You ask the portier at what hours the trains leave--he tells you instantly; or you ask him who is the best physician in town; or what is the hack tariff; or how many children the mayor has; or what days the galleries are open, and whether a permit is required, and where you are to get it, and what you must pay for it; or when the theaters open and close, what the plays are to be, and the price of seats; or what is the newest thing in hats; or how the bills of mortality
average; or "who struck Billy Patterson." It does not matter what you ask him: in nine cases out of ten he knows, and in the tenth case he will find out for you before you can turn around three times.
Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality
; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.
There he had an opportunity of refreshing himself with both the bottles at once, looking out at a low blinding wall three feet off, and speculating on the number of Barnacle families within the bills of mortality
who lived in such hutches of their own free flunkey choice.
Taking into account the number of animals slaughtered yearly within the bills of mortality
alone; and forming a low estimate of the quantity of tripe which the carcases of those animals, reasonably well butchered, would yield; I find that the waste on that amount of tripe, if boiled, would victual a garrison of five hundred men for five months of thirty-one days each, and a February over.
Historians consider his 1662 book, "Natural and Political Observations Made Upon the Bills of Mortality
," to be a seminal moment in the genesis of disease classification.
Bills of Mortality
: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature From Early Modern to Postmodern Times
All this was writ large in the Bills of Mortality
that were the government's summary, based on parish records, of the numbers and causes of citizen deaths.
A review of evidence on infant mortality derived from the London bills of mortality
and parish registers indicates that there were major registration problems throughout the whole of the parish register period.
113; 'our Bills of Mortality
cou'd give but little Light in this', he concludes on the following page.
In short, death was on the mind of Tudor and Stuart subjects, and they wrote about it obsessively, from sermons to bills of mortality
to tragedies to elegies.
Using a combination of evidence from bills of mortality
, examination of bones, historical records and palaeopathological study, 'Health and Disease in Britain' builds a picture up of the nation's health in each of the stages of history through which Britain has grown.
John Graunt, in 1662, categorized the causes of death in the London Bills of Mortality
. The London Bills of Mortality
were the basis for the present day International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as first proposed by William Farr in 1855.