Friday, 16 June 2017

Palin deaths in Hindley Green

About three weeks ago I posted a blog entitled "Epidemic or ?" and that was about deaths in Barnton in 1852 and 1853.  I was unable to verify the exact cause of deaths of that Palin family there but had medical reports stating that the fevers were on the rise.

It was no surprise then to find another article regarding diseases, but this new article specifically mentions the Palin name but this time in Hindley Green in 1880.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser October 15, 1880

Outbreak of Fever in the Township
Dr. Brayton, the medical officer, reported as follows
I am sorry to say I cannot give a favourable report of the health of the district as last month owing to the prevalence of typhoid and scarlet fevers.  The latter is on the decrease, is more scattered, and is not of such a malignant type.  There were only two fatal cases last month.  Since the last report there have been four deaths from typhoid fever.  Two of these have occurred in the first week of October.  One of the Deaths occurred in Wigan Road, and the other three at Palin’s houses, Hindley Green.  I failed to detect any nuisance in the houses; they were clean, well ventilated and not overcrowded. 
I have another case a few yards from Palin’s opposite Organ-row in a cottage occupied by Meadows.  The house is small, badly ventilated (though clean) and it is decidedly over crowded.  There are nine occupants in the house, all adults, with only two sleeping rooms.  I have called attention of the nuisance inspector to it. 
I have several other cases of typhoid in Hindley and district, Estock, Deansgate, father and daughter; Topping, Deansgate, two sons; Molyneaux, Deansgate wife; Asterberry, Castle Hill, son; Worthington, New Road, son; Dawson, Brookrow, child; Kay, Palin’s houses, Hindley Green; Lathern, Low Green, son.
The drainage from the sick at Topping’s empties itself into an open cut on the left hand side of the row, the drain pipe cannot be in order as the water lodges above the grid, and they have to empty all their slops on the ground by their door at the back of the house.  The drainage at back is also imperfect.
The three cases I have mentioned (Meadows, Dawsons and Toppings) ought to be attended to at once.  In all the other houses I can find no clue whatever to the outbreak of the fever, they are clean, well ventilated and not crowded.  The number of births for the month has been 47 and the deaths 24.
Mr. Dean, the sanitary inspector, also provided the following report, dealing with the fever question.
In consequence of the great prevalence of scarlatina, typhus and typhoid fevers in the district I have thought it requisite to make a special report to the board instead of waiting till the meeting of the Public Health Committee, so that you may know what has been done to stop the spread and remove the danger of the above named infectious diseases.  The most notable case, as you will no doubt be aware, is at Palins’s property at Hindley Green, where no less than four fatal cases have occurred and one yet remains very ill but convalescent.  I visited and inspected the property both inside and outside, but could find no cause for complaint, the drains were all in good order and trapped, the back yards were well cleansed and the ash pits kept empty.  There were no bad smells or deficiency of ventilation in the living or sleeping rooms and the first appearance of the disease is altogether unaccountable.  It was, however, of such a virulent and dangerous character as to be almost inevitable, that whoever came in contact with it would likely to be affected by it, and such proved to be the case, as all who attended upon him, except two, have since died, although great care was taken and disinfectants of various sorts freely used.
I have also visited and inspected the house of John Eatock, in Deansgate, who is foreman paviour to your board.  He states to me as the probable cause of his attack that he caught a severe cold during the sinking of a sewage tank at Swan Lane, which immediately developed into fever, and was at once communicated to his daughter, a girl of 16.  The house and bedrooms are clean, and disinfectants are freely applied.  There are however no back doors or back yards to the property, and no doubt the ventilation is not altogether what it ought to be.
I have further to report the case of Thomas Topping, of Deansgate, who is a night soil carter for the board.  He also attributes his attack to severe cold caught about a fortnight ago, immediately after his case turning to fever.  His brother, who occupies the same bed, was attacked and both are suffering from fever.  A relative of theirs who lives in the neighbourhood was subsequently attacked, and she also is now suffering from fever.
In all these case, which are samples of many others might be quoted, there is no complaint to be made of filthy premises or nuisances, and disinfectants are freely applied. My own opinion is that the present extent of the outbreak is attributable, not so much to sanitary arrangements and defects, as to the utter inadequacy, in almost every case of the means for more careful nursing and more complete isolation, and I frequently find that the houses which in ordinary circumstances may be sufficiently convenient and roomy, are, when visited by an infectious disease, the scene of the attack of every member of the family when with due care and precaution the visitation should end with the first. 
I have received a letter from the medical officer calling my attention to a house at Hindley Green occupied by Mrs. Ellen Meadows, in which he says – “There is decidedly overcrowding.”  I have visited the house today and find that the family consists of herself and eight sons and daughters, the eldest of whom is about 30, and the youngest about 10 years of age.  The house is her own property, and they have occupied it for a long time.  There is at present a case of fever in the house; the bedrooms are each about 8 feet wide, 14 feet long and 8 feet high. 
Instructions were given to the inspector to carefully watch the whole of the cases and take in conjunction with medical officer, all steps requisite for preventing the further spread of the disease.
The other business before the board was of a routine character.
Thomas Palin was born in 1820 in Middlewich to John Palin and Hannah Timmis.  Thomas married Harriett Carden in 1846 in Middlewich and they had six children. At some time between 1861 and 1871 they moved to Hindley Green and Thomas was one of the pioneers of the Bethel United Methodist Church in Hindley Green.

In 1880 Thomas's second son Thomas junior died first and then Thomas junior's wife died next.  Then Thomas's first son John died and then John's wife died.  Both couples had small children.

I was really a bit shocked when I continued the search and found this article.
Wigan Observer and District Advertiser October 16, 1880
I would have thought that they would burn anything that might carry the disease.  I don't think I would want the feather pillow from a diseased deceased person.  Would you?  Is that even safe?


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