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"Our Eliza took badly last night. Mam wants to send her to the hospital but dad's scared she won't come out again, he says they never do. We can't afford the doctor, dad reckons they're just 'quacks' anyway (I don't know what this means though). I just want to see our Eliza better, she's so bonny, I hate to see her bad."

Drawing of a large, grand looking building with a columned entrance and a beautifully landscaped garden.  There are three windows on each side of the entrance and two stories. high
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary 1831

Victorian hospitals were strict. Have a look at the image below giving the rules for patients.

Rule for inpatients, begins: 'That they strictly observe the directions of their Physicians and Surgeons; and also of the Apothecary , the Matron, and the Nurses
Huddersfield Infirmary Report Rules

It's hard to believe it now, because we have immunisations (injections), but in the Victorian era measles was a killer, especially in Huddersfield.

Newspaper Report from Huddersfield Weekly Examiner 1851.  It starts: "We regret to have to announce a large increase in the number of deaths which has occurred from diarrhoea in our town during the last week.  Out of ten deaths which have taken place seven have resulted from this cause'.
Newspaper Report from Huddersfield Weekly Examiner 1851

Measles wasn't the only killer. Diarrhoea, far from being something you laughed about having, was a common cause of death in Victorian Huddersfield (see newspaper report above). It happened quite often in poorer housing (like Windsor Court shown in the 'Housing and Domestic Life' page).  The ways that infections and diseases were spread were not well understood and many people relied on superstition and charms to 'protect' themselves.

Can you think of any reasons why?

Multi-coloured ball of yellow, red, blue, green and white blotches covering the surface.
Witchball to Protect Against Diseases