Manuscripts and Special Collections

Disease and Death

The problem of disease in the early 19th century was not confined to Nottingham; it was a national, even an international problem. Cholera came in waves through the century, usually originating in India or China, running through Western Asia and Europe and finally being carried to America.

The pandemic [a disease prevalent over the whole or greater part of the world] which affected Nottingham in 1832 began in India in 1826 and died out in Northern America in 1838. Such 'wave attacks' continued into the early years of the 20th century, by which time enough was known about the disease to prevent its spread into western Europe.

Extensive outbreaks of cholera struck Britain in 1832 and 1848-1849. In Nottingham, the second outbreak was much less severe than the first. Commentators thought that this was because of improvements in housing, water supply and sewerage, such as the extension of Thomas Hawksley's water supply system (see Theme 2, 'Water supply and sewerage in Nottingham', and Document 11).

These web pages allow you to explore some issues concerning disease in mid-19th century Nottingham. They include background information and full-size images of documents and photographs.


Next page: Cholera, Typhoid and Typhus


Manuscripts and Special Collections

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