Plague in Bishop’s Castle, 1593

Bishop's Castle Parish Register, 1559-1662

Bishop's Castle Parish Register, 1559-1662

This entry in the parish register is written in Latin and records the terrible deaths of people in Bishop’s Castle when plague broke out there in 1593.

‘At this time God began to punish us, with such severity that 174 men [adults] and children died, snatched away by a most violent disease and contagious outbreak. God decided to afflict us thus because in many of our divine services & pronouncements of his Holy Word, we had not made known the just and holy rewards of the spirit, but, spurning the Word of God, had violated the Holy Sabbath, in that on the 24th June which was the Lord’s day, with the full consent of the elders and the majority of inhabitants of this Borough, a fair was held. On which account they were caught like thieves taken in the very act.’

The cause of the plague was unknown; healthy people could suddenly become ill and quickly die. It was a very frightening disease and many people believed that it was a punishment from God.

The person who wrote this entry believed that it was a punishment on the people of Bishop’s Castle for not respecting the Sabbath, because they had held a fair on that day.

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