Thursday 28 February 2013

Removing a Cholera Patient

Yesterday afternoon, between 2 and 3 o'clock, the neighbourhood of Barratt's-court, Edward-street, Portman-square, was thrown into a state of violent uproar and confusion,in consequence of the messengers of the Marylebone Board of Health attempting to remove to the cholera hospital, in Nutford-place, Edgeware-road, an Irishman, named John Heron who was suddenly taken ill on Thursday, and who was alleged to have been attacked with cholera. The messengers  brought with them the usual sedan chair to carry away the patient, and were attended by five of the police force of the D division, to prevent any interruption being oflered to them in taking the man away. They had no sooner arrived opposite to the house, No. 4, in Barratt's-court, where the man Heron lodges, than they were assailed with groans, hisses, and yells, of a most discordant character from a number of Heron's countrymen, who expressed their determination not to allow him to be removed out of his own apartment. The messengers however succeeded, after much difficulty, and with the assistance of the police, who were compelled to use their staves in placing the man in the chair, and had proceeded with him but a few yards when a simultaneous rush of the Irish, who had by this time assembled in the court to the number of between 500 and 600, was made, and in an instant the policemen were hemmed in by the crowd, and had their staves wrested from them. A scene of the utmost confusion and disorder then ensued, the sick man was dragged out of the chair, and pulled about in a most violent and shatnefitl manner, the chair was broken to pieces, and after much contention and disturbance the man was carried back to his lodging, amidst the shouts of the victorious party, who declared that they would resist any attempt that might be afterwards made to remove him. The disturbance assumed such a serious appearance at one time, that most of the neighbours closed their shops for the remainder of the afternoon. The whole of the neighbourhood remained in a state of excessive tumult during the rest of the evening. The necessary measures were afterwards taken by the police to preserve tranquillity.

The Times, 31 March 1832

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