Henry Whitehead (clergyman)

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Rev. Henry Whitehead
For the Bishop of Madras, see Henry Whitehead (bishop).

The Reverend Henry Whitehead (22 September 1825 – 5 March 1896) was a Church of England cleric and the assistant curate at St. Luke's church in Soho, London during the 1854 cholera outbreak.

A believer in the miasma theory of disease, Whitehead worked to disprove false theories, eventually coming to prefer Dr. John Snow's idea that cholera spreads through water contaminated by human waste. Snow's work — and Whitehead's own investigations[1] — convinced Whitehead that the Broad Street pump was the source of the local infections. Whitehead then joined with Snow in tracking the contamination to a faulty cesspool and the outbreak's index case.[2]

Whitehead's work with Snow combined demographic study with scientific observation, setting important precedent for the burgeoning science of epidemiology.[3]

Whitehead served as a clergyman in several other London parishes before moving to Newlands in Cumberland in 1884, and finally to become vicar of Lanercost for five years until his death.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Steven (2006). The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World. Riverhead Books. ISBN 1-59448-925-4. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Steven (2006). The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World. Riverhead Books. p. 206. ISBN 1-59448-925-4. 
  3. ^ Frerichs, Ralph R (11 October 2006). "Reverend Henry Whitehead" (HTTP). Retrieved 2007-12-10. 

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