Source 5 - Sanitary Map of Leeds

The Report to the Leeds Board of Health was made by Dr. Robert Baker in the aftermath of the cholera epidemic that hit Leeds in 1832. It was submitted to the Leeds Board of Health by Baker and other medical men in January 1833. The minutes of the Board meeting on January 16th 1833 read as follows:

We are of the opinion that the streets in which malignant cholera prevailed most severely, were those in which the drainage was most imperfect; and that the state of the general health of the inhabitants would be greatly improved, and the probability of a future visitation from such malignant epidemics diminished, by a general and efficient system of drainage, sewerage and paving, and the enforcement of better regulations as to the cleanliness of the streets.

The findings of Baker's report were also included in Edwin Chadwick's Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain.

This source is a copy of Baker's map taken from Chadwick's report. The map clearly defines the areas of Leeds that were most frequently hit during the cholera epidemic of 1832. The class status of the different streets is also included.

  • Do you think a map is an effective way of communicating this data?
  • Using the key, describe the patterns/ trends in the spread of disease.
  • How do you think Dr. Baker conducted his research?

Taken from: Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain
Author / Creator: Edwin Chadwick
Date: 1842
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: G.13877-80