London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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City of London 1848

Report on the sanitary condition of the City of London for the year 1848-9

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Honourable Court should determine on a negative
opinion as regards yourselves, and should decide
on transferring these matters to the Common
Council, I venture to hope that your influence may
accompany them in their course, and may procure
for them the consideration they deserve.
Gentlemen, the history of the City of London
is full of great examples of public service. It
records many a generous struggle for the Country
and for the Constitution; it records a noble patronage
of arts and letters; it records imperial magnificence
and Christian liberality; but never, within
the scope of its annals, has the Corporation had so
grand an opportunity as now for the achievement
of an unlimited good. Because of the City's illustrious
history, and because of the vast wealth and
power which have enabled it so often to undertake
the largest measures of public utility and patriotism,—therefore
it is, that now the expectations of
the country may well be fixed on the City of
London in regard of this, the distinguishing movement
of modern times—the movement to improve
the social condition, and to prolong the lives of the
poor. Those who are familiar with the many
abiding monuments of your civic munificence and
grandeur, may well expect that, in approaching this
all-important question, the counsels of the City will
be swayed by high and generous considerations.
In the great objects which sanitary science

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