On Wednesday, 4th April 1883, an unremarkable 59 year old man, overwhelmed by a Measles Virus, died in Adderley Road, Birmingham. At his bedside was his eldest son who had walked over from nearby Alum Rock Road, and stayed with him as his Father’s life ebbed away.
The dead man (pictured right), born in 1823, lived his early life in the Leicestershire village of Croft. From the age of 15, he’d worked as an agricultural labourer. His employer could, without any notice, lower his wages or turn him out of his home if he became too sick to work.