The Historical Register for 1720

The Virtual Tour  of Hampstead

East Heath

Sandy Heath

Hampstead Village

West Heath

Home

Family History

Guestbook

Links

 

The HiFtorical RegiFter,

containing an impartial relation of
all tranSactionS, foreign and domeFtic, with a Chronological Diary of all
the Remarkable OccurrenceS, viz. BirthS, MarriageS, DeathS, Removals,
Promotions &c. that happened in this year, Volume V for the year 1720, published at the
expence (sic) of the Sun Fire Office

(or More than you ever wanted to know about causes of death)

This list came from the above book, which provides a fascinating insight to causes of death in  1720. What, for instance, can St Anthony's Fire be? Tissick? Horse-shoe Head? Planet struck? The figures in brackets refer to the explanations for some of these terms. Thanks to the many people who provided the explanations and links to medical sites for further reading.

The General Bill of all the Christenings and Burials with the ...... and
Casualties from Dec 15 1719 to Dec 13 1720.

Christen'd                                                    Bury'd
Males 8877                                                    Males 12713
Females 8602                                                             Females 12741 
              In all 17479

                  Decreased in the Burials this year 2893

 

 

Causes of Death

 
Abortive 132      
Aged 2317     
Ague 15   
Apoplexy 82       (17)    
Asthma 86   
Bedridden 3 
Bleeding 4    
Bloody Flux 11      (4)    
Bursten 6          (18)  
Cancer 64    
Canker 20        
Childbed 260     
Chin-cough 10     (3)   
Chrisoms 56      (19)   
Cholick 98   
Consumption 3054 
Convulsion 6787    
Diabetes 5  
Dropsy  1021 
Evil   24  
Fever  3910  
Fistula 12        (5) 
Flux 11   
French Pox 108     (25)
Gangrene 5    
Gout 30   
Gravel 5       (10) 
Grief 12
Griping in the guts 731
Head Mould shot 66
Hooping cough 33
Horse shoe head 46       (15)
Jaundice 107
Imposthume 47        (20)
Infants 14
Inflammation 6
Lethargy 6
Liver-grown 1         (21)
Looseness 45
Lunatick 44
Measles 213
Mortification 184       (11)
Pain in the head 3
Pain in the stomach 1
Planet struck 1        (16)
Palsy 40
Plurisy 32
Purples 16       (12) 
Quinsy 7        (22)
Rash 10
Rheumatism 22
Rickets 84
Rising of the lights 22 (7)
Rupture 20
St Anthony's Fire 8     (1)
Scald head 2    (6)
Scarlet fever 3
Scurvey 1
Small pox 1440
Sores and ulcers 32
Spleen 6
Spotted fever 66    (13)
Still-born 562
Stone 59     (23)
Stop in stomach 125
Strangury 10    (24)
Suddenly 119
Surfeit 8     (14)
Teeth 1817
Thrusa 80
Tissick 455      (2)
Twisting of the Guts77
Tympany 9    (8)
Vomiting 21
Water in the Head 110
White swelling 1    (9)
Worms 75
 

Casualties

 
Broken leg 2    
Bruised 3     
Burnt 3 
Drown'd 66  
Excessive drinking 18
Executed 20  
 
Found dead 21
Frighted 1
Kill'd accidently 47
Kill'd by falls 13
Kill'd with a sword 3
Murder'd 4
 
Overlaid 69
Scalded 1
Shot 1
Smother'd 4
Stabb'd 1
Suffocated 3




(1)  St Anthony's Fire is an old term for ergotism or ergot poisoning leading to gangrene (eg from eating bread made with rye on which a certain fungus is growing) although it was also more commonly used for erysipelas, an infection of the face caused by streptococcal bacteria. Ergot (Claviceps purpea) is a fungus that affects rye and sometimes other grains. Ergot contains lysergic acid, the active principle of the psychedelic drug LSD. In Medieval timesoutbreaks of St. Anthony's Fire were common in countries where populations subsisted on rye bread. St. Anthony's Fire is a toxic condition whose symptoms include hallucinations, disorientation, muscle cramps, convulsions, miscarriages, and gangrene and may result in death. It affects both humans and animals. Some beneficial drugs are also provided by ergot, used to treat migraines, to induce labour and to control uterine bleeding.

(2)  Tissick - a cough. Tuberculosis.

(3)  Chin cough - whooping cough.

(4)  Bloody flux - dysentery.

(5)  Fistula - a narrow passage or duct formed by disease or injury, as one leading from an abcess to a free surface, or from one cavity to another.

(6)  Scald head - Seborrhoeic eczema of the scalp. (Can you die of this???)

(7)  Rising of the lights - Lights is an old term for the lungs, so this means choking or breathlessness..

(8)  Tympany - There are three terms that are similar to this one, and they are all to do with the ear. A tumour.

(9)  White swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone or joints.

(10)  Gravel - Passage of small stones formed in the kidneys with the urine.

(11)  Mortification - Gangrene, necrosis or severe infection.

(12)  Purples - Purpura, this is a rash due to spontaneous bleeding in to the skin.

(13)  Spotted Fever - Typhus.

(14)  Surfeit - Means vomiting from overeating or gluttony.

(15)  Horse shoe head - Water on the brain.

(16)  Planet-struck seems to be a "sudden and apparently causeless stroke of disease" for example, epilepsy, paralysis or lunacy.

(17)  Apoplexy - stroke.

(18) Bursten - Rupture.

(19)  Chrisom - child who died before baptism or shortly after.

(20)  Impostume - cyst or abscess.

(21)  Liver grown - enlarged liver.

(22)  Quinsy - throat inflammation.

(23)  Stone - gallstones.

(24)  Stranguary - urinary disease.

(25) French Pox - I think we all know what this is. I believe the French used to call it the English Pox!

If you still want to find out more, here is a list of useful sites:-
 

http://footguards.tripod.com/01ABOUT/01_sickness.htm

MEDICAL TERMS FROM DAYS OF OLD
http://www.jansdigs.com/Racine/medical.html

Medical Terms - Links to Medical Terminology sites
http://www.coraweb.com.au/medico.htm

For a glossary of historic disease names, see:
http://www.bignell.uk.com/glossary_of_old_names.htm

 

 

East Heath

Sandy Heath

Hampstead Village

West Heath

Home

Family History

Guestbook

Links