Victorian London - Health and Hygiene - Mortality - 1850

BILLS OF MORTALITY commenced in the year 1592, when the bills took cognizance of 109 parishes. The following precincts, actually within the City, were then omitted: -St. James's, Duke's-place, (added in 1626); St. Barthomolew the Great ; Bridewell precinct; Trinity, in the Minories.  In 1604, eight additional parishes were added :-St. Clement's Danes, St. Giles's in-the-Fields St. James's, Clerkenwell, St. Katherine's, Tower ; St. Leonard's Shoreditch; St. Mary's, Whitechapel; St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey ; St. Martin's-in-this-Fields.

In 1606.wvas added St. Mary-le-Savoy. 
In 1626, St. James's, Dukes-place.
In 1629, the City of Westminster.
In 1636, the parishes of Hackney, Ishington, Lambeth, Newington, Rotherhithe, Stepney.
In 1647, St. Paul's, Covent-garden. In 1670, St. Paul's, Shadwell.
In 1671, Christ Church, Surrey.
In 1685, St. James's, Westminster. 
In 1686, St. Anne's, Soho.
In 1694, St. John's, Wapping. 
In 1726, St. Mary-le-Strand.
In 1729, St. George's, Hanover-square.

The bills, therefore, in 1592, contained returns for ...109 parishes ...
In 1681, for . . . 132 parishes
In 1733, for . 145 parishes
In 1744, for . . . 147 parishes

Llord Salisbury, in a letter to Prince Henry, (no date, but written before 1612), says, "Be wary of Londoners ; for they died here 123 last week." In a letter, dated May 1st, 1619, Howell states  the average ninnber of deaths per week in London to have been from 200 to 300. In the year 1791, the burials within the bills of' mortality are stated to have been 18,760, less than Strype's or Petty's estimates. But this affords no fair average of the number of deaths in London ; very many who died within the limits of London were buried without this bills of mortality. In the week ending June 10th, 1843, 848 people died in London ; in the week ending July 29th, 1843, 749. The average number of deaths per week in London, from 1838 to 1843, a period of five years, was 903. The weekly average of deaths for the last five years (1845-50) has been somewhat greater.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850