The Great Plague
The British outbreak is thought to have originated from the Netherlands, where the bubonic plague had occurred intermittently since 1599, with the initial contagion arriving with Dutch trading ships carrying bales of cotton from Amsterdam.
Records state that deaths in London crept up to 1,000 people per week, then 2,000 people per week and, by September 1665, to 7,000 people per week.
It was rumored that dogs and cats spread the disease, so the Lord Mayor ordered all the dogs and cats destroyed. Author Daniel Defoe in his Journal of the Plague Years estimated that 40,000 dogs and 200,000 cats were killed. …