The London Bills of Mortality

One of the most dreaded diseases in early modern London was plague. Starting in 1603, government officials published weekly plague mortality statistics in a broadside series known as the Bills of Mortality. The bills grew to include not just plague deaths but also dozens of other causes of death, ensuring their continued publication for decades after the final outbreak of plague in England.

Death by Numbers

Welcome to the Bills of Mortality Project

Between 1603 and 1752, almost 8,000 different weekly bills were published. Death by Numbers aims to transcribe and publish the information in these bills in a dataset suitable for computational analysis.

Explore the data: This is an ongoing project: the datasets are not complete.

Read all about it: Check out our blog for historical context, project updates, and an inside look at our processes.

viewing the data

The Plague Database

Explore the full plague bills database.

knowing the data

Visualizing the Plague

Transcribing the plague bills means new approaches for data visualization and exploring patterns in the data.

read about our research

Blog Posts & Essays

Read our ongoing research into the London plague bills.