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

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St James's 1860

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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These Tables admit of several interesting subjects
of investigation; but I defer entering into them on
the present occasion, as there are many facts in
the history of our population that I hope to obtain
by the aid of the Census, which will be taken in the
year 1861. The question of greatest interest that
arises on these Tables, is the proportion of persons
who die at particular ages, to the number of persons
living at that age. Now there are various circumstances
affecting the ages of a population. It
may be that a locality is favourable to young
married people with large families, and in such a
population there would of necessity be a larger
amount of death among children than if the population
was favourable to the occupations pursued
by young unmarried men and women. It is on this
account that it becomes necessary to know the ages
of people living in a particular district, and whether
they are married or not, to come to any definite
conclusions with regard to the relative mortality
at particular periods of life. It is on this ground
that I hesitate to accept as conclusive the result
which has been arrived at by Dr. W. T. Gardiner,
in a Paper, read before the National Association for
the Promotion of Social Science, at its last meeting
at Glasgow, in 1860. In this Paper he shews that
the mortality of infants, at the age of one year and
under, as compared with the death rate of the
general population, is greater at the West End of
London than in any other part of the country.
Referring to our own Parish, he says, " St. James,

The following Table will give you the death of the last five years:—