Portrait of Louis XV. The king died of smallpox in 1774

Portrait of Louis XV. The king died of smallpox in 1774

April 1774: during one of the usual hunting near Versailles which he has always devoted their spare time, the old king of France Luigi XV He fainted.

After three days spent in bed between moans and shooting pains, physicians court, which until then they had not known which way to turn failing in any way to figure out what obscure illness the king was afflicted, they realized that the royal patient had fully pockmarked face pustole and only then the response was clear, immediate and relentless: smallpox.

As soon as the news spread, as expected, the palace panicked: Dolphins were sent away, and no one dared approach the dying, which by the way, It gave off an unbearable smell.

Louis XV died on the morning of 10 May his room, alone and without any comfort (the last favored, Madame Du Barry, He had been dismissed by the court); when make the right funeral honors, all refused to put it in the coffin and it was necessary to call the sanitation workers involved in the cleanup of the Parisian sewers to fulfill the sad task.

Smallpox was a very contagious and dangerous disease which at that time was claiming many victims; in reality, in the courts of northern Europe, It had already been taken by the time vaccination against this terrible disease, but it had not yet been opened in France due to prejudices and fears.

The introduction to the French court of this life-saving practice is due to the courage of Maria Antonietta: following the advice and example of the young Queen fact, members of the royal family became in turn vaccinate, and everything went in the best way (Photo gives: rivstoricavirt.com).