In June 1528, when Henry VIII was courting Anne Boleyn, one of Anne’s ladies was suddenly taken ill with sweating sickness. Henry, who was paranoid about illness “took off on a flight from safe house to safe house” and Anne went into quarantine at Hever, the Boleyn family home in the Kent countryside. There, Anne became ill with “the sweat” and Henry dispatched his second-best doctor, William Butts to Anne with a love letter from Henry.
Anne Boleyn was one of the lucky ones, she survived sweating sickness, but others, including her brother-in-law, Sir William Carey, and Thomas Cromwell’s wife and daughters, lost their lives to the sickness.
But what was sweating sickness?
You can read more about it in my article Sweating Sickness or the English Sweat.