Black Death Rakes
Here are some accounts of the Black Death found in the book The Black Death by Rosemay Horrox.
A Rake from London
Þe cƿild, hƿic first began in þe land of þe Sarakens, greƿ so strong þat, sparing no lordscip, it neesed efery stead in all þe kingdoms streccing from þat land norþƿards, up to and inning Skotland, striking dune þe greater dele of þe folk ƿiþ þe bloƿs of sƿift deaþ. It began in England in þe scire of Dorset, umb þe simbel of Halloƿ Peter in Fetters, and forþƿiþ ƿent on ƿiþute ƿarning from stead to stead. It killed a great many helþy folk, taking em from þe ƿorld of mans cares in þe span of a morning. Þose marked for deaþ ƿere seldomly geefen leef to lif longer þan þree or four days. It scoƿed heeld to no one, but a small feƿ of þe ƿelþy. On þe same day tƿenty, forty, or sixty bodies, and often many more, migt be laid dune for berrying togeþer in þe same pit. Þe cƿild came to London at abute þe simbel of All Halloƿs and daily benum many of life. It greƿ so strong þat, betƿeen Candelmas and Easter, more þan tƿo hundred licces ƿere berried almost efery day in þe neƿ grafe grund made next to Smiþfeeld, and þis ƿas in eking to þe bodies berried in oþer circgeards in þe boroug. It stopped in London ƿiþ þe cumming of þe east of þe Holy Goast, þat is to say at Hƿite Sunday, going forþ unhindered toƿards þe norþ, hƿere it also stopped nige Mickaelmas in MCCCXLIX.
A Rake from Bristol
In MCCCXLVIII, umb þe simbel of Halloƿ Peter in Fetters, þe first cƿild came to England at Bristol, born by ceapmen and sailers, and it lasted in þe suþe lands umb Bristol þrugeute ƿeedmonþ and all ƿinter. And in þe folloƿing gere, þat is to say in MCCCXLIX, þe cƿild began in þe oþer scires of England and lasted for a hƿole gere ƿiþ þe utecum being þat þe lifing culd hardly berry þe ded.
A Rake from Geork
In MCCCXLVIII, umb Michaelmas, þere began a dying of men in England. After Cristmas, on þe XXXI of Eregeƿl, þe e called Use flooded and burst its banks at þe bricg toƿards Mickelgate, a befalling hƿic lasted until Lent. And after þis, at umb risingtide, þe dying began in þe boroug of Eferƿic and ƿooded until þe simbel of Halloƿ James.
A Rake from Thomas Ƿalsingham
Þis gere þere ƿas a great duneyeting hƿic lasted from midsummer to þe folloƿing Cristmas, and it ƿas spedily folloƿed by a great dying in þe east among þe Sarakens and oþer unbeleefers. It ƿas so great þat hardly a tenþ of þe Sarakens ƿere left alife, and hy, þinking þat þe cƿild had been sent to em for her unbeleef, hƿarfed to þe leef of Crist. But hƿen hy fund þat þe same cƿild ƿoded among Cristens hy ƿent back to her unbeleef like dogs to her speƿ. In MCCCXLIX, þat is in þe XXIII gere of þe ƿeeld of King Edƿard III, a great killing ƿent forþ þrugeute þe ƿorld, beginning in þe suþern and norþern lands. Its bane ƿas so great þat hardly half of mankind ƿas left alife. Tunes ones brimming ƿiþ folk ƿere emptied of her dƿellers, and þe cƿild spread so þickly þat þe lifing culd hardly berry þe ded. It ƿas reckoned by a handful of men þat barely a tenþ of mankind belifed alife. A great dying of deres folloƿed on þe heles of þis cƿild. Gafels dƿindeled and land ƿas left untilled for ƿant of neet hƿo ƿere nohƿere to be fund. And so muc ƿreccedness folloƿed þese ills þat afterƿards þe ƿorld culd nefer go back to its former hoad. Meenhƿile, as þe cƿild ƿoded in England, Pope Clement eaded, oƿing to þe great sickness, full forgeefness for deedboot to all þose þrugeute þe kingdom hƿo died treƿly sorry after her andettings.
A Rake from Skotland
In MCCCL þere ƿas a great cƿild and dying of men in þe kingdom of Skotland, and þis cƿild also ƿoded for many geres before and after þis in sundry steads of þe ƿorld, indeed, þrugeute þe hƿole þoþer. So great a cƿild has nefer been herd of from þe beginning of þe ƿorld to þe anƿard day, or been ƿritten dune in books. For þis cƿild bleƿ its illƿill so þorougly þat fully a þird of mankind ƿas killed. At Gods bidding, moreofer, þe bane ƿas done by a ferly and neƿ scape of deaþ. Þose hƿo fell sick of a kind of gross sƿelling of þe flesc lasted for barely tƿo days. Þis sickness befell folk eferyhƿere, but hure þe middelling and loƿer ilks, seldomly þe great. It begat suc grore þat cildren did not dare to neese her dying kends, nor did kends neese her cildren, but fled for fere of coaþ fanging as if from leprosy or a nadder.