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

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Rotherhithe 1856

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Rotherhithe]

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1856, that he died on August 10th, at 9, Chilton Street, and that the cause of his death was—

Cause of Death.Duration —Diseases
(a) First.Cholera Infantum.2 days.Signed, J. J. CREGEEN,
Prof. Title, M.D.
(b) Second.Address, Rotherhithe.
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"The stygian ditch to which I have had too frequently to refer
before, adjoins the garden at the back of this house. It is certainly
a disgrace to any country, however poor, then how much more to a
wealthy one like ours!"
To the Vestry of the Parish of Saint Mary, Rotherhithe.
The time that I have spent in your service during the just elapsed
month, has been nearly wholly employed in visiting the various
slaughter-houses in this parish. I have personally inspected them
all, and have appended to this report a supplementary document
containing my remarks upon them individually at the time of my
examination, several being in sufficiently good order have been at
once recommended to the favourable consideration of this Vestry;
others may be easily put into such a state as to merit it, and a few
I consider as quite unfit for the purpose for which they have hitherto
been used, as they cannot be made to comply with the regulations
delivered to me by your order.
My own opinion is, that the slaughtering of cattle in a city is always
a nuisance, and ought only to be allowed under the most rigid surveillance
of the officers of the various Vestries.
In carrying out these unpleasant duties, my mind naturally
reverted to the splendid Abattoirs of certain cities of the Continent,
generally far removed from all dwellings. I compared their lofty,
well-lighted and well-ventilated domes, their free drainage and
abundant water supply, with the dark, dirty sheds, outhouses, back
yards and washhouses used in Rotherhithe and other parts of
London for slaughtering cattle, and I ventured to hope that the day
was not far distant, when some of the remote suburbs of London
might become the place of such useful establishments.

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