rising of the lights

English

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Etymology

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From lights (lungs).[1]

Noun

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rising of the lights (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete or historical) An illness or obstructive condition of the larynx, trachea, or lungs, found as a cause of death on bills of mortality in the 16- and 1700s; possibly croup.
    • c. 1660-1674, John Graunt, quoted in 2008, David Brandon, Alan Brooke, London: City of the Dead, The History Press (→ISBN):
      John Graunt reflected on the increases in death from particular diseases between 1634 and 1660: [] That the Rising of the lights (supposed in most Cases to be the Fits of the Mother) have also encreased in thirty years,  []
    • 2006, Nigel Starck, Life After Death: The Art of the Obituary, Melbourne Univ. Publishing, →ISBN, page 19:
      The December 1759 edition, for example, offers a bleak perspective on an underside of the Enlightenment, Of the 19514 deaths on the London list, [] the causes of death included these: bloody flux, twisting of the guts, evil, French pox, rising of the lights, ...

References

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  1. ^ Thomas R. Forbes, The changing face of death in London, in Charles Webster (editor), Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (1979), page 128