The Tudor Society


In today's Claire Chats video talk, Claire looks at the disease smallpox, which Tudor people like Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor, Edward VI and Elizabeth I suffered from. What was it? Where did it come from? What were its symptoms and how was it treated?

Notes and Sources

  • History of Smallpox, CDC.
  • Smallpox: inoculation and vaccination, Science Museum.
  • Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination, Stefan Riedel.
  • McCabe, Stuart (2016) Queen Margaret Tudor: The Story of a Courageous but Forgotten Monarch, Mereo Books.
  • Henderson, D.A. (2009) Smallpox: The Death of a Disease, Prometheus Books.
  • O'Caellaigh, Seamus (2017) Pustules, Pestilence and Pain, Draft manuscript, MadeGlobal Publishing.
  • Hopkins, Donald R. (2002) The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History, University of Chicago Press.
  • Kotar, S.L. and Gessler, J.E. (2013) Smallpox: A History, McFarland.
  • ed. Kaulek, Jean Baptiste Louis (1885) Correspondance politique de mm. de Castillon et de Marillac, ambassadeurs de France en Angleterre (1537-1542); pub. sous les auspices de la Commission des archives diplomatiques
  • 'Henry VIII: March 1514, 1-10', in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 1, 1509-1514, ed. J S Brewer (London, 1920), pp. 1179-1188. British History Online
  • Creighton, Charles (1891) A History of Epidemics in Britain: From A.D. 664 to the great plague, Volume 1, Cambridge University Press.
  • 'Simancas: October 1562', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, ed. Martin A S Hume (London, 1892), pp. 261-265. British History Online
  • ed. Brady, Ciaran (2002) A Viceroy’s Vindication? Sir Henry Sidney’s Memoir of Service in Ireland, 1556-78, Cork University Press.
  • Tucker, Jonathan B. (2002) Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox, Grove Press.
  • Strickland, Agnes (1843) Lives of the Queens of England, Volume VI, Henry Colburn.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. R

    I had no idea that Elizabeth had contracted the disease. Her portraits always make her skin look so smooth and unblemished. I was very surprised when Elizabeth was shown as having pox marks – the second movie that starred Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth (Elizabeth – the Golden Age?).

    I suppose it should come as no surprise that Elizabeth’s portraits always made her look so beautiful; as the artist would be in fear of his life if the Queen was portrayed in any other way!
    This makes me wonder what the Queen actually looked like under the layers of white lead etc. Does anyone really know?

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