Parish of St. George the Martyr, Southwark.
exists to a greater degree than ever, owing to the destruction of houses, and great increase
of rents. Putting aside, however, this view of the matter, no one who remembers what
London was a few years ago, with its foul open ditches, its multitudinous cess-pools, its
scanty supply of impure and disease-propagating water, its bad roads, unflagged pathways,
and unregulated slaughter-houses and cow-sheds, can hesitate for one moment to
acknowledge how great has been sanitary advance. But going farther back in time, and
contrasting the rate of mortality then, with the rate of mortality now, the decrease becomes
strikingly manifest. In Southwark during the ten years 1660-9, the range of the death-rate
was from 70 to 80 per 1000; whilst in that of the ten years 1858.67, the range was from 21
to 36 per 1000. "A review of the Tables," writes the Registrar General in his Summary of
Weekly Returns of Births, Deaths, and Causes of Death in London during the year 1867,
"justifies the observation that in none of the London Divisions are the signs of sanitary
improvement more legible than in the southern section."
The births of 2058 children were registered in the year, 14 in excess of 1866-7. Of
the births registered 1063 were male, and 995 were female children. Whilst the births of
males were in excess of females, so likewise were the deaths. The total number of deaths
registered in the year 1867-8 was 1352, of which 723 were males, and 629 females. The
most fatal quarter of the year was that ending December, and the least fatal that ending
June. This comparison does not always hold good.