Population was practically stationary for centuries owing to pestilences and the large proportion of deaths among infants.
Dr Creighton points out that the number given by certain chroniclers of the deaths from the early pestilences in London are incredible; such for instance as the statement that forty or fifty thousand bodies were buried in Charterhouse churchyard at the time of the Black Death in 1348-1349.
Pestilences and conflagrations were its ruin; the plague of 1566 wrought great havoc among its inhabitants, and that of 1600 destroyed 15,000.
Whether the numerous pestilences recorded in the 7th century were the plague cannot now be said; but it is possible the pestilences in England chronicled by Bede in the years 664, 672, 679 and 683 may have been of this disease, especially as in 690 pestis inguinaria is again recorded in Rome.
Whether in all the pestilences known by this name the disease was really the same may admit of doubt, but it is clear that in some at least it was the bubonic plague.
1656), in Scrutinium pestis (Rome, 1658; Leipzig, 1671, 4to); Bascome, History of Epidemic Pestilences (London, 1851, 8vo).
Ibn Batesta notices two destructive pestilences in the 14th century, and Ferishta one in 1443, which he calls ta'un, and describes as very unusual in India.
In the 18th century several pestilences are recorded without description.
Sassari was sacked by the French in 1527, and disastrous pestilences are recorded in 1528, 1580 and 1652.