SWEATING SICKNESS, THh, is the term given to an extremely fatal epidemical dis order, which ravaged Europe, and especially England, in the 15th and 16th centuries. It derives its name "because it did most stand in sweating from the beginning vntil the endynw," and " because it first beganne in Englande, it was named in other countries the Englishe sweat."--1 lie Boles of.Thon Caius against the Sweating Sicknes. It first appeared in August, 1485, in the army of Henry VII., shortly after his arrival at Milford in South Wales from France, and in a few weeks it spread to the metropolis. It was a violent inflammatory fever, which, after a short rigor, prostrated the powers as with a blow; and amid painful oppression at the stomach, headache, and lethargic stupor, suffused the whole body with a fetid perspiration. All this took place in the course of a few hours, and the crisis was always over within the space of a day and night. The inter nal heat which the patient suffered was intolerable,_yet every refrigerant was certain "Scarce one amongst a hundred that sickened did escape with life."—Holinshed, vol. iti. 482. Two lord mayors of London and six aldermen died within one week ; and the disease for the most part seized as its victims robust and vigorous men. It lasted in London from the 21st (some authorities say the middle) of September to the end of October, during which short period "many thousands" died from it. The physicians could do little or nothing to combat the disease, which at length was swept away from England by (as many supposed) a violent tempest on New Year's day. The disease did not re-appear till the summer of 1506, when it broke out in London, but does not seem to have occasioned any great mortality. In July, 1517, it again broke out in London in a most virulent form; it being so rapid in its course that it carried off those who were at tacked in two or three hours. Amoug the lower classes, the deaths were innumerable, and the ranks of the higher classes were thinned. In many towns a third, or even a half of the inhabitants were swept away. On this occasion, the epidemic lasted about six months. In May, 1528—the year in which the French army before Naples was de atroyed by pestilence, and in which the putrid fever known as decimated the youth in France—the sweating sickness again broke out in the metropolis, spread rapidly over the whole kingdom, "and fourteen months later, brought a scene of horror upon all the nations of northern Europe scarcely equaled in any other epidemic.—
Hecker's Epidemics of the Middle Ages, (Syd. Soc. Trans.), p. 238 How many lives were lost in this epidemic, which has been called by some historians the great mortality, is un known; but the mere fact that the king (Henry who, whatever his faults, was never accused of cowardice) left London, and endeavored to avoid the disease by contin ually traveling, shows the general feeling of alarm that existed. In the following sum mer (July 25, 1529), having apparently died out in England, it appeared in Germany, first at Hamburg, where it is recorded that 8000 persons died of it, and shortly after at Lubeck, Stettin, Augsburg, Cologne. Strasburg, Hanover, etc. In September, it broke out in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, whence it penetrated into Lithu ania, Poland, and Livonia. By January of the following year, after an existence of three months, it had entirely disappeared from all these countries. For three-and twenty years the sweating sickness totally disappeared, when for the last time (April 15, 1551) it burst forth in Shrewsbury. The banks of the Severn seemed to be the focus of the malady, which was carried from place to place by poisonous clouds of mist. There died within a few days 960 of the inhabitants of Shrewsbury, the greater part of them robust men and heads of families. The disease spread rapidly over the whole of Eng land, but seems to have disappeared by the end of September. The deaths were so nu merous, that one historian (Stow) states that the disorder caused a depopulation of the kingdom. The very remarkable observation was made iu this year, that the sweating sickness uniformly spared foreigners in England, and ou the other hand, followed the English into foreign countries. The immoderate use of beer among the English was considered by many as the principal reason why the sweating sickness was confined to them. "By the autumn of 1551," says Hecker, "the sweating sickness had vanished from the earth; it has never since appeared as it did then and at earlier periods; and it is not to be supposed that it will ever again break forth as a great epidemic in the same form, and limited to a four-and-twenty hours' course; for it is manifest that the mode of living of the people had a great share in its origin, and this will never again be the same as in those days." of the .Middle Ages (Syd. Soc. Trans.), p. 306.