The English Sweating Sickness of 1485-1551 and the Ecclesiastical Response




English sweating sickness, Hantavirus, Ecclesiastics, Practical theology, Sudor anglicus, Epidemic


During the 15th and 16th centuries, five epidemics of a disease characterized by high fever and profuse sweating ravaged England.  The disease became known as English sweating sickness because it started in England, though it also struck Ireland and mainland Europe.  The infectious disease was reportedly marked with pulmonary components, and the mortality rate was estimated to be between 30% and 50%.  The evidence of the “sweating sickness” story is medically fascinating and historically noteworthy as to its sudden appearance in 1485 and major disappearance in 1551.  This was a period when the Church of England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church; and the then Prince of Wales, Arthur Tudor, died possibly of sweating sickness.  The Church played a vital role during those periods: responses were made in the form of treatment (in Germany), ecclesiastical prayers, tailored worship, and devotions during those trying times, and the preservation of fragile records relating to the epidemics.

Author Biographies

Omololu Ebenezer Fagunwa, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja

MTh, PhD (theology). Dr. Omololu Fagunwa is a microbiology PhD student at the University of Huddersfield, England. He is the host of "Called Scientist" - a program that discusses Science, Christianity and Development. Dr. Fagunwa has masters and doctorate degrees in Christian theology; his main theological interests are the intersection of Science and Christian Faith, and Pentecostal studies. His theological PhD thesis was titled “Obesity and Religion in Nigeria: An explorative study among Christian community”. He serves the body of Christ with his scientific expertise. 

Ayokunle Oluwasanmi Fagunwa, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi Lagos Nigeria.

MS, PhD (agricultural engineering) , Principal Research Officer. Dr. Ayokunle Fagunwa is an engineer, a researcher and a teacher. He an agro-researcher who is passionate about development of agricultural processing equipment for sustainability. Ayokunle is an ardent soul winner and an ordained minister in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He obtained postgraduate diplomas in theology and education.  


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How to Cite

Fagunwa, O. E., & Fagunwa, A. O. . (2020). The English Sweating Sickness of 1485-1551 and the Ecclesiastical Response . Christian Journal for Global Health, 7(4), 20–27.