The History of Leith

June 4, 2011

The Plague and burial

8 Julie 1645.—James Johnston undertakes to ye receaving and out giving of ye hether, keeping a compt yrof to ym who are able to pay for it, and who no, for cleansing. Alexr Hay declares he cannot gait up ane list of ye names and ludges in ye Linkes becaus none will go with him.
Ordains none to gait dead kysts (i.e., coffins) but those who are able to pay for ym. Recommends to ye Bailies to convocat all ye brewars and to cause ym brew aill and beer and to put a pryce yron.
(Note. —When the bones of the unfortunate victims are dug up they are often found to be swathed in blankets, coarse Scotch blankets with blue borders. Where “kists” could not be paid for, the dead were
wrapped in their blankets and buried at once. This destroyed one source of infection.}

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