"So Nature killed many through corruptions,
Death came driving after her and dashed all to dust,
Kings and knights, emperors and popes;
He left no man standing, whether learned or ignorant;
Whatever he hit stirred never afterwards.
Many a lovely lady and their lover-knights
Swooned and died in sorrow of Death's blows. . . .
For God is deaf nowadays, and will not hear us,
And for our guilt he grinds good men to dust."
[Quotation from Piers Plowman, 14th century by William Langland, taken from Norman F. Cantor, In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 6]

Find a partner. Create a Discussion Post (at the bottom of this page). Entitle your post with both of your names and then think about and offer your best answers to the questions below based upon the information that accompanies each set of questions.

Map taken from Gene J. Paul, "Summer Session II, 2011 - Geography 3320," University of Texas at Brownsville
Map taken from Gene J. Paul, "Summer Session II, 2011 - Geography 3320," University of Texas at Brownsville

When did the plague hit England?
What areas were partially or totally spared? Any theories of why?

Black Death England.png
What area had the highest mortality rate?
What conclusions can you draw from the map?

East Smithfield Black Death Cemetery: Charts related to 636 bodies excavated

Analyzing "Figure 2: Age distribution," what age group appears to have been hit the hardest by the plague?
Looking through the other data, what else can you learn?

Black Death Worcester Manors.png
What manor was hit the hardest? What was its death rate?
What was the overall death rate in Worcester?

Black Death Tithing Members.png
What is the difference in the number of tithing (look up the word "tithe") members in Great Waltham from 1346 to 1351?
What might be the consequences of the loss of so many tithing members?

What can we infer from all this information and data about the people and social climate of the time?
If you lived during this time, what might be your concerns?
How do you think these concerns might have manifested in the literature of the time?

If you finish, check out these links:
Interactive map: Spread of the Black Death
"Black Death 'plague pit' found in London," 3/16/13
"Scientists See a Mysterious Similarity In a Pair of Deadly Plagues," 5/26/98
"The Black Death: The Greatest Catastrophe Ever," 2005