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of Buccleuch was chairman, “to inquire into the state of large towns and populous districts.” My grandfather was again the first witness examined. Their report was presented in June 1844; but during this session no bill bearing on sanitary subjects was even introduced.
My grandfather, however, who was brought daily face to face with the preventible suffering, was not likely to forget it, nor to relax his efforts. With the calm, persistent earnestness which was characteristic of him, he worked on
The more defeats, the more necessity for strenuous exertion.
Seeing the difficulty of obtaining any practical result from all the labour that had been devoted to the improvement of the health of the people, he now determined to try to bring together the distinguished men who had taken an interest in the cause, and who had exerted themselves to promote it.
He hoped that, thus united, they would have more power in spreading the information which had been acquired, and in forcing it on the attention of the public and the Legislature;. and he also thought that a body of men acquainted with the subject would be useful
Mr Slaney, M.P. Mr Bouverie. Mr C. Cochrane. Dr Southwood Smith.
Dr Guy. Lord Ashley, M.P.
Lord Ebrington, M.P. The Marquis of Normandy. Mr Baines, M.P. Mr Cardwell, M.P. Mr Shafto Adair.
FIRST MEETING OF THE HEALTH OF TOWNS ASSOCIATION.
(FROM AN OLD Print.)
in suggesting and discussing remedies, and in proposing legislative measures.
He succeeded in this effort. He founded the Health of Towns Association ” already referred to, which, numbering amongst its members Lord Normanby, Lord Ashley, Lord Morpeth, Lord Robert Grosvenor, Lord Ebrington, Mr Slaney, M.P., and many other influential men both in and out of Parliament, proved a highly useful instrument in carrying forward the work of Sanitary Reform up to the time of the passing of the Public Health Act.
Its first meeting was held in December 1844, and the facts which the various speakers eloquently brought out are chiefly summed up in the petition which, in accordance with one of the resolutions then passed, was presented to Parliament.
Those to whom sanitary truths are familiar will have little interest in this repetition of what they already know, except as showing what the early sanitary work was before a public opinion had been formed. But it is somewhat curious to look back upon a time when it was necessary to state what now appear self-evident truths.
My grandfather gives it as the opinion of the meeting, that
· From the neglect of sewerage, drainage, a due supply of water, air, and light to the interior of houses, and an efficient system of house and street cleansing, a poisonous atmosphere is engendered, particularly in the districts occupied by the poor, which endangers the health and life of the whole community, but which is particularly injurious to the industrious classes.
“That it appears from indubitable evidence that the amount of deaths attributable to these causes is, in England alone, upwards of 40,000 annually.1
“That the great majority of the persons who thus prematurely perish are between the ages of
1 The statements as to the saving of life which would be effected if proper sanitary measures were carried out were necessarily various, since the difference which could be made in the death-rate was a matter of opinion, and had yet to be proved by experiment. If, instead of one death annually in every 46 inhabitants throughout England and Wales (the then proportion), there should be an improvement sufficient to secure there being one death in every 50, upwards of 25,000 lives would be saved. Whilst, if the sanitary state of towns could be raised to that of healthy counties, there would be a saving of 49,000 lives. The Association seems to have chosen something between the least probable and the highest probable saving of life.-G. L.