Disease Control – Halting the Spread of Plague in Fifteenth-Century Scotland

Disease Control – Halting the Spread of Plague in Fifteenth-Century Scotland. Professor Richard Oram. Plague – or the pestilence as it was referred to at the time – had by the fifteenth century become an almost accepted aspect of life around which people negotiated and arranged their daily routines. After seventy-five years of bitter lessons…

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JUSTICE!

JUSTICE! CONDEMNED EARL RECEIVES THE CROWN – BUT NOT THE ONE HE CRAVED. DIES SCREAMING FOR MERCY. HEAD DISPLAYED AT THE TOLBOOTH IN EDINBURGH. DATE SET FOR GRAHAM’S EXECUTION IN STIRLING.   Professor Richard Oram. Yesterday, in front of the grimly silent crowds of loyal subjects who had gathered in Edinburgh to witness the spectacle,…

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Smallpox in the medieval period

Plagues, Smallpox and Dangerous Confinement

‘Men and bestys were gretely infectyd with pockys’ Plagues, Smallpox and Dangerous Confinement. Professor Richard Oram.   James’s eighteen years of English captivity did not insulate him from the threats epidemics and environmental challenges that beset his kingdom, for England was afflicted perhaps even more terribly by the waves of plague and other diseases which…

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The King’s House at Perth

The King’s House at Perth Professor Richard Oram. Some modern descriptions of the assassination of James I in his lodgings at Perth give the impression that he and Queen Joan lived in the Dominican friary and that they took over the convent whenever they came to the town. This is not true; the medieval accounts…

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James I – Viral Infection, Medieval Infectious Diseases and Mortality

James I – Viral Infection, Medieval Infectious Diseases and Mortality Professor Richard Oram. Medical knowledge in the time of James I had no awareness of bacterial or viral infection. It was centuries yet before germ theory emerged and scientific equipment was invented that enabled microbial forms to be studied. Although surgical techniques had grown in…

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Climate Change Makes History in the Reign of James I

Climate Change Makes History in the Reign of James I. Professor Richard Oram. Although the fourteenth century, with its catalogue of wars, famines, pandemics and extreme weather, has been described as the worst century to be alive in terms of human recorded history, the fifteenth century was in many ways little better. Indeed, in some…

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