Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Southwark, The Vestry of the Parish of St. George the Martyr]
Parish of Saint George the Martyr, Southmark.
REPORT OF THE MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH,
For the Fourth Quarter, 1858.
28th February, 1859.
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Vestry,
In consequence of illness, the production of this, my twelfth quarterly report, has been
unavoidably delayed. I have during the quarter brought before your Committee four ordinary
I will now proceed, as usual, to comment on the tables.
The first shows a steady increase in the deaths as compared with the other quarters of the
same year, as well as with the corresponding quarters of different years, in fact the quarter now
under review approaches somewhat remotely to those of the great fatal epidemics.
The second, or table of contrast, shows this, that Newington has suffered more in
absolute mortality than the others, that this parish and St. Giles's, have suffered the next after
Newington about equally, and that the other parishes have been more favoured. Newington has
also suffered most from scarlet fever, and we stand next. In my last quarterly report I had to
speak of one very unfavourable sign, the great decrease in the excess of births over deaths; I have
to speak more favourably as to this point, but we show a decrease of about 50 on the quarter. We,
in common with other parishes, have suffered severely from an epidemic of scarlet fever. I have
therefore added a column for this disease.
The third table gives, as usual, the mortality, week by week during the quarter: certain
classes of disease are here particularized; and opposite each week is the usual record of meteorological
conditions. You will here see that the mortality in seven of the thirteen weeks was
considerably above the average of the corresponding weeks of the last 10 years.
In the fourth table is recorded the relative mortality in the districts. The largest increase
is shewn in the Kent Road District. The Borough Road District, in which the greatest amount
of real sanitary improvement has been effected, still shows a relatively decreasing mortality—with
scarcely an exception, the places visited by diptheria and scarlet fever are the same places so long
recognized as defective in the common-sense sanitary requisites. I may mention May-Pole Alley,