Death in 1728

Of course, the parrot wasn’t the only one dying in London in 1728. The newspapers published a summary mortality table at the end of the year, in fact, in the case of the Ipswich Journal, the same page as that recording the unfortunate decease of the parrot. Some of the causes of death remain the same centuries later, others are mercifully reduced, or, indeed, completely incomprehensible. It would take a better historian of medicine to translate some of these old causes. What does stand out, though, is the truly awful infant mortality and how dangerous it was to give birth.

The DISEASES and CAUALTIES this Year.
Abortive

55

Loosness

33

Aged

1768

Lunatick

26

Ague

44

Malignant Fever

2

Apoplexy

73

Measles

82

Asthma

156

Miscarriage

1

Bedridden

14

Mortification

238

Bleeding

3

Palsie

28

Bloody Flux

23

Plurisie

48

Cancer

49

Purples

10

Canker

16

Quinsy

11

Chicken Pox

1

Rash

2

Childbed

216

Rheumatism

25

Cholick

78

Rickets

103

Concuss. of the brain

1

Rising of the Lights

41

Consumption

3491

Rupture

12

Convulsions

7517

St. Anthony’s Fire

6

Cough

5

Scald Head

5

Diabetes

3

Scurvy

3

Dropsie

1125

Small Pox

2105

Evil

35

Sores and Ulcers

36

Fever

4716

Spleen

3

Fistula

10

Spotted Fever

92

Flux

14

Stilborn

533

French Pox

113

Stone

43

Gout

39

Stop in the Stomach

147

Gravel

4

Strangury

4

Grief

13

Suddenly

101

Griping of the Guts

433

Surfeit

8

Headmouldshot

40

Swelling

1

Hooping-Cough

21

Teeth

1676

Horseshoehead

28

Thursh

84

Jaundies

132

Tissick

456

Imposthume

28

Twisting the Guts

16

Inflammation

4

Tympany

18

Itch

3

Vomiting

6

Leprosie

8

Water in the Head

73

Lethargy

13

Worms

31

Livergrown

10

Broken Limbs 2. Bruised 3. Burnt 2. Died for Want 6. Died by the Bite of a Mad Dog 1. Drowned 89. Excessive Drinking 22. Executed 37. Found dead 44. Frighted 2. Kill’d by Falls and other Accidents 47. Made away themselves 59. Murder’d 6. Overlaid 71. Poisoned 1. Scalded 4. Stabb’d 1.

Christned Males 8497. Females 8155. In all 16652.

Buried Males 13538. Females 14272. In all 27810.

Decreas’d in Burials this Year 808.

Whereof have died,

Under Two Years Old

9851

Forty and Fifty

2624

Between Two & Five

2407

Fifty and Sixty

2123

Five and Ten

1038

Sixty and Seventy

1863

Ten and Twenty

950

Seventy and Eighty

1290

Twenty and Thirty

2254

Eighty and Ninety

785

Thirty and Forty

2490

Ninety and upwards

135

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3 thoughts on “Death in 1728

  1. Chamberville

    Good heavens! What do you suppose “purples”, “Headmouldshot” “Horseshoehead”, and “Rising of the Lights” were? And “Evil”? As if all those other things named weren’t… My but they were creative…and they suffered.

    Reply
    1. dmelville2012 Post author

      Headmouldshot is water on the brain, as is horsesoehead. Lights are lungs, but I’m not entirely sure what rising lungs are. My favorite diagnosis was “Suddenly”.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: 18th century interlude « dual personalities

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