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Extracts from the evidence of Thomas Hawksley (transcript only)
These extracts are taken from the First Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts. Minutes of Evidence, pp. 298-331; 1844 (572), XVII.1
By 1844 Hawksley's reputation as a water engineer was established, and he was called on to give evidence to the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the State of Large Towns. He was examined exhaustively on many aspects of what might more appropriately be called social rather than civil engineering.
Obituary of Thomas Hawksley (The Times, 25 September 1893)
Hawksley's contribution to the improved comforts and amenities of Victorian England in the second half of the century can perhaps be measured by reading his obituary notice in The Times of 1893.
J.R. Martin, 'Report on the Sanatory Condition of Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Derby, Norwich, and Portsmouth'
These extracts are taken from J.R. Martin's, 'Report on the Sanatory Condition of Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Derby, Norwich, and Portsmouth' in the Second Report of the Commissioners for inquiring into the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts, Appendix Part II; 1845 (602) (610), XVIII.1, 299)
The defects of Nottingham's drains and sewers could not possibly have been concealed, and they were inevitably prominent in this report which the commissioner J.R. Martin presented to Parliament in 1845. The description of the courts and yards of Nottingham matches closely with the descriptions and photographs in Theme 1 of this web site, 'Mid 19th-century housing in Nottingham'.
East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 1.H4: Extracts from the Nottingham Inclosure Act (1845), bound in Acts relating to Nottingham in the 19th Century (1801-1855) (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode)
In 1845 the Nottingham Inclosure Act (which eventually released more land for building) was passed by Parliament. It included provisions for more effective hygiene in future, showing that sewerage and its associated problems had already caused concern.
East Midlands Collection Not 3.E12: Extracts from the records of the Borough of Nottingham, from Gray, Duncan and Walker, Violet W. (eds.), Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol. IX, 1836-1900 (Nottingham: T. Forman, 1956)
However, the prevention of new evils was easier that the elimination of old, as this Report of the Sanitary Committee to the Corporation in 1847 showed. The same report shows that Authority already grasped the connection between hygiene and disease.
East Midlands Collection Not 3.E12: Extract from the records of the Borough of Nottingham, from Gray, Duncan and Walker, Violet W. (eds.), Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol. IX, 1836-1900. (Nottingham: T. Forman, 1956)
Another Sanitary Committee report dated 1852 itemised the steps being taken by the Nottingham Corporation. It particularly mentioned work undertaken to demolish houses which had privies situated directly underneath, in contravention of the terms of the 1845 Inclosure Act (see Document 4). Despite this, some such houses were still inhabited in the second decade of the 20th century (see Photograph 4).
East Midlands Special Collection Not 3.G66 SEA: Extract from Edward Seaton, A report on the sanitary condition of the borough of Nottingham (1873)
Edward Seaton was the Medical Officer of Health for the Borough of Nottingham. In this extract from his report, the problems of drainage and sewerage in low-lying houses in the Meadows area are highlighted.
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