Plague, cholera, typhus and smallpox, among other diseases, afflicted Scotland over the past 700 years. They still conjure up terrible images in our minds. Fear and helplessness were experienced not only by the afflicted and their families, but also by doctors and the authorities.
How did Scottish people deal with these outbreaks of terrible contagious disease in their cities, towns and villages? How did governments react?
This website features the first medical book printed in Scotland. Written in Scots and published in Edinburgh in 1568, it describes the symptoms of the plague and provides advice on the treatment of the disease.
In the gallery you can also see items that show how governments and people at the time tried to deal with these diseases through official and personal papers, religious writings, literature, press reactions and in folk medicine and the sciences.
'The principal preseruatiue cure of the pest is, to returne to God.' – from 'Ane breue descriptioun of he pest quhair in the causis, signis, and sum speciall preseruatioun and cure thairof ar contentit'