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"Plan Shewing the Ascertained Deaths from Cholera in part of the Parishes of St. James, Westminster, and St. Anne, Soho, during the Summer and Autumn of 1854"

(July 1855)Copy of the Board of Health Map, with the addition of a circle denoting cholera area, plus colored lines indicating recent sewer construction.

[This map was included in the introduction to the Cholera Inquiry Committee's Report to the Vestry.]

Description of Map.

The "CIC Map" is based on the lithographic impression produced by the Board of Health to accompany the special report on the Golden Square outbreak written by Messrs. Fraser, Ludlow and Hughes that was printed in the Appendix to the Report of the Committee for Scientific Inquiry. This map, generally referred to as the "BoH Map," appears immediately after page 322 of the Appendix (thanks to David Zuck for sending me information about the map's location).

The CIC Map differs from the BoH Map in that the Committee added a circle to depict the most intense part of the "cholera field" and, in some copies I have seen, highlighted the colors of the sewer lines.

The layout of streets and address numbers in the BoH Map, and therefore the CIC Map, are founded on the Map published in Mr. Cooper's Report to the Commissioners of Sewers. In the BoH and CIC Maps, St. Anne's Court and the neighborhood have been added. Cooper only included cholera deaths reported for St. Janes, Westminster parish as of 9 September 1854 -- which turned out to be far short of the actual number. The BoH and CIC maps contain marks for all deaths that the BoH inspectors and members of the Inquiry Committee found for the duration of the epidemic.

[The next extract from the CIC Report describes how the map was constructed:]

. . . the [Cholera Inquiry] Committee obtained from the office of the Registrar-General a Return of the House-population in the districts of Golden Square and Berwick Street, according to the Census of 1851; and from the local Registers, through Mr. Buzzard the Vestry Clerk, [iv/v] as well as from various Hospitals, documents to aid in forming an estimate of the extent and severity of the epidemic.

An early application was also made to Sir B. Hall, the President of the General Board of Health, for such information as might be at his disposal, relating to the Cholera outbreak in this Parish, but, principally on the ground that investigations of this kind were more valuable when independent, the President did not comply with this request.

More recently, in conjunction with Messrs. Fraser and Ludlow, two of the local Inspectors appointed by the Board, a deputation from the Committee endeavoured to construct as correct a chart of the deaths in the affected districts as could be made. By permission of the Board, the Committee has been enabled to obtain from the Lithographers some impressions of this map to illustrate the present Report.

[This extract explains why the Cholera Inquiry Committee decided to add a circle to the Board of Health map:]

The "Cholera area," as it may be called, of St. James's parish, may be variously described. Reference to map prefixed to this Report will render the description easily understood. . . . [16/17] . . . It has been shewn by Mr. Whitehead [in The Cholera in Berwick Street (October 1854)] that the limits of the Cholera district are also very accurately defined within an irregular four-sided figure, the north and south angles of which are placed respectively near the middle of Poland Street and at the south end of Little Windmill Street, whilst the west and east points are at the north-west corner of King Street and the east end of St. Anne's Court. The included space is rather longer from east to west than from north to south. The centre of this figure falls at the junction of Cambridge Street with Broad Street, and it has been remarked by Mr. Whitehead, as may be shewn with compasses upon the map, that a circle, having a radius of 210 yards, struck from the north-west angle of Cambridge Street includes almost the entire area, except St. Anne's Court. . . .


[For quadrant images of the above map, which I prepared from a copy in the National Library of Medicine, see CIC Report, between pages 96 and 97.

For PDFs of this map as it appeared in the CIC Report, click here.

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