Posts tagged with food
Figure 1. A photograph of the bill of mortality for the week of November 14-21, 1665. On the Bill of Mortality for the week of November 14-21st, 1665, plague deaths were finally decreasing from a horrific summer. The total number of plague deaths was still a staggering six hundred and fifty-two, but that did not stop parish officials from recording all the other ways that Londoners were dying. One death stood out as an intriguing mystery: starved in White Lyon prison at St George in Southwark.
12 Days of Death
We find a lot of very specific deaths in the London Bills of Mortality that are…well…meme-able. It isn’t that death is funny, but rather, the descriptions of death in the bills can be so that one can’t help but chuckle. And considering the heavy subject matter of our project, we relish those moments. So, while our team took a well deserved break from transcribing the bills, we shared “12 Days of Death” on Twitter
Why is There Bread in the Bills?
We have talked on the blog about some of the datasets we are transcribing from the Bills of Mortality - the counts of death by parish, causes of death, and christening and burial numbers. Some of the bills have even more information on them: the price of bread (and eventually other foodstuffs). But why would state-mandated bread prices be included in the Bills of Mortality? To find out, we need to look more closely at the role of bread in early modern England.