Woodhorn


Section Two


With Pale Fear On Their Cheeks: The Cholera Epidemic in Alnwick, Northumberland.


Many people had studied the 1832 epidemic but there was still no agreement about how cholera was spread. The two main theories were:
•    That cholera was spread by contagion, or contact with cholera victims.
•    That it was spread by breathing in infected air, or miasma.
Others were beginning to realise that there was a link between cholera and water supply, although it would be another thirty years before the medical establishment fully accepted this. Meanwhile, there were three more major epidemics (in 1848 – 9, 1853 – 4 and 1866 – 7).

Cholera returned to Britain in 1848. Alnwick, a market town in Northumberland, had escaped the first epidemic although its inhabitants suffered from frequent outbreaks of other potentially fatal diseases. In September 1849, cholera arrived in the town. By the end of October, 136 people had died of the disease.

Click on the documents below to find out what happened when cholera struck, then answer the questions that follow. The glossary will help you to understand the language being used:

Source 1:

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ZHE 2/13 pg 29
Report to the General Board of Health on the Townships of Alnwick and Canongate (1850)

Source 2:


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ZHE 2/13 pg19

Report to the General Board of Health on the Townships of Alnwick and Canongate (1850)

Source 3:

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ZHE 2/13 p16

Report to the General Board of Health on the Townships of Alnwick and Canongate (1850)

Source 4:

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ZHE 2/13
Plan of the Town and Borough of Alnwick, 1827
Black spots indicate a fatal case of cholera in the 1849 epidemic

Source 5:

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ZHE 2/13
Plan of premises in Dispensary Lane, Clayport Street

Source 6:

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ZHE 2/13
Plan of Property in Pottergate Known as ‘the Tunnel’, belonging to William Moor.

Source 7:

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ZHE 2/13 p19
Report to the General Board of Health on the Townships of Alnwick and Canongate (1850)


Source 8:

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EP 132/60
"Extra Labour at the time of Cholera" - Churchwarden's accounts, St Mary's Parish, Alnwick.

Questions:

1.    Using the documents and plans, suggest why cholera affected some parts of Alnwick more severely than others.
2.    Can you infer from the information what the people of Alnwick believed caused the disease to spread?
3.    What measures could be taken by the people of Alnwick to try to avoid further epidemics?

Click here to  go to Section Three


Printed from Woodhorn web site.
URL: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/section-two/
Printed: 24/11/2017
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