Dr Thomas Shapter
|Died||1902 (aged 92–93)|
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
Dr Thomas Shapter LLD MD FRCP (1809–1902) was born in Gibraltar, graduated from the University of Edinburgh,and arrived in Exeter in the year cholera arrived, 1832. Today, Shapter is best known for the account he wrote of this devastating cholera outbreak, entitled The History of the Cholera in Exeter in 1832.
Legum Doctor is a doctorate-level academic degree in law, or an honorary doctorate, depending on the jurisdiction. The double "L" in the abbreviation refers to the early practice in the University of Cambridge to teach both canon law and civil law, with the double "L" itself indicating the plural. This contrasts with the practice of the University of Oxford, where the degree that survived from the Middle Ages is the DCL or Doctor of Civil Law (only).
The Royal College of Physicians is a British professional body dedicated to improving the practice of medicine, chiefly through the accreditation of physicians by examination. Founded in 1518, it set the first international standard in the classification of diseases, and its library contains medical texts of great historical interest.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.
Shapter developed a medical practice in Exeter and was a member of the governing body of the City, the Chamber, in 1835. As Newton puts it "his early admission into the restricted governing class of a cathedral city is a measure of his personality, as well as of his political and religious orthodoxy". Such ties were further cemented by his marriage in 1840 to the Reverend Samuel Blackhall's daughter. He was later to become Mayor (twice) and Sheriff of the City.
He was appointed physician in 1847 at the Devon and Exeter Hospital and also worked at the Magdalen Hospital, The Lying-in Charity and St Thomas' Hospital for Lunatics (1845). He led an active public life and when cholera again posed a threat in 1867 he opposed plans to transfer the powers of the Improvement Commissioners to the Board of Health under the 1858 Health Act. He appears to have still believed in the efficacy of the measures and institutions established during the 1830s.
Lying-in is the term given to the European forms of postpartum confinement, the traditional practice involving long bed rest after giving birth. The term and the practice it describes are old-fashioned or archaic, but it used to be considered an essential component of the postpartum period, even if there were no medical complications during childbirth.
He retired from the staff of the Devon and Exeter Hospital in 1876 and later moved to London. Newton states that his departure from the city was under something of a cloud "His reputation seems to have suffered locally from the injudicious acceptance of a legacy from a mental patient under his care". In old age he went blind and died in 1902 aged 93.
Apart from his famous work on cholera he also published books a number of other books which included. Leprosy in the Middle Ages and Climate of the South of Devon. He was also a collector of art which he used to furnish his home at no. 1 Barnfield Crescent.
Shapter is best known for his interest in environment and disease through his work "History of the Cholera in Exeter in 1832" which was published in 1849. This account was described in the British Medical Journal of 8 April 1933 as "one of the best descriptions extant of an historical epidemic".
It is one of the longest and most thorough of the local cholera histories written and interest in it was probably enhanced by the fact that it was published in the middle of a later outbreak of the disease. The compilation of the book was far from easy as the official records had already been lost by the time Shapter began the book in the 1840s, and he was dependent upon any other sources he could locate plus the reminiscences of those who lived through the disease or were involved in its treatment or prevention.
The book describes the arrival of cholera in the city, the reactions of the citizens and authorities to the disease and the efforts of the Board of Health in coping with the outbreak. The book paints a vivid picture of the local conditions which helped to foster the spread of the disease in the city. It clearly describes the problems faced by nineteenth-century towns with their inadequate administrative arrangements, organisation and financial resources in trying to cope with the cholera outbreak. One of the fascinating features of the book are the engravings provided for it by the Exeter artist John Gendall. These were added quite late on in the publication process with Shapter commenting that he was pleased to include "these interesting sketches of old parts of Exeter".
John Gendall was a British painter known particularly for his landscapes of Devon. Gendall was involved in the early use of lithography in London. He was born and died in Exeter, where he assisted with the creation of the museum and the university.
John Snow is well known for his study of the cholera outbreak in London and his use of a map to illustrate the locality of deaths to a public water source on Broad Street. The so-called "Ghost Map" is cited as a kind of watershed moment in the history of epidemiology and to some extent also in Information Design and GIS.[ citation needed ] The high profile of this work has led to research into the historicity of modern accounts and Thomas Shapter's influence on Snow:
Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations.
Snow may have realised that a spot map would be a useful illustration for his report to the parish committee and for his own book. The first edition of on the mode of communication of cholera, published in 1849, contained no maps and only one table. By 1854 Snow had seen the excellent map in Shapter's work on the cholera in Exeter, which Shapter included as a frontispiece but hardly discussed in his text. Shapter's book, which Snow cited in the second edition of his own work, may have persuaded Snow of the value of a map as an illustration.— Brody et al., The Lancet 356 (9223)
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
The germ theory of disease is the currently accepted scientific theory for many diseases. It states that microorganisms known as pathogens or "germs" can lead to disease. These small organisms, too small to see without magnification, invade humans, other animals, and other living hosts. Their growth and reproduction within their hosts can cause disease. "Germ" may refer to not just a bacterium but to any type of microorganism or even non-living pathogen that can cause disease, such as protists, fungi, viruses, prions, or viroids. Diseases caused by pathogens are called infectious diseases. Even when a pathogen is the principal cause of a disease, environmental and hereditary factors often influence the severity of the disease, and whether a potential host individual becomes infected when exposed to the pathogen.
William Farr was a British epidemiologist, regarded as one of the founders of medical statistics.
John Snow was an English physician and a leader in the development of anaesthesia and medical hygiene. He is considered one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. Oxford University researchers state that Snow's findings inspired the adoption of anaesthesia as well as fundamental changes in the water and waste systems of London, which led to similar changes in other cities, and a significant improvement in general public health around the world.
Edward Headlam Greenhow FRS, FRCP was an English physician, epidemiologist, sanitarian, statistician, clinician and lecturer.
Edwin Lankester FRS, FRMS, MRCS was an English surgeon and naturalist who made a major contribution to the control of cholera in London: he was the first public analyst in England.
A boil-water advisory or boil-water order is a public health advisory or directive given by government or health authorities to consumers when a community's drinking water is, or could be, contaminated by pathogens.
Thomas Michael Greenhow MD MRCS FRCS was an English surgeon.
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World is a book by Steven Berlin Johnson in which he describes the most intense outbreak of cholera in Victorian London and centers on John Snow and Henry Whitehead.
Rev. John Prince (1643–1723), vicar of Totnes and Berry Pomeroy in Devon, England, was a biographer. He is best known for his Worthies of Devon, a series of biographies of Devon-born notables covering the period before the Norman Conquest to his own era. He became the subject of a sexual scandal, the court records of which were made into a book in 2001 and a play in 2005.
The second cholera pandemic (1826–1837), also known as the Asiatic cholera pandemic, was a cholera pandemic that reached from India across western Asia to Europe, Great Britain, and the Americas, as well as east to China and Japan. Cholera caused more deaths, more quickly, than any other epidemic disease in the 19th century. The medical community now believes cholera to be exclusively a human disease, spread through many means of travel during the time, and spread through warm fecal-contaminated river waters and contaminated foods. During the second pandemic, the scientific community varied in its beliefs about the causes of cholera.
The third cholera pandemic (1846–60) was the third major outbreak of cholera originating in India in the nineteenth century that reached far beyond its borders, which researchers at UCLA believe may have started as early as 1837 and lasted until 1863. In Russia, more than one million people died of cholera. In 1853–54, the epidemic in London claimed over 10,000 lives, and there were 23,000 deaths for all of Great Britain. This pandemic was considered to have the highest fatalities of the 19th-century epidemics.
The fourth cholera pandemic of the 19th century began in the Ganges Delta of the Bengal region and traveled with Muslim pilgrims to Mecca. In its first year, the epidemic claimed 30,000 of 90,000 pilgrims. Cholera spread throughout the Middle East and was carried to Russia, Europe, Africa and North America, in each case spreading via travelers from port cities and along inland waterways.
The Broad Street cholera outbreak was a severe outbreak of cholera that occurred in 1854 near Broad Street in the Soho district of the City of Westminster, London, England, and occurred during the 1846–1860 cholera pandemic happening worldwide. This outbreak, which killed 616 people, is best known for the physician John Snow's study of its causes and his hypothesis that germ-contaminated water was the source of cholera, rather than particles in the air. This discovery came to influence public health and the construction of improved sanitation facilities beginning in the mid-19th century. Later, the term "focus of infection" started to be used to describe sites, such as the Broad Street pump, in which conditions are good for transmission of an infection. Snow's endeavor to find the cause of the transmission of cholera caused him to unknowingly create a double-blind experiment.
William Budd was an English physician and epidemiologist known for recognizing that infectious diseases were contagious. He recognized that the "poisons" involved in infectious diseases multiplied in the intestines of the sick, were present in their leaks, and could then be transmitted to the healthy through their consumption of contaminated water.
A dot distribution map, or dot density map, is a map type that uses a dot symbol to show the presence of a feature or a phenomenon. Dot maps rely on a visual scatter to show spatial pattern.
Seven cholera pandemics have occurred in the past 200 years, with the seventh pandemic originating in Indonesia in 1961. Additionally, there have been many documented cholera outbreaks, such as a 1991-1994 outbreak in South America and, more recently, the 2016–19 Yemen cholera outbreak.
A cholera pit was a burial place used in a time of emergency when the disease was prevalent. Such mass graves were often unmarked and were placed in remote or specially selected locations. Public fears of contagion, lack of space within existing churchyards and restrictions placed on the movements of people from location to location also contributed to their establishment and use. Many of the victims were poor and lacked the funds for memorial stones, however memorials were sometimes added at a later date.
Diseases and epidemics of the 19th century reached epidemic proportions in the case of one emerging infectious disease: cholera. Other important diseases at that time in Europe and other regions included smallpox, typhus and yellow fever.
Dr Peter Hennis MD was a much admired and revered physician. The hero of the Exeter cholera outbreak of 1832 was also the last known victim of duelling in Devon.