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hoped that there are few persons to whom the papers of the Society have been sent, however beneficent in their dispositions, and meritorious in their conduct towards the poor, who have not received some useful hint, or had their attention more particularly directed to some advantageous object in consequence of the communication. Thus silently, unobserved, and perhaps almost without the consciousness of those who forward its course, the current of improvement makes its way. Its progress may be slow, but it will become diffused and extensive. If the probable effects even of the limited exertions of the Sub-Committee have been so considerable, as appears by the papers on the table, what may not be hoped from the concurrent zeal and united exertions of the whole Society?
It cannot, however, be expected that very sudden and rapid changes will take place, even when the seeds of the most important improvements have been sown. To cultivate the intellects, and reform the manners of so large a portion of the community, is an arduous task, and can only be brought about in a considerable period of time; but it seems not to exceed the powers of the Ladies Society,
if impressed with the magnitude and importance of the object, they continue unremitted in their labours, neither alarmed by difficulties, nor discouraged by delay.
London, Feb. 13, 1805.
Copy of the Report to the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor from the Select Committee for Preventing the Spreading of Contagious Malignant Fevers in the Metropolis.
THE Select Committee for preventing Contagious Fevers, take the earliest opportunity of laying before the Society the information. with which they have been favoured, in answer to their Queries upon the subject of Infectious Fevers. They have the pleasure of observing, that the prevalence of these Fevers in the metropolis is less, at the present time, than it has been for many years back: and that some parts of the town, where this infection had been generally and fatally prevalent, (such as Field Lane, Saffron Hill, and Spread Eagle Court, in Gray's Inn Lane,) are now exempt from it; as appears by a communication, with which they have been favoured by the Rev. Mr. Barton, Rector of St. Andrew's, Holborn, within whose parish those districts
They have also the satisfaction of reporting (on the information of the Rev. Mr. M'Carthy, Curate of Spitalfields) that Infectious Fever does not at present prevail in that parish;nor (as appears by other Reports) in Westminster, nor in the neighbourhood of the Royal Exchange, except in a few narrow courts in Cripplegate, and near Coleman Street. Nor has it at any time been prevalent, to any fatal or general extent, in the airy and opulent neighbourhood of Grosvenor Square, nor in any of the western parts of the metropolis.
It appears, however, that the infection has been constantly retained in some parts of London and Westminster; where want of cleanliness and of a supply of fresh air, and neglect of medical precaution, have, from time to time, renewed the miseries of Infectious Fevers among the Poor; and that no parochial measures have been yet taken in the metropolis, for cleansing the habitations of the Poor, so as entirely to remove the infection. Upon this subject Dr. Richard Pearson, of Bloomsbury Square, has supplied the Committee with much useful information, both as to the local
seats of the infection, and the causes and remedy thereof.
The result of his observation, as to this infection spreading thro families in the metropolis, from sources unknown and unsuspected, is confirmed by a letter, which the Committee has been favoured with by Dr. Fraser, of Lower Grosvenor Street; who observes, that in the few cases of Infectious Fever, that have come under his care, the source of infection could not by any means be traced.
The opinion of all these Gentlemen concurs in this point; that with regular attention, there would be very few instances of Infectious Fever in London; and this is confirmed by a remarkable fact, stated by Mr. Leese, of Copthall Court, that of eight patients in Typhus Fever, which he attended last summer, he had reason to believe, that all the infection originated from one individual case in Bell Alley.
The present exemption of the metropolis from Infectious Fever cannot, it must be admitted, be wholly imputed to the Fever Institution, and to the House of Recovery which it has established in Gray's Inn Lane. The