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History > 17th century > England > London > The Plague Year    1665-66




 ‘Pandemics don’t always trigger social unrest, but they can do.’


The title artwork

from a 17th century pamphlet

on the effects of the plague on London.



Science History Images/Alamy Stock Photo


Inequality doesn't just make pandemics worse – it could cause them

Historically, disease outbreaks have happened

at a time of social inequality and discord


Sun 12 Apr 2020    12.00 BST

Last modified on Sun 12 Apr 2020    12.27 BST
















The Great Plague,

lasting from 1665 to 1666,

was the last major epidemic

of the bubonic plague

to occur in England.


It happened

within the centuries-long

Second Pandemic,

a period of intermittent

bubonic plague epidemics

which originated

in China in 1331,

the first year

of the Black Death,

an outbreak

which included other forms

such as pneumonic plague,

and lasted until 1750.


The Great Plague killed

an estimated 100,000 people

—almost a quarter

of London's population—

in 18 months.


The plague was caused

by the Yersinia pestis bacterium,

which is usually transmitted

through the bite

of an infected rat flea.


The 1665–66 epidemic

was on a far smaller scale

than the earlier

Black Death pandemic;

it was remembered afterwards

as the "great" plague mainly

because it was

the last widespread outbreak

of bubonic plague in England

during the 400-year

Second Pandemic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_London - 12 April 2020























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