Effluence and Influence: Public Health, Sewers and Politics in Lincoln, 1848-50

by Dennis R Mills The Society of Lincolnshire History and Archaeology

Cholera threatened Lincoln during the national epidemic of 1848-49.  The book reproduces the street by street report by George Giles, an eminent engineer, on the insanitary condition of the city, as well as his state-of-the art sewerage scheme described in both text and maps.  A lively debate ensued in the City but at two rowdy public meetings ratepayers succeeded in defeating the adoption of the proposals.

George Giles, was commissioned to produce proposals for a Lincoln sewerage system. He produced two maps, one at 40 inches to the mile (1:1334) now owned and currently held by City of Lincoln Council.  Another version survives at the considerably reduced scale of 20 inches to the miles, which shows almost as much detail and is in far better condition.  The topographical base for both these maps was the 20-inch plan by JS Padley.

The author places the local story and characters within the wider debates about public health, urban development and changes in sewer technology, and provides biographical notes on the Lincoln men involved.

Dr Dennis Mills is a highly regarded historical geographer who was educated in Lincoln and is well known for his accessible books and articles on Lincoln and neighbourhood. 

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