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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houses open; I should be glad of your order to allow the drainage to be carried into
this proper channel.
Some very offensive privies are much complained of at the backs of the houses in
a line with Dartmouth Row, which render the houses to which they are attached very
offensive and unhealthy.
Lewisham.—The overflow of cesspools, &c., from many houses at Rushey Green,
neighbourhood of Cockshead Lane, runs into the ditch by the side of the road. It is
important that this should be conveyed into the sewer.
Sydenham.—Some cesspools receiving drainage are being emptied and spread over
the field in the neighbourhood of Park Road and Park End, Sydenham. This is
certainly not a fit time of year for such a procedure, and is most disagreeable and
Meteorological tables are appended as usual.
I remain, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,


Week ending.Weight of air. Barometer corrected. Mean inches.Temperature of Air. Thermometer.Prevailing winds.Rainy days.Amount of rain in inches.
Highest.Lowest.Mean of daily readings.
Aug. 30.29.82175 545 861 1S. W.30.08
Sept. 6.29.84774 043 857 5E.30.09
13.29.85272 344 858 7N.30.41
20.29.90570 040 053 7N. W.20.25

Sydenham, September 25th, 1856.
During the month ending October 27th the total number of deaths registered in the
District was 34. In the four preceding months the number was 115, giving a month's
average of 28*3. This return gives consequently an increase of mortality for the present
month, which may be accounted for from the fact that pulmonary disease has been fatal
in 11 instances, viz.: 2 bronchitis; 5 pheumonia; and 4 phthisis.
As to epidemic disease:—
1 death from small pox occurred in Avenue Terrace, Lewisham, on the 27th of last
month; scarlatina was fatal at Bell Green, Sydenham, in 1 case; diarrhoea in Raglan
Street and Bell Green, also in Garden Row.

Typhus fever in 1 case, .Lewisham W orkhouse.


Inflammation of the eyes is prevalent among some of the children at the Anerley
Industrial School, but the children having been separated from the rest of the School.