Tuesday 22 October 1661

At the office all the morning, where we had a deputation from the Duke in his absence, he being gone to Portsmouth, for us to have the whole disposal and ordering of the Fleet. In the afternoon about business up and down, and at night to visit Sir R. Slingsby, who is fallen sick of this new disease, an ague and fever. So home after visiting my aunt Wight and Mrs. Norbury (who continues still a very pleasant lady), and to supper, and so to bed.

12 Annotations

RexLeo   Link to this

"...Sir R. Slingsby, who is fallen sick of this new disease, an ague and fever"

Viral infection?

DonB   Link to this

Malaria and typhoid were both common in that time I understand. Seems too late in the year for malaria.

AussieRene   Link to this

Forunner of the Plague, maybe?

Mary   Link to this

Malaria?

I should have thought that the symptoms of malaria (endemic at this time) would have been recognised. Viz. 16th century references to quotidian and tertian agues. Typhoid or para-typhoid would also have been recognisable, though not so designated. Mortality Bills for London (insofar as their accuracy can be trusted) show that plague was endemic to the capital and its surrounding area, though the numbers of deaths recorded are low in most years.

We'll have to wait and see how Slingsby's sickness develops.

Lawrence   Link to this

The New disease was a fever, was intermitten type (?typhus or cerebrospinal), common in London 1661-4; evidence and analyis in C. Creighton, Hist. epidemics in Brit., ii 4+. L&M

Judy B   Link to this

It occurred to me that with all this visiting Sam does, he must have an excellent immune system to not catch more diseases than he does. Those of us in modern life interact with far fewer co-workers and acquaintencances than does Sam on a daily basis.

And with no washing of any kind, or changing of clothing, one would think they would be sick all the time.

Carolina   Link to this

He must have had an excellent immune system as his diet left a lot to be desired in terms of vitamins and nutrients.
No vegetables or fruit to speak of and freshness must have been doubtful at times too.

dirk   Link to this

with no washing of any kind
- re Judy B

I remember reading an article years ago which claimed that although not washing regularly is of course not a good thing, our modern habit of washing (shower/bath) every day is no good either. It seems to damage our natural protection to such an extent that we become more vulnerable than our ancestors ever were to a whole range of diseases. I remember one of the examples quoted referred to a tramp who, after years of living rough, was taken up into a centre for the homeless, forced to wash daily, and soon after died of pneumonia. Unfortunately I can't trace the article anymore.

dirk   Link to this

washing

To be fair, here's the other side of the picture - in favour of washing...

(Frighteningly detailed!)

http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Safehands.html

vicente   Link to this

Back in the 1950's in Fayid Egypt, at the local butchers shops and elsewhere, Bluebottles and other unidentified creatures [they did not have the exposure to biological variations of the world]or flying objects covered the hanging meats [and any unprotected by products [fecal in nature]]as if protecting the carcases from the sun. The locals appear not to suffer much, at least the population was growing exponentionaly. Naturally the British soldiers had the runs [dysentry] from the protected food and the army cookhouse. If one survived that and the Sergeant Major, one then would get demobbed after the Queen had said it was OK.
Excess or the lack of natural life is not a good thing just the the correct amount of natures challenges appear to be correct answer. Of course, we are still in the experination stage.
That is, some survive others fail the tests of life. [natures population control]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"... this new disease, an ague and fever," First mentioned by Pepys on 3 July: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/07/03/

Bill   Link to this

"this new disease, an ague and fever"

This complaint is referred to in Ben Jonson's "Every Man in His Humour," and in 1659 H. Whitmore published a little book entitled "Febris Anomala, or the New Disease that now rageth throughout England." It appears to have been somewhat similar to subsequent epidemics of influenza.
---Wheatley, 1899.

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