View Full Version : Horror story in 1746

Shirley silver surfer
20-05-12, 22:42
I had just started to investigate the Pollington family in Havant (Hampshire) around the middle of the C18 when I noticed that two of the children died in Dec 1746. That seemed to be unfortunate but not particularly unusual. I decided to check out the rest of the family and found two more! Then I did a further search on the FamilySearch site and found three previously unknown children - two of whom also died in December 1746.
In 1746 the family consisted of nine children, all under the age of 18. Six of them died in December 1746!
I have a few ideas of what might have happened. Has anyone else come across a case like this?


Olde Crone Holden
20-05-12, 22:57


My 5 x GGPs had six children aged a few months to ten years old. All six died within three weeks, of smallpox.

My 5 x GGM went on to have another thirteen children. Only two survived to adulthood and only one, my 4 x GGM, survived long enough to marry and have a child. My 5 x GGM outlived them all and died aged 89.

I have often thought, she must have sat there and wondered what her life had all been about. Both she and her husband came from huge and healthy long living families. Why all her children died, I have no idea, apart from the six deaths to smallpox.


Shirley silver surfer
20-05-12, 23:20
I hadn't thought of smallpox. The strange thing is that three boys aged 11, 13 and 15 survived although older and younger children died. I expect I shall have to investigate locally as there won't be death certificates. Havant has a museum and I may be able to find out something there. There may also be something in the burial records. I would like to know what it was though!


Val wish Id never started
20-05-12, 23:24
thats so sad I dont know how they managed to carry on.

Mary from Italy
21-05-12, 08:19
Burial records from that period often do give the cause of death if it's an accident or contagious disease.

21-05-12, 08:37
While transcribing some burial records, I came across a Father who buried 8 children and his wife, all within 10 days. They all died from Smallpox.

21-05-12, 08:47
1873, inverness, my uncle had 12 kids, 6 all died in one week from diptheria, aged 1-17.

21-05-12, 08:53
If you do a google you can find an "epidemic timeline".
At a quick glance, in 1746 ish, Scarlatina was rife.

21-05-12, 12:27
I had a quick look on my Hampshire burials CD - unfortunately it does not give cause of death- and only 9 others were buried in Havant in Dec 1746. It may have just affected their family, or possibly some other tragedy?

Anne in Carlisle
21-05-12, 17:04
At Carlisle Cathedral is a memorial to five children of Dean Archibald Tait who died of scarlet feverwithin a few weeks of each other in 1856 http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1506954


Edit: Ha! Just noticed the memorial is at a nearby church and not at the cathedral. There is a plaque inside the cathedral as well, though.