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Guide to the Edward Jenner Papers, 1800-1822 and undated

Summary

The collection features 63 letters, dated 1800-1822 and undated. Topics include progress of various vaccination programs, at home and abroad, as well as his recognition in Parliament and the Royal Jennerian Society; impact of illness in local families; preparations for war, which he opposes; an inscription for his brother's tombstone; gifts and food sent to family and friends; illness among his family members; comments on various printing jobs; settling of accounts, lending money, and dealing with unfavorable tenants and farm managers; fossil collecting; requests for positions on behalf of others and for the return a prisoner of war who is a relation; medical cases and consultations; and his appointment as physician extraordinary to George IV. Included are letters to Dr. [Thomas] Pruen; Charles Henry Parry; James Smith (1771-1841); Dr. S.B. LaBatt; and to Nigel Kingscote. Many items are copies of family letters, they were probably made during the life of Jenner's nephew, William Davies, and contain annotations by him. In addition to the letters, there are a few miscellaneous papers, including poems, a prescription and a recipe, and a receipt for the Royal Jennerian Society. There are four holograph prescriptions and two recipes (1807-1821), four with initials "E.J.," mounted and bound in a volume with an engraved portrait of Jenner. Collection also includes a manuscript diary (188 pages) maintained by Jenner in 1811 and the Fall of 1812, primarily containing notes on his patients and their treatments for various illnesses, from syphilis to gout to heart ailments (including prescriptions) along with records of many vaccinations. There is a note of receipt of a letter (1812 Sept 12) from Dr. Alex Crichton stating that vaccination flourished throughout the Russian Empire. Also contains reports on the dissection of organs from a cow, horse, and sheep, along with two sets of notations regarding diabetes, and one on "pulmonary affections." There are occasional notes with weather observations, recipes, lists of letters written, patient charges or payments, and a few comments on his house repairs using stucco. At the end of the volume are a number of poems and epigrams.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11401
Title
Edward Jenner papers
Date
1800-1822 and undated
Creator
Jenner, Edward, 1749-1823
Extent
1.4 Linear Feet, 70 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The collection features 63 letters, dated 1800-1822 and undated. Topics include progress of various vaccination programs, at home and abroad, as well as his recognition in Parliament and the Royal Jennerian Society; impact of illness in local families; preparations for war, which he opposes; an inscription for his brother's tombstone; gifts and food sent to family and friends; illness among his family members; comments on various printing jobs; settling of accounts, lending money, and dealing with unfavorable tenants and farm managers; fossil collecting; requests for positions on behalf of others and for the return a prisoner of war who is a relation; medical cases and consultations; and his appointment as physician extraordinary to George IV. Included are letters to Dr. [Thomas] Pruen; Charles Henry Parry; James Smith (1771-1841); Dr. S.B. LaBatt; and to Nigel Kingscote. Many items are copies of family letters, they were probably made during the life of Jenner's nephew, William Davies, and contain annotations by him. In addition to the letters, there are a few miscellaneous papers, including poems, a prescription and a recipe, and a receipt for the Royal Jennerian Society. There are four holograph prescriptions and two recipes (1807-1821), four with initials "E.J.," mounted and bound in a volume with an engraved portrait of Jenner. Collection also includes a manuscript diary (188 pages) maintained by Jenner in 1811 and the Fall of 1812, primarily containing notes on his patients and their treatments for various illnesses, from syphilis to gout to heart ailments (including prescriptions) along with records of many vaccinations. There is a note of receipt of a letter (1812 Sept 12) from Dr. Alex Crichton stating that vaccination flourished throughout the Russian Empire. Also contains reports on the dissection of organs from a cow, horse, and sheep, along with two sets of notations regarding diabetes, and one on "pulmonary affections." There are occasional notes with weather observations, recipes, lists of letters written, patient charges or payments, and a few comments on his house repairs using stucco. At the end of the volume are a number of poems and epigrams.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Edward Jenner Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Letters

The collection features 63 letters, dated 1800-1822 and undated. Topics include progress of various vaccination programs, at home and abroad, as well as his recognition in Parliament and the Royal Jennerian Society; impact of illness in local families; preparations for war, which he opposes; an inscription for his brother's tombstone; gifts and food sent to family and friends; illness among his family members; comments on various printing jobs; settling of accounts, lending money, and dealing with unfavorable tenants and farm managers; fossil collecting; requests for positions on behalf of others and for the return a prisoner of war who is a relation; medical cases and consultations; and his appointment as physician extraordinary to George IV. Included are letters to Dr. [Thomas] Pruen; Charles Henry Parry; James Smith (1771-1841); Dr. S.B. LaBatt; and to Nigel Kingscote. Many items are copies of family letters, they were probably made during the life of Jenner's nephew, William Davies, and contain annotations by him.

Edward Jenner (Bond St., [London?]) to William [Davies?] (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1800 April 30
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner writes that he has met with Lord Berkeley, that he seldom sees Fasbrooke, and that he has an upcoming trip to Colchester for vaccinations. He requests a recipe for curing "the itch" and an update on the affair with Mr. Mepeter.

Box 1
Folder 1
Unknown to H. Hickes (Eastington, Stroud, Gloucestershire), 1802 April 29
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Contains a poem about taxes and war and a drawing of a man's face

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Hertford St, London) to Rev. Davies (Eastington, Stroud, Gloucestershire), 1803 May 18
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner discusses a birthday celebration, the impact of influenza on local families, and the preparations for war, which he opposes.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, [Gloucestershire] to William Davies (Rockhampton, England), 1803 December 7
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner commends the work of Mr. Fewster in support of his vaccination program. He requests that Fewster supply samples of his current vaccine (which Jenner believes is from his own original stock) and the date when Jenner first furnished him with it.

Box 1
Folder 1
[S.Turton?] (Swansea, Wales) to [illegible], 1805 September 1
(1 leaf, 1 page; 22 cm)

Turton states that he has shipped 86 bundles that constitute volumes 7 and 8, then inquires regarding the loan of a book.It is unclear how this letter relates to Edward Jenner.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. W. Davies (Eastington, Stroud, Gloucestershire), 1805 December 11
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner supplies an inscription for his dead brother, Stephen, then supplies an inscription for use following his own death. His wife, Catherine, writes her own letter, and supplies the rest of Stephen's inscription, along with an update on how the family fares.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Mr. Phillips? (no place), 1807 January 16
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner congratulates Phillips on the birth of a new baby. He then outlines the investigation of vaccination by the College of Physicians and the House of Commons. He supplies a quote for use in Phillips' monthly magazine. He then makes recommendations for the inoculation for their baby.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Bond St., [London?]) to Robert Davies (Eastington, Stroud, Gloucestershire), 1807 June 3
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner discusses the delay in the funds granted him by Parliament, along with the health of family members. Year has been added in another hand in pencil

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to "Dear Sir" (no place), 1807 September 20
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner recommends the purchase of a brooch as a going away present for Mrs. Monroe and discusses the sending of a parcel to a mutual friend.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Mrs. Black (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1807 December 31
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner provides an update on the condition of Edward (his son?), who has suffered from a prolonged fever. He has been sent wood cocks as a thank you from a friend, and is searching for an upper man servant. In a postscript he notes Edward's continued improvement and points out that two hampers are being sent to Gloucestershire.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to J.? Bernard (no place), 1807
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner extends an invitation to a fete. Bernard replies that he has an engagement at that time.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to Mrs. Black (no place), 1807
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner announces that Parliament has voted him 20,000 pounds "for making public my Vaccine Discovery." Year has been added in another hand in pencil

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to "My Dear Sir" (no place), 1808 March 1
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 29 cm)

In an incomplete letter, Jenner discusses the need for funds to support the Jennerian Society--he recommends they approach a Mr. Bernard with a request-- along with a paper he encloses for general circulation.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (London, England) to Mr. Shelton (London?, England), 1808 November 7
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 18 cm)

Jenner asks if Shelton, who is an engraver, has the plate of the CUCKOO. If so, he would like prints made. He also inquires whether Shelton has the plates of the vaccine arms.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to Thomas Pruen? (Cheltenham, England), 1809 January 19
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 16 cm)

Jenner comments that there is uncertainty regarding the timber, and that he received the wood pigeons Pruen has sent. He adds that his wife has a cold. He then comments on how well constructed female and male minds are. Transcription available.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Mr. Addington (London, England), 1809 April 24
(1 leaf, 4 pages; 32 cm)

Jenner writes regarding the politics surrounding his assuming then resigning from the directorship of the Royal Jennerian Society. Transcription available.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to Mrs. Black (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1809 July 26
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner mentions family members and friends, including requesting a visit from Rev. Davies, that Mary Jenner make jelly and jam for the year, and notes that Lord Berkeley has had a round of small pox in his home.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, (Gloucestershire) to Charles Murray (London, England), 1809 October 6
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner discusses supporting vaccination in Lisbon. Letter also carries a date of 1809 October 4

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner? (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Berkeley or Elsew..., Gloucestershire), 1809
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

In an unfinished letter, Jenner writes that Fasbrooke, who appeared so well to Davies, "is out of senses."

Box 1
Folder 1
Catherine Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Dr. Labatt? (Dublin, Ireland), 1810 February 8
(1 leaf, 1 page; 23 cm)

Catherine writes on behalf of her father to thank Labatt for sending the report of the Dublin Vaccine Institution, and let him know that he is pleased that his own letter was inserted.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. W. Davies (Eastington, Gloucestershire), 1810 October 19
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner outlines the potential purchase of land in Rockhampton by Davies, comments on Davies' health, mentions several family members and the settling of accounts.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Mrs. Black (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1810 November 1
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner discusses the health of several family members.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to no name (no place), 1810
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner reports on the inoculation for small pox by Mrs. Rummells and her children.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Mr. Browning (no place), 1811 January 26
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner discusses his loan of some money.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. W. Davies (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1811 October 10
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner writes of the death of his good friend, Foye, and the opening this allows Mr. Fletcher in local elections. He mentions receiving a letter from Edward, then discusses Fosbrooke's new post and his potential for financial security. In a postscript, he demands that his tenant at his cottage be evicted, then requests a canvass of the neighborhood for the vote. Includes comments by William Davies, in red ink

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to unnamed local authorities (no place), 1811
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner requests a search warrant following the plundering of his orchard and garden. Date has been added in red ink

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Rockhampton, England), 1811
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner writes requesting a magistrate position for William Clark. Date has been added in red ink

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1811
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner states that he believes a woman has been treated unjustly by the overseer of Alkington. Date has been added in red ink

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1812 January 8
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner asks William to speak with the quarrymen regarding the fossils they are collecting for him.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to [Mr. Murray?] (no place), 1812 July 30
(1 leaf, 4 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner thanks Murray for Dr. Smith's papers, which comment on the vaccine crust or seal. He notes that Smith will promote the vaccine's use around Baltimore. Jenner adds that he wants a copy of Cooper's work on vaccination from the man himself, and would be glad to pay for it. He mentions Burnett's "horrible" advertisement, along with the quarantining of a ship. In a postscript he adds that Mr. Evans health complaints are alarming and asks what has become of an annual report.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Rockhampton, England), 1812 November 1
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner asks when William will be coming to Berkeley, for he would like him to meet with Evans Stibbs regarding the potential management of part of the farm. He derides Master Cole's management, who has destroyed the roof of the brewhouse.

Box 1
Folder 1
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. William Davies (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1813 January 2
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner writes that the raspberry plants must be placed in the ground while dormant. He wishes Davies to look to the farm, for expenses have been intolerable. He argues that his tenant Cole should be considered a rogue, and his account should include the loss of timber and walnut trees and other damage to property; Davies is to see a lawyer about the matter.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to [Mr. Murray] (no place), 1813 June 30
(1 leaf, 4 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner notes that he has been ill, with a heart palpitation. He will move to Cheltenham soon. He comments favorably on the annual report of a vaccination society, then urges it be published in the newspapers, as he has long desired. He then comments on Lord Bosingdon's bill.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to "My Dear Sir" (no place), 1813 August 19
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner comments on a speechmaker in Parliament who argues that vaccines afford only temporary security, as well as on how valuable the vaccine lancet has proven in the hands of some of the country women.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to [HRM George IV] (no place), 1813 December 11
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner requests that his relation, who is an Infantry captain and a prisoner of war, be permitted to return to England. He mentions that vaccination has supported an increase in the population of the Empire, and preserved the life of the prince who will inherit it. On this basis he begs the favor he requested.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Rockhampton, England), 1814 April 16
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner sends some grafts for Davies' use. He makes recommendations for treatment of headaches, then comments on his bad tenant, Cole. Date has been added in red ink

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to "My Dear Doctor" (no place), 1815 January 10
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner notes that he has seen George Hopkins, whose epileptic fits have rendered him incapable of serving as a lawyer.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. William Davies (Berkeley, Gloucestershire), 1815 April 11
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner asks for more information about an incident regarding his wall along the Severn River. He goes on to describe his wife's illness and how she longs for the bouquets Davies used to send her. He urges Davies to record the state of vegetation. He notes that Stephen Jenner is recovering.

Box 1
Folder 2
[Edward Jenner] (no place) to Mr. Fewster (Thornbury, Gloucestershire), 1815 July 25
(2 Leaves, 3 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner consults on the treatment of Mrs. Cox, a patient. Includes prescriptions, a tonic, and recommendations for application of leeches.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to L. B. Labatt (Dublin, Ireland), 1816 February 19
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 23 cm)

Jenner discusses lagging legislation in Dublin regarding smallpox inoculation and practices elsewhere. Includes envelope.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Mr. Fewster (Thornbury, Gloucestershire), 1816 April 27
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner consults on two cases, John Hickes, who has a brain injury, and an unnamed woman from Elberton, who has an "intestinal derangement."

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Mr. Fewster (Thornbury, Gloucestershire), 1816 July 10
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner inquires regarding a report he has heard that Fewster has been threatened with destruction. In a postscript, Jenner writes a note regarding their patient in Tytherington.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to "Dear Sir" (no place), 1817 August 31
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 23 cm)

Jenner describes the papers he is sending to his Royal Highness regarding vaccination practices around the globe.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to [William Davies] (no place), 1818 November 6
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner comments on the rain, then suggests the trade of a tongue for a sparerib.He promises to send books as soon as young Willy learns to read.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1818 December 4
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner states that he is sorry to learn William has been ill, then invites him to dine on venison that afternoon.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Nigel Kingscote (Worcester, England), 1819 December 27
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner rejoices in the health of his friend and his friend's wife. He then discusses the recent insurrection and the existing laws regarding it. In a postscript he seeks a position in "one of the public offices" for T. Marklove. Contains an additional address in red ink

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1819
(1 leaf, 1 page; 28 cm)

Jenner requests Davies' presence in order to discuss the potential lending of money to Mrs. Marklove, as executor of the Marklove estate. The date has been provided in red ink, along with an additional note by Davies that Jenner ultimately refused to lend the money

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to "My Dear Sir" (no place), 1820 April 24
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 23 cm)

Jenner writes that at this time of year he finds children often have herpetic blotches that make them unsuitable for vaccination. He notes that he did manage to vaccinate two children, who will be ready to meet the correspondent's purposes later in the week. Additional note in another hand identifying the letter as Jenner's. Transcription available.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to "My Lord" (no place), 1821 March 26
(2 Leaves, 2 pages; 32 cm)

Jenner writes to return an oath he has signed, hoping that it has been executed properly. He would have taken the oath in person if his health permitted it. Accompanied by the oath, sworn and signed, consequent to his appointment to the place of Physician Extraordinary to His Majesty, George IV, on March 26, 1821.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1821 August 1
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner writes concerning illness suffered by William's son and their governess.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Charles [Jenner] (no place), 1821 August 28
(1 leaf, 3 pages; 23 cm)

Jenner discusses a printing job on vaccinations. He doesn't like the flourishes Fosbrooks has added, "but should it lessen human misery I shall be happy in having sent it out." It requires an introduction by Charles. He then discusses his financial arrangements with F--, along with family members. Transcription available.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Charles [Jenner] (no place), 1821 December 27
(2 Leaves, 4 pages; 20 cm)

Jenner promises to collect geological specimens for Charles to examine. He also comments on a written piece being printed to which he has provided corrections. Two copies. The second version is missing some of the original text and has a biographical sketch pasted to it.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to Rev. Dr. Davies (Rockhampton, England), 1822 September 2
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner writes with instructions regarding a discussion of a property title dispute he has with Mrs. Hickes.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to William [Davies?] (no place), 1822
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner requests a meeting to discuss his Berkeley farms. Date has been added in red ink

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Thomas Paytherns (London, England), October 1
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 29 cm)

Jenner writes of a house he has rented, mentions a discussion with a printer, and offers his note on election day.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Berkeley, Gloucestershire) to William [Davies?] (no place), November 31
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner mentions the health of two patients, one of whom has a fever.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Eastington, Gloucestershire), June 7
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner wishes he could have no further contact with Robert Clarke, then asks Davies to keep the cash he has since Jenner has no need of it. He mentions a plan to return to Berkeley.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. William Davies (Eastington, Gloucestershire), November 6
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner outlines his plan to print copies of "scraps" to be given away. He adds that "Fosbrooke has been here" and is in good spirits, although he adds "The immense quantity of snuff that is flowing up his Nostrils in one continued stream, must finally do him irreparable injury." He directs Davies to pay Larne a sum of 80 pounds or more.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (Cheltenham, England) to Rev. William Davies (Eastington, Gloucestershire), no date
(1 leaf, 2 pages; 28 cm)

Jenner lists his advocates (in regard to vaccination?), then discusses matters on the farm, including picking cherries, an auction (for grain?) , and, in a postscript, the preparation of one of his houses for residents.He wishes the Rockhampton surgeon to contact him and provide updates on veterinary proceedings.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Rev. William Davies (Rockhampton, England), no date
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner discusses the murder of Mr. Perceval, brother of Lord Arden. He requests copies of the Gibraltar Book.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to William [Davies?] (no place), no date
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner discusses the matter of the Jenkins' servant, and whether she should be prosecuted.

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Miss L. Fust (Hill Court), no date
(1 leaf, 1 page; 29 cm)

Jenner requests the living at Hill Court to be given to his nephew, Rev. G. Jenner. Marked "a copy"

Box 1
Folder 2
Edward Jenner (no place) to Dr. Pemberton (no place), no date
(1 leaf, 1 page; 12 cm)

Jenner sends a note regarding "the most common obstruction to the correct action of the vaccine virus, both locally and constitutionally."

Box 1
Folder 2
Miscellaneous papers

There are a few miscellaneous papers, including poems, a prescription and a recipe, and a receipt for the Royal Jennerian Society.

Box 1
Folder 3
Prescriptions

There are four holograph prescriptions and two recipes (1807-1821), four with initials "E.J.," mounted and bound in a volume with an engraved portrait of Jenner.

Volume 1
Diary

Collection also includes a manuscript diary (188 pages) maintained by Jenner in 1811 and the Fall of 1812, primarily containing notes on his patients and their treatments for various illnesses, from syphilis to gout to heart ailments (including prescriptions) along with records of many vaccinations. There is a note of receipt of a letter (1812 Sept 12) from Dr. Alex Crichton stating that vaccination flourished throughout the Russian Empire. Also contains reports on the dissection of organs from a cow, horse, and sheep, along with two sets of notations regarding diabetes, and one on "pulmonary affections." There are occasional notes with weather observations, recipes, lists of letters written, patient charges or payments, and a few comments on his house repairs using stucco. At the end of the volume are a number of poems and epigrams.

Volume 2
 

Historical Note

Edward Jenner, (born May 17, 1749, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England—died January 26, 1823, Berkeley), was an English surgeon and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world's first vaccine.

Jenner was a country youth, the son of a clergyman. Because Edward was only five when his father died, he was brought up by an older brother, who was also a clergyman. Edward acquired a love of nature that remained with him all his life. He attended grammar school and at the age of 13 was apprenticed to a nearby surgeon. In the following eight years Jenner acquired a sound knowledge of medical and surgical practice. On completing his apprenticeship at the age of 21, he went to London and became the house pupil of John Hunter, who was on the staff of St. George’s Hospital and was one of the most prominent surgeons in London. Even more important, however, he was an anatomist, biologist, and experimentalist of the first rank; not only did he collect biological specimens, but he also concerned himself with problems of physiology and function.

In addition to his training and experience in biology, Jenner made progress in clinical surgery. After studying in London from 1770 to 1773, he returned to country practice in Berkeley and enjoyed substantial success. In addition to practicing medicine, he joined two medical groups for the promotion of medical knowledge and wrote occasional medical papers. He played the violin in a musical club, wrote light verse, and, as a naturalist, made many observations, particularly on the nesting habits of the cuckoo and on bird migration.

Smallpox was widespread in the 18th century, and occasional outbreaks of special intensity resulted in a very high death rate. Jenner had been impressed by the fact that a person who had suffered an attack of cowpox—a relatively harmless disease that could be contracted from cattle—could not take the smallpox—i.e., could not become infected whether by accidental or intentional exposure to smallpox. Pondering this phenomenon, Jenner concluded that cowpox not only protected against smallpox but could be transmitted from one person to another as a deliberate mechanism of protection. In May 1796 Jenner found a young dairymaid, Sarah Nelmes, who had fresh cowpox lesions on her hand. On May 14, using matter from Sarah’s lesions, he inoculated an eight-year-old boy, James Phipps, who had never had smallpox. Phipps became slightly ill over the course of the next 9 days but was well on the 10th. On July 1 Jenner inoculated the boy again, this time with smallpox matter. No disease developed; protection was complete. In 1798 Jenner, having added further cases, published privately a slender book entitled An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae.

Early reactions to the Inquiry from the medical community and the general public were mixed. Members of the medical community, especially those with investments in the practice of variolation, tried to discredit Jenner’s discovery or stake their own claim to it. Jenner had especially acrimonious feuds with two London physicians, Dr. George Pearson and Dr. William Woodville. Pearson even gave evidence against Jenner’s 1802 petition to the House of Commons for recognition of his work on vaccination.

Despite some people’s doubts about the safety and efficacy of Jenner’s smallpox vaccine, there was great demand for cowpox samples to conduct vaccinations in England and abroad. Jenner and other practitioners in England sent dried cowpox specimens sandwiched between glass to Europe and the United States.


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