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Headstones and Causes of Death

'Fever' and Typhus


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The term "fever" is nowadays applied to any condition associated with a raised temperature, but historically in Ireland it covered a number of infectious diseases often accompanying famine.  They were all spread by organisms carried by the louse and spread from person to person, when weakened by starvation, living in overcrowded conditions and incapable of even the most basic personal hygiene.  There were, in fact, three different fevers which commonly occurred.  These were the mildest or trench fever, later associated with the First World War.  More serious was the episodic relapsing fever, which was often accompanied by jaundice and was known in Ireland down the years as the Buidhe Conaill (or Pestis Flava in old texts).  Most dangerous of all was typhus fever which produced a swollen, blotchy appearance, severe delerium, gangrene and death.  Since these diseases were spread by direct contact with infected patients, doctors and clergy were frequent victims, for example Dr Alfred Anderson of the Belfast Fever Hospital, the Rev John Montgomery of Banbridge, the Rev Robert W Toler of Annalong, the Rev Bernard Dorrian, parish priest of Lisburn and the Rev Patrick McEvoy, parish priest of Kilbroney, county Down, all in the 1845-7 period.  As with cholera, these fevers did not end with the Great Famine and deaths were common in Ireland into the twentieth century, when the understanding of the causes and the mechanism of spread made them less likely.

 

Annahilt Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

Sacred to the memory of Jane Moreland who died of Fever 20th July 1844 aged 12 years Also Jaines Moreland who died of cholera 16th January 1849 aged 18 years This mortal must put on immortality Also James Cowan Moreland, father of the above who died 26th Feby 1858 aged 67 years Also Mary daughter of Janies Moreland & wife of Wm McCANN, Belfast, who died 4th Septr 1859 aged 34 years Also Anne Harrison Moreland, wife of the above James Cowan Moreland who died 2nd December 1873 aged 68 years.

 

Banbridge 1st Presbyterian graveyard, County Down

 

In memory of the Rev John Montgomery, died 28th April 1867 [The Rev John Montgomery was born in 1818/9, was installed as minister of the First [Non-Subscribing] Presbyterian Church in December 1847 and died of fever on 28th April [Linn ; History of Banbridge [1935]].

 

Donaghadee Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

In loving memory of Philip Alexander Vaughan De La Cherois, Collector of the Elgon District, British East Africa Protectorate only son of Alexander De La Cherois, born at Donaghadee June 8th 1869, died of fever June 5th 1905, buried at Mumias, Kisumu Province He bringeth them unto their desired haven In loving memory of Alexander De La Cherois who died in 1873 and of Georgina Mary his wife who died 22nd June 1922 in her 89th year.

 

Down Cathedral graveyard, County Down

 

I H S, In charity pray for the soul of the Rev Bernard Dorrian, PP, of Lisburn, who died of fever on the 27th of March 1847 aged 38 years Requiescat in pace.

 

Holywood graveyard, County Down

 

In memory of William Greenfield, M D , of Holywood, who died of fever on 7th Oct 1863 aged 30 years This monument has been erected by a large circle of friends to whom he was endeared by his private and professional worth [On a horizontal slab at the foot of above] In memory of James Greenfield, father of William Greenfield, M D , died 11th April 1883 aged 75 years And of John, younger son of James Greenfield, died 26th April 1885 aged 50 years And Susan, widow of James Greenfield, died 19th May 1886 aged 78 years.

 

Kilhorne Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

William Henry, son to the Revd Henry Hayden, died at Serampore, India, of fever, May 31st 1848 in the 29th year of his age.

 

Kilhorne Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

Sacred to the memory of the Reverend Robert Waller Toler, Curate of Annalong for the short period of eighteen months He died of typhus fever April 2nd 1845 in the twenty sixth year of his age and in the second of his ministry This monument has been erected by his parishioners in token of their affectionate regard and of the many virtues which adorned his character I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die John XI, 25, 26 '0 Death, where is thy sting O Grave, where is thy victory The sting of Death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, thro our Lord Jesus Christ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord ' Cor XV, 55 56, 57, 58.

 

Leitrim Roman Catholic graveyard, County Down

 

[Horizontal stone on the ground.]  IHS.  Gloria in excelsis Deo.  Sacred to the memory of the Revd Patrick McEvoy, PP of Kilbroney, Rosstrevor, who after a mission of 22 years in said Parish, 16 of which being PP, caught malignant typhus fever in the discharge of his sacerdotal functions, and after an illness of 9 days, departed this life on the 16th of October 1847.  And also of his father William McEvoy of Ballydrummond who departed this life in the 82d year of his age on the 2d of April 1841.

 

Killyleagh Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

To the memory of vice-adrniral the Honble Sir Henry Blackwood, Bart whose remains are deposited in the family vault adjoining this church He was born at Killyleagh in the year 1767, the seventh son of Sir John Blackwood, Bart and Dorcas, Baroness DUFFERIN AND CLANEBOYE At the age of eleven years he entered the naval service and became in after life one of its most distinguished commanders Valiant, generous and warm-hearted, prompt and decided in danger, but never rash, he obtained the respect as well as confidence of those with whom he served, he rejoiced to encourage merit and promote the interests of the deserving Beloved by his family, admired by all, his memory will long be cherished in the domestic circle; and in the annals of Britain's naval glory his name will stand recorded with the foremost of her heroes He died at Ballyleidy, of typhus fever on the 13th of December 1832 He was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order.

 

Clifton Street graveyard, Belfast, County Antrim

 

In memory of [Alfred Anderson] who died on Sunday the third day of [October 1847], in the [2]5th year of his age, of malignant fever contracted in the [furtherance] of his duty, as Resident Surgeon of the Belfast General Hospital [Alfred Anderson had been house surgeon in the Belfast General Hospital, which was situated in Frederick Street, for only a few months when he died as a result of attending the very large numbers of people who had been struck down by typhus and relapsing fever during the Great Famine and epidemic of 1847 See Allison: The Seeds of time [1972].

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