Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/329

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London on 21 March 1799, and the practice of vaccination slowly gained ground. Many vaccinations were careless, and more than once small-pox pustules were ignorantly used, but he investigated these errors as far as possible, and discussed every difficulty that arose. A great part of his time was spent in obtaining and sending out good lymph throughout England and abroad. On 31 Jan. 1800 he came again to London, staying at Adam Street, Adelphi, and conferred with Lord Egremont as to the formation of a vaccine institution, to be supported by voluntary contributions, and from which lymph should be distributed to all who needed it. He went to stay at Petworth, Lord Egremont's seat in Sussex, in February 1800, and there vaccinated nearly two hundred people with success. At the end of the month the Duke of York discussed the vaccine institution with him, and on 7 March he was presented by Lord Berkeley to the king, who accepted the dedication of the second edition of his ‘Inquiry,’ and on 27 March the queen received him and talked to him of cow-pox. On 15 April the commander-in-chief asked him to vaccinate the 85th regiment. The whole regiment, with the men's wives and children, proved to have itch; this had to be cured, and other difficulties arose to mar the success of this extensive experiment. After several months in London, spent in consultations and correspondence on vaccination, he visited Oxford in June on his way home, and the vice-chancellor, with the chief professors of the faculty of medicine, congratulated him on the value of his discovery. He was next occupied in sending lymph to America. Dr. Waterhouse, professor of physic at Cambridge, Massachusetts, had described the discovery in the ‘Columbian Sentinel’ of 12 March 1799, in an article with the vernacular title ‘Something Curious in the Medical Line.’ As had previously occurred at home, small-pox pustules were used in some cases in America by mistake, thus spreading instead of checking the disease, and Jenner was involved in endless letter-writing to Dr. Waterhouse and others. France was next reached, then Spain and Portugal and the Mediterranean. Lord Elgin introduced the practice into Turkey and into Greece. The sailors of the British fleet were vaccinated, and the medical officers in 1801 presented a gold medal to Jenner. On it Apollo presents a vaccinated sailor to Britannia, who holds a civic crown inscribed ‘Jenner,’ and the reverse bears an anchor with the names of the king and of Earl Spencer, first lord of the admiralty. Jenner made experiments as to the transmission of lymph, and finally decided that ivory points were the best vehicles. Numerous congratulatory addresses and medals, a ring from the empress of Russia, and a service of plate from the gentry of Gloucestershire, with many other honours, came to him unsought during 1801. His friends wished him to apply to parliament for a grant acknowledging the benefits he had conferred on the nation, and on 17 March 1802 he petitioned parliament (Petition at length in Baron, Life, i. 490), stating that he had had to give so much time to his discovery as to abridge his pecuniary professional income, and asking the house to ‘grant him such remuneration as to their wisdom shall seem meet.’ Addington [q. v.], then prime minister, stated that the king recommended the petition, and it was referred to a committee which was to report on the usefulness of the discovery, Jenner's right to be considered the discoverer, and the advantage he had derived from it. The committee took much evidence, the most important, after that of Jenner himself, being that of Dr. Matthew Baillie [q. v.], who, after expressing his opinion as to the efficacy of vaccination, said: ‘If Dr. Jenner had not chosen openly and honourably to explain to the public all he knew upon the subject, he might have acquired a considerable fortune. In my opinion it is the most important discovery ever made in medicine.’ Dr. Pearson endeavoured to show that the discovery was not Jenner's but merely a part of common knowledge, but altogether failed, and after the committee reported on 2 June 1802 it was proposed that 10,000l. be granted. An amendment proposing 20,000l. was supported by Grey and Wilberforce, but the original motion was carried.

Jenner returned to Berkeley and stayed there till February 1803, when he again visited London and was busied in the affairs of the Jennerian Institution, a society for the promotion of vaccination ‘for the extermination of the small-pox,’ which was replaced with government aid in 1808 by the National Vaccine Establishment. He took a house in Hertford Street, Mayfair, in order to obtain practice as a physician, but he had small success, and returned to Berkeley. His labours in promoting vaccination were so great, and his professional practice so impeded by them, that he again applied to parliament for aid in 1806. On 2 July 1806, on the motion of Lord Henry Petty, the College of Physicians was asked to inquire into the whole subject of Jenner's discovery and its results. William Smith, and his colleague Mr. Windham, with Wilberforce and others, supported the proposal. The college reported strongly on the advantages of vaccination and the merits