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Published: 19/09/2017
KS3 | The Medieval period: 1000-1500 | Early Modern period: 1500-1750
5 pages

The Black Death and the Great Plague: a comparison

Students compare features of the two pestilences using some creative accounts.

Extract from the resource

The Black Death is possibly the most famous plague that Britain suffered; however, it is often confused with the Great Plague of 1665-6. The plague of 1665-6 was predominantly bubonic plague and as such the symptoms of most victims were very similar to those affected by the Black Death. The black swellings (buboes) around areas such as the armpits and groin became the most famous symbol of the disease.

Despite the passing of over 300 years since the Black Death, many responses to the Great Plague were very similar to those in 1347. The amount of progress in medical understanding had been fairly small, and crucially very little progress had actually been made in the area of illness and infection.

Unlike the Black Death, the Great Plague was a largely localised outbreak, within Great Britain, and focussing around London (as well as regional outbreaks including in York and Derbyshire). The Great Plague came to an end only one year later, in 1666, after the Great Fire of London and a particularly cold autumn and winter, both of which contributed to the disease dying out.


See other resources: Society in the Early Modern Period | Society in the Medieval period

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Emily-jane Hutchings
Emily-jane Hutchings
brilliant resource, used to show different views of the same event, also to show difference between both plagues with research work
Posted on 15th November 2017

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