26.0 — the waterman

26.1 — Here I saw a poor man walking on the bank…

‘Alas, sir!’ says he, ‘almost desolate; all dead or sick. Here are very few families in this part, or in that village’ (pointing at Poplar), ‘where half of them are not dead already, and the rest sick.’

26.2 — Then he pointing to one house,

‘There they are all dead’, said he, ‘and the house stands open; nobody dares go into it.

‘There’, says he, ‘they are all dead, the man and his wife, and five children.

‘Why,’ says he, ‘that’s my house’ (pointing to a very little, low-boarded house), ‘and there my poor wife and two children live,’ said he, ‘if they may be said to live, for my wife and one of the children are visited, but I do not come at them.’

‘Oh, sir,’ says he, ‘the Lord forbid! I do not abandon them;

‘All those ships have families on board, of their merchants and owners, and such-like, who have locked themselves up and live on board, close shut in, for fear of the infection;

‘Nay,’ says I, ‘but that may be worse, for you must have those provisions of somebody or other;

26.3 — I then asked the poor man if the distemper had not reached to Greenwich.


I returned to my own dwelling very well satisfied with my day’s journey, and particularly with the poor man;

26.4 — And here I cannot but take notice that the strange temper of the people of London at that time contributed extremely to their own destruction.

From the 8th to the 15th August—
- St Giles-in-the-Fields 242
- Cripplegate 886
- Stepney 197
- St Margaret, Bermondsey 24
- Rotherhithe 3
- Total this week 4030
From the 15th to the 22nd August—
- St Giles-in-the-Fields 175
- Cripplegate 847
- Stepney 273
- St Margaret, Bermondsey 36
- Rotherhithe 2
- Total this week 5319

26.5 — …they took no care either to fly into the country or shut themselves up…

26.6 — the watermen died alone in their wherries

26.7 — For the children ran away from their parents as they languished in the utmost distress.



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