The Black Death

John Hatcher's account of how the people of a typical English village lived and died in the worst epidemic in history.

Episodes

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0120080609

Rumours abound in the Suffolk village of Walsham that a terrible pestilence has devastated the lands at the edge of the known world.

Read by Robert Glenister

0220080610

2/5.

As the people of Walsham realise the plague is fast approaching the shores of England, they embark on a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Walsingham.

They hope to entreat the Virgin Mary to stay the hand of God.

Read by Robert Glenister

0320080611

John Chapman is among the first to be struck down by the pestilence.

His wife Agnes nurses him as death begins to stalk the village.

Read by Robert Glenister

0420080612

4/5.

By the last week of April 1349, the bells of Walsham ring unceasingly for each new soul that falls foul of the ravaging plague.

Normal life for all the villagers has fallen apart.

Read by Robert Glenister

05 LAST20080613

As the plague recedes, it becomes clear that life in rural England will never be the same again.