Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (GBHGIS)

3. deaths from cholera in london, summer 1866

Cholera sampler

Cholera is a water-borne disease that was a major killer in London in the 19th century. Caused by poor sanitation the bacteria prefer hot conditions thus epidemics tended to occur in the summer. The animation above shows cholera deaths within the county of London over an eleven week period in the summer of 1866. In this period there were 2,236 deaths for which cholera was given on the death certificicate as either the primary or a secondary cause. The death certificate provides the registration sub-district that the person died in and a date of death.

The location of death can be misleading as it was not neccessarily the place the person lived and is particularly sensative to deaths in hospitals such as the Royal London in Whitechapel. The information from the certificates was transcribed by Patsy Pinedo-Tuck for Graham Mooney of the Centre for Metropolitain History. These were processed at QMW to produce the animation above. The weekly interval was chosen arbitrarily, we could have used a moving average of daily deaths but this produces too many frames.