Harlow residents ordered to move due to leprosy outbreak
General / Sun 14th May 2023 at 11:00am
WE are grateful to our friends at the Essex Record Office (ERO) for this article which refers to an incident back in 1400s.
The research came from Dr Herbert Eden, one of the researchers for the People of 1381 Project (http://www.1381.online/
Whilst he was in the ERO search room, chasing up the past revolt lives of some of the rebels, he happened upon some interesting entries in manorial documents relating to Harlow, the first within a view of frankpledge recorded on 22nd June 1400.
Frankpledge was a system of law enforcement and policing in which members of society were mutually responsible for the behavior of their peers. The system included everyone in the community except the highest nobility and their households.
The article states: “John Wryght, 4d, and Alice Torples, 4d, are lepers and live in the town next to Le Cherchegate inside the community of the town and to the harm of the neighbours.
“Therefore, they are in mercy. And the bailiff and the constables are ordered to remove them from the town“.
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I thought it couldn't get any worse after Covid-19, but then I saw the date!
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