Death and disease in Victorian Hathern
Opium-derived drugs (opiates) include heroin, morphine and codeine. They were marketed and used to treat teething from perhaps as early as the 1700s, By the mid-1800s, tincture of opium (AKA Laudanum) was commonly available. The market leader of the time was Godfrey’s cordial and was used in epic proportions. Not only was it used for teething, but also by nurses charged with the “caring” of many babies to keep them subdued. It was euphemistically called ‘quietness”. In 1846 a three month child's death was attributed in part to receiving the cordial for several weeks. This is just one of the cases mentioned in Dr. Andree Bagley's cheering article on 'Death and disease in Victorian Hathern' written in the midst of Covid lockdown 2020.