Letter to the Board of Guardians
(Regarding typhus fever and delays in medical relief)

Reference: 611/15, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St. Edmunds).

Back to the page on Floyd Minter Peck or The Newmarket Union (and workhouse).


Newmarket May 23rd 1843 [Note: this is also the date of the minutes.]


As medical Officer, I feel it my duty to draw the attention of the Board of Guardians to the sanatory state of the parish of Moulton. The parish has not for the last 3 or 4 months been free from typhus fever of a severe character. I have had 6 cases and yesterday observed another. I believe the cause of this to be the almost universal practice of having a large muck hole in front of the cottage doors into which filth of every description, animal and vegetable is committed, and having large heaps of decayed cabbage stalks close to the cottages put there to dry for fuel. The emanations from these quantities of decomposing vegetable matter are doubtless the most fruitful sources of fever, and till these are removed I have little hopes that the disease will be stopped. I would also direct the attention of the Board to the expediency of placing those paupers fairly entitled to Medical Relief at the expense of the parish in a way of obtaining it at an early period of disease, instead of causing them to wait till the arrival of the relieving Officer [sic?], or of the board day. The result of this is frequently that a pauper loses his or her work for a longer period, disease gains a greater hold on them by being unchecked, and their recovery is retarded or rendered probably impossible. Thus it involves loss of time, health, or life to the pauper, the necessity on the part of the parish of supporting his family for a longer or shorter period and on the part of the Medical Officer an attendance 3 times as long as in ordinary cases, a thing at the present remuneration to that person not to be desired. The justice of these observations I am prepared to substantiate by cases if the Board desire it,

I am Sir,

your obedient servant

Floyd M Peck
Medical Officer of No 3 District