Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Paul Deslandes


Plague, Quarantine


1665 would be the year of London’s deadliest outbreak of plague which would shortly thereafter be known as the Great Plague. The Great Plague has been a fairly well researched occurrence of plague in Europe. In part because of the massive scope of destruction and its great impact on the quality of life of Londoners, the epidemic is useful for researching the response of the government to the plague. Records clearly indicate, and contemporary writers acknowledge that the poor were the primary victims of the plague. There are many argued reasons such as their poor living conditions, diet, and less access to proper hygiene, but this paper will focus specifically on the impact of government public health policies on the poor. This paper will argue that the government’s health policies not only failed to help the sick but in fact harmed the poor while at the same time these policies did little harm to the wealthy and in some ways gave privileges to them. Along with the official health policy, this paper will address inconsistencies in the application of public health policies and particularly the tool of quarantine.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.