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The Tudor Society

22 April – Gaol Fever Hits!

On this day in Tudor history, 22 April 1598, Justice Francis Beaumont died after contracting gaol fever at the Black Assizes of the Northern Circuit.

But what exactly was gaol fever?

Let me explain...

Also on this day...

  • 1520 – Death of Sir John Ernley, lawyer and Attorney-General in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII. He was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in January 1519, and was knighted that year. He was buried at Sidlesham, near Chichester.
  • 1542 – Death of Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland. He supported Henry VIII during the Pilgrimage of Grace, when he was Warden of the West Marches, by leading a force in Northumberland. His reward for his loyalty was to be elected to the Order of the Garter in 1537. Cumberland was buried at Skipton Parish Church.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. M

    I really appreciate this, for more than one reason… When I see the word gaol (which I knew was jail) I’d pronounce it in my head while reading as “goal”. So now I know it is pronounced jail. I’m always interested in the diseases of the day, too. And I remember in one of CJ Sansom Matthew Shardlake books he was at an assize, which was nice to hear the word, too. Very interesting. Thanks. Michelle t

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22 April – Gaol Fever Hits!