St George’s Churchyard and Mass Cholera Grave: Source C

From 'The Report of the Medical Practitioners of Douglas on Cholera, October 1848', published in the Manx Sun, 25th October 1848


5th. – That the town generally, and the houses of the poor particularly, be cleansed at once, under the superintendence of the Sanatory Committee and the Police; and that an arrangement be made with the Waterwork Company for the purpose of affording an ample supply of water to wash the street and sewers every morning before 9 o’clock. A hose would greatly facilitate this process.

6th. – We particularly beg to direct the attention of the authorities to the cleansing of the following places, viz.: – The Market-place, daily, and on Saturday evenings in particular, Bigwell-street, Sam Quin’s-corner, Barrack-street, Little Ireland, Shaw’s Brow, Church-street, No. 6, Hanover-street and Water-lane, in which typhus fever has raged with violence during the last three month.

7th. – We also urge the necessity of thoroughly ventilating all houses, churches, chapels, school-rooms, and all places of public meeting, daily.

8th. – That the authorities keep a vigilant watch over the necessaries of life, and use their best endeavours that no adulterated or unwholesome food be exposed for public sales, and that as far as possible the destitute poor have a supply of wholesome food by the establishment of soup kitchens, one quart for a penny, distribution of good break, and a supply of coal, as useful preventive measures.”


Advice to the Public for the Prevention of Cholera, published in the Manx Sun 25th October 1848

“In reference to the Prevention of Cholera Asphyxia.

1st. There cannot be too much personal cleanliness. both young and old ought to wash and sponge all over, daily.

2nd. In all houses and apartments, and places of public meetings there cannot be too much ventilation, both night and day, whenever the weather is dry enough to permit.

3rd. Damp situations, damp and low rooms are to be avoided with more than usual care and attention.

4th. Remove all nuisances and putrescent emanations from stagnant water and putrifying heaps; wash and flood all sewers and gutters, and shambles, and market-places, with streams of fresh water; be indefatigable in whitewashing with fresh lime, disinfecting with clorine, and cleansing with soap and water, the walls and furniture of your houses and yards.

5th. Avoid all chills from damp clothing and night air, also too much fatigue or depression of spirits; dress warmly; live comfortably and temperately in eating as well as in drinking; partake moderately of the best kinds of vegetables, very carefully dressed with the purest water; leave off fruits, pickles, and sour drinks for the present.

6th. Spirituous Liquors are bad preventives; reserve them, in most cases, for the cure.”

Questions to consider:

  1. What does the Sanatory Committee recommend to prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases such as typhus?
  2. What are the public advised to do to lower the risk of catching cholera?
  3. What can you infer from these recommendations about the beliefs that people held at the time about the spread of cholera?
  4. Do you think that any of these measures would have a positive effect on the cholera epidemic? Why?
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