Cowkeeper essays - The 1745 distemper outbreak

Some of the newspaper and journal articles I found during my research are a bit too long or wordy to include in the main body of my essay. So I have made them into separate drill-down pages, and introduced some punctuation in my transcript so you don't get too breathless. Any comments are in [blue italics]. Please click any of the links on the left to get back.

This transcript from the London Evening Post of Thursday 5th December 1745. It gives the wording of an Order published from Hick's Hall (the old Middlesex Magistrates' building) concerning the new Commissioners chosen to oversee the containment of the outbreak, and the rules to be followed. It is clear that some lessons were learnt from the 1714 outbreak.

"Hick’s Hall in the County of Middlesex, 2nd December

"This Day the Gentlemen appointed by Order of the Lords of his Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council, to endeavour to put a Stop to the spreading of the Distemper which now rages amongst the Milch Cows and Calves in the County of Middlesex, met, and have chose Joseph Walker, of Clare-Market, in the County of Middlesex, Butcher, John Lane, of Islington, Cow-keeper, Thomas Rhodes of the Parish of Pancras, Cowkeeper, Edwards Tomkins, of Mansell-Street, Goodman’s Fields, Butcher, and John Penny, of Dyot-Street, in the Parish of St Giles in the Fields, Butcher, to be their Surveyors.

"And at the same Time the said Gentlemen deliver’d in Writing to each of the said Surveyors the following Instructions, to be by them observ’d, viz:

"The said Gentlemen do hereby give notice to all Farmers and Cowkeepers in the said County of Middlesex, that they follow the above Instructions, and also suffer the said Surveyors to do their Duty as above directed; and those who refuse or neglect so to do will not be entitled to any Allowance for the Loss of any of their Cows and Calves.

"By Order of the said Gentlemen, THOMAS DREW, Secretary, Tokenhouse-Yard, Lothbury [street on north side of the Bank of England]."

[The original county of Middlesex occupies what is now the north-west area of Greater London, and included the City of London, the West End and the City of Westminster. It was bounded on the south by the River Thames; across the Thames was Surrey. Tothill Fields were marshy fields at Westminster until the early 1800s - see the map in Demand and Supply]

Copyright © Marion Hearfield 2009