Pestilence and War

Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)


The impending war between the English and Dutch saw a catastrophe preceding and then playing out in tandem with the outbreak of plague that swept London in 1665. While largely separate tragedies, war and pestilence became a meeting point between two early modern diarists, Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Amidst the dual challenges posed by these calamities, the famous diarists, who each described life in Restoration England, took up a mutual correspondence. In these letters, they navigate an ever-changing nation, finding common ground in their connected professional challenges due to the war. It is impossible to predict the enduring friendship that would develop between Evelyn and Pepys upon reading their initial correspondence, the first letters of which may be traced to April 1665. As a Sick and Hurt Commissioner, Evelyn was charged with caring for sick seamen and prisoners of war. In 1653 and in response to the First Anglo Dutch War, the Sick and Wounded Board was instituted to oversee the care of the sick and wounded and to manage care for prisoners of war.


Samuel Pepys Restoration England Board Injury Plague Victims Plague Time 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SalemUnited States

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