Transactions of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association/Volume 4/3
MEDICAL MEDICAL TOPOGRAPHY, STATISTICS, &c
AND OF THE DISTRICT AT THE BASE OF THE
BY WILLIAM ADDISON, ESQ. F.L.S.
Surgeon to H.R.H the Duchess of Kent.
THE principal object of Medical Topography should be to discover the causes of diseases, by investigating all the circumstances of a locality in any manner affecting the physical or social condition of the inhabitants, with a view to point out those measures calculated to increase their comforts, remove their diseases, and prolong life.
It is essentially requisite that every inquiry of this nature should em brace, first—the natural history and climate of the district to which it relates, so far, at least, as to comprehend all those influences producing any sensible effect upon the human frame; and, secondly, the statistical results, by which the effects of physical circumstances upon the health, and the moral and social conditions of the population, may be estimated.
NATURAL HISTORY OF THE DISTRICT.
1. Geographical Position of the Hills.—The Malvern hills are situated upon the border of the counties of Worcester and Hereford; they form a narrow undulating chain, in length about nine miles. The top of the ridge rises in many places into pointed conical peaks, giving it a picturesque and mountainous outline. The northern extremity of the chain is about seven and half miles south-west of the city of Worcester, and the southern about nine miles north or north-west of Gloucester, the line running pretty nearly north and south. The height of the several peaks varies from 8 or 900 to 1450 feet, the boldest and highest being situated above the village of Great Malvern.
2. Geology.—The Malvern hills belong to the sienitic trap formation, and are composed of hard irregular masses of sienite, quartz, felspar, mica, hornblende, greenstone, &c. either alone or disseminated with each other in very variable proportions. At the northern extremity of the chain are veins of crystallized sulphate of barytes; and near the Herefordshire Beacon, veins of carbonate of lime reach nearly to the summit of the hill, and this substance is here largely mingled with the other constituents of the rock.
On the eastern flank of the Malvern hills rests the lower new red sandstone, with here and there a conglomerated rock containing quartz, felspar, grey wacke, &c. At two or three places these conglomerates have been observed in inclined positions at some height above the plain, and at one point at Great Malvern, they adhere to the steep flank of the sienite, dipping east at a considerable angle. This fact Mr. Murchison observes, "leads to an inference that this chain of trappean hills may have undergone a movement of elevation, subsequent to the deposit of the new red sandstone."
On the west flank is an extensive series of beds of greywacke limestone, and conglomerates, forming a broken chain of high rounded, and more or less conical hills; the strata, which contain a great variety of fossil remains, dip at almost every angle, and in every direction, the conglomerates contain minute masses of quartz, felspar, hornblende, &c. Among these limestone hills are beds of gravel and pebbles, and in many places, stiff marl and clay, mingled with quantities of a friable micaceous earth of various degrees of hardness, generally breaking easily under the fingers, and falling down in silvery scales.
3. Physiognomy of the District around.—The whole surface of the primitive range, is covered with soft, short, and mossy herbage, affording pasturage to large flocks of sheep. The rocks, in many places, project from beneath the turf with a bold and rugged front, which, with the deep ravines intersecting them, give a romantic and pleasing character to the slopes, much heightened in summer and autumn by the large rich purple flowers of the foxglove, and the deep yellow of the furze.
From the summit of the Worcestershire Beacon, (the highest point of the range, and commanding a most extensive panoramic view over several counties,) the eye wanders towards the east over an immense and apparently perfectly level country, studded with villages and towns, and threaded by the windings of the Severn. In the west are seen hills of various forms and sizes, rising one behind the other for several miles, covered with wood, and intersected by deep vallies. On the eastern side the descent is at first very precipitous, and then the slope is gradual into the plain just noticed; on the west the primitive hills mingle themselves with the secondary, at a greater elevation. In the former direction the horizon is bounded by the low lias escarpments of east Worcestershire and Warwickshire, and the öolite of Bredon, Cheltenham, and Gloucester; in the latter by the black mountains, and other hills in South Wales and Shropshire.
Along the base of the Malvern hills, on either side, is a purely agricultural country. On the east lie the parishes of Great and Little Malvern, Hanley Castle, Welland, Leigh, Madresfield, and the chapelry of Newland, forming the eastern division of the district under consideration. The soil here, near the hills, is of a dry gravelly nature, resulting from the disintegration of the materials which compose the constituent rock; it contains, in large quantities, minute particles of quartz, mica, &c. with angular masses of hornblende, quartz, and sienite; below this (i. e. further from the hill) the surface is chiefly a red sandy marl, interspersed with clay, sand, and pebbles, furnishing abundantly the usual products of agricultural labour, large crops of apples and pears, and some hops. On the western side is the market town of Ledbury, and the parishes of Colwall, Coddington, Mathon, and Cradley, forming the western division of the district. Here the surface principally consists of a stiff light-coloured clay, with extensive patches of a more disintegrated and genial soil, copiously interspersed with various-coloured pebbles, overlaying beds of sand and gravel. In many parts on this side there is scarcely sufficient soil to cover the bare rock, and vegetation often suffers from a deficiency of moisture, though the valleys lying between the various woody eminences are many of them rich and fertile; there are here also numerous apple and pear orchards, and a larger proportion of hop plantations.
The level surface of the vale on the east side of the Malvern hills, is peculiarly favourable for freedom of communication. The roads are numerous, and generally good. The rivers, also, afford important facilities for the transport of articles of luxury or commerce. The Severn, as will be seen by referring to the map, touches the boundary of the parish of Great Malvern, its course being nearly parallel with the line of the hills. The Teme constitutes a considerable part of the limit to the parish of Leigh. On the other hand, in the country around the western base (broken into many steep and wooded hills) the roads are generally very bad, indeed, with few exceptions, quite impassable for a carriage in winter; the road and the water course often applying to the same pass. The numerous brooks and streams speedily fill after a few hours rain; are very rapid in their course, tearing up the soil, and accumulating large fragments of loose stones.
These physical circumstances, combined with the greater intercourse which the peasantry of the eastern side have with visitors from the Metropolis and the neighbouring towns, resorting to Malvern and Malvern Wells during the season, contribute to explain the difference observable in the manners (and, as will be hereafter seen) in the statistical results of the population of the parishes in the eastern, as compared with those in the western, division.
4. Waters.—All the springs in the western division retain considerable quantities of earthy salts in solution, particularly carbonate of lime, derived from the extensive lime stone strata whence they arise; indeed, many of the little streams in this division possess a petrifying quality, depositing upon sticks, straws, or moss, lying in them, a tolerably thick covering of the carbonate, which becomes of a stony hardness by exposure to the air.
In the eastern division, almost all the pump waters I have examined are hard; containing, besides lime and minute quantities of other matters, a very notable proportion of magnesia. It is only the springs issuing from the primitive rock, of which there are several on the eastern slope, that possess that character of purity, that freedom from earthy contamination, so peculiarly characterising the water of St. Ann's and the Holy Well.
Malvern Waters.—The waters of St. Ann's Well, at Great Malvern, and of the Holy Well, in the parish of Hanley Castle, have long been celebrated for their medical virtues. Mention is made of these springs in Bannister's Breviary of the Eyes, printed 1622. And in the Addenda to Camden's Britannia is the following: "Near the division (betwixt Worcestershire and Herefordshire) is a spring, that has long been famed for the virtue of healing eyes, and other parts of the head, therefore called Eye Well. And besides this, is another spring called Holy Well, hitherto much resorted to for curing all scorbutic humours, and external ulcers, by bathing and drinking of the Waters." In 1756, Dr. J. Wall, of Worcester, wrote an account of the latter spring, containing several cases in which it had been highly beneficial. A third edition of this treatise was published in 1763. Dr. Wilson Philip afterwards published an analysis of the waters of each of these wells; and, subsequently, Dr. M. Wall. The publication of the latter contains seventy-six cases, some of them, certainly, very extraordinary ones, in which the internal and external use of the Malvern waters was eminently beneficial. "The cases I shall mention," he observes, "are such only as I have attended myself, and, therefore, I will be answerable for their veracity. The Holy Well water appears, from every day's experience, to be possessed of all the virtues attributed to it, and to be serviceable in scrofulous cases, old ulcers and fistulas, obstructed glands, disorders of the eyes and eyelids, nephritic complaints, cutaneous disorders, &c. &c. The cures performed by this water, in scrofulous cases, are very numerous and surprising."
Considerable difference of opinion has existed upon the quantity and nature of the contents of the Malvern waters. Both Dr. J. and Dr. M. Wall agree that they are but very slightly impregnated with earthy or saline matter. Dr. Wilson Philip, on the other hand, contended that they held the carbonates of soda, lime, magnesia, and iron, with other saline compounds, in considerable quantity. The results of many carefully performed experiments, have convinced me that neither the Holy Well nor St. Ann's Well water holds more than three or four grains of saline or earthy matter in the gallon: they may therefore, perhaps, be pronounced the purest waters in the kingdom. The three grains which I found as the residue, after several careful and slow evaporation's, appeared to consist of muriate of magnesia, muriate of soda, and the sulphates of magnesia and lime. The quantity of water issuing from the springs is, in some degree, influenced by the season. After great quantities of rain, they flow faster than in the dry season; and the quantity of solid matter found in an equal measure is, no doubt, influenced thereby.
With respect to their medicinal virtues, I can, in a very decided manner, add my testimony to the benefits derived from the use of the Malvern waters, both externally and internally, in scrofulous glandular swellings, and in chronic scrofulous ulcerations. It has frequently happened to me to see young persons, of either sex, with five, six, or more, old fistulous sores about the neck and angle of the jaw, entirely cured in three or four months, by allowing the water to trickle (or rather fall down) from the spout upon them. At first this is, of course, productive of considerable pain from the coldness of the water, and can be borne only for a few minutes; but I have seen persons, after a little time, able to keep the neck under the spout for fifteen or twenty minutes twice a day. Similar ulcerations about the joints, heal by the same treatment. Even in cases where the ulcers and fistulous openings are kept up by disease of the bones, the air, water, and situation of Malvern, often effect a great and marked improvement, and sometimes a perfect cure.
In many cases of disease and irritation in the bladder, attended with frequent desire to make water, and pain after its evacuation, also in disorders of the urinary organs, accompanied with the lithic acid, or phosphatic deposit in the urine, I have seen a very liberal internal use of the water decidedly beneficial; and elderly persons, afflicted with organic changes in these organs, have often acknowledged to me that they live in greater comfort, and are freer from irritation or pain, at Malvern than elsewhere.
The common people extol the use of the waters in inflammation of the eyes; and, in some of the simpler cases, they are often very serviceable as a cooling external application. At Malvern Wells there is a spring called the Eye Well.
In various cutaneous affections they are often used; and in the publication of Dr. Martin Wall, are several cases in which their constant application to the parts affected was highly beneficial. I have not, myself, seen such very marked and decided benefit from them, in all the various forms of cutaneous affection detailed in the publication of that physician; but this, perhaps, has arisen from a difference in the mode of their application, for it is related, "Those who bathe for these complaints, usually go into the water with their linen on, and dress with it wet upon them:" a mode of procedure I have not ventured to recommend. Nevertheless, have witnessed many obstinate cases of lepra and psoriasis much ameliorated, and some entirely give way to the liberal external and internal use of the water; and I have also observed other cases, where it has failed of doing good. Upon the whole, I should imagine, that there are many delicate constitutions to which the constant and habitual use of hard water (and most spring waters are hard, some very much so indeed) proves positively injurious; and a trifling degree of irritation thus originated in a weak habit, conjoined, perhaps, with not a very pure air, may certainly be sufficient to excite some positive, perhaps scrofulous, or other, complaint. In such cases, the really medicinal effects derived from a residence at Malvern, may be easily understood.
Chalybeate Water.—At Great Malvern there is a chalybeate spring, which so far partakes of the character of the pure spring waters, that it contains but little earthy impurity. The iron contained in it is a proto-carbonate, and the water acts as a mild and rather pleasant tonic. But from the rapidity with which the iron on exposure becomes converted into the peroxide, it requires to be drank upon the spot, or in a very short period after it has been taken from the spring. I need not remark, that in all the earlier stages of tuberculous cachexia, of scrofula, and chlorosis, and in the various forms of functional debility without fever, the results of acute disease, this mild chalybeate, in conjunction with pure air, and the constant use of a pure water, has been very frequently a powerful agent in the restoration of health. A great many persons have received benefit from it, even when unable to bear a stronger water of the same kind—as the Tunbridge wells, and others.
The village of Great Malvern, which has long been celebrated for the beauty of its scenery, the healthiness of its situation, and the purity of its air and water, is situated in a kind of recess formed between two of the highest points in the chain of hills. The Worcestershire Beacon, the most elevated, is above, and to the south-west, of the village; the north hill, another high and prominent point, is on the north-west. The houses are, for the most part, detached from each other, and interspersed with shrubs and trees, giving them a rural and picturesque character, in keeping with the natural beauties around. The views are every where extremely beautiful, and the hills above are intersected in every direction by walks or pathways of easy ascent, much frequented, during the summer, by pedestrians, and invalids on donkeys, enjoying the pure invigorating breezes there, far removed from those injurious atmospheric depositions too often met with in the vales below.
The hamlet of Malvern Wells, in the parish of Hanley Castle, is about two miles from Great Malvern; its situation is not quite so elevated, nor are the contiguous hills quite so high, but its local peculiarities are of the same character as those of Great Malvern: the water is equally, even if not more pure, and claims a longer period of celebrity. There are many delightful walks on the hills in the vicinity, and its quiet retirement, even in the height of the season, is preferred by many persons to the more bustling scenes at this time in Great Malvern.
1. Temperature of Great Malvern.—The details from which the following tables are derived, consist of two daily observations—one at nine a. m. the other at eleven p. m. from June, 1834, to July, 1835. At nine a. m. the minimum of the preceding night is taken, and at eleven p. m. the maximum of the day-both these extremes being marked by a self registering thermometer. The results are accompanied,
The daily entries have been made thus: (for the purposes of comparison) with those of London, as stated in the meteorological tables published by the Royal Society.
Maximum temperature far each month in the year.
London and Malvern.
Minimum temperature for each month in the year.
London and Malvern.
Mean maximum temperature for each month in the year.
London and Malvern.
Mean minimum temperature for each month in the year.
London and Malvern.
Mean temperature of each month in the year.
London and Malvern.
Mean temperature of the seasons.
Mean temperature of the year.
I have, on three occasions, tried the temperature of a very line and copious spring in the village, and the following are the results:—In the first, the temperature of the air was 30°, the water 50°; in the second, the air 56°, a thermometer immersed to the bottom of the spring 50.5°; in the third, the temperature of the air 7 5°, the water 52°—this was after ten days very hot and dry weather.
2. Atmospheric Pressure.—In instituting a comparison between two barometers, in order to estimate the atmospheric pressure at two distant places, it is necessary to premise the conditions of the instruments, the corrections necessary for each, and the circumstances of the localities in which they are placed.
In the standard barometer of the Royal Society the tube is 33¾ inches long; its exterior diameter 0.86 inch, and the diameter of the bore 0.530 inch. The cistern is turned in well-seasoned mahogany, and there is a small cavity in its bottom to receive the end of the tube, which rests upon it; a groove communicates with the cavity, to ensure the free passage of the mercury. Everything has been studied in this instrument to render accuracy attainable, with as little trouble as possible to the observer. The diameter of the tube renders the correction for capillary action almost unnecessary. The correction for the capacity of the cistern has been contrived to be 1-100th of the result above or below the neutral point 30.576.
The barometer I have used at Great Malvern, is an instrument carefully constructed by myself. The tube is 34 inches long, its exterior diameter .5 inch, and the diameter of the bore .250 inch. The mercury has been boiled throughout in the tube. The cistern is turned in mahogany, and through the bottom the tube passes into a leathern bag firmly fixed to its circumference; a small hole forms a communication between the two. At one part of the circumference of the cistern an ivory point is fixed, and a screw, acting upon the lower part of the bag, will always keep the surface of the mercury just touching this point: thus the correction for the capacity of the cistern is rendered unnecessary. The scale has been duly affixed after several accurate measurements from the ivory point.
In the following tables of barometrical heights,
every correction has been applied, except that for
the elevation of the village, so that they are
strictly comparable one with another: in the Royal
Society's barometer, the variable correction for
capacity—and in the barometer at Malvern, the
constant one, .055 has been added for capillary
action; the diameter of the bore in the latter instrument
being so much smaller than in the former,
renders this requisite. The whole of the heights
stated have been reduced to one temperature, 32°F.
|Mean height.||Mean range.|
The elevation of the village of Great Malvern is about 520 feet; it is therefore necessary to add about .570 in. to all the heights observed. If the reader should take the trouble of doing this to any of them, he would immediately perceive the very slight differences in the fluctuations of the barometer in London and Malvern.
In looking over the various daily details from which the foregoing mean barometrical heights have been deduced, the coincidence in the movements of the two barometers was so constant, that I have taken pains to determine accurately this point; and upon comparing the daily fluctuations, for a whole month, at the same time at each place, after every necessary correction, the variation between the simultaneous movements of each has very generally not been more than a few hundredths, a result peculiarly establishing the constant magnitude of the atmospheric movements.
There are many minor circumstances likely to introduce discrepancies in any comparison between the heights of two barometers distantly situated, and noted by different persons; thus they may not be observed at precisely the same period, and this, should they happen to be rising or falling rapidly at the time, would introduce some error; again, at the time of observation, one person may give a tap with his finger to the tube—the other may not, which will sometimes make a difference of some hundredths, the mercury, often adhering slightly to the glass, resuming its proper indication when gently moved or shaken.
From these considerations (to say nothing of the probable error in printing three different decimal figures thirty times every month) we must conclude that the fluctuations of the barometer at London and Malvern are very nearly simultaneous and equal, and, if so, of course in all places intervening.
3. Vapour.—All those important meteorological phenomena, rain, cloud, mist, dew, &c. are primarily dependent upon the condition of the vaporous atmosphere which on every side surrounds us, and the health and feelings of individuals are very often materially influenced thereby; it is therefore requisite, in any estimate or comparison of climates, that the changes it is daily undergoing, should be ascertained and recorded. The hygrometer enables us to do this, particularly the one now well known as Daniell's hygrometer
In the Meteorological Tables, published by the
Royal Society, there is a column including the dew-point
every morning at nine a. m.; and I have
made similar observations at the same hour at Malvern.
The results are stated in the following table.
Maximum, minimum, and mean dew-point, for each month in the year, before stated.
From the foregoing table we obtain the mean dew-point.
Mean dew-point, at nine a. m. for the year.
When consulting the hygrometer, with a view of ascertaining the greater or less probability of rain, or other atmospheric change, two things are principally necessary to be attended to, the difference between the temperature of the dew-point, and the temperature of the air, and the variations that may occur between them. In general the chance of rain, or other precipitation of moisture from the atmosphere, may be regarded as in an inverse proportion to the difference between the two thermometers, one marking the dew-point, the other the temperature of the air.
An increasing difference, accompanied with a fall in the dew-point, is an almost sure prognostic of fine weather; whilst a diminution in the temperature of the air, and a rising dew-point, portend rain. In winter, when the differences between the dew-point and the temperature of the air are always small, the indications must be taken more from the actual rise and fall of the dew-point, than from the difference between it and the temperature of the air. And at this season I have generally found that if the dew-point at nine a. m. is above the minimum temperature of the preceding night, with a falling barometer, rain or snow may be expected; on the other hand, if the dew-point at nine in the morning is at or below the minimum of the preceding night, with a stationary or rising barometer, fair weather may be confidently expected. A sudden change in the dew-point is generally accompanied by a change of wind, and the former sometimes precedes the latter by a short interval: and the course of the aerial current may then be anticipated before it affects the direction of the weathercock, or even the passage of smoke. A rise in the dew-point, accompanied with a fall of the barometer, is an infallible indication that the whole mass of the atmosphere is becoming imbued with vapour, and a copious precipitation may be expected. If a fall in the barometer, and a fall in the temperature of the dew-point, take place at the same time, we may conclude that the expansion which occasions the former has arisen at some distant place, and wind, not rain, will be the result.
4. Wind.—The hills at Malvern influence so much the force and direction of the wind, that it is often very difficult to determine precisely the point whence the great atmospheric current comes; it is not always that there are clouds by which to determine; besides, when these are high, it not infrequently happens that they are subjected to the movements of the higher currents, and passing away in a direction quite opposite to the wind below. The determination of the precise point from which the wind blows is not very material, provided the following circumstances are borne in mind, as influencing in a very marked degree, not only the temperature of the wind, but the elasticity of the vapour it bears with it.
From north to east, Great Britain is bounded by the Arctic Ocean, the cold mountainous regions of Sweden and Norway, with other portions of the continents of Europe and Asia; from south to west, by the southern Atlantic Ocean; from north to west, by the North Atlantic, and the distant shores of America; from south to east, by the warmer regions of Europe, &c.
From these circumstances, and from the general fact that winds blowing over large tracts of land are cooler than those coming from off the ocean, it results that in this country north-east winds are the coldest-south-west the warmest. North-west are intermediate, with a northerly character; and south-east, with a southerly character. The winds, therefore, may be divided as in the following diagram:
Contrasting these two winds, north-east and south-west, so opposite in character and direction, we have the following—
Table of mean temperatures and mean dew-points, at London and Malvern.
|Mean temp.||Mn. dew-point||Mean temp.||Mn. dew-point|
An attentive consideration of the above table will shew, that in spring the mean temperature of south-west winds is 5° higher in Malvern than the mean temperature of north-east ones; whereas, in London, the mean difference between them is only about half this, or 2½°. At this season the mean dew-point at Malvern, of south-west winds, is 9° higher than the mean dew-point of north-east ones; whereas, in London, the mean difference is not more than 3½°. North-east winds, in the spring, are
rather colder and dryer at Malvern than in London: south-west winds are a little warmer and more damp.
During summer the mean temperature of south-west winds, at Malvern, is about 2½° warmer than the temperature of north-east ones: and the same remark applies to London.
At this season the mean dew-point, at Malvern, of south-west winds, is about 2½° higher than the mean dew-point of north-east ones. In London the mean difference is very little more than 1½°.
North-east and south-west winds are each about 4° colder at Malvern than at London. North-east winds are about 2°, and south-west 1° dryer at Malvern than in London.
In autumn, the mean temperature of south-west winds, at Malvern, is 6½° higher than the mean temperature of north-east ones. The mean difference in London being 4°.
At this season the mean dew-point, at Malvern, of south-west winds, is something more than 7° higher than the mean dew-point of north-east ones. In London the mean difference is about 5°.
North-east winds, at this period, are about 2½° colder at Malvern than in London; whereas south-west winds are a little warmer. The former winds are still rather dryer at Malvern than in London; but south-west winds have an equal degree of dampness, or bring with them, at each place, the same mean quantity of vapour.
In the winter season, the mean temperature of
south-west winds, at Malvern, is nearly 10° higher
than the mean temperature of north-east ones; and
there is the same difference in their mean temperatures
At this season, the mean dew-point, at Malvern, of south-west winds, is 15½° higher than the mean dew-point of north-east ones. At London, the mean dew-point of south-west winds is 14½° higher than the mean dew-point of north-east.
The mean temperature of north-east winds, in London, is only half a degree warmer than the mean temperature of these winds at Malvern. The mean temperature of south-west winds is nearly the same in both places. North-east winds are a little dryer, and south-east winds rather more damp, at Malvern than in London.
If we limit our division of the winds to two currents, calling that coming from the south of east and west, the vapour current; and that from the north of these two points, the dry; the following are the results at London and Malvern, for the several months and seasons:
|TOTAL FOR THE WINTER.|
|TOTAL FOR THE SPRING.|
|TOTAL FOR THE SUMMER.|
|TOTAL FOR THE AUTUMN.|
5. Rain.—To complete this comparison between the climates of London and Malvern, we must enumerate the number of days on which rain fell at each place during the year.
In the following statement, the numbers for Malvern include all the days upon which rain fell, whether much or little—the slightest shower between eight a. m. and ten p. m. is included. Whether the meteorological tables of the Royal Society do the same, we are unable to determine. The summer and autumn of the past year (1834) had some peculiarities with regard to rain, which it is right to mention. Along the south-eastern coasts of England hardly any rain at all fell, and all the inconveniences of a long drought were experienced; whereas, in London there was no complaint of deficiency; and on the western coast, rain was so abundant that two crops of hay were generally secured, and the autumnal grass was most luxuriant.
Number of days on which rain or snow fell.
|1835.||March.||April.||May.||Total for the|
|1835.||June.||July.||August.||Total for the|
|1835.||September.||October.||November.||Total for the|
|1835.||December.||January.||February.||Total for the|
Total number of days on which rain or snow fell in the year.
As Malvern has the reputation of being a remarkably
healthy spot, it would be interesting if
any statistical facts, shewing the value of its claim,
could be produced; but it is impossible to select
any such, applicable only to the village or the locality
on the hill; they are mingled with those of
the whole of a large parish, nine-tenths of the area
of which is in a flat, or nearly flat vale at the foot
of a chain of elevations, which tend rather to deteriorate
than improve the atmosphere of the level
surface in their immediate vicinity.
We must, therefore, rest content with the testimony of those who have experienced the great and often rapid improvement of health which occurs from a residence in Malvern.
That its well established salubrity does not altogether depend upon any of those meteorological phenomena embraced in the foregoing tables, must be sufficiently obvious, when the difference found, on a comparison of the results at London and Malvern, is so small.
The oscillations of the barometer, we have seen, hardly vary at all. The greatest difference in the maximum of the thermometer, at the two places, never amounted to more than 10°; and in the minimum to more than 6°. The weight and elasticity of the vapour of the atmosphere, likewise do not differ much; the greatest variation in the maximum dew-point was 7°, and in the minimum 11°.
Now, in the same place, the variations in the maximum of the thermometer, and in the dew-point, are sometimes much greater in a comparison of two successive days, amounting to from 10, 15, or even as much as 90 degrees in the former; and 10, 15, or 17 degrees in the latter; so that throughout the year there is not so great a difference, at any period, between the temperature either of the air or vapour at London and Malvern, as there is, sometimes, at either place between one day and another.
The variations in the other phenomena usually
embraced in meteorological registers, wind, rain,
&c. do not furnish materials sufficient, in any degree,
to account for differences in the salubrity of
these or other places.
In attempting to point out any adequate reason for the greater salubrity of one place than another, we are constrained to look to other circumstances than those usually embraced in meteorological enquiries: neither the thermometer, barometer, nor hygrometer, furnishing sufficient data for the purpose.
An investigation into the nature and consistence of the soil—the conditions of its surface—the circumstances attendant upon the exhalations arising therefrom—and, above all, the phenomena resulting from their precipitation; conjoined with careful observations on the daily temperature, pressure, motion, and vapour of the air—will be much more likely to elucidate the object of such an inquiry, than the greatest attention bestowed on the latter mentioned points only.
In a district, therefore, where meteorological observations are instituted for the purpose of ascertaining the causes of local salubrity, it will be necessary to notice whether the general character of the soil is clayey or sandy, and this not only with reference to the immediate spot where they may he carried on, but for some miles around; whether the subsoil is rocky, chalky, clayey, or otherwise, and the contiguous localities well or ill drained; whether, in regard to the surrounding district, the particular spot lies high or low; and whether extensive tracts of meadow or arable land prevail; much or little wood, water, &c.
It is well known that the atmosphere has mingled with it variable quantities of aqueous vapour, and likewise the exhalations arising from the materials exposed on the surface of the earth to the sun; it is also known that aqueous vapour increases the vaporizing force of all substances, becoming, as it were, an active agent, carrying off every diffusive emanation into the air. We can readily distinguish several earths and stones by their smell, nay, the metals themselves are not all devoid of odour, some particles, therefore, however minute they may be, pass from them into the air; added to these, are the attenuated matters given off in the processes of vegetation, and in the chemical changes which take place during decomposition.
All these emanations, as well as the vapour of water itself, are, in their ascent, so extremely diluted as not to affect, in any way, the senses or functions of the human frame. But, when they descend again upon the earth, they accumulate in the lowest strata of the atmosphere, are often appreciable by the senses, and, in many localities, unquestionably prejudicial. Whether the extraneous matters always descend when the aqueous vapour which bears them upward is condensed, or whether they sometimes remain in the upper regions an indefinite period, and then gradually, by some natural operation, accumulate and fall down, is a question not, perhaps, easily determined. If we consider the production of epidemical diseases an evidence of their effects, we may then reasonably conclude that they generally descend when the vapour with which they are associated is condensed, though, perhaps, they sometimes remain and accumulate until some hidden operation in the higher regions favours their precipitation. I by no means intend to be understood as implying that the vapour every where arising from the surface of the globe necessarily disentangles noxious exhalations, but, that where the surface does contain the materials for their production, there aqueous vapour promotes their disengagement, is the agent through whose means they escape, and associated with which they rise into the higher regions; and, therefore, that it is important the various forms and changes to which this the more tangible material (if we use the expression) is subject, should be attended to.
Water can exist in an aeriform and invisible shape only under the influence of caloric, and the quantity of vapour present in the atmosphere has always a reference to the temperature of that medium; there being a variable point at which it must assume a different, a visible shape. This variable point, in Daniell's hygrometer, is exhibited in degrees of the thermometer, and is called the dew-point; the instrument shewing the exact thermometric degree to which, if the temperature of the air falls, the vapour mingled with it will begin to assume the form either of dew, fog, or cloud.
When the lower strata of aqueous vapour of the
atmosphere are condensed in the form of dew, those
above descend and experience a similar change.
Now, if vapour undergoing this process is associated
with extraneous invisible exhalations, it is probable
that the latter may continue floating about in the air
after the vapour with which they were conjoined has
been deposited upon the ground, and the process
continuing, of course they become concentrated,
and, if of a noxious quality, dangerous.
Any natural process having a tendency to cool the air, so that its temperature falls to or below the dew-point, without originating any lateral motion to clear away the extraneous atmospheric impregnations which ensue, will contribute very much to concentrate them in the lower portions of the air.
Now this is the case with terrestrial radiation, which, with a clear and calm atmosphere, rapidly diminishes the temperature of certain parts of the earth's surface, and the circumambient air, condensing the vapour it contains, and creating a local, cold, damp, and very often malarious, atmosphere.
The mists and fogs which frequently form during the night, over valleys, on the banks of rivers, and in all low situations, are, therefore, objects peculiarly claiming the notice of the meteorologist; they are caused by the terrestrial radiation of caloric cooling the air and condensing the aqueous vapour mingled with it; and if this vapour happens to have been the carrying agent to any injurious exhalation, the development of the latter, in a deleterious form, at the same period, commences. This is amply substantiated by the well-known unhealthy character of the night season in tropical climates, where the sun has great power during the day, and where the dews are in an extraordinary degree copious; and is still further confirmed by many instances in which severe epidemic diseases have made their attack during the night.
From a careful consideration of the subject, I cannot but conclude that Terrestrial Radiation is one of the most important of those meteorological phenomena usually considered as influencing the health of communities or individuals; and that every circumstance which can in any way diminish its influence, or circumscribe its effect, should be pointed out.
It is very true that neither the climate, soil, nor natural constitution of a country, are the modellers of the character of nations; nor will they enable us to account for the distinctions which characterise the several races or families of mankind. We may find that we cannot deduce from these influences, the mental attributes of any portion of the human race; indeed, we well know, that in the same country, in the same spot, nay, under the same roof, are to be found persons entirely differing from each other in intellectual faculties, and in corporeal conformation and strength; nevertheless, it is equally true that the health of individuals does depend, very much, upon peculiarities of locality, determining certain meteorological effects.
The height of the Worcestershire Beacon is stated, by Col. Mudge, to be 1444 feet. From two barometrical measurements, carefully performed, (the details of which are stated at length in Appendix No. 2) I found the summit of the Worcestershire Beacon to be 924 feet above the village; this gives about 520 feet as the height of Great Malvern.
At this elevation the houses are sheltered from the wind by the high rocky masses behind; and although quite open to the east, still they are more sheltered from winds blowing from this quarter than from any other. The reason of this I have elsewhere stated to be the precipitous rise of the hill close to the houses, which, in a very decided degree, lessens or breaks the force of the current of air. An easterly wind, indeed, rushes with great rapidity over the crest of the range, but it is sometimes quite, and always comparatively stilled below. I have, on various occasions, been at the summit of the hill, the wind blowing very fresh from the east, while below, in the village, the air has been quite calm; the narrow line of the hills acting precisely as a dam in a current of water would do, destroying the motion below, and allowing the stream to rush over the top.
Westerly winds are sometimes very troublesome,
the current, as before stated, coming over the top
of the hills with great force, descends in violent
eddies and gusts. The general fact being, that
close along the base of a high narrow chain of hills,
strong winds are more felt on the leeward than on
the windward side.
If this is true, and repeated observation has confirmed (with me) the fact, then an inclined slope thus circumstanced, towards the east, has another important advantage; for not only is it sheltered from the east wind, but, after the diminished temperature of night, such an inclined surface is the first to receive, in the most favourable manner, the rays of the morning sun; and in the afternoon, when the sun withdraws behind the hill, the temperature, in the shade, is many degrees above what it was in the morning; besides, it very frequently happens, especially in the colder months, that the sun rises with great splendour, and shines brightly for three or four hours, but, towards midday, clouds gradually form and obscure it: thus the balance of advantages, in this respect, is wholly in favour of an eastern slope. The early disappearance of the sun in the afternoon, at Malvern, has often been deplored in the winter months; and the gloom cast by the shadow of the hill over the village, two or three hours before sunset, when all the plain below is illuminated by his brilliant rays, is not cheering at this season; but, I believe, the decline of temperature is not commensurate with the feelings thus produced.
The ground gradually sloping from the village facilitates, in a material degree, the subsidence of the cold damp air which results from the cooling of the earth by radiation at night; and, very frequently, a dense fog may be seen overspreading the vale below, while the village is quite clear, and enjoying the bright and warm rays of the sun; at such times the thermometer, at night, falls several degrees lower in the plain than at Malvern, particularly if the atmosphere is calm: an evident indication that moderate elevations are much less subjected to the effects of terrestrial radiation than places lower down. The houses at Malvern appear to lie between those fogs which result from the cold of radiation, and those descending from above; and, speaking from my own observation, I should remark, that they are oftener enveloped in the latter species of fog than the former. When the lower edge of a cloud descends so as to obscure objects raised only 500 or 600 feet above the mean level of the earth's surface, the barometer will generally be found low, and the temperature, except, perhaps, in the summer months, above the mean of the season; so that these may truly be called warm fogs, in contradistinction to those which rise upward by the gradual thickening or deepening of the cold misty, and too often malarious, stratum below.
The salubrity of Malvern may, I think, be attributed,—first,
to the air being rendered pure and
invigorating by an elevation sufficiently above the
cold and miasmatous strata caused by terrestrial
radiation;—secondly, to the dry sandy nature of
the soil, resulting from the decomposition of the contiguous
rock;-thirdly, to the shelter from easterly
winds especially, afforded by the precipitous rise of
the hill in close contiguity to the habitations;—and,
lastly, to the extreme purity of the water, and the
beauty of the scenery around.
The geology, physiognomy, and character of the country, along the eastern base of the Malvern hills, differing, in many particulars, from that lying at the western, I have, in the following statistical details of the district, exhibited the results obtained from the two divisions separately.
|Leigh & Bransford||6840||1492||1533||1810||2271||269||301||350||411|
From the preceding table, it appears that the number of inhabitants in the whole district, by the census of 1831, was 15,064; the number of statute acres 48,710, or 76½ square miles; giving 198 inhabitants to the square mile. The increase in the population is 31 per cent. in the whole 30 years.
The western division, comprising an area of 37 square miles, contained 194 inhabitants to the square mile in 1831. The increase in the population in 30 years, is 20 per cent.
The eastern division, comprising an area of 38½ square miles, contained 198 inhabitants to the square mile, in 1831. The increase in the population, in 30 years, being 41 per cent.
The greater increase of the population of the eastern, compared with the western division, in the same period, is, in some measure, attributable to its including the parishes of Great Malvern and Hanley Castle, places much frequented for the purity of the air and water, and for the romantic character of the scenery.
In the former of these two parishes, the increase
in the population is 61 per cent. and in
the latter 41. If we except them from the calculation,
the increase in the eastern division, free
from artificial causes, will be found 33 per cent.;
a result still indicative of the more rapid increase
of population in this, compared with the western
|Fam. employed.||Fam. employed.||Fam. employed.|
Referring to the whole district it appears, from the above table, that there is a decrease of 136 in the number of agricultural families in 1831, compared with 1821. The parliamentary returns shew a similar, though not so great a decrease, throughout Great Britain: a fact surely indicating some undue or unequal pressure upon the agricultural interest of the country. There is no manufacture carried on in the district under consideration; and only such handicraft business as is sufficient for the demands of the resident inhabitants. With an increasing population, therefore, a decrease in the number of families employed in agriculture, must be distributed among the little shop-keepers, the beer or public-house keepers, labourers, or paupers.
From the two preceding tables, we find that, in 1831, there were 1O9 families to every 100 houses, and not quite 5 persons to each family.
The general habits of the peasantry are very similar, in most respects, to those of their brethren in the other agricultural districts of the kingdom. They are quiet, remarkably civil, and hospitable; living, principally, in little detached cottages, thatched with straw, overrun with the rose and honeysuckle, and surrounded by a garden stocked with apple and pear trees, but too often deficient of comforts within.
Wages seldom, if ever, exceed 8s. or 9s. a week, and in some of the parishes, I believe, they are as low as 7s. with the daily allowance of two or three quarts of a very poor cider, commonly known here under the provincial appellation of family drink.
Throughout the district, nearly all the females are employed in sewing gloves, at which they used to earn considerable sums; but now they seldom get, on an average, more than from 2s. to 3s. or 3s. 6d. a week; the glovers of Worcester, for all the ordinary kinds, not paying more than 2d. or 3d. per pair for the sewing. For the better sorts, such as white kid, and some others, they pay 4d. per pair; these are intrusted to the best hands; and an industrious young woman, capable of undertaking the sewing of these, can, in the summer, earn 6s. and in some instances 7s. per week. This sedentary in-door work is not, altogether, incompatible with the care of a small family, and is, therefore, a great assistance to the poor. Females are not often seen in the fields, performing out-door work: when they do so, their earnings are from 6d. to 8d. a day.
Fuel consists almost entirely of coal, and as this is always drawn in carts from a considerable distance, it becomes a very expensive article; the poor, excepting, perhaps, those residing near the Severn, seldom giving less than from one shilling to fourteen pence the hundred weight, a quantity which, with the greatest economy, lasts about a week during the winter months.
The new beer houses have a prejudicial effect
upon the habits of the labouring classes. The labourer
himself, before their establishment, could, in
this district, generally obtain tolerably good beer or
cider; he now sees, on every side, these houses, the
resort of the idle and disorderly, and is too frequently
tempted into them, where his time and
money are expended, while his wife and family are
neglected. "To be drunk upon the premises,"
which is now seen in large letters over the door of
houses of this description, is rather an awkward
mode of expression for such places.
|Leigh and Bransford||89||286||294||580||334|
The annual proportion of marriages to the population, during the four years from 1830 to 1833, was, in the eastern division, as 1 to 225; and in the western, as 1 to 205.
The annual proportion of marriages in Worcester,
during the ten years preceding 1831, was as
to 66 of the population in 1831.
The proportion of baptisms to the population, is, in the eastern division, as 1 in 32; in the western, as 1 in 35; and in the whole district, as 1 in 33. The proportion of deaths to the population, is, in the eastern division, 1 in 65; and in the western, 1 in 49.
|Leigh and Brandsford||97||26||27||21||19||25||28||48||33||11||2||334|
|Co. of Worcester||3937||664||779||638||609||643||906||1052||669||90||7|
From the above table—deduced from the details obtained of the actual deaths at all ages in the several parishes included in table 4—it appears that the number of deaths in the eastern division between birth and 10, is smaller than in any other locality which has fallen under my observation. Taking the results of the eastern division (founded upon details collected and calculated by myself from the parish registers of a population of 7883, distributed over an area of 38½ square miles) and comparing them with the result for all England, we obtain the following table of proportional deaths, assuming 100 to die in England between the respective undermentioned ages:—
|Deaths in all England.||Proportional deaths in the|
|Birth to 10||100||72|
|10 to 20||100||106|
|20 to 30||100||118|
|30 to 40||100||99|
|40 to 50||100||88|
|50 to 60||100||106|
|60 to 70||100||113|
|70 to 80||100||119|
|80 to 90||100||171|
|90 to 100||100||230|
The number of deaths in the population of the eastern division, between birth and 10, is to the number in all England as 72 to 100; from 10 to 20, where 100 die in all England, 106 die in the eastern division; from 20 to 30, the mortality in the eastern division is 1-8th more than in all England; after the age of 30, the deaths are again less in the eastern division than in England at large up to the age of 50; and the number of persons living to the more advanced ages, in the eastern division goes on increasing so that where 100 are buried at Carlisle between, 80 and 90, 171 will be buried in this division; and more than double the number between 90 and 100, to say nothing of those upwards of 100.
Table 7.—The law of mortality in the under-mentioned places. The total of births assumed to be 10,000.
|Number of persons that will be alive at the under-mentioned ages.|
|at 10||at 20||at 30||at 40||at 50||at 60||at 70||at 80||at 90||at 100|
|Co. of Worcester||6063||5399||4620||3982||3373||2730||1824||772||103||13|
In this table, calculated from table 5, the results before stated, are more clearly shewn; thus in l0,000 births, the number of persons reaching their 10th year is much greater in the eastern division, than in any of the other places mentioned; after that age the numbers alive decrease more rapidly (the comparison being still with all England,) until the age of 40; after 40, the number living gradually increases from the decreasing deaths in the eastern division; at 80, nearly double the number are living in the eastern division than in all England; and at 90, almost three times the number, to omit as before the proportion at the very advanced age of 100 and upwards.
|Alive in Carlisle.||Proportional number alive in|
the Eastern Division.
From the two foregoing tables we may conclude that among those who, in the eastern division, live to attain their 10th year, are many persons whose constitutions are delicate and susceptible, and who die before they reach their 20th or 30th year. After 30, the constitutions of the inhabitants of the eastern division become, as it were, established; they have surmounted the vicissitudes incidental to the early period of adult life, and the rate of mortality, as compared with all England, greatly diminishes. The general results of the foregoing tables may be thus stated:—the number of persons who die under 10 years old, is very much less in the eastern division of the district around Malvern, than in any other locality with which I am acquainted; between the ages of 10 and 30, the number who die is greater; after 40, a great many more persons attain the advanced ages in the Malvern locality, than in the rest of England.
Diseases.—It is not the object of the present communication to embrace a minute account of the diseases prevalent in the district. The following is a classification of those diseases treated in the practice of the Malvern Dispensary, during a period of four years (from 1830 to 1834). The benefits of this institution are conferred upon poor persons, not entitled to parish relief; in Great Malvern and the adjacent parishes, both in the western and eastern divisions. Omitting all surgical diseases, and complaints of a local or very trivial nature, there were admitted in this period—
|Diseases of the organs of digestion||153|
|of the brain and nervous system||47|
The diseases of the organs of digestion include cases of dyspepsia, and other functional derangements, as well as the more important ones of enteritis and peritonitis: the numbers, therefore, although large, do not include a majority of dangerous complaints. The diseases of the organs of respiration embrace the greatest number of important cases, phthysis and inflammatory complaints of the chest being often prevalent throughout the district; that they are frequently fatal in the early periods of life, will be seen by the following account of the deaths occurring in the four years previously stated:
|No. of deaths.||Respective ages.|
Diseases of the organs of digestions
|Enteritis & Peritonitis||3||1, 3, 68.|
Diseases of the organs of respiration
|Phthysis||7||18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 32, 36.|
|Pneumonia & Pleuritis||4||¾, 3, 18, 19.|
Dis. of the brain and nervous system
|Meningitis & Hydrocephalus acutus||3||13, 13, 16|
Diseases of the generative org.
|Asthma and Anasarca||1||54|
Cutaneous and febrile dis.
|Synochus||3||15, 16, 50|
In the foregoing tabular statement the great majority of deaths in the earlier periods of life, from phthysis and inflammation of the pulmonary structures, is strongly marked, one-third of the whole number, or 11 dying of these complaints between the ages of 1 year and 32, and 3 more from acute inflammatory disease of the brain and its meninges between the ages of 13 and 16. The results are exhibited in the following table:
|Number of persons at the following respective age dying in the practice of the Malvern Dispensary, in four years.|
|Birth to 10||10 to 20||20 to 30||30 to 40||40 to 50||50 to 60||60 to 70||70 to 80||80 to 90|
Bronchocele is common in Worcestershire, and many cases are witnessed in the district around Malvern. In some females the diseased gland grows to a large size without producing any, or only trifling inconvenience—a little difficulty of breathing in walking up hill. Persons afflicted with this unsightly complaint, are chiefly, but not universally, females: in one or two instances I have observed male children born with a decided fullness and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Very few of the common people use any remedy for it.
Bronchocele is not confined to the peasantry, a
tendency to the disease often shewing itself in
young females in the middle and higher classes:
these generally, have recourse to medical treatment.
Iodine, given internally, and used externally in the
form of ointment, usually reduces the incipient enlargement:
it is, however, liable to recur.
It is very difficult to ascertain the causes producing
bronchocele. Of 22 cases which I examined
a few years ago, some lived in situations where the
water was hard; others where it was soft; some
lived very well, i. e. animal food daily; others
chiefly on potatoes and bacon, the ordinary food of
the labouring classes. In a great majority, the
right lobe of the gland was the largest, and there
was no appearance of scrofulous disease. In females
of the same family, more than one generally
had the disease. Bronchocele almost invariably
increases in size and becomes more troublesome
during gestation; and, in many instances, remains,
after delivery, permanently of a larger size than
before. It has been supposed that the offspring of
parents afflicted with this complaint, evince more
or less deficiency in their intellectual endowments:
in one or two of the cases alluded to above, this
was the case, but not generally.
APPENDIX No. I.
A LIST OF THE RABER PLANTS INDIGENOUS IN THE DISTRICT.
MOSSES GROWING ON THE MALVERN HILLS.
APPENDIX No. 2.
The measurement of the height of hills or mountains, by the barometer, is an operation of great nicety; and the results can only be considered as very rough approximations, unless all the corrections, including those for the moisture and temperatureof the air, are duly attended to. Ever since the celebrated and important experiment of Torricelli, the attention of some of the philosophers has been drawn, in succession, to this interesting problem; and the difficulty of estimating the quantity and effects of aqueous vapour, has hitherto been one of the chief obstacles to the attainment of accuracy. Daniell's hygrometer is, perhaps, better calculated than any other instrument, to remove this obstacle. This hygrometer was used in the measurement of the height of the Worcestershire Beacon, which has been deduced according to the formulae of Maskelyne, Hutton, and Daniell, from the following preliminary observations made by myself.
Ditto, August 9th, 1834.—Second series.
|Library House.||Baro.||Attach. Therm.||Detach. Therm.||Hyg.||Time.
|Going up||29.452||67.0||66.5||59.0||6||North.||Cloudy, fine.|
|Summit of the beacon||28.550||58.0||58.0||52.0||7 10||High N. W.||Clouds moving from the east.|
The barometer employed was that described at p. 16 of the preceding communication; and by using the same instrument at both stations, any correction for capillary depression is rendered unnecessary. In the following preliminary observations a. different barometer, carefully boiled, measured and adjusted, was used at the summit of the beacon, the bore of the tube being .150 in. in diameter, so that here the correction for capillarity must not be overlooked.
August 5th, 1834.—Third series.
|Lower station.||Diam of the bore.||Baro.||Attach. Therm.||Detach. Therm.||Hyg.||Time.
|Setting out||29.331||.250||67.0||62.0||58.0||5 40||Westerly, moderate||Dark heavy clouds.|
|Return||29.325||——||65.0||62.0||60.0||7 30||Westerly, light.||Cloudy, fine.|
|Summit of the beacon||28.300||.150||58.0||58.0||57.0||6 30||High S. W.||Light, shower, lower clouds just over head, dark cloudy|
The following is a tabular view of the results.—Height of the Worcestershire Beacon, above the Library.
|Deduced by Maskelyne's formula.||Deduced by Hutton's formula.||Deduced by Daniell's formula.|
|First series of observations.||921.0||910.8||924.0|
Mean of all—923 feet, the height of the Worcestershire
Beacon above the Library at Great Malvern.
APPENDIX No. 3.
ANALYSIS OF THE MALVERN WATER.
The water of St. Ann's Well varies in its temperature from 47° to -9°. That of the Holy Well, as it falls from the spout in the pump-room, is about 49° or 49.5: being conducted from the source to the pump-room by a short pipe, it is more liable to be influenced by atmospheric changes than the water at Great Malvern.
The alcoholic solution of soap, muriate of barytes, nitrate of silver, and the other usual tests for the muriates and sulphates, produce hardly a perceptible change, and sometimes none at all, in either of these two waters. After a long period of dry weather, the nitrate of silver will cause a light whitish cloud of the muriate.
The great purity of the Malvern water may be inferred from the above test, and from the common remark that it never curdles soap; that it forms a clear solution with the subacetate of lead, and redissolves the earthy deposit so often formed in tea kettles which have been used to boil the usual hard spring waters in.
Forty fluid ounces, of the water from St. Ann's Well, were evaporated very slowly, to about three, in an open Wedge-wood-ware dish, and then transferred into a shallow glass vessel, being still clear and transparent. The whole of the fluid being slowly driven off, there remained a brownish film, which, when carefully scraped together, weighed very nearly one grain: it deliquesced after a short exposure to the air.
Thirty-two fluid ounces were, on another occasion, subjected in the same manner to slow evaporation, and the solid residue weighed three-fourths of a grain.
The solid contents, therefore, of a gallon of the pure Malvern water do not amount to more than three grains. Various other experiments and evaporation's (detailed in the Dissertation on the Malvern Waters, second edition, p. 217) were made at the same time, indicating that these three grains consisted of muriate of magnesia, muriate of soda, sulphate of magnesia, and sulphate of lime, with a little siliceous matter.
The carbonic acid could not be detected, not did any of the earthy carbonates appear to be present. Three-fourths of a cubic inch of atmospheric air was given of from a quart of the water. Thermometer 50°, barometer 29.900.
That a water of such extreme purity should be serviceable in many weak and delicate constitutions, is not at all surprising; indeed, daily experience confirms the testimony it has long enjoyed, particularly in scrofulous cases, some eruptive diseases, and in habits where the urine is prone to the formation of acid, alkaline, or earthy deposits.
- Vide Appendix, No. 3.
April 5th, 1835. Barom. Therm. Hygr. Time. Wind. Weather. 29.563 53 50 50 9 a. m. South Cloudy, dark, damp. — 47 — — — Night cloudy. 50 maxm. — — Cloudy, mist on the hill. 26.680 53 48.5 — 11 p. m. Calm. Cloudy.
The number placed below the barometrical height denotes the temperature of the mercurial column, as shewn by a thermometer which hangs close to it. All the thermometers and the hygrometer (Daniell's) are of Newman's manufacture, very accurate, and agreeing remarkably with each other.
- Spring including the months of March, April, and May.—Summer—June, July, August—and so on.
In the report on Meteorology, in the 1st vol. of the Reports of the British Association, the author states, "That the errors arising from solar and terrestrial radiation, in determining the temperature of a place, have not been sufficiently attended to. It is surprising at what a distance a sensible portion of heat is conveyed from soil, walls, or even from grass, illuminated by the sun. The maxima of temperature are thus, generally, too great; and from the near contact in which thermometers are generally placed with large difficultly conducting masses, such as walls. &c. the temperature during the night is kept up, and the minima are thus also too high."
The effect mentioned here may be supposed peculiarly liable to occur in London, where the copious and varied reflections of heat from the pavement, buildings, &c. in the bright days of summer, must considerably increase the maximum of the thermometer; and we find, from the above tables, that the mean maximum of summer is, in London, 5.4°, and in autumn 2.6° higher than in the elevated situation in which the village of Great Malvern stands. On the other hand, the mean temperature of winter, in the two places, does not differ much; and the mean of the spring months, gives a difference of only 2°.
- The mean temperature of London, derived from the daily maxima and minima by Mr. Daniell, from observations for three years, is 49.5°; which corresponds, even to the decimal place, with Mr. Howard's estimate. The higher mean denoted by the above results, arises, probably, from the greater mildness of the winter of 1834-35.
The mean temperature of a climate, is generally regarded as made up of the average impression of the sun due to its latitude upon the surface of the globe. But in considering the climate of any place in Great Britain, this statement must be taken with some limitation: according to it, the cloudy days would be the coldest, but, during the winter season in this country, it is not generally so; on the contrary, the south-west winds, during the winter months, bring up large and copious accessions of vapour, of a high constituent temperature, warming the air, and raising the thermometer; at the same time thick clouds form, and everywhere obscure the sky, accompanied, very often, with large quantities of rain; on the other hand, with north-easterly winds, the atmosphere is frequently freed from cloud, the sun shines brilliantly for days together, but the temperature in the shade is many degrees below the cloudy, damp, and vaporous breeze from the south-west. During the winter, I have very frequently observed the maximum of the thermometer at eleven or twelve at night, or even one or two in the morning, a result that can only be due to a change of wind, and the consequent accession of warm vapour. In a clear sky, during the winter, the earth radiates heat, even in the middle of the day, almost as fast as it receives it, so that the temperature, in the shade, during a bright day at this season, advances but little; but warm vapour and dense clouds not only prevent the earth's radiating its heat, but, at this season, bring with them a positive warmth.
That the reader may be put in possession of the practical application of these corrections we shall subjoin the detail of the process, taking the mean height of the barometer for September 1834 in London and Malvern.
London Malvern Mean Height. Mean Height. 30.114 Temperature 62.9 —.005Correction for capacity obtained —— thus 30.576neutral point 30.109 30.114 —.00462 —.963Correction for temperature ——— 30.026 True height at 32° F. 29.441 Temperature 59.7 .005Add correction for capillary depression. ——— 29.496 —.071Correction for temperature ——— 29.425 True height at 32° F. .670Add a constant correction for the elevation of Malvern .570 and the results very nearly agree. —— 29.995
In order to make a comparison between two barometers absolutely accurate, it is necessary that the elasticity of the vapour of the atmosphere should he estimated at each place, by determining the dew-point, and adding or subtracting according as it is higher or lower in the one place or the other.—This would be a very laborious task; and as the correction is always small, it has been neglected. I have made the correction for the means of the different seasons hereafter stated, and I find the difference between the barometer in London and Malvern to be, for the summer quarter, only .007 in., and for the autumn .016 in.
- Mr. Daniell from an average of three years' observations, makes the mean height of the barometer in London 29.881. The mean of twenty years, deduced by Mr. Howard is 29365. The above result does not vary much from Mr. Daniell's, nor greatly from Howard's.
- The following remarks will not materially invalidate the above general conclusion; they tend, however, to shew that, occasionally, a little time is required in the passing of the great atmospheric oscillations over places one hundred miles from each other, and their apex of ascent and depression are not always quite equal at that distance.
On the morning of the 16th of January, both barometers had fallen to the minimum of the month. but the instrument at Malvern was for about two or three hours 1-10th inch below that in London; at this period, in Malvern, very heavy rain fell—whilst in London, the weather was overcast, light rain, light wind—at three p.m. on the same day, the barometers coincided.
On the 7th of March the minimum occurred—at Malvern at nine a. m.—in London at three p. m.; at the former place were very heavy showers and light wind—at the latter, lightly overcast with brisk wind.
- The mean dew-point calculated by Mr. Daniell from the daily maxima and minima is 44.5°; the above mean results, it will be remembered, are derived from daily observations at nine a. m.
- Vide Daniell's Meteorological Essays.
- The dew-point can never be higher than the temperature of the air. Supposing, therefore, during the winter in the high regions of Lapland, Sweden, and Norway, the temperature of a breeze to be 20° or 24° F., often doubtless very much lower, air of that temperature cannot hold vapour higher than 20° or 24°. This atmosphere being put in motion, and rushing rapidly to the southern and warmer regions, is constantly acquiring a higher temperature, but passing over only a limited tract of ocean, it acquires but little increase in its vapour; the dew-point, consequently, remains very nearly the same.
Let us suppose that such a breeze has reached the temperature of 82° or 34° when arriving at the British Isles, the difference between this and the dew-point (20° or 24°) would constitute a very dry harsh wind, little likely to be accompanied with any deposition; on the contrary, drying up all the moisture it meets with, it would have precisely the character of our north-east winds in a very marked degree. On the other hand, a south-west breeze coming from the warmer regions and over an immense tract of ocean, into the colder temperature of Britain, would soon become cooled, until the temperature of the air was no greater than the temperature of the vapour it bears with it or the dew-point. At this point, and pursuing still its northerly course, some of the vapour must be precipitated, or take the shape of cloud, in either of which cases it parts with that portion of its temperature which was necessary to its invisible condition, and this is immediately absorbed by the air. The consequence is, that the south west breezes, when they reach our shore, bring with them the character of the locality whence they spring, modified by the colder temperature they meet with. They are mild, and, except in the summer, almost always saturated with vapour. i. e. the temperature of the air and the dew-point are pretty nearly the same.
- For the several facts and reasoning relative to this subject, I may refer the reader to—Wells's Essay upon Dew; Johnson on Tropical Climates; and other works treating on the diseases of hot countries; to the Dissertation on the Malvern Waters, &c.; and also to papers in the Philosophical Magazine for October and November, 1828; Medical Gazette for 1831; and The Midland Reporter, vol. 3.
- Vide The Midland and Surgical Reporter, vol. 2, p. 131.
- This is well known to most nautical persons, and I can, from experience, give one striking example. Saint Helena is a high mountainous island, lying in the south-east trade wind, and the harbour of James Town is on the leeward side of the island. Ships rounding the point to enter, and, as would seem, getting under shelter of the land, are obliged to have all ready for handing in sail, or the strong gusts and eddies coming down from the mountains would carry away some of the lighter masts, although just previously they had been exposed safely to the whole force of the unrestrained current. On the windward side, near the bottom of the mountain, the wind (but not the sea) is comparatively still.
- Thus, substract 10,390, the population of the whole district in 1801, from 15,064, the population in 1931, and adding two 00 to the remainder, divide it by 15064, the quotient will be 31.
- It also appears, from the table, that in 1801 the population of the western division exceeded that of the eastern by 1112; whereas, in 1831, the latter exceeded the former by 602.
- In large towns the number of families, compared with the number of houses, is greater, as might be expected, than in the rural district of Malvern.
In London there are 171 families to every 100 houses. Hull 134 100 Bristol 131 100 England and Wales 117 100
- The annual proportion of marriages to the population, during the five years preceding 1831, was, in England, as 1 in 128: the several counties ranging from 1 in 103, to 1 in 175. The extremes take place in Middlesex and Hertfordshire, or rather, as the above facts shew, in some cities, and in the rural districts around them.
One of the evils seriously felt in agricultural districts, is the great number of very young married persons with large families of little children, who become chargeable upon the several parishes; and, from the above facts, it appears that, in the rural district around the Malvern hills, nearly one-half of such marriages are contracted in the neighbouring large towns—principally (perhaps wholly) in Worcester! An evil, surely, calling for notice and correction, because detrimental to the morals of the parties, by facilitating imprudent and secret matches; and bur then some to the parishes on which their children become chargeable.
- The proportion of deaths to the population, in the county of Worcester, is 1 in 54. In England and Wales the proportion, as shewn by the registered mortality, ranges from 1 in 41 to 1 in 64; or, as above, in the eastern division, 1 in 65.
- Mr. Villermè, who has laboriously studied the results afforded by the English tables of population, points out the fact that the atmospheric conditions of low marshy districts are very destructive of the lives of young children. In the Isle of Ely, which may be regarded as a specimen of the marshy districts of England, more than one-third of the children born, die before the end of the second year, and one half in the same district die before the end of the fifteenth year of their age. Now this statement may he contrasted with the statistical details of a hilly locality, in the eastern division of the Malvern district, one-third of the children born do not die until after the tenth year, and one-half do not die until after the thirtieth year.—The following table will exhibit this contrast at decennial periods.
Table shewing the proportion of deaths, at the under-mentioned ages, in the eastern division, and the Isle of Ely.
100 to Eastern Division 2824 646 926 670 587 746 1039 1242 1069 196 52 Isle of Ely 1731 597 765 594 596 652 775 834 411 42 3
- Of 3,938,496 persons buried in England and Wales, 252,811 were between the ages of 80 and 90, which is in the proportion of 86 to 1328; and 35,790 were between 90 and 100, which is in the proportion of 12 to 1328. By referring to table 4- it will be seen how much these numbers are exceeded in the eastern division—1328 being the total deaths; 142 the number of deaths between 80 and 90, and 26 the number between 90 and 100. From the parliamentary returns, also, it appears that one centenarian death (i. e. one who has attained to 100 and upwards) is found in 2,078 other deaths in England and Wales, so that making every possible allowance for any accidental coincidence, table 4 shews how greatly this number is exceeded in the eastern division.
- I have ascertained that the number of persons now (Jan. 1835,) resident in Great Malvern, and who are 70 years of age and upwards, is sixty; of these about 12 or 14 persons have not resided in the parish more than 12 or 14 years, so that subtracting these, the number which may be taken to represent those born in the parish, may be estimated at between 46 and 50.
By a reference to the parish register I find that the number of baptisms in the 10 years from 1755 to 1764 inclusive, was 192; now if 10,000 births (vide table 7) give 2562 persons alive at 70, 192 births will give 49, thus shewing that in the parish of Great Malvern, the actual numbers do not vary much from the results shewn in the tabular details.
- This table embraces too short a period to a period more than a corroboration of the previous statistical results. I may state that, occasionally, very young children, and, I believe, often very old people, die, medical assistance never having been asked for them.
- I have the details of a very singular case of this disease. in an unmarried female of delicate constitution, aged 37. The gland had been enlarged for fifteen years, and various remedies tried with considerable but temporary relief. For about two years the breathing had been more or less affected, the respiration being accompanied with a harsh, sonorous, dry rale, and short frequent cough. On the left side of the trachea was a firm rounded tumour; and on the right ride was another, less prominent: to the former, all the distress, which was occasionally very great, was referred. Great relief was experienced, when the difficulty of breathing came on, by pushing aside the tumour from the trachea by the finger. When the finger was removed, the rale, distress, and cough, returned; but, after some time, slowly went off. Through this tumour a seton was passed: leeches, and cold lotions, were also had recourse to; but debility and loss of appetite slowly increased; and the patient, one evening, being suddenly seized with difficult respiration, which nothing would relieve, died in about five hours (perfectly sensible to the last moment) apparently of suffocation.
The appearances, on dissection, were highly interesting. The left portion of the thyroid, through which the seton had passed, and to which the principal attention had been directed, extended from the ramus of the jaw to the clavicle: the upper edge of the right tumour commenced just below the larynx, and between the two tumours the trachea was very much compressed. This tumour on the right side was found to be only the superior portion of a very much enlarged thyroid gland, which extended completely into the chest behind the first rib, and, altogether, as large as two closed fists, four-fifths of it being in the cavity of the chest. It was divided into two portions by a groove or sulcus, in which lay the arteria innominata, pushed outwards towards the clavicle. The common carotid was displaced laterally, nearly two inches from the trachea; and the subclavian artery very much elevated above the clavicle and first rib. The par vagum passed over the subclavian artery, but the base of the tumour was engaged in the loop of the ramus recurrens; this loop, instead of being closely in contact with the artery, passed round the bottom of the tumour, which was, at the least, two inches and a half below; consequently, both the par vagum and the recurrent branch were very much stretched and elongated. The nervus vague was redder than on the other side, but there did not appear any material alteration in its size; the recurrent branch, on the other hand, was smaller, and was almost dissipated in a few minute filamentous threads, which could hardly be traced to the larynx.
I forbear making any remark upon this singular and interesting case. Whether death occurred from mechanical pressure upon the trachea, or from paralysis of the recurrent nerve, or from the joint effect of the two, I do not venture to determine.
- For this list of cryptogamous plants I am indebted to two very accomplished young ladies, whose botanical acquirements would do credit to a professor of the science.
- These formulas will be found detailed in the first volume of the Analyst, p. 396; in the Annals os Philosophy, vol. 13, p. 302; and in Daniell's Meteorological Essays, p. 188. We subjoin the directions given by the latter author, and their application.
1. Observe the heights of the barometer at the top and bottom of any elevation, and the heights of the attached thermometers. Observe, also, the temperature of the air in the shade at the two stations, by a detached thermometer; the dew-point must also be accurately taken at the upper and lower situation: these observations being made as nearly as possible at the same time.
2. Reduce the heights of the barometer observed at the top and bottom of the station, for the expansion of mercury and the mean dilatation of the tube (found by the table) at the temperatures observed by means of the attached thermometer, at the two stations.
3. Take the difference of the common logarithms of the two heights of the barometer, (so corrected) considering the first four figures as whole numbers, which will give an approximate height in fathoms.
4. Find the mean of the two temperatures observed by the detached thermometer, in the shade, at the upper and lower station, and (referring to the table) note the expansion of air due to this mean temperature.
5. Find the expansion of air for vapour at these two observed points, (by the table) and taking the mean, add it to the expansion due for temperature.
6. Then as 1.0000 plus the total expansion for temperature and vapour thus found, is to 1.0000, so is 1.0000 to the specific gravity of the air corrected for the expansion of temperature and vapour.
7. Find (by the table) the increase of density in the air for the two observed dew-points, and taking the mean, add it to the specific gravity of the air corrected for expansion, which will give the correct specific gravity of the air.
Preliminary observations made with the same barometer, at both stations, May 30th, 1834.—First series.
Library House or Lower station. Baro. Attach. Therm. Detach. Therm. Hyg. Time.
Wind Weather. Setting out 29.705 65.0 61.0 55.0 5 30 Light E. Very fine, some detached clouds moving from N. W. Return 29.700 63.0 57.0 52.0 7 20 Ditto Mean 29.7025 64.0 59.0 53.5 6 25 Summit of the beacon 28.700 53.0 53.0 48.0 6 45 Very high E. Less cloud, otherwise as above
8. As this correct specific gravity is to 1.00000 (the standard) so is the approximate height (3) to the correct height.
Details of the above formula, taking the second series of observations as data.
1. Mean of barometer at lower station. 29.543 Barometer at the upper station 28.550 2. Subtract for the expansion of mercury at 65°. —.083 Subtract for expansion of mercury at 58° .057 ——— ——— 29.460 28.493 Logarithm. 3. 29.460 4692.321 — Difference, 144.945 fathoms. 28.493 4547.3826 6 ———— Approximate height in feet 869.670 4. Lower station, temperature of the air 65.0 Dew-point 58.5 Upper ditto, ditto 58.0 Ditto 52.0 —— Mean 61.5 Expansion of air for temperature 61° (per table) .06041 5. Ditto for vapour 58° (ditto) .01633 Ditto ditto 52° (ditto) .01336 Mean .01484 —— Total expansion .07525 6. Then, 1.07525 : 1.00000 : : 1.0000 .93002 7. Increase of density of air for vapour at 58°—.01051 Ditto 52°—.00864 Mean .00958 ——— Correct specific gravity of the air .93960 8. And, .93960 : 1.0000 : : 1.00000 : 925.5 the height in feet.
- The tables referred to above, will be found in Daniell's Meteorological Essays, second edition, viz.: that for the expansion of mercury, and the mean dilatation of glass, p. 372; table of expansion of air for temperature and vapour, p. 177; table of increase of density of air for vapour, p. 177.
- For a more particular account of the analysis of the pure Malvern water, the reader is referred to the Dissertation above noticed.