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Smallpox Through Time

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2.Arsenic and Old Lace
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1562-1620

How did Elizabethans understand disease, and what treatments did they proscribe for the scourge of smallpox? (5.75 mins)

3.Smallpox in America
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1609-1620 next video 3/13next

iconSecondary Resources

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1. Smallpox arrives in Europe
We don't know exactly when smallpox reached Europe, but... Read more
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2. Understanding disease - then and now
We've only known of the existence of viruses... Read more
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3. The 'four humours'
Medicine in Europe in the medieval era... Read more
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4. Elizabeth I and the 'red' treatment
Four years into her reign, Elizabeth I fell sick... Read more
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5. The external source of disease
In the 16th century, for the first time,... Read more

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iconLocation details


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Apethorpe Hall, home to Lady Grace Mildmay, is a Jacobean mansion in Northamptonshire, just west of Peterborough. In the '50s it became a Catholic school, and in the '80s it was bought by a Libyan businessman, at which point it almost literally dropped off the map.


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It's now up for sale, having been rescued and partially restored from dereliction by English Heritage. Whoever buys it will need a cool £15 million. All thanks to its caretaker, George Kelly, who was awarded the MBE for his valiant efforts to save it in its darkest years. View the full story here.

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The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health.

Timelines: "Smallpox through Time" was entirely funded with through a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Award. We are very grateful for the Trust's support in the making of this resource.

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