Population was practically stationary for centuries owing to pestilences and the large proportion of deaths among infants.
Dr Creighton points out that the number given by certain chroniclers of the deaths from the early pestilences in London are incredible; such for instance as the statement that forty or fifty thousand bodies were buried in Charterhouse churchyard at the time of the Black Death in 1348-1349.
Pestilences and conflagrations were its ruin; the plague of 1566 wrought great havoc among its inhabitants, and that of 1600 destroyed 15,000.
This definition excludes many of the celebrated pestilences recorded in history â€” such as the plague of Athens, described by Thucydides; that not less celebrated one which occurred in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and spread over nearly the whole of the Roman world (a.d.
Whether the numerous pestilences recorded in the 7th century were the plague cannot now be said; but it is possible the pestilences in England chronicled by Bede in the years 664, 672, 679 and 683 may have been of this disease, especially as in 690 pestis inguinaria is again recorded in Rome.