Author Topic: An epidemic maybe?  (Read 369 times)

Offline lydiaann

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An epidemic maybe?
« on: Tuesday 15 December 20 15:38 GMT (UK) »
Place: St Matthews, Little Lever, Bolton.  1796-97

The parish records show that 24 burials took place over 9 months: 21 from Little Lever, 2 from Darcy Lever and one from Great Lever.  Apart from 5, they were all of children aged 3 years and below; the others were 39, 34, 25, 24, and 17.  There is nothing to suggest why...possibly smallpox? Cholera? Diphtheria?  There is also nothing to suggest social status but I'm guessing overcrowded conditions with poor sanitary arrangements.  How sad is that?  And how did a parish priest cope with all those little children, one after the other?  It doesn't bear thinking about.
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guest189040

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Re: An epidemic maybe?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 15 December 20 15:50 GMT (UK) »
It is always sad to pick up upon the deaths of children and babies.

The link is to a map 100 years later

https://www.francisfrith.com/little-lever/little-lever-1890-1891_hosm51537

Even 100 years later Little Lever was not exactly a heavily developed extenstion of Bolton so that makes the deaths even more questionable.

There was a lot of Coal Mining in the area and no doubt polluted water supplies as well.

Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: An epidemic maybe?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 15 December 20 16:02 GMT (UK) »
I'm sure others too have "spotted" the pattern where several members of a household have died in very short order - especially when they are children - and are buried more or less at the same time. It probably happened a lot more than we care to think - typhus, cholera, tuberculosis ( although that generally took quite a long time to work its way through a family) etc.
TY
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Offline Jeuel

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Re: An epidemic maybe?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 15 December 20 19:22 GMT (UK) »
I found an instance in the 1800s of a family of 5 siblings and their 7 cousins all dying of "summer diarrhoea" in a small hamlet in Gloucestershire.  I've assumed it was cholera.  But the fact that the children were all of the same family, one generation, and obviously known to all the villagers, struck me as really sad.
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: An epidemic maybe?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 16 December 20 09:41 GMT (UK) »
There is nothing to suggest why...possibly smallpox? Cholera? Diphtheria?  There is also nothing to suggest social status but I'm guessing overcrowded conditions with poor sanitary arrangements.  How sad is that?  And how did a parish priest cope with all those little children, one after the other?  It doesn't bear thinking about.

I'm afraid you mustn't spend too much time reflecting on living conditions before the 19th century, or you may lose the will to continue.  Until the mid-19th century when a few thinking people began to understand the spread of infection, and sanitation started to improve, mini-epidemics were common.  Perhaps consider that we must be descendants of the fittest who survived.  In today's caring society many less-fit survive, so I sometimes wonder where that will lead.
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young