Small-pox: February 1902

At a time when our newspapers are full of the epidemic of  Small-pox in London and elsewhere, and when we are watching for the number of fresh cases every day, and are being wisely urged to take every possible precaution against the spread of the disease, it may be interesting and profitable to our readers to know the result of three outbreaks in our parish, which occurred in 1710, 1794, and 1831 to 1834.
In these three visitations, as they stand, there were 18, 12, and 8 deaths respectively.
In 1710 the total number of burials was 22, and out of these the Register shows that 18 died of Small-pox in seven months.
In 1794, when inoculation was common, but still before the discovery of vaccination, there were 12 deaths.
In 1831 to 1834 – three years – there were eight deaths, at a time when the total number of burials every year had increased to about 40.
Vaccination was discovered in about 1796, but to what extent it was generally resorted to between 1831 and 1834 we are unable to state.
These few figures ought to be sufficient to warn us of the terrible nature of the disease, especially when we remember that in 1710 the population of our parish was only about 500, and that there was no very great increase until the commencement of the last century.

This page was added on 30/04/2017.

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