Cholera Outbreak in Sedgley in 1832

Report from the Sedgley Parish Register
on the Cholera Outbreak in Sedgley in 1832
Transcribed by Christine Ellis

In this year the Cholera Morbus, commonly called the Indian or Asiatic Cholera, from it having been first known in the East Indies, made its appearance among us after committing its ravages at Sunderland, Newcastle and several other parts of the Kingdom in the month of July it broke out at Bilston, Tipton and in the beginning of August it extended to the parts adjoining this parish, and quickly spread to the Village of Sedgley, to Upper and Lower Gornall and other parts, and continued to the month of Septr or Octr.

On the 6th of August a Board of Health was formed under the sanction of His Majesty's most Honorable Privy Council composed of the following gentlemen.

Revd. C. Girdlestone, Vicar
Revd. T. Theodosius, Minister of St James' Gornall
Revd. F. F. Clark, Minister of Christchurch Coseley
Messrs Josiah Day & P. Liddeus ~ Church Wardens
Messrs W. Marsh & G.Banister ~ Overseers of the Poor

J. H. Culwick, H. B. Whitehouse, J. Elwell, D. Smith
Messrs J. P Roberts, H. Hadin, A. Tamlyn, W. Williams, Josh Cartwright,
J. T. Fereday, Isaac Hill, J. Skidmore, Ph. Williams, J. Beddard, T. Tay

Afterwards it was increased by the addition of the following gentlemen,

F. Hewitt, J. Thompson, E. P. Cartwright, J. Hayward, J. Turton, J. Whitehouse, T. Brettell,
Hn. Hipkins, R. Juke, Sl. Partridge, W. Darby, E. Fereday, E. Crockett, E. Guest, J. Marsh
Revd. W. Lewis Curate
Revd. T. Powell Secretary

The number of persons infected with the disorder in this parish is supposed to have been 1349, the number of deaths 290. The expense incurred by medical attendants, Inspectors, Burying etc. was upwards of £500, which was paid out of the Poor Rates

During the prevalence of the Disease an appeal was made by the Board of Health through their chairman, the Revd. C. Girdlestone and the Secretary, to the non-resident Proprietors and other charitably disposed persons, and the sum of £1031 was raised to alleviate the sufferers, which was expended in food, clothing, in providing nurses for those who were destitute of friends to attend them and in relieving the widows and orphans.

The parishes which suffered from cholera in the immediate neighbourhood, besides those of Bilston and Tipton above mentioned were, Dudley, Kingswinford, West Bromwich, Rowley, Wednesbury, Darlaston, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

On a representation being made by the vicar to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, of the state of religious inquiry excited in the minds of the people at this alarming juncture, that Society promptly made a grant of Testaments, Prayer Books and other religious books, which were distributed among the poor of the Parish. Subscriptions were also entered into by persons in the neighbourhood to purchase Testament and Prayer Books for distribution among the poor of those Parishes which had been infected with the cholera, as well as a distinct one for this Parish, by friends residing chiefly at a distance.

In this parish almost every poor family in which was an individual who could read, was supplied either with a Testament or a Prayer Book, and in some instances with a Bible. These were than(k)fully received and attentively read.

May God bless the seed this sows to the latest generation.


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