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Typhoid in Uppingham: a Victorian town and school in crisis 1875-1877

Richardson, NPV; (2007) Typhoid in Uppingham: a Victorian town and school in crisis 1875-1877. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is a micro-historical study of central-local government relations and public health through the experience of the people of Uppingham -a small (and unusually well-documented) town which contained a boarding school, and which was hit three times by typhoid in 1875-6. It examines the conduct of those involved in town and school, the economic dependence of the former on the latter, and the opposition to higher rates to pay for sanitary improvement by a local ratepayer shopocracy. It compares the sanitary state of the community with others nearby, and Uppingham School with comparable schools of that era. It shows how the extent of improvement was often determined by business considerations rather than medical judgements, and that local personalities and events frequently drove national policy in practice. These events came in the years immediately after the passing of the Public Health Acts of 1872 and 1875, as sanitary improvement started to move from being a voluntary matter to a statutory one. The thesis explores rivalries between headmaster and Rural Sanitary Authority (RSA), a newly-appointed Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and the school doctor, and between the local doctors as they fought to preserve their economic territory. It examines the level of effectiveness of the Local Government Board (LGB) in overseeing improvements. It seeks to complement work already done by historians on public health development in cities and large towns. While it confirms the leadership qualities of headmaster Edward Thring (who took the dramatic decision to remove his entire school to the Welsh coast for a year), it also shows that that the picture presented by previous writers of a wronged school battling against the hostility of the uncaring town RSA is far too simplistic.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Typhoid in Uppingham: a Victorian town and school in crisis 1875-1877
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS. Some images and the original page 341 have been excluded due to third party copyright.
UCL classification:
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1349171
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