The Eyam Plague

Since we had been vaccinated three times against Corona, we boldly dared to go out among the people again. Selma 🙂 even said mischievously, “an infection with Omicron would be the super booster for you. So don’t dwell on it, let’s get going!
Off we went to the Peak District. Besides hiking, Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma wanted to visit Eyam, a village that went down in English history as a plague village.

Da wir nun dreimal gegen Corona geimpft waren, trauten wir uns kühn wieder unter die Leute. Selma 🙂 meinte gar verschmitzt, “eine Ansteckung mit Omicron wäre der Super-Booster für euch. Also nicht gehadert, es wird losgefahren!
Ab ging es in den Peak District. Neben Wandern wollten Siri 🙂 und 🙂 Selma unbedingt Eyam besuchen, ein Dorf, das als Pest-Dorf in die englische Geschichte einging.

Il n’y a rien de plus ignoble que la maladie.
(There is nothing more shameful than the disease)
Albert Camus

Eyam was struck by the plague from late 1665 to 1666. This happened because the tailor of the village, who lived with a widow and her two sons, had a package of cloth delivered from London. As the cloth had become damp, he dried it in front of the open fire of the cottage, whereupon he fell ill two days later and quickly died. The widow’s sons also died, as did many of the neighbours. The plague raged for 14 months. According to the church register, 273 of the 350 inhabitants had died in the winter of 1666.

Eyam wurde Ende 1665 bis 1666 von der Pest heimgesucht. Das geschah, indem der Schneider des Ortes, der bei einer Witwe mit ihren beiden Söhnen wohnte, aus London ein Paket Stoffe geliefert bekam. Da die Stoffe feucht geworden waren, trocknet er sie vor dem offenen Feuer des Cottages, worauf er zwei Tage später erkrankte und schnell starb. Die Söhne der Witwe starben ebenfalls wie auch einige der Nachbarn. 14 Monate lang wütete die Pest. Im Winter 1666 waren nach dem Kirchenregister 273 Ortsbewohner von den den 350 Einwohnern gestorben.

The tradition goes, elaborated much later, no doubt to attract tourists like us:
It was clear to the priest that this was the plague. He attributed the cause to the drying of cloth from London, since in London at that time every tenth inhabitant had already died of the plague. The first of the measures he took after panic broke out was to hold an outdoor service in a natural amphitheatre so that the participants could distance themselves from each other. He proposed a heroic self-sacrifice, namely that the inhabitants isolate themselves so that the plague would not spread throughout the whole area. Amazingly, the villagers agreed, knowing that this would probably mean their death sentence.

So geht die Überlieferung, die viel später ausgearbeitet wurde, sicherlich um Touristen wie uns anzulocken:
Dem Pfarrer war es klar, dass es sich hierbei um die Pest handelte. Die Ursache führte er auf das Trocknen der Stoffe aus London zurück, da in London zu dieser Zeit jeder zehnte Bewohner bereits an der Pest gestorben war. Als erste Maßnahme nachdem im Dorf Panik ausgebrochen war, hielt er einen Gottesdienst im Freien in einem natürlichen Amphitheater ab, damit die Teilnehmer sich von einander distanzieren konnten. Er schlug eine heldenhafte Selbstopferung vor, dass nämlich die Bewohner sich selbst isolieren, damit sich die Pest nicht im ganzen Umkreis verbreiten würde. Erstaunlicher Weise stimmten die Dörfler zu, wohl wissend dass dies wahrscheinlich ihr Todesurteil bedeutete.

A stone circle was placed around Eyam, which was not to be crossed. Here the merchants deposited food and the inhabitants deposited the money in vinegar. In this way, the village isolated itself, which was interpreted by the church as an act of charity.
The sick were recommended a medicine of olive oil, onions, pepper, garlic, sage, elder and vinegar, diluted with dragon water, whatever that might be. In addition, one should carry a bouquet of flowers with one at all times, probably to soften the bad smell rather than as a cure. The children’s circle game plays on this
Ring a ring of roses/A pocket full of posies/Atishoo, atishoo/We all fall down.
The red spots on the victims of the plague were euphemistically called roses, and sneezing was considered one of the first symptoms of the disease.

Es wurde ein Steinkreis um Eyam gelegt, der nicht überschritten werden sollte. Hier deponierten die Kaufleute Lebensmittel und die Bewohner hinterlegten das Geld in Essig. So isolierte sich das Dorf, was von der Kirche als Akt der Nächstenliebe interpretiert wurde.
Als Medizin wurde den Kranken eine Mischung von Olivenöl, Zwiebeln, Pfeffer, Knoblauch, Salbei, Holunder und Essig empfohlen, verdünnt mit Drachenwasser, was immer das auch sein mag. Außerdem sollte man einen Blumenstrauß ständig mit sich tragen, wohl eher um den schlechten Geruch zu mildern, als zu heilen. Hierauf spielt das Kreisspiel der Kinder an
Ringel, ringel, Röschen/’ne Tasche voller Sträußchen/Hatschi, hatschi, hatschi/da falln sie alle hin.
Die roten Flecken der Opfer der Pest wurden verharmlosend Rosen genannt und Niesen galt als eines der ersten Krankheitssyptome.

This story of Eyam has been handed down by a number of authors, the most famous work being by William Wood in 1848, who mentioned quite some other authors who wrote about the Plague Village.
We found Eyam rather bleak, or as Siri 🙂 said, it suited its story best. We wondered whether there are similar stories about Corona eruptions in later times.

Diese Geschichte von Eyam haben einige Autoren überliefert, das bekannteste Werk stammt von William Wood aus dem Jahr 1848, der u.a. die anderen Autoren anführt.
Wir fanden Eyam ziemlich trostlos oder wie Siri 🙂 meinte, es hat sich bestens seiner Geschichte angepasst. Ob es in späteren Zeiten ähnliche Geschichten über Corona-Ausbrüche geben wird, fragten wir uns.

Wishing you a healthy year full of happy moments

Wir wünschen euch ein gesundes Jahr voller fröhlicher Momente

The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

.

© Text and illustrations, Hanne Siebers and Klausbernd Vollmar, Cley next the Sea, 2022

141 thoughts

  1. It was an informative story. I’m glad you could get out and explore. I have it on good authority that Dragon water was Scots whisky. It didn’t cure anything, but whoever drank it forgot about the plague. Happy New Year, Fab Four.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Good morning, dear Jacqui,
      actually, during all the time of the middle ages until the 17th c., there was the plague killing thousands of people somewhere in central Europe. The special situation of Eyam was the heroic self-sacrifice of the people – well, that’s the narrative. We hardly have any documents from that time and therefore it’s open to projection.
      We agree with you, we are so well protected nowadays – even in times of the pandemic.
      Thanks for commenting 🙏 🙏
      Keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  2. Glad to hear you got out on a ‘field trip’. We cannot allow this virus to completely ruin our lives.
    Of course, the Black Death was a lot worse, killing over 25,000,000 people in an age of medical ignorance.
    I am going to try to stay positive in 2022, so Ollie has to be positive too!
    Love from Beetley, Pete and Ollie. X

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, dear Pete,
      as we just wrote to Jacqui, for quite some centuries there was a plague epidemic somewhere in Europe and there are still places nowadays like Madagaskar and Kongo where people die of the plague. We find it interesting the kind of stories that were constructed later. F.e. the church tried to make the Eyam Plague its story by comparing the self-sacrifice of the Eyam’s people with the self-sacrifice of Jesus. It’s of course a narrative about morals. The self-sacrifice was not as voluntary as the stories like to tell it. It was probably the authority of the church that enforced it.
      The Eyam Plague narrative shows well how we use history as a projection screen for our ideas about morals.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Wishing you and Ollie all the best for 2022, keep well, happy and healthy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  3. Danke für diesen Ausflug in einen traurigen Teil der Geschichte. Es ist wirklich interessant, wie die Menschen des Mittelalters versuchten damit klar zu kommen.

    Ich wünsch euch eine gutes Jahr 2022 🍀 ✨
    Liebe Grüße
    Sabine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Herzlichen Dank, liebe Sabine.
      Wir wünschen auch dir ein gesundes Neues Jahr voller glücklicher Momente. Bleibe fein gesund und fröhlich
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Wir fanden die Eyam Pest auch eine spannende Geschichte, die viele Autoren bis heute anregte, darüber zu schreiben.
      Vielen Dank fürs Kommentieren.
      Mit herzlichen Grüßen vom kleinen Dorf am großen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I knew about Eyam of course but never got to visit. Such self sacrifice. And today people are complaining about being locked down or locked in for 14 days while they self isolate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Judith,
      the Eyam story completely puts our lockdowns today into perspective. A lockdown of over a year like the one in Eyam would probably cause a revolution nowadays.
      Thanks for commenting.
      All the best, keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Dear Steve,
      … and how different we deal with the pandemic now. It also shows how much more selfish are people nowadays.
      Thanks and keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  5. Habt vielen Dank ihr Lieben in Cley für diesen interessanten Beitrag, 1. zu eurem Mut wieder unter die Menschen zu gehen und 2. zum Umgang mit der Pest im 17. Jahrhundert in Eyam. Manchmal wäre es gut, wenn die Menschen in der westlichen Welt wieder ein bisschen gefügsamer wären und sich, wenn nötig, isolieren würden! Lieben Dank auch an Dina für die hilfreichen Fotos:) Ich wünsche euch nur das beste für’s 2022:)
    Lieben Gruss Martina

    Liked by 2 people

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Martina,
      diese Geschichte zeigt im Grunde, um wieviel egoistischer die Bevölkerung heute ist. Eine Isolierung von über einem Jahr mit der Wahrscheinlichkeit des Todes würde einen Bürgerkrieg auslösen. Die Geschichte zeigt auch die Relativierung von Freiheit, was wir ja heute auch wieder beobachten können.
      Wir wir wünschen dir ein gesundes 2022 voller glücklicher und fröhlicher Momente
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Lieber Klausbernd, ganz herzlichen Dank für deine klugen Worte! Ich bin ein bisschen verspätet mit meiner Anwort, weil wir im Appenzellerland waren, wegen meiner Augen. Wir hatten dort auf dem Land den Eindruck, dass die Menschen, auch die jungen, viel fröhlicher waren als hier im Tessin und anscheinend besser klar kommen mit der momentanen Situation!
      Auch ich wünsche euch viele kleine Freuden und gute Gesundheit:)
      Cari saluti Martina

      Liked by 2 people

    • Vielen Dank, liebe Martina.
      So etwas Ähnliches beobachten wir hier auch, allerdings bei den Alten. Die älteren Leute so um 60+ sind hier an der Küste munter und fröhlich, wohingegen sie in London weitaus verzagter und ängstlicher sind.
      Alles Liebe dir von eiskalten, jedoch sonnigen Meer
      Klausbernd 🙂 und der Rest von uns

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating information in this post. I think that plagues have been part of human experience for eons.I remember in Florence seeing a statue of a religious figure up on the corner of a building. We were told that during the plague a priest would come and say Mass at that corner and the people living in the houses could look out their windows to see him and to pray with him without having to leave their homes. And the children’s song …I did not know the meaning of the ” all fall down”. I do know that saying “bless you” when someone sneezes has a plague history. Thanks for this post Fab Four!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anne,
      we lived with the plague for ages, so long that it became a metaphor for everything evil like in Camus’ novel “The Plague”.
      Thank you very much for your comment and mentioning that saying “bless you” when somebody sneezes goes back to the times of the plague.
      All the best and wishing you a healthy and happy 2022
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fab Four of Cley,
    That is certainly a tale for this day and age. It makes you wonder about that old saying, “When your number is up” that might explain why Mary Hadfield lived, but lost 13 relatives. Thank goodness the Corona variations aren’t doing that. (It’s bad enough as it is.) I am vaccinated 3x, but still wear a mask when I’m out of the house and use sanitizer, etc. I don’t particularly like the alternative.
    Thank you for the history and pictures.
    May 2022 give you all that you wish for!
    GP

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much.
      We are sure in times to come legends will be told of our times what we will wonder about.
      All the best for the New Year
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A sobering tale. Ironic that the clergy helped lead the effort to contain the disease back then. Today, in my country, the evangelicals are leading the fight against vaccinations and mask mandates. Thank you Fab Four.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much.
      The story we told is the kind of official narrative. actually, it seems to be more complex. The rector, on one hand, asked the people to isolate and not to spread the virus on the other hand he followed the zeitgeist to see the plague as god’s punishment.
      What are the arguments of the evangelicals to be against wearing masks and vaccination? The Churches propagate masks and vaccination in Europe.
      Keep well, stay healthy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Dear Mermaid 🧜‍♀️
      thank you VERY much.
      We absolutely agree with you. Our situation is much more bearable than in the 17th c.
      Have a happy and healthy New Year
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy New Year to my dear friends in Cley!
    Isn’t it typical that in times of pandemic reality is bend as in conspiration theories and in the narrative of Eyam? There were people deserting Eyam like the two sons of the rector and they survived.
    Good that you have had your booster! I’m still on a waiting list.
    Take care, all the best for 2022
    Klem
    Per Magnus

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Per Magnus,
      we are quite lucky here as everybody over 18 years can get boosted.
      We can’t understand how people of our time can believe such absurd conspiracy theories as are around especially in the US but in Germany as well.
      You are right, the Lord of Eyam manor with his family as well as the kids of the rector left Eyam. He wanted his wife to leave as well but she wanted to stay with him and died in the end. Well, to stay only applied for the common people.
      We think it’s important to get your booster. Try to get it as soon as possible.
      Happy New Year
      KLEM
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  10. There are many lovelier places in the Peak District. It seems bizarre to me that drying linen was thought to be the cause of the plague. But then life these days can be bizarre too. Happy New Year to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. An interesting village to visit and so good to hear you were able to get out and about. The number of new daily COVID cases in the U.K. and France are staggering. Our Omicron cases in Sydney and my home of Melbourne are have gone up to 22,000 and 8000+ respectively. Seems like only ‘yesterday’ we had a few hundred.

    As a student of herbal medicine in the early 1990s, I came across stories of whole French villages wiped out except those labourers working in the Lavender fields. I’ve read of tanners evading the Plague due to the mixture of essential oils used as part of the leather tanning process.

    ……..I have the ‘recipe’ supposedly used by the corpse collectors in London to avoid contracting the Plague. Another example…. It is said that the essential oil of Lemon ‘kills’ Diptheria and Typhoid in 20 minutes.

    I can’t help but wonder if any of these ‘natural’ remedies might have some application in the treatment of COVID 19?

    Stay well and safe in 2022 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Vicki
      thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge about herbal medicines. We would have had a good chance to survive with all those lavender fields around here. We have cut all our old lavender bushes in form just yesterday. And we can well imagine that essential oils have the power to protect and even to heal.
      We have no idea if oils and herbs work against Covid too. We have never read about this or heard this mentioned. In Eyam one of the herbalists died. The plague doctors used to wear these masked like a bird’s beak. It was said they had put lavender and sage in that ‘beak’ against getting infected.
      Wishing you a healthy 2022 full of happy moments
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you VERY much 🙏 🙏
      Some people are that strong that they stay healthy in every situation. Good genes?
      Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year as well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  12. I have never visited Eyam, though I do know the story of the village and I used to sing the nursery rhyme as a child, part of a game. I’m sure we used to sing a second verse in which we all stood up again, which suggests it’s not about death. In fact I was so curious about this that I looked it up and came across this site that I think will also interest you.
    https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/ring-around-the-rosie-metafolklore-rhyme-and-reason/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jude,
      thank you VERY much for this link to this detailed and very well researched article. In Germany children used to sing
      Ringel, Ringel, Rose
      Butter in der Dose
      Schmalz in den Kasten
      morgen woll`n wir fasten
      (ring, a ring of roses,
      butter in the dish,
      lard in the box,
      tomorrow we start fasting)
      I have no idea about the history of this rhyme that exists in many variations. But it surely has nothing to do with the plague. We suppose it goes back to times of famine.
      We wish you all the best for 2022, stay healthy and happy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  13. Of course we all sang the nursery rhyme Fab Four, but I’d never heard of Eyam. A fascinating if terribly sad story. Your images truly brought the story to life Hanne, especially the signs about the residents who had passed. It makes our current plague seem almost tame by comparison. We too are triple vaccinated but are still very careful. They say the 3rd dose diminishes to 40% effective after only 2 or 3 months. Sigh. Wishing the Fab Four all the best in a healthy, happy 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good afternoon, dear Tina,
      so it was the right time to travel to the Peak District three weeks after our third dose. It’s a great area for hiking and we were lucky that we had fine weather, freezing cold and sunny just as we like it.
      The Eyam story totally puts our Covid situation into perspective, doesn’t it?!
      Wishing you a healthy 2022 full of happy moments as well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, dear Janet.
      We go out and about but we take care. We always wear our masks and avoid people or at least keep our distance. Like we live that’s quite easy.
      Keep well, all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Over the past months, I have given a great deal of thought to how humanity reacts to plagues. It seems that cultural memory plays a role in our responses. The Black Death in literature and art has become the symbol for epidemics. The sickness comes without warning, and causes great harm. And then it goes away. We are fascinated and terribly afraid of this overpowering force. But there are other diseases among us. Tuberculous comes to mind. According to Statistics Canada, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis in 2017. Opioid deaths in BC far outpaced those from Covid 19. Your post is a profound reminder that we see ourselves not only as individuals but as a whole. I was especially moved by your words: “Amazingly, the villagers agreed, knowing that this would probably mean their death sentence.” To me, that is the essence of the story of humanity – seeing beyond to others!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Rebecca,
      indeed, it is the essence of the story of humanity – seeing beyond to others. And this is what fascinates us about the narrative of the Eyam Plague. Actually, it’s not that important if it really happened like this but we want to see it like this. We want this moral – of course only theoretically. In practice, people already complain when there is a lockdown of one or two weeks.
      Wishing you all the best from the sunny coast of North Norfolk
      🤗 🤗 🤗 🤗
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • How well said, Klausbernd. We want to believe the best and then find that we live in paradox. I look forward to the many conversations in 2022 and to your amazing posts that always give me something to think about. Sending hugs and love to my dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, dearest Rebecca 🙏 🙏
      We only write about what is not entirely clear to ourselves and what we want to know more about or better. We love this exchange, which is the reason why we blog.
      🤗 🤗 😘 😘
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Danke für den interessanten Einblick in eine Pest-Geschichte, wie sehr sie auch über die Jahre geformt sein mag. Besonders beeindruckend finde ich, dass die Menschen damals durchaus verstanden, dass Abstand und Isolation DAS Mittel der Wahl sind. Warum fällt uns das heutzutage so schwer?
    Viele Grüße und ein gesundes, interessantes und literarisches Jahr 2022

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Hermine,
      das fragen wir uns auch, zumal wir doch heute mehr denn je indirekt auf Abstand kommunizieren. Die virtuelle Welt ist doch von Isolation und Abstand geprägt.
      Auch dir ein gesundes Neues Jahr vollen Inspirationen und glücklicher Momente
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Deine Wünsche für ein literarisches 2022 finden wir toll!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Eure Einstellung ist genau richtig und auch euer Ausflug, in die Vergangenheit dieser mich faszinierenden Gemäuer, ganz toll!!!
    Liebe Grüße, Dankeschön fürs mitnehmen und ein gutes, vor allem auch gesundes neues Jahr 2022 wünsche ich euch von ganzem Herzen! ❤️🥂🍀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ganz herzlichen ❤ Dank, liebe Hanne 🙏 🙏
      Wir wünschen dir auch ein tolles Neues Jahr voller Glücksmomente und vor allem bleibe gesund und fröhlich 🥂🥂
      Mit ganz lieben Grüßen 🤗
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you, for this, as it helps to put some perspective on the current restrictions! We should have made the trip ourselves when we lived in Herts. Of course, I knew of the Eyam story as one of our daughters visited the village with their school, many years ago, and she returned full of information. I wonder if she remembers that school trip? Wishing you all in sunny Norfolk a happy, healthy and safe 2022. 😊🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ashley,
      in comparison the current restrictions are nothing. Besides the narrative of the heroic self-sacrifice, Eyam isn’t really worth visiting. The surroundings are beautiful and invite you for walks.
      In the last days, our coast of North Norfolk was really sunny.
      We wish you a healthy New Year full of happy moments.
      Keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Totally fascinating and perfectly placed for what’s happening here and now.
    We know how difficult things are currently. Nearly matched for it’s their damage,
    diseases have taken a multitude of life, then and now. Will we survive through
    it all. Time will tell. I believe so, slow but sure.
    Great post my friends!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good afternoon, dear Eddie,
      we have survived much more drastic pandemics. The plague outbreaks during the middle ages and especially after the Thirty-Years-War have had much bigger dimensions. At least 25 Mio people died during the plague outbreaks during the middle ages. We have much better sanitary conditions now and science can react much faster to such pandemics. This is a great advantage, that we no longer remain in unreal ideas, but react in a targeted, scientifically sound way. On the other hand, we are much more individualistic as in the 17th c. and middle ages. Maybe living in the modern mass societies we have to hold on to the illusion of individualism and individual freedom. As Marcuse pointed out as more we have lost our freedom as more we invoke our ‘freedom’ (in ‘The One Dimensional Man’).
      Thank you very much for your comment.
      All the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  19. sounds scary – I wouldn’t wanna go there – unless there was still the booster update from Biontech with Omicron extinction coming in April.
    Otherwise these kind of excursions are more comparable to a sequel of “Die Hard” No. 6, plant title “McClane”, because they can be a kind of dare that sometimes might turn out differently than you think…
    Stay clean and healthy and don’t become hasardeurs in 2022…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, we feel quite safe. We take care. We wear masks outside and avoid meeting people inside. We don’t take risks. On the other hand, better to die happy than live miserably.
      Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year, have fun and luck
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  20. For those who would like to read relatively authentic and more or less contemporaneous accounts of the plague year 1665, I would recommend the following books
    “A Journal of the Plague Year” by Daniel Defoe. He published it seven years after the plague of 1665 as a warning because the plague broke in Marseille and there was quite a risk that it would be ‘imported’ to England.
    “The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1659-1669” by Samuel Pepys is a good source of direct information about this plague years 1665/1666.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Interesting story and I find close to the pandemic. I am sure there will be stories of Corona too and they will be read in 100’s of years too. Probably we should have build our little stone house away from the city and stay Corona Free…. 🙂 Happy new year and stay healthy!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good morning, dear Ute,
      we think so too, there will be legends of our Corona pandemic in hundreds of years. Heroes and heroines will be invented and situations exaggerated. There will be films and books about it – if these media still exist.
      Dina would move to the Blakeney Point and live happily among the seals 😉
      Thanks and wishing you a healthy and happy 2022
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Another timely post as I recently read a novel inspired by the legend. “The Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks. I find all her books interesting. As you suggest, and in her version too, the self-sacrifice was underpinned by the authority of the church and fear of God’s wrath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gwendoline,
      thanks for your comment and for mentioning the novel by Geraldine Brooks, we didn’t know. We just read that this novel about Eyam became an international bestseller.
      In the 17th c, irrational ideas like god’s wrath and rational ones about the plague were inseparable. The Eyam Plague happened just before the age of enlightenment.
      Wishing you all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Das ist auch ein schönes Kinderspiellied, fand ich früher jedenfalls toll…weiß nicht, ob ihr es hören könnt, da meine technischen Fähigkeiten immer noch eher mittelprächtig sind…
    Sende herzliche Grüße
    Das Pialein

    Corona ist echt Mist, ich persönlich bleibe aber entspannt und ruhig, nicht zu viel Angst vor gar nichts, tanze viel…
    Bei der Pest war ich nicht dabei, deshalb weiß ich dazu nichts zu sagen…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na gut, dann lassen wir die Liedchen, ich liebe persönlich Tarantella, wisst ihr ja, Siri und Selma…
      Habe Merrill gegoogelt, Pia Odenthal folgt jedem Hinweis, auch wenn es gar keiner ist/wäre…
      Sonnig und saukalt, hmm, brrr, ist Winter denke ich.
      Mantel anziehen und Tee trinken oder einfach warmes Wasser. Naja, jetzt habt ihr ja Moves, da wird euch warm!
      Gott sei Dank!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeden Hinweis zu folgen – WOW! we are impressed.
      So wirst du ja bald dem Ideal vom rundum gebildeten Individuum, kurzum dem perfekten Menschen, entsprechen.
      Die Geschichte von Eyam frönt dem Heldenkult, der im 19. Jh. als dieses Narrativ ausgebildet wurde, en vogue war. Dieser Pfarrer wurde als Held stilisiert, da die Situation derart schlecht für die meisten Menschen war, dass man Helen brauchte. Der Held wurde als perfekter Menschen vorgestellt, ähnlich wie im Märchen. Aus dem Narrativ von Eyam könnte man auch gut ein Märchen machen. Romane hat es ja viele inspiriert.
      Alles Gute, bleibe munter
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Verstehe! Aber. Oje, der perfekte Mensch…durch Bildung…nein, nein, ich gehe den Hinweisen aus Interesse an den Zusammenhängen nach. Fast eine kriminalistische Neugier. Interesse an den Abgründen um möglichst zu erkennen, was ich alles nicht erleben möchte. Folge Instinkt, Intuition und Inspiration und den Synchronisationen…in meinem ganz konkreten Leben.
      Das Pest Dorf und euer Ausflug oder besser die Ausfahrt dorthin fand ich sehr inspirierend zu sehen.
      Lena Odenthal spielt im Tatort, meine Schwägerin ist die Aufnahmeleitung im Fernsehen. Ich bin Pia Odenwald und löse jeden Fall…im konkreten Leben…diese Drehbücher sind extrem viel spannender und sehr lehrreich, aber pssst…
      Die Aufnahmen der Backsteinhäuser erinnern mich an die Zeit als ich noch Fernseh – Krimis schaute: Miss Marple und Inspector Barnaby. Schon einige Jahre ohne Fernseher…
      Außerdem mache ich auch keine Heldinnenreise. Helden und Heldinnen haben ja wahrscheinlich ein Ziel?! Oder werden sie nur geprüft?!
      Habe gerade wieder so ein Wellen Seminar mitgemacht und könnte euch die Energie über den Kanal schicken, wenn ihr wolltet.
      Ansonsten würde meine nächste Reise doch tatsächlich zum Gardasee sein, Danke!!!
      Corona away und Welle!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Oh nein, es ist das Falsche, könnt ihr das bitte löschen!!! Ich wollte “Machet auf das Tor senden!!!
    Nicht das hier….sorry!!!
    Ja die technischen Fähigkeiten gehören deutlich verbessert, Pialein

    Liked by 1 person

    • We went to the Peak District for hiking. There we read in a guide about Eyam. This made us visit the Plague Village and study its story.
      Thanks and all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Moin.
    Geschichte in eine schöne Geschichte verpackt, selbst wenn der Geschichtshintergrund unschön ist.
    Von der Pest hatte ich früher zwar auch gehört, was man eben in der Schule so lernt, aber Hintergründe usw. habe ich erst bei meinem ersten Besuch im Lübecker Hanse-Museum erfahren, wo ein einer eigenen Abteilung die Pest thematisiert und dargestellt wird. Das hat mich beeindruckt.
    Das Thema erinnert mich aber auch an meinen Großvater, wenn er erzählt hat, wie sie damals den 1. Weltkrieg überlebt haben, danach jedoch die Spanische Grippe mehr Menschen aus den Familien dahingerafft hat, als zuvor der Krieg.
    Ja, die Geschichte ist eine spannende ….
    Nochmal viel Grüße

    Liked by 2 people

    • Habe herzlichen Dank, lieber Sven.
      Pandenien bzw. Epidemien hat es immer gegeben und sie wurden stets ideologisch ausgenutzt. Allen voran von der Kirche, die eine Spezialistin darin ist, Fake News zu verbreiten. Die Eyam Geschichte entbehrt nicht einer gewissen Ironie. Wenn die Pest als Strafe Gottes verkauft wurde, ist es nicht zu übersehen, dass sie mit dem Pfarrer kam, denn die infizierten Stoffe aus London, sollten zu einem Messgewand verarbeitet werden.
      Wenn ich mich recht erinnere, war Paracelsus einer der ersten, der die Pest auf hygienische Zustände zurückführte. Allerdings vermuteten das die Leute schon immer. Cley next the Sea, das Dorf, in dem wir wohnen, wurde im 14. Jh. von der Pest heimgesucht und danach wurde das gesamte Dorf verlegt eine Meile entfernt, da man der Ansicht war, die Pest wohne im Boden. Meistens machte man Außenseiter für die Pest verantwortlich. Cley war im Mittelalter ein bedeutender Hafen. Die Pest kam mit den Seeleuten und den Ratten von anderen Gegenden. So lag es nahe, für die Pest die Fremden verantwortlich zu machen. Wie Freud schon schrieb, das Fremde ist stets das Böse.
      Es ist erstaunlich, dass Zeiten der Pest sehr fruchtbar für Erkenntnisse waren, Newton kam auf die Gavitation, Pepys, Shakespeare und Defoe schrieben wichtige Werke in der Zeit, um nur einige zu nennen. Heute hat die Pandemie die Wissenschaft zu Höchstleistungen angespornt.
      Herzliche Grüße von der sonnigen Küste
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Schön, habe soeben Wal Tropfen von einer neuen Freundin aus Lübeck eingenommen und gehe jetzt mit meiner Tochter um den See spazieren.
    Gerade ist mir aufgefallen, dass sie betend und trauernd und scheinbar Anteil nehmend um das Totenbett stehen auf dem einen Glasfensterbild; interessant.
    Herzliche Grüße vom Pialein

    Die Waltropfen sollen gut fürs Herz sein…. ich merke schon was!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. What a brilliant idea, to explore a village made famous by a plague from former times. The story of Eyam is fascinating – I’ve never heard about it. There are so many parallels to modern times. Just amazing. A very well-told story, thank you! And the opening lines about omicron had me laughing! Cheers to you all and stay healthy – and creative!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn,
      thank you for your kind words.
      There are quite some parallels between the plague epidemics during the middle ages and the Omicron pandemic nowadays.
      We really like Camus’ “The Plague” in which the plague is a symbol for every evil and especially the political one of fascism and on the other hand, it presents the plague as something that can happen any time.
      You keep healthy, happy, and lively
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Fascinating story and photos of a brave village. I’ve walked part of the Lake District (years ago) and loved it so much that it’s on my bucket list to walk again. Once our current plague is ended. When I was a child we all held hands and circled in a dance singsonging the words you share here. But we used to say “Ashes, ashes we all fall down.” Even as an adult I couldn’t figure what the ashes were about. Your “Atishoo” makes much more sense. Wow – how people used to believe in sacrificing for the good of others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For us, it was the first time we went to the Peak District. It’s an area for hiking. Villages like Castleton are tourist traps. It’s amazing how much kitschy stuff you find in the shops there. Eyam as a village is quite boring but we like its history and the narrative that was built in the 19th c about Eyam.
      Maybe as the meaning of ‘Atishoo’ was forgotten it became ‘ashes’ because it sounds kind of similar. Atishoo is onomatopoetic and actually used in old fashion writing only.
      The Lake District is about 150 north of the Peak District.
      Thanks and keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Amy, good afternoon,
      thank you so much for commenting. We like to dive a little into the history of the places we visit.
      Wishing you a happy rest of the week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. A very timely post, and I recently heard the story about “Ring around the rosey” song, and it is a bit shocking ~ a definite reality check along with this post. To see Eyam and read/feel the history of this village must have been something to see ~ in Prague they have similar stones where vinegar bowls were ground to be used for cleansing… the more things change, the more they stay the same. One interesting contrast is where in the past the Eyam community seemed readily to accept the heroic self-sacrifice of isolate themselves, these days communities spew political discourse at such methods. Wonderfully educational and especially beautifully photographed post. Cheers to the Fab Four ~

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, dear Dalo,
      we know these places where they used to have these vinegar bowls in Prague. We have to admit that Prague has much more atmosphere than Eyam. At some places in Prague, you can easily feel that you are transported into the middle ages.
      If the heroic self-sacrifice of the Eyam folks is real or a myth is hard to say like the stories connected with Rabbi Löw in Prague. But, of course, such stories are quite pedagogic
      Keep healthy and happy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. We just read that during the beginning of the 17th c that “a bloody good draught of holy water keeps away the plague” and pigeons take away the poison of plague from your body if you clip the feathers and lay the pigeon right on your sore. In this way, people tried to fight the plague during the time of young Shakespeare.

    Like

  31. A brilliant account of the plague epidemic at the time of the Eyam plague can be found in the book “Will” by Christopher Rush (albeit for London) pp. 271 – 282.

    Like

  32. A fascinating look into a dismal historic time. I wonder at the inhabitants of Eyam today. Is there more people living there now? Or is it still a small hamlet, blighted by its history? I read a book about this village and the “Mary'” that survived. The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. An enjoyable read despite the subject matter.
    I was unaware of the origin of Ring a rosie and bless you. Through four hundred years this tradition has persisted even though we don’t always know why. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much for your comment.
      Eyam is a village with nearly a thousand inhabitants now. Just before the plague, it had 292 inhabitants.
      Most of the Ayam Plague is a narrative that makes this village interesting. Nevertheless, a nice story.
      Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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