In the summer of 1665 plague had returned to London with a vengeance. By the end of the year, the ‘Great Plague’ was estimated to have killed almost 69,000 people, although the true figure was probably nearer 100,000 – almost a quarter of London’s population.

The book 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire by Rebecca Rideal, explains what a terrible year it was, with bubonic plague, the second Dutch war and the Great Fire of London.

Treatments for plague were not much better than during the Black Death. They included writing the letters ‘abracadabra’ in a triangle, using a lucky hare’s foot, dried toad, leeches, and pressing a plucked chicken against the plague-sores until the chicken died. People carried pomanders, which they made or bought.