Ebola, a 21st century ‘Great Plague’?

In the seventeenth century the ‘Great Plague’ swept through London killing nearly a quarter of the population. At the time the cause was unknown and despite attempts to halt its advance little could be done for those infected. As of September 2015, according to WHO, the total number of Ebola infection cases reached…

A Rake’s Progress: The Earl of Rochester and the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War

Today’s guest blog was written by Rebecca Rideal, Researcher at University College London. She looks at the actions of notorious rake, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, during the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War.  When thinking about English naval history, the notorious rake and poet, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, might not…

World Health Organisation on modern plague

Ahead of our new exhibition opening, we’ve been looking at the Great Plague that Samuel Pepys saw devastate London in the 17th century. We’ve all heard of Plague ravaging Europe centuries ago but did you know that it still exists today? We speak to Daniel Epstein from the World Health Organisation to find out more. …

Diagnosing 17th century plague victims

Don Walker is a Senior Human Osteologist at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology). He excavates and researches the human remains of London’s past populations to understand more about their lives. Don is presenting at The Dreadful Visitation: Pepys’ City and the Great Plague Walking Tour (now sold out), as part…

Samuel Pepys: Beauty Spots and Patches

During the seventeenth century it became fashionable to wear artificial beauty spots. With famous diarist Samuel Pepys as her guide, Dr Karen Hearn tells us more.  In his diary, Samuel Pepys expressed various views on the 17th-century fashion for women to wear facial patches or ‘beauty spots’. Sometimes he approved…