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• Annual Register,' and from other sources, the ages at death of all the bishops and deans of the Church of England that have died during the past twenty years. I find that of forty-two bishops and deans who died during this period the average lifetime was 72 years and 8 months. The bishops had rather the advantage of the deans in one respect, for the nineteen bishops who died during this period lived on an average 76 years 2 months and 15 days, whereas twenty-three deans only lived an average of 69 years 8 months and 26 days.
But the deans had the advantage of the bishops in another respect, for the oldest dean-Dean Garnier of Winchester, who died at 98 years of age—beat the oldest bishop-Bishop Phillpotts, of Exeter, who died at 91 years of age—by 7 years, and ran Canon Beadon very close, who lived to be 100 !
Seven of the bishops lived to be over 80—viz. Llandaff 84, Winchester 84, Chichester 83, St. Asaph 82, Salisbury 81, and Chester 81, together with Bishop Phillpotts 91, already mentioned; and seven deans lived to over 80—viz. Exeter 88, Salisbury (Hamilton) 87, Gloucester 86, Dean Close 85, Ripon (McNeill) 84, and St. David's 80, besides Dean Garnier at 98, mentioned above. The youngest bishop at death was Dr. Woodford, of Ely, who died at 65 years of age, and the youngest dean was the Dean of Bangor, who died at the early age of 47.
I have also ascertained for purposes of comparison the ages at death of the judges of the superior courts who died during the same period. Forty-nine judges, whose ages I have been able to ascertain, died at the average age of 72 years 1 month and 14 days-an average somewhat less than that of the bishops and deans together, considerably less than the bishops taken separately, and somewhat higher than the deans taken alone. The two oldest judges were Lord St. Leonards, aged 93, and Dr Lushington, aged 90. No judge rivals Dean Garnier's 98 years. The two youngest were Thesiger at 42 and Jackson at 49. Twelve of the judges were over 80–viz. Brougham 89,23 Erle, Kindersley, and Pollock 87, Coleridge and Wensleydale 86, Chelmsford 84, Fitzroy Kelly, Stuart, and Byles 83, Martin and Ryan 82.
It occurred to me that it would be interesting to take also the ages of the members of the House of Peers, not being bishops or law lords, as given in the ' Annual Register ' for the same period, and see whether any great difference was apparent in their average longevity. I have omitted those who had not passed their fortieth year, as obviously unsuitable for comparison in this instance, and also one suicide and one assassination. I find that 188 peers, deceased during the last twenty years, whose ages are given in the ‘Annual Register' had an average lifetime of 72 years 4 months and 14 days. This is a remarkable and, to me, a somewhat unexpected average for
23 Lord Brougham's brother died about the same age (90) in 1886.
so large a number. It is a higher average than that of the judges -a very select body—though not so high as the bishops. There were seven who lived beyond 90—the oldest (Lord Kilmory) 93, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe 92, Earl of Buckingham 92, Lord Mount Cashel 91, Lord Stradbroke 91, Lord Teignmouth 90, Lord Brougham and Vaux 90. Besides these, there were as many as forty-eight more who lived to be over 80; four of these lived to be 89, three to be 87, one to be 86, five to be 85, seven to be 84, five to be 83, nine to be 82, five to be 81, and eight to be 80. It must be admitted that this is a very remarkable roll of nono- and octo-genarians; and the class that has acquired and maintained, to this extent, the power of longevity may smile at those who call them 'effete'!
But in making these inquiries I came upon another result which was somewhat surprising, and which affords additional testimony to the vigour of constitution and powers of resistance of the upper classes in this country. Eighty and ninety years ago the officers of the army and navy were mostly members of aristocratic families, or of the upper stratum of the middle class, and it is the extraordinary longevity of the older superior officers of these two forces that I am now alluding to. I have had no opportunity of calculating averages in this case, but I will simply state the number of general officers and admirals who have died at advanced ages during the last fifteen years only, as recorded in the Annual Register ' for that period— 1876 to 1887. No less than 101 general officers and admirals died during these last fifteen years, having reached ages between 80 and 98. Twenty-four of these reached the great age of over 90—viz. General Macdonald 98, Admiral Westphal 98, Generals P. U. England 96, Fitzgerald (F.-M.) 95, Sabine 95, Bell 94, MacGregor 94, Woodford 94, Admiral Coffin 93, Generals Taylor 92, Cloëté 92, Stretton 92, Admirals Vernon Harcourt 92, Patton 92, Montagu 92, Prescott 92, Hallowes 91, Generals Gomm 91, Arbuthnot 90, England 90, Rowan (F.-M.) 90, Ball 90, Brooke 90, Admiral Moresby 90.
To these army officers of the rank of general may be added the name of Colonel Simmons, who died in 1883 at 92, and that of Surgeon J. Wyer, who had served in the Peninsular War with the 13th Regiment of Foot, who lived to a greater age than any of them; he died on the 3rd of March, 1883, at the advanced age of 99 years.
Of the rest, ten died at 89 years of age, eight at 88, six at 87, five at 86, and the remainder between that age and 80.
These figures seem to me to be very remarkable. To find so many instances of very advanced life within so short a period, amongst the heads of two professions, the members of which are so exposed to the accidental causes of disease and death, is most striking. It doubtless shows that a regular and well-disciplined life, a life led in strict obedience to rule and regulation, constant exercise in the open air, frequent change of climate, and the prospect of a competency in old
age from a grateful and generous country, afford conditions which favour length of days in constitutions originally sound and vigorous.24
The writer in the Quarterly Review on Longevity,' whom I have more than once referred to, expresses the opinion that 'brainwork is surely not conducive to longevity,' and adds that engineers and artists are not long-lived. This conclusion—which I believe to be a mistaken one-probably arose from putting too much reliance on “averages,' which, useful as they are in some considerations, are most misleading and calculated to lead to fallacious conclusions in others, if too exclusively trusted in. Let us, for instance, suppose that thirty men of letters die in one year—ten about 80, ten about 70, and ten about 30 years of age; the simple statement of the average age (60) gives us no foundation whatever for the conclusion that the literary life is not conducive to old age, because the young men who died under 30 would in all probability have died, most of them from inherited tendency to disease or past bad habits, which had nothing to do with their occupation; whereas the ten who lived to be 80 wculd afford positive evidence that the pursuit of letters was not inconsistent with longevity. With regard to artists, if they allow the emotional æsthetic side of their nature to get the upper hand and so induce a fretful, irritable, unstable frame of mind, this, together with irregular habits, will certainly not conduce to longevity; but this is not brain work'—it is brain teasing or brain worry, which is one of the worst disturbers possible of the harmonious and healthy working of the organisms.
It is not difficult to give numerous well-known instances of brain workers who lived to a great age. Amongst artists, Michael Angelo lived to be 90, Sir Christopher Wren to be 91. Titian is said to have been engaged in painting a picture now in the Academy at Venice when he was cut off by the plague at 99 years of age ! Conrad Roepel, of the Hague, who lived to 100, and Ingres to 86, Tintoretti 82, Claude Lorraine 82, Greuze 79, David 77, Turner 76, Horace Vernet 73, Lebrun 71, Poussin 71, are instances not only of greatness in art, but greatness in enduring vitality. If we take poets, we find that Rogers lived to be 93, Sophocles 90, Calderon 87, Juvenal 86, Anacreon 85, Voltaire 84, Metastasio 84, Euripides 78, Goethe 83, Klopstock 79, Wieland 80, Lamartine 78, Béranger 77, and Victor Hugo 83.
If we turn to philosophers and men of science we find amongst our contemporaries M. Chevreul, the French philosopher and chemist, who on the evening of his 100th birthday occupied the President's box at the Opera ; and if we look into the past we find the names of Fontenelle, who died at 100, Hoyle (who wrote the treatise on Whist) at 98, Hobbes at 92, Morgagni at 89, Ried at 86, Dr. Heberden at
34 Sir George Beeston, an English admiral at the time of the Spanish Armada, has been mentioned as an instance of longevity. He lived a century.
90, Sir T. Watson at 90 (?), Sir William Lawrence at 84, RoyerCollard at 82, William Harvey at 80, Schelling at 79, Cousin at 76, and, greatest of all, Plato at 82; and amongst great composers, Auber died at 88, Cherubini at 82, Rossini 77, Haydn 77, Glück 73, and Meyerbeer 72.
What a stupendous amount of brain work, and brain work of the highest kind, is represented by these names, all of whom exceeded the allotted threescore years and ten, but who are lost sight of in the delusive method of averages !
Of the longevity of judges and dignitaries of the Church, who also represent a great amount of useful brain work, evidence has already been given. I think we are therefore fully justified in concluding that there is nothing in intellectual labour, per se, detrimental to long life.
It has been assumed by various writers that the average lifetime has in modern times been steadily increasing at all ages, and the death-rate diminishing at all periods of life. But the latest official analysis of vital statistics 25 that has been published shows that this is not the case, at any rate in this country. It would be impossible in this article, which has already exceeded the usual limits, to examine this question fully; but I may say, generally, that while there has been a marked improvement in the average deathrate for nearly all classes and persons of all ages taken together, this is not found to be the case for the advanced periods of life. * For the decennium ending 1880 . . . while the death-rate fell for the earlier age periods, it rose for the later periods of life; in the male sex the death-rate rose higher than in the previous decennium at each period after 35!'
Dr. W. Ogle suggests that this is partly due to the greater care that is taken of life in infancy and childhood, whereby children of unsound constitutions are enabled to survive who would otherwise have perished in youth, and so diminish the average healthiness of the adult population and add to their death-rates; and that it is also in part due to the increasing severity of competition amongst adults; to the struggle for existence, which is daily becoming more and more severe, and to a feverish excitement and reckless expenditure of energy encroaching on repose and leisure; so that the wear and tear of life are greater and vitality is sooner exhausted.'
The influence of modern medical science in prolonging life at its advanced periods cannot now be precisely estimated. It is yet young, scarcely half a century old. That it will be great I do not doubt. It has already almost abolished pain, and by that fact alone has ministered to the prolongation of life.
J. BURNEY YEO.
25 Supplement to the 45th Annual Report of the Registrar-General, 1885.
POOR MEN'S GARDENS.
An amendment to the address about allotments, moved by Mr. Jesse Collings in January 1886, and carried by the votes of the bulk of the Liberal members, obliged Lord Salisbury to resign and restored Mr. Gladstone to power, who forthwith gave Mr. Jesse Collings a subordinate place in his new Administration. Once in office, however, Mr. Gladstone did nothing whatever to promote the extension of allotments, the urgent need of which had been the plea for that Governmentdisplacing amendment; and when Mr. Jesse Collings refused to assist him in carrying Home Rule for Ireland, which both had till then opposed, Mr. Gladstone contemptuously, and I must add ungratefully, described his ex-Secretary to the Local Government Board as a 'certain Mr. Jesse Collings, various of whose opinions he by no means agreed with.
The question of allotments has thus acquired a somewhat factitious importance, and has been brought rather more prominently forward than it probably would otherwise have been. The name of allotments' for pieces of garden ground let to persons belonging to the labouring classes is comparatively recent. It seems to have been originally applied with obvious propriety to the pieces of land
allotted' to those who had had claims for them when common lands were enclosed, and thus its present meaning got gradually attached to the word. Perhaps Mr. Hall Hall's definition in his well-known work on the Law of Allotments' is as good as any, though possibly full strict for present notions-viz. 'a small piece of land let to a person to be cultivated by him as an aid to his sustenance, but not in substitution for his labour for wages.' Mr. Hall Hall has found in section 5, sub-section 7, of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1886, a legal description of persons belonging to the labouring classes, which includes, besides persons working for wages, ‘ persons working at some trade without employing others, except members of their own families, and persons, not being domestic servants, whose income does not exceed an average of 30s. a week.'
I mentioned in a letter to the Times, in November 1885, on Allotments, which I have before me, that I had accidentally discovered in a volume of the reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor,' published in 1798, various