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John Roberton, Observations on the Mortality
and Physical Management of Children

Part I, Section III

Tables Shewing the Rate of Infantile
Mortality in Different Places

To assist in understanding the following tables, which are founded on bills of mortality, it may be observed, that the mortality bill of a town or parish is merely a transcript of its Registers arranged in such a manner as to present whatever information they furnish in a condensed view.

The London Bills for thirty five years, from 1786 to 1820 inclusive, afford the following results.

For the sake of exhibiting more clearly the average mortality under the age of ten at different intervals of time; I divide the thirty five years into five equal periods of seven years each. The first column of figures in the Table is the FIVE PERIODS, the second shews the TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE REGISTERS DURING EACH PERIOD; the third column exhibits the PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS UNDER TWO YEARS OF AGE IN EACH PERIOD; the fourth in like manner, the PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS BETWEEN THE AGES OF TWO AND FIVE YEARS; the fifth the PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS BETWEEN FIVE AND TEN YEARS OF AGE; and the sixth and last column of figures, the TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS UNDER THE AGE OF TEN, IN EACH PERIOD.

Lastly, after the Table is the TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS UNDER THE AGE OF TEN, on the average of the FIVE PERIODS, that is, on the average of thirty five years. The per cents are set down in whole numbers and decimal fractions: for example, the whole number of deaths in the FIRST PERIOD is 137260, of which it is shewn there are 32.68 per cent. or about 32 2/5 in a hundred under the age of 2 years, 9.99 per cent. or very nearly 10 in the hundred between the ages of 2 and 5 years and so on, of the others.

TABLE

PERIODS

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under the age of 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total Deaths under 10

I.

137260

32.68

9.99

3.91

46.58

II.

134760

31.77

11.05

4.02

46.84

III.

133864

28.73

11.37

4.25

44.35

IV.

127521

29.99

11.05

4.00

45.04

V.

137908

26.84

9.65

4.30

40.79

Average total per centage of deaths in 35 years under the age of ten ... 44.72.

In the year 1811, the population of London within the bills of mortality, was seven hundred and seventy seven thousand, and in 1821, one million one thousand and forty nine: annual mortality 1 in every 34.19.

Before proceeding to the tables which relate to other places, it will be necessary to make a few remarks on the above table, compiled from London bills, that the reader may better comprehent the nature and authority of such documents.

Thee can be no doubt that the proportion of deaths under 10, as stated in the London table is too low; for the following reasons.

1st... The London bills include only such as are buried with the rites of the Established Church. Dissenters, Jews, and others, many of them of the poorest class, in which the rate of infantile mortality is very high, are omitted. But for this circumstance there is reason to think that the deaths under 10 would be more than they are in the table by at least 4 or 6 percent.

2ndly. -- London, it is well known, does not maintain itself in population but is annually receiving from the Country multitudes of recruits, mostly unmarried, between the ages of 15 and 30; consequently the adult portion of the inhabitants will at all times unduly preponderate; and the number of deaths above, and the number of deaths under, 15, will of course be in like disproportion.

There are many considerations to be borne in mind in estimating from mortuary registers the relative number of deaths under 10, in towns where the population is rapidly increasing. If this increase is owing to the excess of births above the deaths, the mortality under 10 in the reigsters will be too great; as, in such a case the number of inhabitants that furnishes the deaths under this age will be proportionately greater than that which furnishes the deaths above it.

In Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, and other increasing mercantile towns, where the excess of births above the deaths is always considerable, this objection does not apply; or only in a trifling degree; as the immense annual influx of unmarried people above the age of 10, must nearly counterbalance the excess of births above mentioned. [1]

From this cause the mortuary registers of some country parishes exhibit the deaths under 10 rather too high.

In the London table it is shewn that on an average, so many deaths are under 2, so many between 2 and 5, and between 5 and 10, and finally that 44.6 in the hundred of the annual deaths in that city are under the age of 10. The reader is not thence to infer that precisely 44.6 per cent. of all who are born in London die under that age. Were the births and deaths equal, and the population stationary, this would be the case; but as the population not only in London but in all the places to which the different tables refer, is frequently varying, the mortality at all ages as it appears in the registers, does not shew, exactly, the probabilities of life though perhaps it does so with sufficient accuracy for the purposes of medical statistics. In America and other countries increasing with great rapidity from the excess of births over the deaths, the probabilities of life, and the mortality in the registers, do not nearly approximate.

As most of the following tables are formed on an average of the deaths for many successive years in different places, some of them in parts of the country remote from each other, the reader will compare the results which they present and judge for himself. It being no part of my undertaking, to write a theory of population I forbear enlargeing on these topics.

GLASGOW ... Dr. Watt's Table of the Infantile Mortality in this city for 30 years, from 1783 to 1812 inclusive, is compiled from all the registers of both city and suburbs. Of course the deaths of no class of people are omitted. He arranges his table in 5 equal periods of 6 years each. [2]

TABLE

PERIODS

Total No. of Deaths in the Registers

Under the age of 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total Deaths under 10

I.

9994

39.40

10.66

3.42

53.48

II.

11103

42.38

11.90

3.79

58.07

III.

9991

38.82

12.21

3.45

54.48

IV.

10034

33.50

13.43

5.10

52.03

V.

13354

35.89

14.22

5.58

55.69

Average total number of deaths under 10, for 30 years -- 54.75.

"The population of Glasgow was ascertained in 1780, in 1785, in 1791, in 1801, and in 1811. These 32 years," says Dr. Watt, "I divide into four unequal periods. The 1st. consisting of six years, from 1780 to 1785 inclusive. The 2nd consisting of six years from 1785 to 1791. The 3rd. consisting of ten years from 1791 to 1801, and the 4th. consisting also of ten years, from 1801 to 1811."

In each period taking the average population, and the annual average number of deaths the proportions stand thus:

A

Population

Deaths

Proportional Mortality

I.

44360

1661

1 in 26.7

II.

56233

2012

1 in 27.9

III.

75173

2127

1 in 35.2

IV.

96997

2377

1 in 40.8 [3]

LIVERPOOL ... I have obtained the mortality bills of this town for 12 years, from 1812 to 1825 inclusive, excepting the bills for 1815, and for 1821, which could not be procured. Here a mortality bill is published annualy as in London. It appears to be drawn up with much exactness, and includes the results of all the registers, 49 in number, both of the Establishment and of the various Dissenters. I divide the Table into 3 periods; the 1st includes 3 years; the 2nd five years; the 3rd four years; the gaps caused by the bills that are missing suggest this division.

PERIODS

Total Deaths in the Registers

Under 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

I.

7757

31.28

10.94

5.59

47.81

II.

16942

32.42

11.24

5.19

48.85

III.

15592

33.06

10.30

4.32

47.68

Average total number of deaths under 10 ... 48.11.

By the census of 1811, the population was 108,338. In the year 1821 it had risen to 141,487, being an increase in 10 years of 33,149. Liverpool has long been known for the longevity of its inhabitants. At the last Census there were only 14 persons in the county of the age of 100 years or upwards; and of that number, 6 resided in Liverpool.

Taking the mean number of inhabitants which is 124912, and the annual number of deaths on the average of the above 10 years which is 3173, we find that one out of every 39.36 died annually between the years 1811 and 1821.

The number of families is 25309; of which 11421 only are employed in trade or manufactures.

MANCHESTER ... In this town no mortality bill is published. Before 1812 the ages of the dead are not noticed in the registers. I have examined the list of interments at the Collegiate Church for 8 yeras, from 1816 to 1823 inclusive, and also the lists at Rusholme Road cemetery for four years -- from April 1821 to the same month in 1825. In the registers of neither place are the still-born entered. My researches have been confined to these two burial grounds, believing that the results may be taken as a tolerably fair exhibition of the rate of mortality for the town at large.

TABLES

COLLEGIATE CHURCH

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

8656

26.59

13.81

14.78

4.47

59.65

RUSHOLME-ROAD CEMETERY

In Registers

Under 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total

3559

40.06

12.43

3.82

56.31

It would appear that the mortality under 10 is greatest at the Collegiate Church. This may depend merely on the table for the former place being made from an average of more years than that for the latter. The two places give an average of 57.98 under 10 years of age.

At the time when Dr. Percival wrote, -- 1773, the population was 27246, and one out of every 30 died annually. 12 years before, an account had been taken, when it was found the one out of every 21 died annually, which shews how much the town was improving in salubrity at the date of Dr. P's Essays. What the relative mortality under 10 might then be I cannot ascertain; but I suspect it was as great or greater than it is at present. According to Dr. Percival, one half of the children born died under 5 years.

In the year 1821, the population of Manchester and Salford was 155758. In the parish at large the operative class is proportionally very great; of 38414 families, which it contains, no fewer than 34977 are employed in trade, manufactures, or handicraft. Not having been able to ascertain the total annual number of deaths in the town, I cannot calculate what proportion of the inhabitants dies annually. It is probably as low as in most places of equal magnitude. [4]

WARRINGTON ... Mortality Bills for this town of 9 years, -- from 1773 to 1781 inclusive, are furnished in Dr. Price's work; [5] as they were kept under the eye of Dr. Aikin, their accuracy may be relied on. At that period the number of inhabitants was about 8000, and the average annual number of deaths 302.09 being at the rate of 1 out of every 26.48.

TABLE 1st.

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

2719

24.09

14.41

12.83

3.79

55.12

I have procured bills for the same town for 8 years of a more recent date, namely from 1818 to 1825 inclusive. In 1811 the inhabitants had increased to 11738, and in 1821 to 13570. The annual average number of deaths for the above period was 343.75, or about 1 in 37 of the population. Of 3482 families which the town contained in 1821, 2009 were engaged in trade, manufactures, or handicraft.

TABLE 2nd.

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 6 Months

6 Months and 1 Yr.

1 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

2910

15.32

10.41

11.78

7.14

44.65

Total average under 10 of the two periods 49.88.

CHESTER ... Mortality Bills for this city for 10 years, -- from 1772 to 1781 inclusive, are to be found in the work of Dr. Price. They were kept by Dr. Haygarth with the greatest accuracy. Unluckily I have not been able to procure Bills of this city of a later date. Dr. Haygarth in his day, considered Chester to be one of the healthiest cities in the kingdom. The number of inhabitants in the year 1774 was 14713. The annual Mortality as 1 of 31.01. In 1821, the population had increased to 19949.

TABLE

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

4090

19.70

8.82

11.85

4.05

44.42

NORTHAMPTON ... The Bills for the parish of All Saints in this town for 46 years, -- for 1735 to 1780, are furnished by Dr. Price.

TABLE

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

4689

32.60

7.80

4.28

44.68

CARLISLE ... The Carlisle Bills for 9 years from 1779 to 1787 inclusive, are given by Mr. Milne, as extracted by him from a valuable work written by Dr. Heysham of that town. [6] The population of the parishes of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert in the year 1787 was 8677; the annual mortality 1 out of 40. Of the 3022 families which the place contained in the year 1811, 2377 were employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft.

TABLE

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 3

3 and 4

4 and 5

5 and 10

Under 10

1840

21.19

9.40

6.94

3.80

2.77

4.83

48.93

HOLY CROSS in Salop ... Bills for this parish for 30 years from 1750 to 1780 inclusive kept with scrupulous care by the Rev. Dr. Gorsuch, Rector, are to be found in different volumes of the Phil. Trans. As a whole they form the most valuable record of the mortality of a country parish any where to be met with. The following table is arranged in three equal periods of 10 years each. Average population in the three periods 1066; annual rate of mortality 1 out of every 33.10.

TABLE

PERIODS

Total Deaths

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

I.

290

15.17

5.17

9.65

7.93

37.92

II.

365

20.00

6.57

10.68

6.30

43.55

III.

311

19.29

7.07

10.29

4.50

41.15

Total average under 10 for the three periods 40.87.

ACKWORTH a Country Parish in Yorkshire ... The Bills for 20 years, from 1747 to 1767, are furnished by Dr. Price. I arrange them into a table of two equal periods. The average number of inhabitants was 728, and the annual mortality 1 out of every 55.36.

TABLE

PERIODS

Total Deaths

Under 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

I.

107

15.89

2.80

3.74

22.43

II.

156

19.94

10.25

3.20

33.39

The average total under 10 in both periods 27.91.

GREAT SHEFFORD in Berkshire, a country Parish ... The Bills accurately kept for 10 years, from 1747 to 1757 by the Rev. R. Forster, incumbent. Number of inhabitants 425; annual mortality 1 out of 51.20.

TABLE

Total Deaths

Under 2

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

83

30.12

4.82

3.61

38.55

SPALDING, a parish containing a market town in the Lincolnshire Fens ... The Bills for 14 years, from 1798 to 1811 inclusive, published by Milne, as furnished to him by the Rev. Dr. Johnson of that place. Total mean population 3780, of which 1 person out of 31.34 died annually.

TABLE

Total Deaths

Under 1

Between 1 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

1519

35.64

8.75

3.75

48.14

To contrast with the mortality of country parishes in the last century I have procured extracts of a recent date from the registers of four country parishes, two in Lancashire, and two in Cheshire.

ECCLES, near Manchester ... This is a parish of great extent, and has many populous villages. Number of inhabitants 23331. In the year 1821 it contained 4233 families of which 3629 were employed in trade, manufactures, or handicraft. The following table gives the results of the Eccles registers for 7 years, -- from 1818 to 1825 inclusive, excepting 1823 which was accidentally omitted.

Assuming that all the interments in the parish took place at Eccles Church, (which I believe is not precisely the case) the annual mortality is 1 out of 48.34.

TABLE

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 2 years

Between 2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

3378

35.46

10.92

2.96

49.34

WINWICK, 3 miles North of Warrington. Of the 3027 families, which this parish contains 2458 are employed in trade, manufactures or handicraft. The population in 1821 was 16229. The following Table is founded on extracts for 9 years from the registers kept at Winwick Church. [7]

TABLE

Total No. of deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

1486

16.88

7.06

6.12

4.66

34.72

LYMM, a country parish in Cheshire. Most of the inhabitants are employed in Agriculture. In 1821 their number was 2090. Assuming that the funerals registered in the parish church are those of all that die in the parish, the annual mortality is 1 person out of 56.48. The following table is for 9 years from 1817 to 1825 inclusive.

TABLE

Total deaths in the Registers

Under 1 year

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

333

24.92

6.60

4.80

3.90

40.22

GRAPPENHALL, a Country Parish 3 miles South of Warrington ... The majority of the inhabitants follow Agriculture. Their number I have not been able to learn. The table is formed from extracts made from the parish registers for 11 years, from 1815 to 1825 inclusive.

TABLE

Total deaths in the Registers

Under 1

Between 1 and 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total under 10

397

20.40

5.03

7.30

2.26

34.99

In addition to what the foregoing tables exhibit, it is proper to notice the mortality which occurs in the few first months of life. In the Dublin Lying-in Hospital one infant in about 6 1/2 died under 15 days old. In the Westminster Lying-in Hospital the mortality was less. Of 1400 women, 1 in every 16 buried her child before the end of two months. [8] In the Manchester Work-house, have been born during the last 7 years 347 living children, of which 53, or about 2/13 of the whole were dead by the 35th day. The deaths were at the following ages, under eight days 22, in the next seven days 10, from the 14th to the 22nd day 7, thence to the 29th 7, and 7 more by the 35th day, in all 53. [9]

The following table amply illustrates this subject. It is arranged from the Chester, Northampton, and Warrington mortality bills. Of 3894 deaths under the age of ten years there were

Under 1 month

400

Between 1 and 2

218

Between 2 and 3

139

Between 3 and 6

282

Between 6 and 9

317

Between 9 and 12

347

Total

1703

The following summary of all the Tables shews the mortality at different ages under 10 years, in cities, smaller towns, village parishes, and agricultural parishes.

1st. -- Cities and Large Towns

Under 2

2 and 5

5 and 10

Total Under 10

London
Liverpool
Glasgow
Manchester

35.12

11.88

4.39

51.39

2nd. -- Smaller Towns and Cities

Chester
Carlisle
Warrington
Northampton

31.49

10.83

4.65

46.97

3rd. -- Village Parishes

Spalding
Lymm
Eccles

35.36

7.01

3.54

45.90

4th. -- Agricultural Parishes

Winwick
Grappenhall
Great Shefford
Ackworth
Holy Cross

24.37

6.99

4.04

35.40

Grand average total...

31.58

9.18

4.15

44.91

It is curious to observe how near the proportional mortality under 10, in foreign countries, approaches that in our own. According to SUSMILCH'S German Tables it is 43 percent. for the Country, 47.7 for small Towns, and 50.2 for large Cities. In France, according to DUVILLARD, it is 44.89 on the average of the kingdom.


Footnotes

1. That such is the case there can be no doubt. Taking the whole of Lancashire I find that the number of inhabitants above the age of ten is to that under ten in the proportion of 2.30 to 1; or in other words twice and about a third more people are above than below ten. In Manchester however the proportion is 2.52 to 1, that is to say, there are twice and about a half more above, than there are below ten.

2. Watt on Chincough.

3. Watt in the Edin. Med. and Surgical Journal.

4. In Sir G. Blane's Essays the annual mortality of Manchester is stated to be 1 in 71; but so palpable an error must surely have originated with the printer rather than the author. The mortality in question is certainly not lower than 1 in 40.

5. Price on Reversionary Payments.

6. Milne on Annuities, etc.

7. Having no means of ascertaining with exactness what proportion of the interments in the parish takes place at Parish Church, I am unable, on that account, to calculate the annual mortality.

8. See Clarke and Bland's Reports of the respective Hospitals in the Phil. Trans. -- Vols. 71 and 76.

9. Underwood affirms but without stating the source of his information, that out of 2785 children who have died in the first month, 1292 that is more than 40 in the hundred have expired the first day.


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