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Public Health in Leeds

Many Industrial towns had problems during the Industrial Revolution. The conditions in leeds are well documented, this 'inquiry into the state and condition of leeds' by Dr. Robert Baker provides some evidence that can be used to compare conditions in Bradford with those found elsewhere.

Things to consider:

  1. What are the similarities and differences between conditions in Leeds and Bradford?
  2. Is this report typical of conditions in British cities at the time?
  3. What was done about these conditions?

From An Inquiry into the State and Condition of Leeds, Robert Baker, 1842

Courts and Cul-de-sacs exist everywhere ... In one cul-de-sac in Leeds there are 34 houses, and in ordinary times there dwell in these houses 340 persons, or ten to every house. The name of this place is Boot and Shoe Yard, from whence the commissioners removed, in the days of Cholera, 75 cartloads of manure which had been untouched for years.
For the most part these houses are built back-to-back. ... A house of this description will contain a cellar, a house and chamber ...
To build the largest number of cottages on the smallest possible space seems to have been the original view of the speculators. Thus neighbourhoods have arisen in which there is neither water nor privies.





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