Orders conceived and published by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, concerning the Infection of the Plague:
Whereas in the Reign of our late Sovereign King James, of happy Memory, an Act was made for the charitable Relief and ordering of Persons infected with the Plague; whereby Authority was given to Justices of the Peace, Mayors, Bayliffs, and other head Officers, to appoint within their several limits, Examiners, Searchers, Watchmen, Keepers, and Buriers for the Persons and Places infected—and to minister unto them Oaths for the Performance of their Offices. It is now upon special Consideration thought very expedient for preventing and avoiding of Infection of Sickness (if it shall so please Almighty God) that these Officers following be appointed, and these Orders hereafter duly observed.
Examiners to be appointed in every Parish
First, it is thought requisite, and so ordered, that in every Parish there be one, two, or more Persons of good Sort and Credit—chosen and appointed by the Alderman, his Deputy, and common Council of every Ward—by the Name of Examiners, to continue in that Office the Space of two Months at least. And if any fit Person so appointed shall refuse to undertake the same, the said Parties so refusing, to be committed to Prison until they shall conform themselves accordingly.
That there be a special care to appoint Women Searchers in every Parish, such as are of honest Reputation and of the best Sort as can be got in this kind—and these to be sworn to make due Search and true Report to the utmost of their Knowledge whether the Persons whose Bodies they are appointed to Search do die of the Infection, or of what other Diseases, as near as they can.
That no Searcher during this time of Visitation be permitted to use any publick Work or Employment, or keep any Shop or Stall, or be employed as a Laundress, or in any other common Employment whatsoever.
Chirurgeons shall visit and search such like Persons as shall either send for them—or be named and directed unto them—by the Examiners of every Parish, and inform themselves of the Disease of the said Parties.
And forasmuch as the said Chirurgeons are to be sequestered from all other Cures, and kept only to this Disease of the Infection: It is ordered that every of the said Chirurgeons shall have twelve pence a Body searched by them—to be paid out of the Goods of the Party searched, if he be able, or otherwise by the Parish.
Notice to be given of the Sickness
The Master of every House, as soon as any one in his House complaineth either of Botch, or Purple, or Swelling in any part of his Body, or falleth otherwise dangerously Sick without apparent Cause of some other Disease, shall give knowledge thereof to the Examiner of Health, within two Hours after the said Sign shall appear.
Sequestration of the Sick
As soon as any Man shall be found by this Examiner, Chirurgeon, or Searcher to be sick of the Plague, he shall the same Night be sequestered in the same House, and in case he be so sequestered, then, though he afterward die not, the House wherein he sickened should be shut up for a Month, after the use of the due Preservatives taken by the rest.
Burial of the Dead
That the Burial of the Dead by this Visitation be at most convenient Hours, always either before Sun rising, or after Sun setting, with the Privity of the Church wardens or Constable, and not otherwise; and that no Neighbours nor Friends be suffered to accompany the Corps to Church, or to enter the House visited, upon pain of having his House shut up, or be imprisoned.
And that no Corps dying of Infection shall be buried, or remain in any Church in time of Common Prayer, Sermon, or Lecture. And that all the Graves shall be at least six Foot deep.
Canadian subscribers add $10; All other international subscribers add $40.