Much Improvement Has Been Effected:
Alnwick's Response to the 1849 Cholera Epidemic.
When cholera struck again in 1848, it was clear that central government needed to act, to try to make local ratepayers introduce reforms which could deal with the many dangers to health, especially in the towns. The Public Health Act was passed, setting up a system, run by the Board of Health, to encourage (but not force) local councils to improve conditions in their area.
In the autumn of 1849, cholera arrived in Alnwick. In only 30 days, the disease claimed the lives of 136 people, more than half of whom were between 20 and 60 years of age. The impact on the town was devastating, as seen in this extract:
The History of the Borough, Castle, and Barony of Alnwick by George Tate (1868-9) p353
• What did the people of Alnwick decide to do to try to avoid further epidemics? Read sources 1 – 3 to answer this question.
The History of the Borough, Castle, and Barony of Alnwick by George Tate (1868-9) p354
Notice about the closure of Alnwick Church Yard
Newspaper cutting from October 1853
• What evidence can be found in sources 4 and 5 to support the claim, made by George Tate in 1868, that it ‘may therefore be reasonably concluded, that the diminution [reduction] of the death-rate of the district has chiefly been caused by our improved sanitary condition’?
NRO 3650/1 p350
Annual Report of the Alnwick Dispensary, 21st October 1868
The History of the Borough, Castle, and Barony of Alnwick by George Tate (1868-9) pp357 – 8