Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forJuly 9th, 2007 | back to home

9 July 2007

Thanks to the rather handy Edwin C Bolles collection of historical and topographical London documents I just read this rather cheering quotation about my neighborhood (Highgate) from a 129 year old guide:

[John] Norden, whom we have quoted above, bears testimony to the healthiness of this locality. He writes: “Upon this hill is most pleasant dwelling, yet not so pleasant as healthful; for the expert inhabitants there report that divers who have long been visited by sickness not curable by ` physicke ‘ have in a short time repaired their health by that sweet salutary air.” Indeed, the place is still proverbially healthy, and therefore has been chosen from time immemorial as the site of hospitals and other charitable institutions. It is worthy of note that Defoe, in his “History of the Plague,” records not a single death from that fearful visitation having happened here, though it extended its ravages into and beyond the northern suburbs, and even as far as Watford and St. Albans; and his silence is corroborated by the fact that during the continuance of the plague only sixteen deaths are recorded in the register.