DAFC.net
Home 21 September 2020 
 Post Message  |  Top of Board  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Twitter Updates  |  Log In   Forum Rules  |  Newer Topic  |  Older Topic  |  end 
[ please login to use the Like feature ]
 Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 02:29

''Cholera Morbus. This terrible scourge reached Dunfermline on Sunday 2nd September 1832; “it made its first appearance in the suburb of Baldridge Burn, and caused great excitement and terror. A man named Mercer, a weaver, near Balridge Burn Toll, was the first who died in the district of cholera.”

The cholera was believed to have come from the Baltic via Sunderland and killed 158 people in the town. Since it was believed at the time that the disease was air borne, barrels of tar were burned in the middle of the streets to purify the atmosphere. A dead cart was sent round to pick up the victims. Plague stones from the time of the bubonic plague were possibly brought back into service.
“Plague Stones” filled with water, were set up for washing money. Two of these stones were built in an old wall in a close on the north side of the High Street (“up the Tron Close”). These “plague-stanes,” or dishes, are of stone of a greyish tint 17 inches in diameter, and 2. 1/2 inches in depth and are rare memorials of Dunfermline in the olden time. Besides washing the “coin of the realm,” body-clothes were fumigated.''

The times have some similarities with our own. There was constitutional controversy raging through the country, which in this case inspired the Great Reform Act of 1832. And in the wake of the cholera epidemic there were riots in Paisley, Glasgow and Edinburgh, partly through a suspicion that doctors were allowing patients to die in order to acquire more specimens for research.
Unfortunately there was a worse cholera outbreak in 1849 which claimed more victims in Dunfermline and fear of another one in 1852.

''Feeling anxious that in so far as we can we should be prepared beforehand in the event of Cholera paying us a visit, I along with Mr John Pearson, Sub-inspector of the Poor & Mr Lambert, Superintendent of Police, made a tour on Monday night last through most of the low lodging houses in town. We found them, with the exception of one or two, exceedingly filthy & quite unfit for the abode of human beings. I would more particularly refer to two houses far below ground in Taylor’s Close (next to the Old Inn) which ought to be shut up at once. They are not fit for Cows or pigs. In fact I am very certain that no man having a cow worth ten pounds would put her up for a single night in either of the places. There is also another house in the same close inhabited by a John Haggerty in a most horrible state.''

By then the link between infected water and cholera was starting to be recognised so that improved public water systems were made a priority. A vaccine was still 40 years away however.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: Stoo  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 09:13

Very interesting. So are the money washing stones still there?

In fact cant think of any closes on the north side of the High Street.



Post Edited (Sat 13 Jun 09:19)
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: Thaipar  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 10:50

Quote:

Stoo, Sat 13 Jun 09:13

Very interesting. So are the money washing stones still there?

In fact cant think of any closes on the north side of the High Street.


There is the close that had menzies on one side and shepherd's the butchers on the other.

Please don't book me Admin, it will ruin my life.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 11:52

In the years before proper safe public water supplies were available many people, including children, drank low strength beer rather than water.

Sometimes sold as "Table Beer" and aimed at household mealtime consumption.

19th century research which Edinburgh brewers commissioned in respect of water supply and fermentation matters helped improve knowledge and contributed to the city's public water network.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: charlie1  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 12:23

Quote:

Thaipar, Sat 13 Jun 10:50

Quote:

Stoo, Sat 13 Jun 09:13

Very interesting. So are the money washing stones still there?

In fact cant think of any closes on the north side of the High Street.


There is the close that had menzies on one side and shepherd's the butchers on the other.


That's on South side
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: Thaipar  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 12:27

Is there not a close next to Boots on high street also.

Please don't book me Admin, it will ruin my life.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 13:14

From what I can gather the Tron Close would have been a place where goods were weighed. The close ran from the north of the High Street up to what is now Queen Anne Street but the 'Plague Stones' are long gone I imagine.

The stones caught my attention since there has been speculation that cash might disappear in the aftermath of the covid virus, and in 1645 Dunfermline they were trying to tackle the very same problem.

Given the effect of cholera on the town I am surprised that I was never aware of it before. I would have thought it would have been passed down as part of our Dunfermline oral history.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 14:06

Quote:

Thaipar, Sat 13 Jun 12:27

Is there not a close next to Boots on high street also.


Boots no longer there Thaipar, but yes there is a close down the side of the former Boots site.
Used to use it for a bit romancing late 60's, bit draughty sometimes!😉😉😉
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Cholera in Dunfermline (historical)
Topic Originator: Thaipar  
Date:   Sat 13 Jun 14:24

Quote:

LochgellyAlbert, Sat 13 Jun 14:06

Quote:

Thaipar, Sat 13 Jun 12:27

Is there not a close next to Boots on high street also.


Boots no longer there Thaipar, but yes there is a close down the side of the former Boots site.
Used to use it for a bit romancing late 60's, bit draughty sometimes!😉😉😉


Should have told her to keep her knees together 😂😅

Please don't book me Admin, it will ruin my life.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Top of Board  |  Forum List  |  Threaded View   Forum Rules  |  Newer Topic  |  Older Topic  |  end 


 Forum List  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Password:
 Remember my login:
   
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Security : type 'pars' in the box:
email:
© 2020 -- DAFC.net