Epidemics and mortality in the pre-industrial city: Florence and London compared

Image from the cover of the Bills of Mortality

This is the first study to compare the effect of epidemic disease on two of the major cities of seventeenth-century Europe, using the outbreaks of 1630-3 in Florence and 1665 in London as case studies. The studies compare the 'normal' patterns of mortality in the two cities with those for the crisis years, paying special attention to the geographical spread of plague within the cities and its differential impact in areas of contrasting social and physical character.


John Henderson, 'Introduction' and 'The Parish and the Poor in Florence at the Time of the Black Death: the case of S. Frediano', in J. Henderson (ed.), Charity and the Poor in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, Continuity and Change, 3:2 (1988), 145-151 and 247-272; John Henderson, 'Religious Confraternities and Death in Early Renaissance Florence' , in P. Denley and C. Elam (eds.), Florence and Italy. Renaissance Studies in Honour of Nicolai Rubinstein (London, 1988), 383-394; John Henderson, 'The Hospitals of Late-medieval and Renaissance Florence: a preliminary survey ', in L. Granshaw and R. Porter (eds.), The Hospital in History (London, 1989), 63-92; John Henderson, 'Confraternities and Politics in Fifteenth- Century Florence', Collegium Medievale 2:1 (1989), 53-72; John Henderson, 'Plague in Renaissance Florence: medical theory and government response', in N. Bulst and R. Delort (eds.) Maladies et société xiie-xviiie siècle; (Paris , 1989); Justin Champion, 'Relational databases and the Great Plague in London, 1665', History and Computing, 5:1 (1993), 2-12; J.A.I. Champion (ed.), Epidemic disease in London (Centre for Metropolitan History, Working Papers Series, No. 1, 1993); J.A.I. Champion, London's dreaded visitation: the social geography of the Great Plague in 1665 (Historical Geography Research Series, no. 31, 1995)


CMH Annual Reports 1988-9, 1989-90, 1990-1, Tenth Anniversary Conference paper

Project details

Associate Supervisor: John Henderson, B.A., Ph.D.
Researcher: Justin Champion, M.A., Ph.D.
Funded by: ESRC (Ref: R000231192) and The Wellcome Trust
Amount Awarded: £61,390 and £13,034