1837 Early By-Laws in Sunderland

Sunderland’s public image suffered as a result of the first cholera outbreak in 1831, and the town had also suffered badly from an outbreak of measles in 1824, in which 406 people had died. As a result, attempts were made to improve the conditions in Sunderland.

During their research, our group found copies of bye-laws dating to 1837 among papers laid before the House of Lords. These covered a wide range of public health issues, including refuse, dung-hill middens, the keeping and slaughter of animals, and even restrictions on parking. The bye-laws were made under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 and in 1840, copies of all such bye-laws were requested by Parliament.

A meeting of the council of the borough of Sunderland took place on 5 October 1837. It was convened 'to determine on such Bye Laws as may be deemed necessary for the good rule and government of the Borough and the supression of Nuisances within'.

Read the full report of which by-laws were to be adopted.