24th March 1913 (Easter Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, USA – Ralph Fox, American mathematician.

Society and culture: Inspectors for a Royal Commission visit two rows of miners’ homes in Merry’s row, Blantyre in Scotland. In their report they describe the dwellings as follows:

“They consist of 46 single- and 50 double-apartment houses. They are built with brick, and were erected between thirty and forty years ago, and are a very poor type of house, low-ceilinged and mostly damp. The rent per week, including rates, is 2s. 4d. and 2s. 11d. for single and double houses respectively. Within the last five years this property has been included in a special scavenging district, and consequently the sanitation of the place has been very much improved. The water is supplied by means of stand-pipes at intervals along the front of the row. There are no sculleries or sinks about the place, and all the dirty water is emptied into an open gutter. There is a washhouse to every six tenants, and a flush-closet to every three tenants. Bins are in vogue, with a daily collection of refuse. No coal-cellars or drying-greens. A man is kept for tidying up the place”.

Meanwhile, on the same day “The Scotsman” newspaper reports a fatal accident at a Fife Colliery, where a few days ago miner James Shepherd was killed by a five hundredweight stone which fell from the roof and pinned him to the floor. Aged 45, and married, he dies before he can be brought to the surface.

Also today, Lady Dorothy Nevill, english writer and horticulturalist, dies at her home in London, aged 86. The subject of a scandal at 21, after being caught in a summerhouse with a notorious womaniser, she  later becomes a noted horticulturalist, keeps exotic animals and farms silkworms on her estate in Sussex, and serves on the first committee of the Primrose League, a conservative organisation whose objectives include the conduct of public affairs for the common good and the defence of free enterprise.

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