Article ID: CBB000772503

The Uppingham Typhoid Outbreaks of 1875--1877: A Rural Case-Study in Public Health Reform (2007)


Uppingham, a small market town in the East Midlands, suffered repeated typhoid outbreaks in 1875--6, centred on its famous boarding school. A fierce battle developed between the school doctor and the local medical officer of health (MoH), with the Local Government Board (LGB) struggling to satisfy the various parties, many of which had a vested interest in controlling rate increases. Faced with ruin if nothing were done, the headmaster, Edward Thring, removed the school to the Welsh coast for an entire year. The town's shopkeepers, heavily dependent on the school, forced the Rural Sanitary Authority (RSA) to implement better drainage, while Thring and others set up a private company to supply water to the town. Writers such as Hamlin, Hennock and Wohl have already pointed to the formidable obstacles to public health reform facing authorities in urban areas. Uppingham's experience, unusually well documented for a small community, suggests that in rural areas these difficulties were equally great, and that local leaders were hopelessly ill-equipped for the task they faced. Keywords: typhoid; local government; Rural Sanitary Authority; guardians; Local Government Board; Public Health Acts; Medical Officer of Health; rates; ratepayers

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Authors & Contributors
Steere-Williams, Jacob
Richardson, Nigel
Jones, Susan D.
Kohlstedt, Sally G.
Gunn, Jennifer
Borrello, Mark E.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Medical History
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Seventeenth Century
Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society
Pickering & Chatto
Georgia State University
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
University of Minnesota
University of Pittsburgh Press
Public health
Typhoid fever
Disease and diseases
Medicine and government
Reed, Walter
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
16th century
Early modern
Great Britain
London (England)
United States
Georgia (U.S.)

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