Black Death Rakes

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Here are some accounts of the Black Death found in the book The Black Death by Rosemay Horrox.

A Rake from London

The quild, which first began in the land of the Saracens, grew so strong that, sparing no lordship, it neased every stead in all the kingdoms stretching from that land northwards, up to and yinning Scotland, striking down the greater deal of the folk with the blows of swift death. It began in England in the shire of Dorset, umb the simble of Hallow Peter in Fetters, and forthwith went on without warning from stead to stead. It killed a great many healthy folk, taking them from mennish cares in the span of a morning. Those marked for death were seldomly yiven leave to live longer than three or four days. It showed hield to no one, but a small few of the wealthy. On the same day twenty, forty, or sixty bodies, and often many more, might be laid down for burying together in the same pit.

The quild came to London at about the simble of All Hallows' and daily benam many of life. It grew so strong that, between Candlemas and Easter, more than two hundred liches were buried almost every day in the new grave ground made next to Smithfield, and this was in eking to the bodies buried in other churchyards in the borough. It stopped in London with the coming of the eest of the Holy Ghost, that is to say at White Sunday, going forth unhindered towards the north, where it also stopped nigh Michaelmas in 1349.

A Rake from Bristol

In 1348, umb the feast of Hallow Peter in Fetters, the first quild came to England at Bristol, born by chapmen and sailers, and it lasted in the south lands umb Bristol throughout weedmonth and all winter. And in the following year, that is to say in 1349, the quild began in the other shires of England and lasted for a whole year with the outcome being that the living could hardly bury the dead.

A Rake from York

In 1348, umb Michaelmas, there began a dying of men in England. After Yule, on the 31st of Ereyule, the ea Ouse flooded and burst its banks at the bridge towards Micklegate, a befalling which lasted until Lent. And after this, at umb risingtide, the dying began in the borough of York and wooded until the feast of Hallow James.

Thomas Walsingham's Rake

This year there was a great downyeeting which lasted from midsummer to the following Yule, and it was speedily followed by a great dying in the east among the Saracens and other unbelievers. It was so great that hardly a tenth of the Saracens were left alive, and they, thinking that the quild had been sent to them for their unbelief, wharved to the Christly leve. But when they found that the same quild wooded among Christians they went back to their unbelief like dogs to their spew.

In 1349, that is in the 23rd year of the wield of King Edward III, a great killing went forth throughout the world, beginning in the southern and northern lands. Its bane was so great that hardly half mankind was left alive. Towns once brimming with folk were emptied of their dwellers, and the quild spread so thickly that the living could hardly bury the dead. It was reckoned by a handful of men that barely a tenth of mankind blived alive. A great dying of deers followed on the heels of this quild. Gavels dwindled and land was left untilled for want of netes who were nowhere to be found. And so much wretchedness followed these ills that afterwards the world could never go back to its former hood.

Meanwhile, as the quild wooded in England, Pope Clement eaded, forthat the great sickness, full foryiveness for deedboot to all those throughout the kingdom who died truly sorry after their andettings.

A Rake from Scotland

in 1350 there was a great quild and dying of men in the kingdom of Scotland, and this quild also wooded for many years before and after this in sundry spots of the world, indeed, throughout the whole thother. So great a quild has never been heard of from the beginning of the world to the anward day, or been written down in books. For this quild blew its illwill so thoroughly that fully a third of mankind was killed. At God's bidding, moreover, the lure was done by an ferly and new shape of death. Those who fell sick of a kind of gross swelling of the flesh lasted for barely two days. This sickness befell folk everywhere, but hoor the middling and lower ilks, seldomly the great. It begat such groor that childer did not dare to nease their dying kends, or kends their childer, but fled for fear of coathe catching as if from leprosy or a nadder.