inadequate to deal the disease and ignorance on how it was spreading. In a time when religion was so powerful people would look to the God for the answer and salvation. Within a year the plague had covered the country and people were being carried from the cities and buried in huge dug mass graves.

There was no single safe place even the most remote village if there was one case of a member of that village contracting the plague it would then spread throughout and wipe out the enire village.

Peasants were very vulnerable to catching and spreading the plague due to their living conditions. They tended to be confined to small and dirty spaces. Due to so many peasants dying fields were left unfarmed and as a consequence those who had not contracted the plague then faced starvation.

There are varied estimates of the death toll caused by the plague but it was somewhere in the region of 2.5 million people. The population of England was roughly halved from before and after the plague.

After the plague there was a shortage of labour to farm the lands and one of the benefits for the peasants due to the shortage of labour was an increase in wages and living conditions.

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The Black Death of 1348 to 1350 was not the only outbreak it continued to come back and kill up to the 18th Century.

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