An epidemic in 1333 which would eventually destroyed two-thirds of China’s population hit the northeastern Chinese province of Hopei. It took up to 90% of the population. About five million Chinese people were hit by this plague. Since China was known as one of the busiest world trading nations. It was only a matter of time before the outbreak of China spread through Western Asia and Europe.
The Black Death appeared in Europe during October 1347 in Messina, Sicily. It arrived through trading ships that was very likely to come from the Black Sea, past Constantinople and the Mediterranean. This was silk, porcelain, which was from far away like China brought to the European customers. As soon as the people of Messina had realized the horrible sickness was coming from these ships, they quickly expelled themselves from the port, but it was too late already. The plague quickly spread through the city, and also spreading it to the nearby countryside.
While Sicily was suffering from these diseases. The trading ships brought the disease to other places around the Mediterranean, infecting the nearby islands like Corsica and Sardinia. Meanwhile, the plague has spread from Sarai to the Genoese trading station of Tana. At that time, the Christian traders were attacked by the Tartars and were raced to their fortress. The Tartars plagued the city in November, but because of the Black Death, it was cut short.
Before cutting off their attack, they brought dead plague victims into the city, hopping to infect the people. The defenders tried to avoid the plague coming to the people by throwing bodies into the sea, but they didn’t know that once the city has been hit by the plague, it cannot be removed. As the people of Kaffa started to fall for the disease, the traders entered the ships and sailed home. But they could not escape from the plague either. When they arrived to Genoa and Venice in January 1348, some passengers and sailors were left alive to tell the tale. Even a few plague victims could have the power to bring the plague to mainland of Europe.
Black Death spread to England in 1348. It came to a city name Bristol in England, a famous European port. The plague arrived in the summer months of August or around that time. This was just the beginning stage of the plague.
The Black Death hit on people and took people from the society. King Edward III (1312 – 1377) was the king of England at a terrible period of the plague. His favorite daughter Joan Plantagenet was arranged a marriage by him. His daughter Joan was born on February 1335 in Woodstock. She was to marry King Pedro of Castille, the son of Alfonso XI and Maria of Portugal. Castille was the place that the marriage was going to take place at.
As Princess Joan start on her journey, by that time the Black Death had not yet reached England. Despite the severe outbreak of the Black Death in Bordeaux, it did not occur to Joan and her servants to leave the town. Soon, the servants and Joan watched in shock as the members of the entourage began to fall sick and dying. Leader of the retinue, Robert Bouchier died on the 20th of August. Joan was then scared to lose her life and was moved probably to a small village named Loremo, where she remained alive for some time. However she was the first victim in the camp that suffered from the disease and failed to escape it. She died on the 2nd of September 1348 in Bordeaux, Gironde Department, Aquitaine Region, France but on some documents, said she was buried in Bayonne Cathedral after the 2nd of September 1348.
The Black Death soon reached England by the year of 1348. Bristol was believed to be the city that Black Death first reached in England. It was an important European port and city in England during the Medieval time. The plague reached England during the summer months, June through August. The Black Death quickly reached London by the 1st of November 1348. London was known as a crowded, busy city with a population around 70,000 people.
The hygiene in London was poor and the living conditions were unbelievably dirty and disgusting. The well-known River Thames carried more ships and infection to London which spread to the rest of England. England cities with dirty living conditions and overloaded amount of people, leading to a quick spread of the disease. The church recorded that the actual deaths in London were around approximately 20,000. Between the years of 1348 and 1350, the disease killed about 30 to 40% of England’s population which was estimated to be about five to six million. Because of the large amount of deaths, many people who died were thrown into open public pits. Of course, as the chronological way of life, the oldest, youngest, and the poorest died first. The entire villages and towns in England basically failed to exist after the Black Death.
At the year of 1349 Edward III ordered the Mayor of London to clean the city’s streets, he complained that the streets and lanes of London were “foul with human faces”, and the air of the city is dangerous to people passing by, specifically in the time of infectious disease, the Black Death. Laws were passed to lower the amount of work for the butchers and tanners, since they work with dead, smelly animals. But the problem was far than just the unpleasant smells. The best defense against the disease was not to get it at the first place. People with sickness (mainly because they got the plague…etc) were isolated until they either got rid of it or died. They were locked inside their homes until they either got the disease or have reached starvation.
Isolating people was a good idea in theory but didn’t work in practice. Some people without the plague took care of the ones with the plague, but soon died of it themselves. As people continue to die, doctors were feared and doubt. They were blamed for charging money even though they couldn’t help. Long robs with hoods were worn by the doctors to keep them away from disease. Attached to the hood was a mask with a beak that held herbs to cover the smell of death. These outfits became a terrible sign of the plague.
3,000 Jews were killed in Erfurt, Germany because of the Black Death. The Jews tried to defend themselves from the mob of Christians. None of them survived from the Christian mobs. The ones that survived the Black Death were soon destroyed by the mobs, by 1350. There were almost no Jews left in Germany in 1351.
On November 1st 1348, the Black Death reached London. By February 1349, 200 people were being buried every day. They were buried at the Smithfield graveyard, people died so quickly the graveyard was neatly piled 5 deep. Smithfield is located in London.
The Italian plague happened to be in 1629 and through 1631 in northern Italy. Stole the lives of about 280,000 people, the places with partially high death rates were in Venice and Lombardy. The Venetian troops moved away to the North and Central Italy with the disease, and spread out the disease. People with the in Milan disease were moved outside the city to die or recover.
The great fire of London happened to be on the night of the 2nd of September 1666. It first it was just a small fire at the Pudding Lane, in the bakeshop of Thomas Farynor, baker of King Charles II of England. At one in the morning, a helper woke to find the house aflame. Eventually the baker and his family escaped from the fire, but a frightened maid died in the fire. Most of the house in London at that time were still made of wood and pitch construction, easily damaged by fire, and it did not take long for the fire to spread. The fire soon got to the hay and feed piles on field of the Star Inn at Fish Street Hill, and spread to the Inn too. The wind was also really dangerous when there is a fire going on.
In this case the wind sent the sparks to the Church of St. Margaret, then on spread to the Thames Streets, with a riverside warehouse and wharves, where there is everything that is flammable like oil, hemp, hay, coal, animal oil, wood, along with other flammable things. The firefighters couldn’t help stop the fire with buckets of water from the river. By evening at eight in the morning, the fire had spread halfway through the London Bridge. In 1633, there was a fire too that caused a gap, that was the only thing that stopped the fire from spreading to Southwark. The standard method to stop the fire was to destroy the house that is on the path of the fire. But the Lord Mayor Bludworth hesitated and worried about the cost of rebuilding those houses. By the time the Royal command came down by Samuel Pepys, the flame could no longer be stopped. After three days of unchecked, the fire stopped near to Temple Church. Then it suddenly continued again and continued to go straight to the Westminster.
The Duke of York (later became King James II) ordered the Paper house to be destroyed so that the fire would stop, and so the fire stopped. Though the loss of life was not much (a source say only sixteen died). The loss of property was surprising, about 430 acres, 80% of the city’s property was destroyed, with 13,000 houses, 89 churches, and 52 Guild Halls. The Great Fire and other fire in 1676, it has ruined over 600 houses south of the river, it changed London Forever. The Great Fire of London has one positive effect which that the plague had decrease because the masses of plague carrying rats were dying in the fire. By this fire, London was redesigned with brick rather than timber, as it is flammable, the plan was appointed by Charles II. The bakery which started everything was now on the street called the Monument Street.