James Niven was Manchester's longest serving MOH, from 1894 to 1922. Born in Scotland in 1851 graduated in Arts at Aberdeen University then Studied mathematics at Cambridge. Later studied medicine, graduating in 1880, first appointment with the Metropolitan Asylum's Board in London, specialising in infectious diseases. Soon came to Manchester and entered private practice. In 1886 was appointed MOH for Oldham and was instrumental in improving living conditions. Returned to Manchester in 1894 as MOH, recognised as responsible for major improvements of public health in Manchester - slum clearance, milk supply, Monsall Fever Hospital, smoke pollution and health visiting. His mathematical training utilised in his compilation of statistics. Niven was president of the Epidemiological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and president of the Manchester Statistical Society. He was lecturer in public health in Manchester. Gained an honorary degree from Aberdeen University and was awarded medals by the Royal Institute of Public Health. Niven retired in 1922 and published an account of his work as MOH in 1923. He committed suicide on 30 September 1925.
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- ReferenceGB 133 MMC/2/Niven
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