1 The crisis brought about by the
cholera epidemic of 1832
prompted the government to act.
2 Edwin Chadwick published the 'Report on
the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring
Population of Great Britain' in 1842.
3 It contained evidence from doctors
involved in the workings of the poor law.
3.1 Poor Law = Laws in the past setting out
how the poor should be supported. Under
the Poor Law in the 19th century, those
needing support were sent to workhouses.
4 The information it contained about
the squalor in which many working
people lived and worked shocked
and horrified the wealthy classes.
5 The picture painted by the report,
together with statistics about birth and
death compiled by William Farr, from
1839, made people realise that
something had to be done about public
health in Britain.
6 Chadwick was convinced that sickness
was the cause of poverty.
7 He was supported by the findings of
Dr. Southwood Smith who, in 1838,
found 14'000 cases of fever among
the poor of Whitechapel, London.