Plague in London, 1625

Plague in London, 1625

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Credit: BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plague in London. Title artwork from a 17th century pamphlet ('A Rod for Run-awayes', 1625, by Thomas Dekker) on the effects of a plague epidemic on London. Bubonic plague (the Black Death) affected Europe from the 1340s to the 1700s. It is thought to have been caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and spread by fleas on rats. Tens of thousands died in London alone in this outbreak. This artwork shows people dying (left) and people fleeing and being repelled by armed men (right). Death (represented as a skeleton) is standing on a group of coffins, casting arrows at those fleeing and saying he will follow them. The lightning represents God's wrath.

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