Great Plague of London
(1664–66) Epidemic of plague that ravaged London, killing more than 75,000 of a total population estimated at 460,000. As early as 1625, 40,000 Londoners had died of the plague, but this was the worst and the last of the epidemics. Most of the devastation was in the city's outskirts, in areas where the poor were densely crowded. The disease spread throughout the country, but from 1667 only sporadic cases appeared until 1679. The plague's decline was attributed to various causes, including the Great Fire of London. Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year (1722) provides a valuable picture of the time.
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