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

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Lewisham 1856

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Lewisham District]

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The return of mortality for the month ending July 28, although still favourable,
exhibits, in some parts of the district, an increase over those of last month; but (with
the exception of one death from hooping cough) no mortality has occurred from
epidemic disease.

Ihus in the sub-district of

Ditto Workhouse12

A mild form of diarhoea has been prevalent in some parts of the district; and many
cases of fever are occurring in parts to which I have called your attention during the
last six months, and alphabetically arranged in the summary returned to your Board last
month. This summary comprises, I believe, nearly all the more important localities in
which nuisances occur which are detrimental to the health of the inhabitants, and in
many your attention is still required.
As drainage is carried out it will be of great importance to look to the water supply,
without which no system of drainage can be perfect, and the best scheme may become
useless from the blocking up of pipes, and reflux of drainage from closets, &c. The
supply of water should be from mains daily or constantly charged; and where such
mains already exist landlords should be compelled to supply their houses with water.
I have to solicit your order that some means may be afforded (lime, chloride of lime,
or peat charcoal), to abate the nuisance on the piece of land and ditch at the back of
Raglan Street and Dartmouth Row, Sydenham, prior to the arrival of the sewer which
is about to be constructed. Much illness exists there, and the place is as bad as ever from
accumulations of filth and sewage. Dr. Jones (the Poor Law Medical Officer), as well as
Mr. Bottomley, of Croydon (Surgeon to the Brighton Railway Company), have also
called my attention to this locality.
Meteorological tables are appended as usual.
I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
Medical Officer of Health.


Week ending.Weight of air. Barometer corrected. Mean inches.Temperature op Air. Thermometer.Prevailing winds.Rainy days.Amount of rain in inches.
Highest.Lowest.Mean of daily readings.
June 28.29.99983 149 063 4Variable_0.00
J uly 5.30.00877 044 059 2N. E.0.00
12.29.65879 044 057 6N. & N. W.40.31
19.29.84077 648 060 1s. w.20.33
26.29.73883 056 764 2s. w.40.35

Sydenham, July 31st, 1856.