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The same precautions seem to have been continued among Christians,—and with respect to those unhappy objects in England, it is recorded, that in a Provincial Synod, which was holden at Westminster, by HUBERT, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 1200, it was decreed, according to the institution of the Lateran Council, that “ when so many Leprous
people were assembled, that might be “ able to build a Church, with a church
yard, to themselves, and to have one
especial Priest of their own, that they “should be permitted to have the same “ without contradiction,-so they be not
injurious to the old Churches, by that
which was granted to them for pity's ~ sake." — And it was further decreed, “ that they be not compelled to give any
tythes of their gardens, or increase of 66 cattle.”
So cautious, indeed, were our Ancestors in their care to remove the infectious, that a Writ is preserved in our antient Law-books, intituled “ de Leproso amovendo," and is thus stated by Judge FitzHERBERT in his Natura Brevium, p. 534. (Eighth edition. 4to., 1755);
“ The Writ de Leproso amovendo lieth, “ where a man is a Lazar or a Leper, and “ is dwelling in any Town, and he will
come into the Church, or amongst his
Neighbours where they are assembled, o to talk with them, to their annoyance “ and disturbance,—then he or they may
sue forth that Writ for to remove him “ from their Company; and the Writ is
66 such :
“ The King to the Sheriff, &c., or to the Mayor “ and Sheriffs of London, greeting: Because we have “ received information that I. of N. is a Leper, and is “commonly conversant amongst the men of the City “aforesaid, and hath communication with them as well “ in publick as in private places ; and refuses to remove “ himself to a solitary place, as the custom is, and to “him belongs to do, to the great damage of the men “aforesaid, and manifest peril by reason of the Con“ tagion of the Disease aforesaid ; We being willing “ to take precaution against such Danger, as to us
appertains, and that that which is just and hath been used, be done touching the premisses, command you, that taking with you certain discreet and law
“ ful men of the City aforesaid, not suspected, who “ have the best knowledge of the person of the said “ I. of N. and of such disease, you go to him the said “ I. and cause him to be seen and diligently examined " in the presence of the said men, and if you shall “ find him to be a Leper, as before is said, then with
out delay, in the best manner you can, cause him to “ be carried away, and removed from the communica“tion of the said men, to a solitary place, to dwell
there, as the custom is, lest by such his common “ conversation, damage or peril should in any wise happen to the said men. Witness, &c."
“ But it seemeth, if a man be a Leper
or a Lazar, and will keep himself within “his house, and will not converse with “his neighbours, that then he shall not 66 be moved out of his house.
King EDWARD the Third, in the 20th year of his reign, gave commandment to The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London, to make Proclamation in every Ward of the City and Suburbs, “ that all leprous
persons inhabiting there, should avoid within fifteen days next; and that no
man suffer any such leprous person to “abide within his house and to incur the King's displeasure. displeasure. And that
they “ should cause the said Lepers to be re
“ moved into some out-places of the fields, “ from the haunt or company of sound
Lepers about this period were very frequently in the City,—and the disease of Leprosy was so infectious, that as there were many separate houses for these afflicted people to dwell by themselves, they had their overseers and keepers,—there were also certain laws and regulations formed by The Corporation for their government. 4
To the change from the use of salted to that of fresh meat, joined to the advantage of the vegetable productions, now common throughout the year, is principally to be ascribed the almost total extirpation of that most malignant and loathsome disease, “ The Leprosy,” which formerly made such dreadful havoc among mankind,—though the introduction of linen, tea, and tobacco, are considered as having contributed very much to that happy effect.
4 Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata. 5 Brady's Clavis Calendaria, vol. i. p. 90.
It was not until the end of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, that any salads, carrots, turnips, or other edible roots, were produced in England. The little of these vegetables which was used, was formerly imported from Holland and Flanders. And Queen CATHERINE, when she wanted a salad, was obliged to despatch a messenger thither on purpose.
The Hospitals which were founded for the habitation and relief of persons afflicted with Leprosy, are generally dedicated to St. Mary MAGDALEN, and are of very ancient date.
It cannot be ascertained at what time The Magdalen Hospital in Exeter ceased to be a receptacle for Lepers, in consequence of there being no persons of that description to be found. At the
At the present time, a preference is given to Candidates who are afflicted with the disease of “ Scrofula.” The Commissioners were informed, that this practice has prevailed for the last fifty or sixty years, -and it is
6 Hume's Hist. of England, vol. iv. p. 273.