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Cholera cross from St George's churchyard

Date made: early 19th century

Place made: Douglas

Description: This wooden cross once marked the site of a mass grave in St George's churchyard, Douglas, where the victims of a Cholera outbreak were buried.

The simple wooden cross is incised with the words 'Cholera 1832-3'. The cross is broken off where the timber has rotted.

Cholera was one of the most contagious diseases of the 19th century. It spread rapidly through crowded and insanitary slums. Victims of the cholera epidemics that hit Douglas in 1832 and again in 1833 lie under a large open space in the north of St George's churchyard. This mass grave contains the bodies of 34 and 86 victims of the disease for the two years respectively. The cholera outbreaks were later vividly described by T.E. Brown, the Manx poet, in 'The Doctor'. Nellie Brennan, an ordinary Douglas woman who earned great respect by nursing the victims, also lies in the same churchyard.

Materials: wood

Object name: cross

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2003-0183

Subject tags : #MM100


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