Causes of the black death

There are several reasons as to why the Romans chose London as a settlement these include land, the Romans were excellent constructors therefore they needed a large amount of land to build their Empire. Another reason was that they noticed a river (now known as the River Thames). The Romans realised that this river could be extremely useful in many ways such as water for growth and survival, transport to get from one location to another and for trade, with the river ships from all over the world would be able to access this point to trade a variety of things for instance silver to make jewellery and coins, wool to make clothes, they also imported silk from China to decorate clothing and many more. By importing merchandise from other countries the Romans were able to raise their standards of living and have many luxuries.

In approximately 50AD the Romans named London ‘Londinium’. Londinium was crowned capital of England there were two main reasons for this since the River Thames was in London for trades still coming in, and because they had a strong defence in Londinium as they settled in the north bank of the River Thames where two hills protected them which gave them better possibilities in war. It was essential for the Romans to have a brilliant defence because there were still Celtics roaming around who were always trying to win back land with brutal force such as the attack of Queen Boudicca in 61 AD who burnt Londinium to the ground she was described as: “Very tall, the glance of her eye most fierce; her voice harsh. A great mass of the reddest hair fell down to her hips. Her appearance was terrifying.”

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By the 1300s London’s population had grown to 80,000 many things had changed London was a progressing city. In the 1300s there were a variety reasons people decided to settle in London. London was an improving city with many attractive buildings, there were lots of occupation available for all such as farming, tannery working, fishing and more, for entertainment there were hundreds of theatres to visit, there were countless number of Cathedrals to visit and London had easy transport because of the River Thames along with the London Bridge.

Medieval London was made up of narrow and twisted streets, and the majority of buildings were made from very flammable materials such as wood and straw, which made fire a constant threat. Hygiene in London was awfully poor people weren’t conscious about their health they got rid of rubbish anyhow they threw out their waste without caring where it fell. The houses would have had none of the things we accept as normal today – no running water, no toilets, no baths and washing basins. Soap was unheard of and as was shampoo.

People would have been covered with dirt, fleas and lice. Beds were simply straw stuffed mattresses and these would have attracted lice, fleas and all types of bugs. Bathing would be rare even for the rich, rich people might have had a bath a few times a year! Your toilet would have been a wooden bucket which would have been emptied into the nearest river at the start of the day your water supply would also come from the same river. Families would have cooked and slept in the same room. Children would have slept in a loft if the cruck house was big enough. At night, any animal you owned would be brought inside for safety. There were a number of reasons for this.

First, wild animals roamed the countryside. England still had wolves and bears in the forests and these could easily have taken a pig, cow or chickens. The loss of any animal could be a disaster but the loss of valuable animals such as an ox would be a catastrophe.

If left outside at night they could also have been stolen or simply have wandered off. If they were inside your house, none of these would happen and they were safe. However, they must have made the house even more dirty than it usually would have been as none of these animals would have been house-trained. They would have also brought in fleas and flies etc. increasing the unhygienic nature of the house.

Some of the settlement factors people would look for in the fourteenth century were high-quality occupation offered for all such as such as bakery, leatherworking, blacksmithing, carpenters, armourers, bowyers/fletchers and swordsmithing. People chose places which looked eye-catching and there was an enjoyable place to visit and People would want better and improved transport as well as brilliant security and fair laws.

The Black Death started in Europe when the Genoese decided to escape the plague by fleeing from Caffa (where the Black Death originated from). The Genoese boarded their ships and set sail for Italy carrying rats, flees and the Black Death with them.

The Black Death transmitted when a flea drank a rat’s blood that carried the yersina pestis (plague germs). The yersina pestis would multiply until the flea’s gut was clogged with it. The flea would then bite a human ejecting the rat’s blood into the open wound the human would then be infected. This cycle carried on until the lives of 50 million people were taken from them in Europe wiping out half of London’s population. It is said that the that the

It was simple for the Black Death to spread in London since Hygiene in London was awfully poor as shown in the fourth paragraph there was a lot of congestion because London was dreadfully overpopulated and houses were still being developed people would cook, eat, sleep and go to the toilet in the same room which meant a lot of germs.

In conclusion I think that the settlement of London did help the plague to spread in the 1300s because of various reasons including many of the reasons shown above mainly since the type of people that who settled there, and the fact that they had no sewage for their waste to go to. But I think that if the people not just in London but all around the world were more alert and aware of germs and hygiene then the Black Death would never have started.

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Sarah
Danielle
Wilson
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