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.

19 Annotations

First Reading

RexLeo  •  Link

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

Viral infection?

DonB  •  Link

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

AussieRene  •  Link

Forunner of the Plague, maybe?

Mary  •  Link


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

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

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

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

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.

vicente  •  Link

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]

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"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.

Bill  •  Link

AGUE, An intermitting fever with cold fits succeeded by hot
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Bill  •  Link

It was named by his men of Physick, the new Disease: a name of ignorance, or their accustomed Asylum ignorantiae, to which they take their refuge, when they know not what the Disease is, or what to call it. One time they shall tell you, it is an Ague; another, it is a Feavor; a third, it's an Ague and Feavor; a fourth, it's Feavor and Ague; a fifth, it's the new Disase : a denomination so idle, that every Novice in Physick might well suspect they had never read Hippocrates or Galen; specially, upon observing, that every Autumnal or Epidemick Distemper is by them termed termed new : whereas, the gentle Pox excepted, there is not any among all those they have nominated new Diseases, but what is amply described in many ancient Authors.
---The Conclave of Physicians. G. Harvey, 1686.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Considering the state of medical knowledge, biology and hygeine at the time, it was a miracle if anyone made it to 50. Infant mortality was extremely high, too, bringing down the average age of mortality. Diseases, infections, devastating injuries with no effective treatment. It's a wonder anyone survived to adulthood.

John Matthew IV  •  Link

Please do not post such spoilers. That takes away from the joy of following Sam and his world one day at a time.

Thank you.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John, I warned you. Looking is your choice.

Mary K  •  Link

"looking is your choice"

Well, that's not quite fair comment when the nub of the spoiler falls under the same glance as the warning. In this case one does not have to follow the link actively to know what the outcome will be. Many (most?) of us register at least part of the text of two contiguous lines of print at the same time.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.