Friday, January 16, 2009

Plague coffin

Steve and I were talking about common graves the other night (yes, such a topic is not atypical at my house!). He was curious when I told him that during the Great Plague, the dead were carried to the common grave in a coffin with a hinged end, so that the body (wrapped in a winding-sheet) could be slid into the pit and the coffin reused. I have come up with the photo above, courtesy of a great site I discovered recently, Curious Expeditions. And I also found two references, one in Buried Alive By Jan Bondeson and the other in The Impact of Plague in Tudor and Stuart England By Paul Slack.

1 comment:

  1. A similar box can be seen in the movie Amadeus, which gives us the horrible clench of recognition when the pallbearers catch the hinged flap accidentally and we realize it is only a temporary coffin.


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