This chapter concerns with seventeenth-century perceptions and expectations. People suffered from a multitude of discomforts and disorders in seventeenth-century England. The exclusively female experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and menstruation were the only subjects relating to health and illness about which the seventeenth-century diarists and correspondents were at all reticent. Gregory King, the pioneer demographer, calculated that nearly 80 per cent of the population was rural. Thus, although dread of the plague was certainly a part of general seventeenth-century English mental furniture, it was quite possible for an individual particularly someone living outside London to live out a long lifetime without ever personally experiencing a plague epidemic. The two best seventeenth-century sources giving causes of death are the London Bills of Mortality and those parish burial records which record the disease the newly deceased was suffering from. One disease which is generally regarded by both historians and contemporaries as new in the seventeenth century is rickets.