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

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Shoreditch 1859

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Shoreditch, Parish of St. Leonard]

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8 That every registered medical practitioner be entitled to receive
a minimum fee for every certificate of successful vaccination forwarded
to the Registrars.
9. That the certifying practitioner shall in no case certify the
result of a vaccination as "successful" or "unsuccessful" unless such
result shall have been actually ascertained by his personal inspection.
Church Vaults.—I am now able to report the final closure of the
burial-vaults under the three Churches of St. Leonard, St. John's, Hoxton,
and St. James,' Curtain Road. The work has been done under an order
bearing date 6th June, 1859, from the Privy Council, under my superintendence.
In all the vaults the coffins have been disposed on a level
covered with fresh mould to a depth of at least one foot, the interstices
being well filled in; over this there is a layer of two or three inches of
small wood-charcoal; and in the case of two vaults in St. John's, I felt
it desirable as a complete precaution to add a layer of gravel to ensure

In the public vaults of the Old Church there are thus covered 202 coffins

„ St. John's „ 46 „
„ St. James' „ 20 „
Total 268

previously to covering in the coffins Mr. Churchwarden Jackson gave
ample opportunity for the removal of the bodies by relations. In some
instances this was taken advantage of. As the works for the new drain
in Old Street Road, were proceeding at the time, and I was able to
approve of the screened earth yielded, abundance of material was procured
at very small cost.
I have certified that the work has been completed in a satisfactory
Sanitary Accommodation in Churches.—In the case of a new church
being built at Haggerstone considerable opposition was made by the
architect to the requirement urged by your Chief Surveyor and myself,
to provide water-closets for the accommodation of the congregation. The
architect who had been largely engaged in the erection of churches