Smallpox Through Time


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2.Arsenic and Old Lace

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


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.


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.

iconOur Sponsor: The Wellcome Trust

Free resource

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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