Page:Remarks on the British Quarantine Laws.djvu/10

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Dr. Maclean on the

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ships could not come to England without going first to Malta or Leghorn, or some other Lazaretto in the Mediterranean, to perform quarantine of ninety days. In the mean time, the Greeks loaded cotton, wool, and other goods, and all the articles which constituted the chief object of the trade, in ships which they sent to Holland." (Report, 4th July 1819, p. 35.)

II.—MEASURES FOR PREVENTING THE IMPORTATION OF PESTILENTIAL CONTAGION; OR QUARANTINE AND LAZARETTOS.

"We may as well build a wall to keep out larks, as barracks to keep out plagues." Distinct notions of the Plague, London, 1665. p. 73. "No quarantine has been till now (1720) laid on ships or goods from Turkey, a trade which has been carried on for about 140 years without any ill consequences, which we hoped would have exempted us from this act." Levant Company's Petition to His Majesty in Council, dated 31st. of January 1720.

"It is not to be denied, that, as matters stand at present, quarantines, without being so secure a defence as is commonly imagined, are a certain heavy tax upon commerce; the benefit they promise to the state is very precarious, the detriment to the merchant is real." Dr. P. Russell's Treat. of the Plague, p. 466,7.

In 1511, we find the first mention of any commerce from this country to the Levant Seas. (And. Com. ii, 22.) "From 1511 to 1534, diverse tall ships of London, and of Southampton and Bristol, had an unusual trade to Sicily, Candia, and Chios, and sometimes to Cyprus, and to Tripoli and Bareuth in Syria. . . . In 1535, a ship of 300 tons, with 100 persons, from London, made a Levant voyage, then thought dangerous, in eleven months," Id. Ibid. p. 60. It was 210 years after the commencement of this commercial intercourse, and 140 years after the establishment of the Levant Company, before any precautions of quarantine, in respect to Turkey, were adopted in England.

In the 16th century, but at what precise period I have not ascertained, quarantine and Lazarettos were first introduced into the Venetian States, and afterwards successively into the other States of Italy. In 1669, they were adopted in France, in consequence, I presume, of the terror inspired by the plague in London, in 1665, of which cases continued to occur sporadically for several years.

Until 1710, no precautions by act of parliament were adopted in England, to prevent the introduction of pestilence from foreign countries. From the preamble to the first quarantine act, passed in the 9th. of Queen Anne, it appears that orders had pre-