Re-enactment reveals devastating impact of the plague on Aberdeen

4 July 2012

A free fascinating reenactment that will revisit the destruction caused by the Black Death when it came to Aberdeen in 1647 will be held on Saturday 7 July at the Tolbooth Museum, Castle Street, Aberdeen.

Aberdeen was besieged by the plague on many occasions until the mid 17th century; the last time being in 1647 which was the most devastating. This outbreak saw around one person in five die of this awful disease. Society collapsed: there were no markets, no courts or church services. Camps for the sick and the dying were erected on the Links and at Woolmanhill. Anyone sent to these camps was being handed a death sentence. The council enacted strict laws to deal with the situation with mass graves opened on the Links where hundreds of people were buried.

On Saturday there will be a chance to meet David Jack, a local man who fell foul of Aberdeen's plague laws. One of the laws stated that anyone who was sick had to report to the camp at the Links, no matter what. David hid a young baby who was ill from the authorities and although the baby did not have the plague when the authorities discovered what David had done he was arrested. David was summarily tried by one of the town's magistrates.

Watch as David Jack is tried by the magistrate at 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

The event is free and advance booking is not required.

Chris Croly said: "This reenactment will try and convey the terror and destruction the plague brought to Aberdeen. It was an appalling time for people caught up in it as it tore families apart but it was also a time of great human courage and strength. By stepping back in time the reenactment will explore all of these elements."

For further information about the reenactment or other events at the Tolbooth Museum please telephone (01224) 621167.