In the Victorian era childhood mortality rates were high.
Looking at the records for our family name (Titheridge, Titheradge, Tytheridge, Tidridge and Teatheredge) between 1860 and 1900 they show that
one out of every seven children born died before their first birthday,
one out of every five children born died before there 5th birthday
one out of every four children died before they reached adult hood (21years).
It was not until the 1920s that these figures started to improve. The table below shows the mortality rates for children across the decades.
In 1860 the average life expectancy of people with our family names (Titheridge, Titheradge, Tytheridge, Tidridge and Teatheredge) was 25 years and this has gradually risen to 72 years by the 1960s as shown in the graph below. Today the average life expectancy is 79 years.
Childhood mortality rates from 1860s to 1950s for Titheridge/ Titheradge etc. family members
Percentage of Babies who died before 1st birthday
Percentage of Children who died before 5th birthday
Percentage of children who died before adulthood
There are many factors that contributed to these mortality rates.
In the Victorian era disease was a problem and epidemics could kill thousands of people in a short time. Diseases like smallpox, cholera, Tuberculosis (TB) and polio were common and at times these reached epidemic levels.
Public health was an issue, especially in the cities which grew rapidly and slums developed. Houses were damp, overcrowded, dirty and people lived, slept, cooked and ate in filthy, unhygienic conditions. There was lots of poverty and poor families lived crowded together into single room accommodation without sanitation and ventilation. Public health was a huge issue with air, water and sanitation of unsatisfactory standards. There was a lack of clean water supplies and lack of safe sewage disposal.
For the poor diet was another issue, with the poor having unhealthy diets and much of the food available was contaminated.
Health and Safety was also an issue both at work and home. Employers had no duty to safeguard the health of their employees. Children were expected to work and often these were long hours in dangerous jobs.
William and Amelia Titheridge of East Tisted, Hampshire
William and Amelia had 7 children born over a seventeen year period (1871 – 1888) of these 4 of them died under the age of 5 and were all buried in East Tisted.
Alfred born East Tisted 1873 died 1875
Alice born East Tisted 1876 died 1880
Ada born East Tisted 1877 died 1880
Walter born 1881 Bentworth died 1882
Three sons did survive beyond childhood
Arthur born West Tisted 1871 lived to the age of 40
Herbert born Bentworth 1883 lived to nearly 100
Edward born 1888 in Bramley Surrey died aged 91
Albert and Catherine Titheridge of Southwick Sussex
Five of the children died under the age of one, with a sixth child dying aged 21.
The children were
twin girls born 1895 and died 1895
Dorothy Kate born 1896 died 1897
Twins William Ernest and Winifred Mabel born in 1898, William died in 1898 and Winfred died in 1899
The surviving children were
Nora born 1892
Alfred James born in 1894 (killed in World War 1 aged 21)
Beatrice born 1900
Lilian Margaret born in 1905
Bernard Oliver born in 1907 died 1978
Leonard Harry born 1910 died 1976