Tuesday 20 October 2020

Sweating Sickness

"The Sweating Sickness" - Wellcome Collection gallery / CC-BY-SA-4.0
"The Sweating Sickness"
Wellcome Collection Gallery / Public Domain

DevonLive has published a comprehensive article on the mysterious "sweating sickness" that swept through Tiverton in 1644.
In 1644, the Mid Devon town of Tiverton was a bustling settlement thanks to its position as a crucial hub in the blossoming wool trade.

Largely untouched up until that point by the Civil War that was raging across England, the town was flourishing, trade was booming and money was lining the pockets of local businessmen.

But that all changed in the autumn of that year as a terrifying illness swept through the town, subjecting hundreds to a rapid, brutal and inexplicable death.

In all, 443 people died - a significant chunk of the town's population.

Refer to the 1891 book A History of Epidemics in Britain: From A. D. 664 to the Extinction of Plague for further details.