The ‘Great Mortalitie of Young Ones’ in Glasgow of 1671 to 1672

Lords Wrath Seventeenth Century

In September, 1671, a great storm battered Scotland. In the months that followed, hundreds of children died in Glasgow from a small pox epidemic. Some seventeenth-century Presbyterians, like the writer below, appear to have linked the two events as symptoms of God’s wrath with Britain:

‘September 1671, there were great winds all allongs the Island of Britane, and the coasts of it, that to the number of 80 ships, lesser and greater, were cast away by sea at that tyme.—From September 1671 to Aprile 167J, there was a great mortalitie of young ones in Glasgow by the small pox; so that in that tyme there was cutt off to the number of 800 and upwards; hardly a familie in all the city but was infected, and rare it was to find a family wherein some was not taken away by death. (Law, Memorialls, 44.)

For other wonders of the 1670s and 1680s, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

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~ by drmarkjardine on July 27, 2015.

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