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Henry Moule

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1873 toilet to Moule's patent, on display at Dorset County Museum

Rev. Henry Moule (1801–1880) was a priest in the Church of England and inventor of the dry earth closet.

1801 January 27th. Born at Melksham the sixth son of George Moule, solicitor and banker

Educated at Marlborough Grammar School. He was elected a foundation scholar of St John's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. 1821 and M.A. 1826.

1823 Ordained to the curacy of Melksham

1824 Married Mary Mullett Evans and they had eight sons

1825 Took sole charge of Gillingham, Dorset

1829 Made vicar of Fordington and remained there for the remainder of his life.

During the cholera epidemics of 1849 and 1854 and noting the insalubrity of the houses, especially in the summer of 1858 (the Great Stink) he turned his attention to sanitary science, and invented what is called the dry earth system.

1860 Patent. '1316. And the Reverend Henry Moule, of Fordington, in the county of Dorset, Clerk, and James Bannehr, of Exeter, Agent, have given the like notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in the nature and construction of closets and commodes for the reception and removal of excrementitious and other offensive matter, and in the manufacture of manure from thence."'[1]

Among his works bearing on the subject were: ‘The Advantages of the Dry Earth System,’ 1868; ‘The Impossibility overcome: or the Inoffensive, Safe, and Economical Disposal of the Refuse of Towns and Villages,’ 1870; ‘The Dry Earth System,’ 1871; ‘Town Refuse, the Remedy for Local Taxation,’ 1872, and ‘National Health and Wealth promoted by the general adoption of the Dry Earth System,’ 1873.

His system was adopted in private houses, in rural districts, in military camps, in many hospitals, and extensively in the British Raj.

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