Did henry viii get sweating sickness

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did henry viii get sweating sickness

Sweating Sickness: In a Nutshell by Claire Ridgway

MadeGlobals History in a Nutshell Series aims to give readers a good grounding in a historical topic in a concise, easily digestible and accessible way.

Claire Ridgway, author and creator of The Anne Boleyn Files, is known for her easy-going style, but with an emphasis on good history and sound research. In Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell, Claire Ridgway examines what the historical sources say about the five epidemics of the mystery disease which hit England between 1485 and 1551, and considers the symptoms, who it affected, the treatments, theories regarding its cause and why it only affected English people.
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What was sweating sickness?

In , Henry VIII slept in a different bed every night—and not in the way you might think. He did have a mistress, his wife's lady-in-waiting Anne Boleyn. The king was terrified of sweating sickness, a deadly epidemic that is nearly That didn't stop doctors from trying to find out, though, and the epidemic.
Claire Ridgway

The Mysterious Epidemic That Terrified Henry VIII

Jul 27, 0. The Middle Ages are renowned for being a turbulent and difficult period of history. War, famine and disease occurred throughout the period and one of the most devastating pandemics in history, the Black Death, occurred in the mid 14th century. In the summer of , at the start of the reign of Henry VII, a previously unseen disease started to spread across England. Henry Tudor arrived in London shortly after the Battle of Bosworth Field on the 28th August and the disease was first reported there less than three weeks later on the 19th September The disease then proceeded to run rampant in London, killing thousands and striking panic in the population. One of the most terrifying features of the disease was the speed with which it could kill.

But it was fear of disease that drove him to move almost daily that summer. The king was terrified of sweating sickness, a deadly epidemic that is nearly forgotten today. Scientists are still fascinated by the mysterious disease, which swept through Europe multiple times during the Tudor period. Beginning in , five epidemics plagued England, Germany and other European countries. There was good reason to be scared of sweating sickness. It came on without any warning and did not seem preventable.

The Sweating Sickness. A remarkable form of disease; not known in England before, attracted attention at the very beginning of the reign of Henry VII. It was known indeed a few days after the landing of Henry at Milford Haven on the 7 Aug , as there is clear evidence of its being spoken of before the battle of Bosworth on the 22 Aug. Soon after the arrival of Henry in London on the 28 Aug it broke out in. This alarming malady soon became known as the sweating-sickness.

Medical speculation

The Picardy sweat emerged about years after the English sweat disappeared, in , in France. It caused localized outbreaks and apparently in its turn disappeared in Both diseases have been the subject of numerous attempts to define their origin, but so far all efforts were in vain. Although both diseases occurred in different time frames and were geographically not overlapping, a common denominator could be what we know today as hantavirus infections. This review aims to shed light on the characteristics of both diseases from contemporary as well as current knowledge and suggests hantavirus infection as the most likely cause for the English sweating sickness as well as for the Picardy sweat. Hantavirus infections, although only fairly recently intensively investigated, probably caused health problems for centuries.


  1. Skye J. says:

    Sweating sickness, also known as English sweating sickness or English sweat, was a Find sources: "Sweating sickness" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR . The mortality rate was very high in London; Henry VIII broke up the court and left Wolsey actually did survive several attacks of sweating sickness.

  2. Kari O. says:

    Sweating sickness - Wikipedia

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