Rising of the lights was an illness or obstructive condition of the larynx, trachea or lungs, possibly croup. It was a common entry on bills of mortality in the 17th century.[1][2] Lights in this case referred to the lungs.[3]

In culture edit

In his A New Booke of Mistakes (1637), Robert Chamberlain gives a humorous epitaph:

Of one Parkins a boone Companion in Essex who dyed of the rising of the Lights.

Poore Parkins, now percust here lies,
Light hearted, till his Lights did rise.
Lights of the Body, are the Bellowes,
And hee, one of the best good fellowes
That Essex yeelded, (all we do know)
And breath'd, till they did cease to blow.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ "Five gruesome illnesses no longer with us". inews.co.uk.
  2. ^ A generall Bill for this present year, ending the 19 of December 1665 according to the Report made to the KINGS most Excellent Majesty. By the Company of Parish Clerks of London, &c. [1]
  3. ^ Thomas R. Forbes, The changing face of death in London, in Charles Webster (editor), Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (1979), page 128
  4. ^ Robert Chamberlain (1637). New Book of Mistakes. p. 13.

Further reading edit