These revision cards are about Chadwick and his Discoveries and why people opposed to him.

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Who was Chadwick?

Edwin Chadwick was an english Social reformer, noted for his work to reform the Poor laws and improve sanitary conditions and public health.

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Chadwick's findings

The parliament asked Chadwick to investigate the reasons behind Public Health issues in Industrial towns. Chadwick reported that the housing and hygiene conditions in Industrial towns was very poor. There was no access to clean water. There was sewage and rubbish on the streets. Chadwick reported that all these reasons were responsible for the Cholera outbreak. Factors involved: Parliament

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Chadwick's report recommendations

  • Chadwick suggested that it was cheaper to spend local taxes on Public health rather than spending them on sick people in poor houses/ work houses.   
  • Chadwick wanted everyone to have clean water and area clear of rubbish and sewage
  • Chadwick published his report about housing conditions in Industrial towns and called it "The sanitary conditions of the labouring population". Factor : Communication
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Opposition to Chadwick's ideas

  • People who belonged to middle classes opposed to Chadwick's report as they thought that rich people should pay taxes for public health.
  • It was believed at that time that government should not interfere in the ordinary lives or businesses.
  • Water companies opposed to Chadwick's ideas as they thought that changes may reduce their profits.
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Changes made by Chadwick


  • Allowed towns to set up their own local boards of health. Only one third actually set it up.
  • Allowed to appoint a local medical officer. Fewer than one third appointed an officer.
  • Ordered towns to organise the removal of rubbish. Temporary
  • Ordered towns to build a sewer system. Temporary
  • Public health Act 1848, set up a General Board of Health; Chadwick as one of the 3 commisioners. In 1854 ,all 3 commisioners had to resign. General Board of Health abolished in 1858. Chadwick was not appointed to any other official position.
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