[ ... back to main menu for this book]
Health. Since the passing of the first Public Health Act in 1848, the statistics of births and deaths and of the causes of death have been collected at the Registrar General's Office at Somerset House. By this means the limits and causes of mortality are determined with much precision, and too high a death rate leads to a special inquiry as to its causes, and to the more stringent enforcement of the rules of public health. The mean annual mortality (during the past 10 years) of London is 23 per 1,000 of population. In twenty other English towns the death-rate ranged last year from 19 to 29 per 1,000. The Acts bearing upon public health are very numerous, and a Consolidation Sanitary Act, to bring all the enactments into one statute, is much needed.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879