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Wales Local Reports – General Board of Health (1848-1857)

This collection presents a very specific and detailed picture of industrial Britain, and the consequences of the first Industrial Revolution. These reports include virtually every topic that, according to the inspector, affected the moral and physical welfare and administration of the locality he visited.

The Public Health Act of 1848 established a General Board of Health charged with the authority to create local boards of health, either compulsorily when the average mortality rate in an area exceeded 23 per 1000 of the population or when a sufficient number of taxpayers in a district were moved to petition for help. Local health boards were empowered to deal with a whole range of public health issues such as water supplies, sewerage and drainage, lighting, ‘scavengering’, food quality, slaughterhouses, washhouses, street paving, burial grounds, and the control of offensive trades. By 1857, Wales had local health boards in a dozen or so districts and a number of other localities had requested inspection. 

Reports included in this Collection relate to: Aberdare, Bangor, Brecon, Bridgend and Coity, Brynmawr, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Christchurch (Mon.), Cwmdu, Knighton, Llandeilo-Fawr, Llanelli, Llangadock, Llangollen, Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais, Newport, Swansea, Tenby, Towyn, Welshpool, Wrexham, and Ynyscynhaiarn. The reports include virtually every topic that, according to the inspector, affected the moral and physical welfare and administration of the locality he visited, and provide a detailed picture of the impact of the industrial revolution on Wales.

Date range: 19th-20th century

Significance: Of significance in Wales

Size: 29 microfiche

Language:  English

Keywords: Medicine, Wales, public health.

Notes: See also the Welsh Local Acts Collection, early 18th-early 20th C., and the Cardiff Medical Officer reports (19th-20th C.)