This news item was published in the South Eastern Gazette – 10th October 1854 – at the time of the outbreak of Cholera in London 1854.
On Friday last, 6th October, a numerous and respectable meeting of inhabitants took place at Milton Hall to receive a report and testimony of the Medical Offers previous to their leaving the district.
W. Welbourne Esq, a visitor was called to the chair. In the course of a very able address, he took occasion to remark that for some years he and his family had been in the habit of visiting Sandgate as they had done at the present season and intended still to do so for a more delightful and charming spot he thought could not be found; the walks and drives were unsurpassed. With regard to the late sickness he had no fear himself, neither would he be persuaded to run to to other places where probably, although not so generally known, the epidemic might rage as bad or even worse that it had done here.
Dr. Bond, the Medical Officer, sent down from the Board of Health stated that he was now about to take his departure…. He pronounced the town to be in a perfectly healthy state more so than before the epidemic broke out. Several questions were put to the Doctor from the meeting, the answers to which were most satisfactory.
The Chairman remarked that as a stranger and knowing nothing of the local management of the town, the only factor he could see was the inadequate supply of water. A vote of thanks was passed to the extra Medical Officers for their exertions; also to the resident medical gentlemen for their persevering and praiseworthy exertions.
On 31 August 1854, after several other outbreaks had occurred elsewhere in the city of London, a major outbreak of cholera struck Soho. John Snow, the physician who eventually linked the outbreak to contaminated water, later called it “the most terrible outbreak of cholera which ever occurred in this kingdom.” Over the next three days, 127 people on or near Broad Street died. In the next week, three quarters of the residents had fled the area. By 10 September, 500 people had died and the mortality rate was 12.8 percent in some parts of the city. By the end of the outbreak, 616 people had died in London.