CARNARVON TRADERS

The Repository of all Things Historical for the Ancient Welsh Town of Carnarvon

  Castle Square, Carnarvon. Published by Williams & Hughes, Bridge Steet, 1850


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19th. CENTURY EPIDEMICS IN CARNARVON


Up until the early years of the 20th. Century, life expectancy in the United Kingdom was short. All manner of diseases which we today do not have to worry about were then killers. And kill they did, in huge numbers. Smallpox, Whooping Cough, Scarlet Fever, Typhus, they were all much feared and despised. In the early 1830's another killer was to be added to this list - the deadly and terrifying Cholera.

Cholera had such an impact on the British psyche simply because it was a new and unknown quantity. The whole country was paralysed with fear when it first appeared, and nobody knew how or why it thrived. The newspaper reports during the 1832 Cholera outbreak in Carnarvon are particularly illuminating in this respect, and the terror and uncertainty is palpable in the words of the local press.

The four outbreaks of Cholera in Wales - in 1832, 1849, 1854, and 1866 are well-known, but there are lesser-known epidemics which hit Carnarvon during the Century which can be read about on these pages.

The details about most of these are sketchy to say the least, with only the local Parish Burial Registers and newspapers to rely on. After 1837, however, a much more comprehensive picture can be obtained, contained within the pages of the Civil Registration Death Registers.

Most of these outbreaks have been discovered by accident, whilst searching the various sources for other, unrelated, topics. Rest assured, there are surely many more epidemics waiting to be found, some more devastating than others. I will add to these pages as and when I discover them.


1804    1814    1826    1832    1832    1849    1849    1866
  © 2003 - 2016 Keith Morris. All rights reserved