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Section One

What ideas did people have about the treatment and causes of the disease?

Question 1:

•    What were the symptoms of cholera and how was it treated?

Click on the thumbnail below to view a poster giving government advice about what to do during the epidemic. Use this to answer the questions below.  The glossary will help you understand the language used.

Source 1:

NRO 3666/48/7

Extract From the Regulations of the Board of Health, Containing an Account of the Symptoms and Treatment of the Cholera Morbus. [nd]

a.    Make a list, in your own words, of what happened to a victim of the disease.
b.    What should people do if someone in their family develops these symptoms? Divide the recommendations into: treating the illness and preventing the disease from spreading.
c.    Would the public have been alarmed or reassured by this poster? Explain your answer.

Question 2:
•    What do the sources below tell you about what people believed caused the disease to spread in 1831? Refer to all the sources in your answer.

Source 2:


SANT/BEQ/26/1/7/266 [3]
An account of the Disease Termed Cholera Morbus, From Its First Appearance at Sunderland, To Its Final Departure From Northumberland and Durham.(1832)

Source 3:


EP 33/132
Report of the Edinburgh Board of Health.

Source 4:

EP 52/A/152

A Form of Prayer to be Used  In all Churches and Chapels throughout those Parts of the United Kingdom….. (1832)

Source 5:


EP 4/49

Petition from the village of Horncliffe to Norham Board of Health, November 29th 1831.

Source 6:


Notice concerning burial of cholera victims, Dec. 8th 1831.

Click here to go to Section Two