John Aubrey’s account of his own life

In part:

Born at Easton Piers, march twelfth, 1621, about sun-rising: very weak and like to die, and therefore christened that morning before prayer.  I think I have heard my mother say I had an ague [fever] shortly after I was born.

1629: about three or four years old, I had a grievous ague.  I can remember it.  I got not health till eleven, or twelve: but had sickness of vomiting for thirteen hours every fortnight for…years…This sickness nipped by strength in the bud.

1633: eight years old, I had an issue (natural) in the coronal suture of my head, which continued running till twenty-one.

1634: October: I had a violent fever that was like to have carried me off. ‘Twas the most dangerous sickness that ever I had.

About 1639 (or 1640) I had the measles, but that was nothing: I was hardly sick.

1639: Monday after Easter week my uncle’s nag ran away with me, and gave a very dangerous fall.

1643: April and May, the small-pox at Oxford; and shortly after, left that ingenious place; and for three years led a sad life in the country…

1646: April — admitted of the Middle Temple.  But my father’s sickness, and business, never permitted me to make any settlement to my study…

1655 (I think) June fourteenth, I had a fall at Epsom, and broke one of my ribs and was afraid it might cause an apostumation [abscess]…

1656: December: Veneris morbus [venereal disease]

1657: November, twenty-second, obiit domina [died Lady] Katherine Ryves, with whom I was to marry; to my great loss

Nor were those the end of his troubles…

That is all from John Aubrey’s Brief Lives, the autobiographical section, an excellent book more generally.  Progress Studies!

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