Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Black Death

Black Death, the name applied to a series of epidemics which occurred during the fourteenth century. The disease seems to have originated in the East, it raged in Southern Europe during 1346 and 1347, and first appeared in England in 1348. From 1349 to 1357 a large mortality was attributed to the Black Death in this country. It is not certain whether the epidemics of later years, 1361 and 1368, were of the same or of different nature. According to some authorities the Black Death was the disease now known as Oriental Plague. The symptoms appear to have been in many respects similar to those of this disease, and glandular swellings or buboes were common; but in Black Death there was apparently a greater tendency to haemorrhage than in true plague, and particularly to haemorrhage from the lungs. The purpuric blotches which were seen on the skin gave rise to the name Black Death; such petechiae are by no means uncommon in severe cases of true plague. The mortality in England has been variously estimated at from 1/3 to 3/4 of the entire population; 100,000 deaths are said to have occurred in London alone. Certain it is that the number of deaths was so large as to completely revolutionise the social economy of the time. The reign of Edward III. is regarded by modern economists as one of the critical periods in the history of labour, and it cannot be doubted that the alteration brought about, by the enormous mortality, in the value of labour, was the main cause of the social disturbances of the close of the fourteenth century.