Author

Rebecca Dale

Date of Award

11-1973

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Abstract

Parliament passed its first comprehensive public health act in 1848. Prior to that time Britain as well as other European countries had mostly just tolerated insanitary conditions.

In English medieval towns people threw their garbage onto the narrow streets where animals--pigs, cattle, ducks--roamed, Houses were built with projections over the streets which blocked light and ventilation. There were few qualms about slaughtering animals on the streets. The common method of sewerage was by cesspools which in some cases were built underneath the houses and in most cases were cleaned out only once every several years by the "dust-collectors". Even in medieval times the churchyard graves were getting crowded and becoming a sanitation problem.

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