Seal of the Exeter Improvement Commissioners

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Seal of the Exeter Improvement Commissioners

An Improvement Commission had been set up in Exeter in the late 18th century to attempt improvements to drainage, street lighting, water supply etc. but it met traditional resistance from those opposed to increased local taxes for public benefit.

The disaster of the cholera outbreak at Exeter in 1832 brought new determination to tackle these problems, and in 1833 a newly-reconstructed Board of Health began work.

The seal matrix of engraved steel is shown here beside a modern red wax impression. It shows a water fountain and temple bathed in sunshine- symbols of life and health. The Latin inscription reads SIGILLVM CURATOR PUB SALVTIS EXON MDCCCXXXIII (the seal of the Commissioners of Public Health of Exeter 1833). This seal must have beenused to seal the documents issued by the new body.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum

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