It seems that he was not the only resident who failed to keep their street clean. The transcription also describes that some other residents made 'muckhills' from all manner of things ranging from 'ashes', 'guts' and 'soyl.' In this case the classic television portrayal of Georgian commoners chucking buckets of waste from their windows appears to be true.
While the Black Death had ceased its devastation of Europe by this time, many diseases still ran wild from a lack of suitable medication and sanitation practices. But now smallpox was a major killer. In London between 1685 and 1801 the number of smallpox cases ranged from three to 24 cases per 1,000 citizens.
Whether John cleared up his mess or ended up paying the five shillings fine is still yet to be discovered. I plan to visit Gloucester Record Office in the near future to find this out.
Whatever the case may be, I shall
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