English plague regulations and Italian models: printed and manuscript items in the Yelverton Collection
Patricia Basing and Dennis E. Rhodes
AMONG the papers of Robert Beale, Clerk to the Privy Council during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, which form the nucleus of the Yelverton collection at the British Library/ is a group of printed proclamations and orders of the Governor and other officials of Milan issued at the time of plague there in 1576-7, which are unique among the British Library's collections." There is no obvious association between the proclamations and other papers in the volume, which relate largely to foreign affairs and trade. The last item in the collection is endorsed by Beale 'Placartes in Milan per il Marchese di Aymonte governatore. Tempore Pestis. C'. It is likely that the documents, which can be linked to two manuscript items in the Yelverton collection, were acquired in connection with the English government's attempts in 1577-8 to formulate and enforce regulations to contain the plague in London and the country at large.