Cholera Coverup in Scarborough

In Sept. 1866 a French lugger from Fecamp, “St. Joseph of Fecamp” put into Scarborough at the height of the holiday season having on board one man dead from cholera and several others suffering from the disease. It is safe to say that if the faintest rumour got about, it would have been ruinous to the season.


John Woodall was Chairman of the Board of Guardians at St Mary’s Hospital in Dean Road. He and the officers of the board had the dead man buried at once in the Quaker Grave yard. A second man dies in the arms of Dr John William Taylor’s arms on the road to the workhouse and the rest were quickly lodged in the special infirmary. The public knew nothing of the event until sometime afterwards.


A French man-of-war visited Scarborough to pass on the thanks of the ship-owners to Mr Woodall and Dr Taylor for their kindness in ministering to the unfortunate French sailors.


A bronze plaque was placed in the Hospital board room to commemorate this event. TheScarborough and District Civic Society rescued the plaque but no one seems to know what has happened to them.

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