[Bills of Mortality.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Plagues.]448

[Bills of Mortality.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Plagues.]

"liament, by taking effectual Care of her Majesty's Royal Person, and the Protestant Successsion, as by Law established, and by assisting her Majesty with seasonable Supplies for prosecuting the War against France, for securing the Liberties of Europe, and the Honour and Trade of England."

"And We are perswaded, that you will use your best endeavours to maintain the several Parts of the Legislature within their due Bounds, to preserve the Rights and Liberties of your Fellow-Subjects from any illegal Encroachments, and to procure the necessary Protection to our Trade at Sea; so that all Contrivances to disturb her Majesty's Government, and the Commerce of this Kingdom, may be happily prevented."

To know how the City stands in regard of the Health and Sickness of the Inhabitants, the Weekly Bills of Mortality were appointed long ago, carefully and wisely; That so if any infectious Disease were found to Reign, means might be used for the stopping it, and preventing the Deaths of innumerable Citizens. Hereby also are many other Advantages gained, as to know the Populousness of the City, nay, of the whole Kingdom, as some ingenious Men that have made Observations on these Bills, have discovered.

Weekly Bills of Mortality.

The keeping of them began (saith a Learned Author) Anno 1592, being a great year of Sickness; and, after some disuse, was established by Order Anno 1603, the next Year of Sickness; the First of the continued Weekly Bills of Mortality, commencing October the 29th the said Year, being the first Year of the Reign of King James the First. Diseases began first to be distinctly taken notice of, Ann. 1629.

When, and on what occasion they began

Reflections on Weekly Bills of Mortality, Printed 1665.

These Bills are made and composed afer this manner: When any one dieth in a Parish, either the tolling or ringing of the Bell, or the bespeaking of a Grave, intimateth it to the Searchers, who also keep a Correspondence with the Sexton; and thereupon the ancient Matrons sworn to that Office, repair to the Place where the dead Corps lieth; and upon their own View and other Examination, make a Judgment by what Disease or Casualty the Person died: Which Judgment they report to the Parish-Clerk; as he doth every Tuesday Night, the Account of every Christning or Burial that Week, to the Clerk of the Hall. Whence on Wednesday the general Account is made up and printed, and on Thursdays published, and brought to the respective Families in every Parish that pay four Shillings a Year for them, which is the Parish-Clerks Benefit.

How these Bills were made.

In less than fourscore Years, it appears by these Bills of Mortality, there have been five great Mortalities; that is, from the Year 1592, to the Year 1665. I. In the Year 1592, between March and December died 25886. whereof of the Plague 11503. The next Year died of the Plague, 10662. II. Anno 1603, there died from March to December, 37294, whereof of the Plague, 30561. Note, the Plague in 1603, lasted eight Years, viz. to the Year 1611. III. Anno 1625, the Burials were, reckoning from Thursday December the 16th, 1624, to Thursday December the 15th, 1625, 54265, whereof of the Plague, 35417. IV. Anno 1636, from April to December were buried, 23387, (or 23359, according to another Account) whereof of the Plague 10400. V. Anno 1665.

Great Plagues in London.

To which add the State of the Cities Mortality, from 1605 to 1606, which stood thus:

The whole Years Collection of all the Burials and Christnings, aswell within the Cittie of London, and the Liberties thereof, and the Pesthouse: As also in the 9. out-parishes, adjoyning to the Citie, and out of the Freedom, from Thursday the Nineteenth of December, Anno Domini 1605. to Thursday the fiue and twentieth of December Anno Domini 1606. according to the report made to the Kings most excellent Majestie, by the Company of the Parish Clerks of London.


BUried this Yeare in the fourescore and sixeteene Parishes of London within the Walles2643
Whereof of the Plague.72
Buried this Yeare in the sixeteene Parishes of London within the Liberties and without the Walles, as also in the Pesthouse adjoyning to London3998
Whereof of the Plague.1078
The whole Summe of all the Burials in London and the Liberties thereof, together with the Pesthouse this Year is6641
Whereof of the Plague.1780
Buried this Year in the nine out Parishes in Middlesex and Surrey1279
Whereof of the Plague.344
The Total of all the Burials in the Places aforesaid, is7920
Whereof of the Plague.2124
Christned in the foresaid places this Year.6614
Parishes that haue been cleare this Year.17
Parishes that haue been infected this Year.104

I meet yet with an older Bill of Mortality, viz. for the Year 1562, and ending 1563, when a Plague raged in the City. The Account whereof was as follows.

An old Bill of Mortality.

Buried in London, and the Places near adjoining from the 1st of January 1562, to the 1st of January 1563, in the whole Number23630
Whereof of the Plague.20136
The true Number of all that were buried within the Citie ad Liberties.20414
The true Number of all that were buried in Places near adjoining to the City, and without the Liberties.3216

Here is set down likewise, how many died in each Parish. This Bill of Mortality might be the first of this kind; at least much older than that mentioned by Captain Grant, viz. 1592, 1593, which he seems to hold to be the oldest.

Observations upon the Bills of Mortality.

From these Bills of Mortality, Observations were taken by an ingenious Citizen in the Year 1662, concerning the encrease of some Diseases, and the decrease of others. Thus Agues and Feavers encrease, supposed to be by Surfeits and Excesses; and so do Abortives, by reason of the streightning of Bodies, mixtures of Copulations, and the unwholsom Diet. The Scurvy encreaseth, and so the Consumption with the French-Pox, which goeth under that Name. The Stone and Strangury decreaseth, which the Observer makes to proceed from the drinking of Ale so plentifully. The Gout standeth at a stay; there dieth but one of a thousand of the Gout, tho' more die gouty; the reason is, because those that have the Gout, are said to be long-livers; and when they die, are returned as Aged. The Rickets encreased from the Year 1634, and the Livergrown, which

Observations of the Diseases and Casualties of the City.