Page 1 of 1

Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:58 am
by Mark Griffin
Anybody know of any PRIMARY sources for the above in the UK, specifcally England but happy to look at Scotland, Wales and ireland.

I mean the classic beaked and hooded figure beloved of horror films and dungeon attractions everywhere. I have the names of two 'plague doctors' in Edinburgh and one in London but no proof they were dressed in any way other than normal attire.

All the main evidence, artefacts, period drawings and references, seem to be continental.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:29 pm
by Henri De Ceredigion
Mark Griffin wrote:Anybody know of any PRIMARY sources for the above in the UK, specifcally England but happy to look at Scotland, Wales and ireland.
Thanks to the Welsh government making bus travel free of a weekend, when I have a spare weekend would you like to go to the National Library in Aberystwyth and see what they can dig up?

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:04 am
by SpudUk
Aren't there drawings from the time of the classic beaked plague doctor? I am sure I have seen this somewhere.

I too would be interested in any primary accounts, and accounts of exactly what they did

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:14 am
by Mark Griffin
Yes, a fair few. Read the articles that have been posted above. But its evidence they were ever in UK. Of which I';d have to say no, the evidence is scant in the extreme.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:43 pm
by 40/- freeholder
Seems like a relevant time to resurrect this thread. Does anyone have a simple pattern for one of the beaked face masks? My internet is running like glue so Google is not talking to me. Contemplating making one for going shopping.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:59 am
by Mark Griffin
Blimey, I've not logged in here for nearly 4 years. The curse of facebook...

Not aware of any online but not really looked. Apart from looking 'individual' and scaring some folk they are cumbersome, ineffective (obviously) and awkward. You might also get accused of being a bit insensitive, unless you got the local press on your side maybe. But of course most local papers will also be carrying stories of loved ones that have died so maybe not.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:05 pm
by 40/- freeholder
Local press is just what I had in mind, since there was a story in last week's about a C17th plague pit under a village green. Thought the face mask would follow on nicely as extending the story and be a bit of publicity for Rent a Peasant when things get back to normal.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:31 pm
by Ne'erdowell
It's doubtful if those beaked masks were ever worn, on the Continent or anywhere else. Any "originals" that have been preserved may be old fakes from the 19th century or thereabout.

Unfortunately I don't have any other references than two blogposts in my own language; I haven't seen any academic or English-language sources. Even so, I don't think a beaked plague doctor's mask would be suitable for an authentic display.

Re: Plague Doctors in UK

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:02 am
by Mark Griffin
Yes, the only decent articles I have ever found were in Dutch, both by the same MD.

That highly evocative and much copied original pic has a lot to answer for....