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and wallow in its own filth as long as its taste
would dictate. But as this is impossible, centralisation
or no centralisation, Government, or
somebody else, must interfere to protect the
extra-parochial lieges from destruction, by upsetting
the Board and removing the rest of the

A practical example of the impossibility of
confining noxious nuisances to the boundaries
whence they originate, is afforded in the immediate
neighbourhood of one ofthe most beautiful
parts of the metropolis. In a neighbourhood
studded thickly with elegant villas and
mansionsnamely, Bayswater and Notting
Hill, in the parish of Kensingtonis a plague
spot scarcely equalled for its insalubrity by
any other in London: it is called the Potteries.
It comprises some seven or eight acres, with
about two hundred and sixty houses (if the
term can be applied to such hovels), and a
population of nine hundred or one thousand.
The occupation of the inhabitants is
principally pig-fattening; many hundreds of
pigs, ducks, and fowls are kept in an incredible
state of filth. Dogs abound for the purpose
of guarding the swine. The atmosphere is
still farther polluted by the process of fat-
boiling. In these hovels discontent, dirt,
filth, and misery, are unsurpassed by anything
known even in Ireland. Water is supplied
to only a small proportion of the houses.
There are foul ditches, open sewers, and
defective drains, smelling most offensively,
and generating large quantities of poisonous
gases; stagnant water is found at every turn,
not a drop of clean water can be obtained,
all is charged to saturation with putrescent
matter. Wells have been sunk on some of
the premises, but they have become, in many
instances, useless from organic matter soaking
into them; in some of the wells the water is
perfectly black and fetid. The paint on the
window frames has become black from the
action of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. Nearly
all the inhabitants look unhealthy, the women
especially complain of sickness, and want of
appetite; their eyes are shrunken, and their
skin shrivelled.

The poisonous influence of this pestilential
locality extends far and wide. Some twelve
or thirteen hundred feet off there is a row
of clean houses, called Grafter Terrace;
the situation, though rather low, is open and
airy. On Saturday and Sunday, the 8th
and 9th of September, 1849, the inhabitants
complained of an intolerable stench,
the wind then blowing directly upon the
Terrace from the Potteries. Up to this time,
there had been no case of cholera among
the inhabitants; but the next day the disease
broke out virulently, and on the following
day, the 11th of September, a child died
of cholera at No. 1. By the 22nd of the
same month, no less than seven persons
in the Terrace lost their lives by this fatal

It would be thought, that such a state of
things could not have been permitted to
remain undisturbed, but merely required to
be brought to light to be remedied. The
medical officers have, time after time, reported
the condition of the place to the Board of
Guardians. Fifteen medical men have testified
to the unhealthy state of the Potteries. The
inspector of nuisances has done the same.
The magistrates have repeatedly granted
orders for the removal of the pigs. The
General Board of Health have given directions
that all the nuisances should be removed, yet
nothing, or next to nothing, has been done.
The inspector of nuisances has been dismissed,
the guardians have signified their intention
to inspect the districts themselves, yet things
remain in statu quo.

Is there then no possibility of cleansing this
more than Augean stable? None: the single
but insurmountable difficulty being that some
of the worst parts of the district are the property
of one of the guardians!

Surely the force of self-government can
no farther go. Another word in defence of
centralisationthe great bugbear of the self-conceited
parish oratorwould be wasted.

In conclusion, we earnestly call on the
public to second and support the efforts of the
Metropolitan Sanitary Association to get the
evils we have adverted to lessened or wholly
removed. The rapid increase of the population
demands additional exertion and additional
arrangements for their well-being. At
present, retrogression instead of improvement
assails us. It is an appalling fact, that the
number of persons dying of the class of diseases
called preventible has been steadily
increasing. Mr. Farr, of the Registrar-General's
office, has declared there could be
no question that the health of London is
becoming worse every year. In 1846, the
number of persons dying of zymotic or epidemic
diseases was about nineteen per cent
of the total mortality; in 1847, it was twenty-eight
per cent.; in 1848, thirty-four per cent.;
and last year it increased to forty-one per
cent.; thus showing that nearly one-half of
the mortality of London was more or less
owing to preventible causes.

To reverse this state of things the people of
this country must not wait for another great
and fatal Fright. We know that typhus fever
and consumption, like open drains and stinking
water, are mean, commonplace, unexciting
instruments of death, which do not get invested
with dramatic interest; yet they kill as
unerringly as the knife or the bullet of the
assassin; only they murder great multitudes
instead of single individuals. If, therefore,
he will only fix his eyes on the victims of the
diseases which can be easily prevented, it is
well worth John Bull's while to consider
whether substantially it is not as sound a
policy to save a million or two of lives per
annum, as to hang the hero and heroine of a
Bermondsey murder.