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

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Clerkenwell 1863

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Clerkenwell, St James & St John]

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dant expense is considerable, by the removal of persons afflicted
with Typhus or Small Pox, from the crowded and unhealthy
dwellings in which they too often live, to the well-ventilated and
well-managed Fever and Small Pox Hospitals. The patients thus
cease to become centres of infection to all around, and the spread
of the diseases is most materially prevented. It is satisfactory
also to know, that patients suffering from these diseases are removed
to the hospital in a special vehicle kept for the purpose,
which has been provided by the Guardians of the Poor.
In the early part of the year, a communication was received
by the Vestry from the resident Medical Officer of the Fever
Hospital, to the effect that more cases of Typhus were sent from
Bishop's Court and Eagle Court, than from any other locality. Accordingly
the Sanitary Committee inspected these and several other
Courts, and ordered improvements to be made in the cleansing of
the houses, provision of traps to the drains, &c. But the overcrowding
and occupation of underground rooms was not interfered
with. Ample evidence was afforded in these visits, that the
inhabitants of the courts take so little care of themselves in a
sanitary point of view, that the mortality inflicted upon them is
to a considerable extent to be attributed to their own neglect.

It may not be without interest, to extract from the Census of 1861, the results shewing the occupancy of the houses in some of the too crowded and ill-constructed courts of this parish. They are as follows:—

Names of CourtsNo. of HousesNo. of Occupants
Aylesbury Place28136
Bishop's Court1122629 inhabitants in No. 6.
Bitt Alley138122 inhabitants in No. 12.
Broad Court17158
Caroline Place, Goswell St.1515717 inhabitants in No. 7.
Eagle Place550
Eagle Place20165
Frying Pan Alley1486