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A comparison between secular hospitals and monastic infirmaries introduces a discussion of the duration and seasonality of the illnesses of the monks of Westminster in two periods: 1297/8 to 1354/5 and 1381/2 to 1416/17. A change in the duration of illnesses is related to change in the conventions of treatment after the Black Death of 1348/9. The resemblance between the seasonal pattern of morbidity in this sample and that of mortality among male adults in the early modern period is discussed. It is suggested that the latter pattern may extend into the late middle ages.