Shut up: Quarantine and social distancing during Tudor epidemics

Shut up: Quarantine and social distancing during Tudor epidemics

12th July 2020 0 By admin

From the National Archives a fascinating Blog and timely during the current Pandemic.

What stands out are the then insights into quarantine procedures which are largely unchanged since the 1500 i.e. social distancing. A fascinating insight into the protective measures taken in Tudor times against various plagues and illnesses.

On 13 January 1518, a series of ordinances to regulate plague outbreaks were proclaimed in London. These have previously been thought to have been the first set of quarantine measures issued in England; part of an ambitious new social policy led by the King’s chief minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and intended to bring England in line with the leading Renaissance states in Europe. The discovery of two previously unknown documents from the archives of St George’s College, Windsor—which predate the London ordinances—requires a reconsideration of this narrative. The article argues that demands for plague quarantine regulations were driven primarily by Henry VIII’s personal and pronounced fear of infection and considers the factors that may have led to such a fear. In doing so, it introduces new evidence for the death of Henry’s grandmother, Elizabeth Woodville, and explores the ways in which medical ideas travelled across Europe.

Full Blog is here: