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Vile Eight

Mortality Bill

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💀 Mortality Bill 💀

This recreation of a 1665 Mortality Bill in the height of the Black Death.

40cm x 30cm on aged solid wood.

This product is made to order so please allow up to 10 working days to produce and dispatch. Due to the natural properties of the wood, grain and finish may differ slightly from the photos.

Each week in London, Mortality Bills were produced to have a statistical view of the reasons and amount of burials in the city.

They give a fantastic insight into what people were believed to have died from before advancements in medicine.

At the time people belived their bodies functioned from an ancient Greek theory called the Theory of Four Humors (Fluids), which said that the components of the body were made up of four fluids; Blood, Phlegm, Black Bile and Yellow Bile.

When a person was sick it was believed they had an imbalance in a fluid like an excess of phlegm when someone had a chest infection or yellow Bile when they vomited. They took this as the body trying to heal itself and restore the imbalance. For this reason blood-letting was a common medical treatment for things like headaches and fever.

The reasons and statistics from my engraved Mortality Bill are taken from a date in 1665 when the plague was at its peak. You can see the amount of people who died from the plague this week at over 7000. There is also some other interesting reasons like 'Teeth which I assume are abscesses and tooth infection, aswell as things like Wind and Worms!

Infant Mortality was also high at the time and 50% of children died before they were 10, so hooray for medical advancement and vaccinations !