A double line of fifteen-foot walls ringed the whitewashed compound, pierced on the waterside to permit the offloading of cargo from lighters. This happened despite the country being ready for such outbreaks. If the team saw signs of disease, the ship was not allowed to land at a Marseille dock. The Great Plague. He also had five large mass graves dug out, converted La Corderie into a field hospital, and organised distribution of humanitarian supply to the population. 14 June Passengers and crew are allowed to land. Citing the vast amount of misinformation that propagates during a plague, the sanitation board sought to, at a minimum, provide citizens with a list of doctors who were believed to be credible. In addition to modern laboratory testing, archival records were studied to determine the conditions and dates surrounding the use of this mass grave. Plague sufferers experienced headaches, vomiting and fever. Arriving in Marseille, France in 1720, the disease killed a total of 100,000 people: 50,000 in the city during the next two years and another 50,000 to the north in surrounding provinces and towns.[1]. Marseille’s plague occasioned great panic, disrupting trade and affecting livelihoods. His captain informed the authorities that he had 8 dead on board. Of the initial population of 90,000 some 39,334 people died. The plague that hit England in 1665 was the bubonic plague and as early as 1353, Boccaccio wrote about the classic symptoms associated with the Bubonic Plague: “The first sign of the plague was that swellings appeared in the groin or the armpits. Delayed diagnosis may have been one factor, but the city authorities may also have been loath to close their merchant hub because they were well aware that they had insufficient food stocks to keep the city going if cut off from their hinterland. Despite the cordon, the plague spread to surrounding areas, and conditions continued to deteriorate in Marseilles when residents ran out of food, inciting riots. Scott and Duncan, Biology of Plagues (CUP, 2001), p. 338. That is like 10million people dying in Lagos. [8], Out of 1,200 volunteers and prisoners deployed to fight the plague, only three survived. Over the two-year period from May 1720 100,000 were killed including 50,000 in … [10] The excavation provided an opportunity to study more than 200 skeletons from an area in the second arrondissement in Marseille, known as the Monastery of the Observance. Hospitals were quickly overwhelmed, and residents panicked, driving the sick from their homes and out of the city. The fair of Beaucaire was held annually on the right bank of the Rhône, 82 km from Marseille. Arriving in Marseille, France in 1720, the disease killed a total of 100,000 people: 50,000 in the city during the next two years and another 50,000 to the north in surrounding provinces and towns. The plague hits Marseille, Paris and Normandy, and then the strain splits, with one strain moving onto the now-Belgian city of Tournai to the east and … With several known cases of the plague on board, the merchant ship was promptly placed under quarantine by port authorities. The Great Plague of Marseilles – dead bodies littering the streets of Marseille. It is not surprising that the focus on Edward Worth’s collection was on the 1720 plague of Marseilles: it was the last great European plague, it was the greatest plague of his own lifetime and, finally, it was the cause of an explosion of plague literature both in France and England. It was staffed to support the board's increasing responsibilities. At the end of the plague of 1580, the people at Marseille took dramatic measures to attempt to control the future spread of disease. There is, however, an element of 20:20 hindsight in the account. Refused entry. "Small oversights that led to the Great Plague of Marseille (1720–1723): Lessons from the past", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Great_Plague_of_Marseille&oldid=999036606, 18th-century deaths from plague (disease), Articles with unsourced statements from December 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 05:12. The newly established sanitation board made a series of recommendations to maintain the health of the city. He furthermore organised supply for the city itself. On the island of Java alone, the outbreak caused the death of 100,000 people. The Great Plague of Marseille was the last major outbreak of bubonic plague in western Europe. Dr Sicard was the first to diagnose the disease as the fearsome plague but others, such as Dr Bauzon, disagreed, arguing that it was yet another fever. For two long years, the scourge punished the city and region. This is corroborated by the presence of DNA sequences specific for Yersinia pestis in the dental pulp of plague victims buried at Marseilles in 1722 and may also, perhaps, be corroborated by the second wave of infection following the 40 day quarantine period (as Scott and Duncan point out, quarantine only affected humans, not rats!). The ship left Sidon in Lebanon, picked up people at Tripoli, and Cyprus which already had infection outbreak. Infectious Diseases The ship was refused entry to the port of Livorno. Chicoyneau’s tracts were all written in French, indicating that they not only had an intended medical audience but also a lay audience who might, especially in times of plague, be left to care for the sick themselves. As Scott and Duncan point out, the incubation period at Marseilles was relatively short, a characteristic of bubonic, rather than haemorrhagic plague which has a lengthier incubation period. It is the last outbreak of plague registered in France. July, August and September, the hottest months and therefore the most propitious for the spread of bubonic plague, which was climatically determined, saw the deaths rise to incredible heights: the inability to clear the dead in turn exacerbated the conditions for the living, already weakened by lack of food. The reconstruction of the skull of one body, a 15-year-old boy, revealed the first historical evidence of an autopsy dated to the spring of 1722. [citation needed], A delegation of members of the sanitation board was to greet every incoming ship. As a result of his endeavours he was appointed premier physician to Louis XV and Chancellor of the University of Montpellier. (1721) A Succinct Account of the Plague at Marseilles, Its Symptoms, and the Methods and Medicines used for Curing it. Plague had been around in England for centuries but in 1665 it was Stuart London that suffered. Duchene and Contrucci (2004), Chronology. The Magistrates have been assisted with 500 Galley Slaves to clear the Streets of the Dead; yet there are still above 3000 dead Bodies that lie about the Streets unburied, which cause an intolerable Stench. The “bill of health” then determined the level of access to the city by the ship and its cargo. However, the high death rate suggests that pneumonic plague may also have played a role in Marseilles. [citation needed]. Powerful city merchants wanted the silk and cotton cargo of the ship for the great medieval fair at Beaucaire and pressured authorities to lift the quarantine. The last word, ‘dead’, is omitted today. Portrait of Francois Chicoyneau: Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. 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