The Twickenham Museum
For children

The Plague in London & Twickenham
Deaths in Twickenham

The Great Plague in London

Ring a ring of rosies

Ring a ring of rosies
A pocketful of posies
Atishoo, atishoo
We all fall down!

The words to this well known children's song and game have their origin in the great plague of London (1665).

The symptoms of the plague included a rosy red rash in the shape of a rose coloured ring on the skin (Ring a ring of rosies).

Pockets were filled with sweet smelling herbs (or posies) as it was believed that the disease was carried by bad smells.

"Atishoo, Atishoo" refers to the violent sneezing which was another symptom of the disease.

Plagues in Twickenham

The death rate from plague was very high. People rightly had a great fear of it. The Great Plague, known as the Black Death, rampaged throughout Europe in 1665. Twickenham suffered with 24 deaths in the Great Plague. This was much less than the 67 deaths in Twickenham from the plague of 1605.

1665 was the last time that the Plague struck London. It was halted by the Great Fire of London in 1666 which killed the rats which carried the disease.

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