Now, here we meet with a striking circumstance. Here we find that
Hampstead—with its pure atmosphere, its beautiful trees and fields, its open
gravelly soil, its great elevation, and its population of only five persons to an
acre (see table)—has the same mortality as the City of London, with its
atmosphere of smoke, its population of 128 persons to an acre, its impervious
stone surface, its low elevation, and its proximity to a large ditch—the Thames.
Here is a city, which formerly was overwhelmed with the plague, the scurvy,
the most malignant fevers, the ague, the most virulent small-pox, &c., and
where a casual observer would consider that all the elements of health were
wanting, enjoying the same rate of mortality as a town which, in every
respect, is naturally a most healthful spot. Here is a lesson of what sanitary
measures can effect; and there is no question that the healthy state of the
City of London is even greater than that of Hampstead, because in the case
of the former there are many localities which increase out of proportion the
general rate of mortality, as their sanitary state is not so good as that of the
rest. There is no country place nor city in the world where the general
sanitary condition is so good as in the City of London, and its low mortality
is the reward of this.
According to the table, Clerkenwell is below the City of London in the
scale, i. e. its mortality is proportionately higher.
Now, it is true that the population per acre is somewhat greater in Clerkenwell
than in the City, but we may well set off against this the high level of
our district, which is undoubtedly a most important element. But the fact
is that in many parts of Clerkenwell the general sanitary arrangements are