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Weekend Sunday Special

How The Black Death All Started. In 1348 people started dying for reasons unknown at the time. Within 6 days of being struck down with the Black Death they would be stone cold dead. On the first day they had giant boils grow in their armpits or crotch, the size being as large as tennis balls. Day two, vomiting of blood would happen followed by hot and cold fevers. Day three black spots started to appear with bleeding under them being


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noticed. Day four spasms and pain would set in, also attacking the nervous system. Day five the worst of the worst sets in with the spots bursting with black and yellow pus oozing out. Day 6 DEATH! What the villagers at the time tried to do to prevent falling to this sickness was varied but unfortunately not effective, These included eating crushed emeralds for supers ion to slicing and opening up the boils and burning it with hot pokers, painful but still not effective. They then tried purifying the air with sweet herbs as they thought it was being carried in the air. Probably the most bizarre one is shaving chickens bottoms and attaching the shavings to the boils‌.However a close second for being bizarre was the cutting a live pigeon in half and rubbing it on the boils. Another poultice was made for the boils with a mixture of onions, figs, yeast and butter; this would be applied to the sliced open boils. Another one was drinking 10 year old treacle, which whilst may have been tasty if not mouldy was also ineffective. Our investigators have come up with the theory that the Black Death was bought to England from overseas. It has been traced to a ship that came into Melcombe, a port in Dorset by French sailors. They were hauling cargo and at that time ships were full of rats. We have come to believe that these filthy rats carried fleas that were full of the plague germs. However, before it was known that it was the rats carrying the disease; many people would not talk to French sailors as they were afraid that you could catch the disease by being so close to them.


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One of the reasons that it killed so many people (we have found out since that between 1348-1349 2,500,000 were struck down, a third of the population!!) is because the germ could freely move around from city to city due to a number of factors. These included that the transport at the time was horses, so fleas easily made homes on them, rats ran in the streets as they were so filthy, as were also the people. The germ could easily pass from person to person as it was so contiguous and the streets and villages were so crowded. People in the country were more immune to this disease as they weren’t so crowded and filthy compared to the city dwellers. This time in history was a dark and sorry tale, may it never happen again!


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Black death results in sadness and happiness. Its five years now since the black death and even though 250,000 people died and lives were ruined, for some it made their lives considerably better. The black death killed a third of southern England's population. This meant that Peasants got higher wages due to the work population being low and employers willing to pay more so they could get the job done. Peasants could also get permission from their lords to leave and try and find other jobs as well, that's why peasants got even more money. More money also resulted in better living conditions for the people who survived, they were so glad that they made it. They also got inherited money from their family. The food was also a jackpot for survivors there was more food than people, so the food was an advantage for them too. So they could afford more better quality food like meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, wine and cider. By Aidan


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1348 Fleas and Disease! Are rats and fleas the cause of nearly half the population dying? This week’s supplement is devoted to the causes of the so called ‘Black Death.’ It would appear that the huge numbers of black rats that are sweeping the country may be the cause of the terrible plague that has hit us. These rats carry many hundreds of fleas each and it seems these fleas are spreading the disease as they move around and live in our surroundings! Dirty and unhygienic conditions that people are living in are a serious cause of infection too. The plague is sweeping the country from London to Scotland. It is very infectious and easily caught. It can be spread through contaminated water and also through the air. It can also be spread through touch so people need to stay as clean as possible to avoid this terrible thing that is taking over our lives! It can affect your breathing and lungs. Some people are already weak due to poor harvests and famine that has been caused by bad weather this summer. It seems so far that between 33 – 50% of our population are dying or predicated to die soon from this outbreak! Please take care and try to stay clean and safe! This could be your future:

By Lowan


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5 Years Since the Bubonic Plague Left Us It has been 5 long years since the Bubonic Plague landed itself in the streets of London. Death, rats and flees hung around us like a cloud of doom. The question everybody is asking is, has life changed for the better? Let us go back 5 years to the start and see.... We know that the Plague spread like fire – well by fleas. Rats were abundant on our streets, with fleas all over over them. The rats carried the fleas, and the fleas carried the deadly plague. After losing more than oneone-third of the population and some places left with no inhabitants, how are things now? It would seem that life for the average person is getting better. better. As a result of so many dying it has had the effect of making survivors more valuable. ‘In what way?’ I hear you ask. Well, wages have risen. As there are now fewer workers to do the jobs on the farms, Lords of the Manor have had to offer higher wages wages to pay for all the work that needed to be done and offer better treatment to their workers. This now means that people are now living in better homes and are eating a larger variety and better quality of food. This had led to less sickness in general – excellent! Along with other factors, we can see that however destructive the Bubonic Plague was, it has forced society to change and we are now beginning to see the benefits filter through to even the poor. By Marissa Stevens


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How have living standards improved since the Black Death? We all of course remember the Black Death. It has now been five years since that terrible time in our lives and I want to find out how the survivors lives have changed in the villages that surround London. Do they now have a better better standard of living or are they now worse than before the Black Death. We know that wages for peasants shouldn’t have got any better because of the Statute of Labours law which was passed in 1351 meaning peasants wages were fixed at the rates of 1346, 1346, but are some landlords breaking this law to attract workers for their farms? So I went to meet some villagers to find out if this is true. I went to a nearby village to meet the Walsh family who have agreed to talk to me. The husband, who name in Joe, told told me how they moved from a village five miles away because the landlord here was offering a much lower rate for the rent than his old landlord. He also told me his wages was still the same, but I don’t think anyone would tell me if their wages were higher higher for fear of being punished. The family like their new house because Joe was now able to live in a wattle and daub house which is of course taller and wider and more weather proof than their old house of stick and straw. Kitty, the mother, was very happy with the wider range of food she was able to feed her family with. The bread now tastes a lot nicer now she is using wheat instead of barley and rye and with the breakdown of societies a wider range of food was now available for her to use. I spent the rest of the day in the village talking to other villagers about how their living standards have changed for the better, rents are lower, more and different types of food, bigger and better built homes and despite the law the wages are better due to fewer people to work the land because of the Black Death and movement to the towns, but


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the biggest change is the freedom of people to leave their villages and find better lives for themselves elsewhere. by Sioned Davies


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The Black Death

Now what is the Black Death? It was a plague caused by overcrowding, dirty streets, rats and fleas. The disease spread by fleas that drank contaminated rat blood. The blood contained the bubonic plague germs, the fleas then bit the people passing on the disease through the transfer of blood.

Some Interesting Cures Some of the cures were worthless superstition but others worked. Some of the cures included putting a golden coin in your mouth (be careful not to choke!), 1. The swellings must be softened with figs and cooked onions. The onions should be mixed with yeast and butter. Then cut open the swellings with a knife. 2.

Take a dried frog and put its belly on the boils. The frog will swell up and burst (you’ll also need a sponge to mop up after). Keep doing this with

further frogs until they stop bursting. 3. Cutting open boils and burning them. 4. Shaving a live chicken bottom and placing them on the boils. 5. Taking arsenic. 6. Even eating crushed emeralds!!! WARNING DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!

By Sufyan


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The Daily Record January 1355 The Black Death has finally left us, however it has killed millions of people. Nearly all of the people died within three days, sometimes sooner and it was difficult to bury so many people. Another name given to the Black Death is the the bubonic plague and we now know that it was caused by the fleas living on the rats. People in towns and cities live very close together, they throw their sewage onto the streets and they are not very clean. There is a lot of rubbish in the streets so the the rats have lots of food which helps them breed easily and this means the disease has been able to spread easily. As people have travelled around the country the disease has spread everywhere and bodies are being buried in mass graves to try to stop the spread. spread. The lesson we should learn is that unless we start to clean up our streets the Black Death will return. By William


Sunday supplement of the Black Death