Advertisement

Contagion and Plague in the Eighteenth Century

  • Margaret DeLacy

Abstract

DeLacy discusses ideas about the plague and the response to the epidemic in Marseilles in 1720. Arguments about the value of quarantines and other preventive measures drew on competing theories about its cause. Fearing it might spread to Britain, the government commissioned a report from Sloane’s friend Richard Mead, whose Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion became a classic work. DeLacy summarizes the debates it generated, relating them to underlying religious and political affiliations. She then looks at discussions of plague prevention and quarantines during the rest of the century. She explains how belief in the contagiousness of plague interacted with its depiction as a separate species of disease, not a severe degree of fever, and shows that the contagionists mistakenly thought they had won the argument.

Keywords

Contagious Disease Eighteenth Century Yellow Fever Venereal Disease British Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Jacob L. Kool, “Risk of Person-to-Person Transmission of Pneumonic Plague,” Clinical Infectious Diseases (2005) 40:1166–72, notes that pneumonic plague infects only at a distance of a meter or less.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    N. C. Stenseth et al., “Plague, Past, Present, and Future,” PLOS Medicine (January 15, 2008) 5(1): e3. doi: 10:1371/journal.pmed.0050003, argue that theories of the epidemiology and ecology of Υ. pestis have been oversimplified and that more likely modes of transmission than the rat-flea-human interaction include other mammals, birds of prey, and possibly human fleas. They note that several thousand people still die of plague each year. The experimental transmission of plague to rabbits by human body lice has been confirmed by S. Ayyadurai, F. Sebbane, et al., “Body lice, Yersinia pestis Orientalis, and Black Death,” [letter], Emerging Infectious Diseases (May 2010) 16:892–3, doi: 10.3201/eid1605.091280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    The resemblance between the black rash of plague and the petechiae of typhus contributed to a theory that plague was a more severe form of typhus. See Ann G. Carmichael, “Plague Legislation in the Italian Renaissance,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1981) 57:508–25.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Laurence Brockliss and Colin Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford: 1997), 352.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    François Chicoyneau (1672–1752) was the son of the Chancellor of Montpellier, Michel Chicoyneau, and the son-in-law of Pierre Chirac. He became famous for using mercury “frictions” for syphilis. Julian Martin, “Sauvages’ Nosology: Medical Enlightenment in Montpellier,” in The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century, eds. Andrew Cunningham and Roger French (Cambridge: 1990), 113–14; and Junko Therese Takeda, Between Crown and Commerce: Marseille and the Early Modern Mediterranean (Baltimore: 2011), 114.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Raymond Williamson, “The Plague of Marseilles and the Experiments of Professor Anton Deidier on Its Transmission,” Medical History (1958) 2:237–52, on 238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 12.
    The lectures, entitled Chimie Raisonnée (Lyon), had an introduction by Pestalossi, who also wrote on the Plague of Marseilles. See Allen G. Debus, “The Paracelsians in Eighteenth-Century France,” in Transformation and Tradition in the Sciences: Essays in Honor of I. Bernard Cohen, ed. Everett Mendelsohn (Cambridge: 2003), 193–214, on 198.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Allen G. Debus, The French Paracelsians: The Chemical Challenge to Medical and Scientific Tradition in Early Modern France (Cambridge: 1991), 146, and same, “Chemistry and the Universities in the Seventeenth Century,” Estudos Avancados (1990) 4:173–96, doi: 10.1590/S0103-40141990000300009.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Antoine Deidier, “Avis … a l’Auteur de Cette Traduction, pour Servir de Préface …” in same, Deux Dissertations Médicinales et Chirurgicales, l’Une sur la Maladie Vénérienne … L’Autre sur la Nature et la Curation des Tumeurs, Traduction … Par un Chirurgien de Paris (Paris: 1725).Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    Antoine Deidier, “Avis,” in Deux Dissertations. The student author was M. Sicard. A second, augmented edition of the thesis on venereal disease appeared in Montpellier in 1716 under the name of Giovanni Onorato Raiberti (printed by the widow of H. Pech); a third Latin edition appeared in Rome in 1722. The thesis on tumors was printed in Montpellier in 1711 and reprinted in 1715. The French translation of 1725, Deux Dissertations, contains additions including a thesis of 1709 on smallpox. The theses on tumors, smallpox, and plague were again reprinted by D’Houry with additions but without the dissertation on venereal diseases in Paris in 1732 under the title Traité des Tumeurs contre Nature, 5th ed.; this was reprinted in 1738. The treatise on venereal disease was enlarged and reprinted by D’Houry in 1735 and 1750. European professors in this period dictated theses for their students to defend. They appeared under the students’ names. For a discussion of Linnaeus’s practice, see Margaret DeLacy, “A Linnaean Thesis Concerning Contagium Vivum: The “Exanthemata Viva” of John Nyander and Its Place in Contemporary Thought, with a New Translation by A. J. Cain,” Medical History (1995) 39:159–85, on 165–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 17.
    In the 1720s, Hermann Boerhaave referred one of Sloane’s patients, Lady Mary Ferrers, to Deidier and she asked Sloane to persuade her husband to send her to Montpellier. Wayne Wild, Medicine-by-Post (Amsterdam: 2006), 98–100.Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    Ruth Oratz, “The Plague, Changing Notions of Contagion: London 1665 — Marseille 1720,” Synthesis (1977) 4:4–27, on 17.Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    Antoine Deidier, Consultations et Observations Médicinales (Paris: 1754) vol. 3, online from Google.Google Scholar
  14. 31.
    Antoine Deidier, Discours sur la Contagion de la Peste de Marseille in the Traité des Tumeurs Contre Nature (Paris: 1732).Google Scholar
  15. 35.
    Raymond Williamson, “The Germ Theory of Disease. Neglected Precursors of Louis Pasteur: Richard Bradley, Benjamin Marten, Jean-Baptiste Goiffon,” Annals of Science (1955) 11, no. 1:44–57, on 53–4 He notes Goiffon was said to have inspired Antoine de Jussieu, the botanist. See also Humbert Mollière, Un Précurseur Lyonnais des Théories Microbiennes. J.B. Goiffon et la Nature de la Peste (Basel: 1886).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 36.
    Jean-Baptiste Goiffon, “Avertissement,” in Jean-Baptiste Bertrand, comp. Observations Faites Sur la Peste Qui Règne à Present à Marseille et dans la Provence (Lyons: 1721). Bertrand was a physician in Marseilles during the plague. His own contagionist history of the epidemic, Relation Historique de Tout Ce Qui S’Est Passé à Marseille Pendent La Dernière Peste, 2nd ed. (Cologne: 1723), was translated by Ann Plumptre as A Historical Relation of the Plague at Marseilles in the Year 1720 (London: 1805). This is not the work entitled Historical Account of the Plague at Marseilles (London: 1721) often attributed to him, nor does Bertrand himself offer an animalcular theory.Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    Williamson, “Germ Theory,” 56; Jean-Baptiste Goiffon, Relations et Dissertation sur la Peste du Gevaudan (Lyons: 1722).Google Scholar
  18. 40.
    Jean Astruc, Dissertation sur la Peste de Provence (Montpellier: 1722) (also trans. into Latin by Johann Jacob Scheuchzer, Zurich: 1721), and same, Dissertation sur l’Origine des Maladies épidémiques et Principalement sur l’Origine de la Peste: ou l’On Explique les Causes de la Propagation et de la Cessation de Cette Maladie (Montpellier: 1721), and same, Dissertation sur la Contagion de la Peste, ou l-On Prouve que Cette Maladie est Véritablement Contagieuse … (Toulouse: 1724). Astruc’s lectures were published in English as Academical Lectures on Fevers … Read in the Royal College at Paris (London: 1747). There appears to be no French counterpart to this. The anonymous preface describes Astruc as “my old master,” so it was probably printed from student notes. In the chapter “Of the Pestilential Fever and Plague” (249–273) in this work, he attributes plague to a “foreign pestilential contagion,” 250. See also Jean Astruc, Mémoires Pour Servir a [sic] L’Histoire de la Faculté de Médecine de Montpellier … Revus & Publiés by [Anne-Charles] Lorry (Paris: 1767). In this posthumous work, Astruc wrote that he had successfully refuted Chicoyneau’s claim that plague was not contagious (291); Lorry’s éloge adds that Astruc “had a complete victory, an example that is rare in the Republic of Letters,” preface, xlii. Astruc was the son of a Huguenot minister who had converted to Catholicism.Google Scholar
  19. 41.
    Brockliss and Jones, Medical World of Early Modern France, 751, notes that the leader of the contagionist camp, Jean Marie Hecquet, was a Jansenist, but they view the heated exchanges between contagionists such as Astruc and anticontagionists such as François Chicoyneau as a “routine academic squabble” of little importance. Surely disputes about a disease theory that licensed soldiers to shoot civilians on sight were more than merely academic. Alexander Simpson, “Jean Astruc (1664–1766)-Scholar and Critic,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (1915) 8 (Section of the History of Medicine): 59–71, makes no mention of Astruc’s writings on plague.Google Scholar
  20. 42.
    Hector Grasset, “La Théorie Parasitaire et la Phtisie Pulmonaire au XVIIIe Siècle,” France Médicale (November 17, 1899) trans. as “The Parasitic Theory and Pulmonary Phthisis in the Eighteenth Century,” by Thomas C. Minor, Cincinnati Lancet Clinic, n.s. 44, whole volume 83 (January 6, 1900): 22–6 and (January 13, 1900): 37–43; and H. F. A. Peypers, “Un Ancien Pseudo-Précurseur de Pasteur ou le Système d’Un Médecin Anglois sur la Cause de Toutes les Maladies (1726),” Janus (1896/7) 1:57–66, 121–31, and 251–62 offer other examples.Google Scholar
  21. 43.
    The spread of the plague beyond Marseilles into nearby towns, however, led several authors to argue that the quarantine had failed and other causes had arrested the disease. See for example George Pye, A Discourse of the Plague; Wherein Dr. Mead’s Notions are Consider’d and Refuted (London: 1721).Google Scholar
  22. 45.
    Charles Mullett, The Bubonic Plague and England: An Essay in the History of Preventive Medicine (Lexington, KY: 1956), 17.Google Scholar
  23. 52.
    Mullett, Bubonic Plague, 94. See also Paul Slack, The Impact of Plague in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford: 1985). Slack argues that these measures, including the “shutting up” of families at the very beginning of an epidemic, had a reasonable chance of averting epidemics, see 216–18. Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (London: 1722, rpt. Harmondsworth: 1966), 169–85 had a less sanguine view.Google Scholar
  24. 58.
    Under torture, William Carstares, an agent for William of Orange and the Ninth Earl of Argyll, named Meade as an associate of men involved in the Rye House Plot. Carstares would become Principal of Edinburgh University. Richard L. Greaves, “Meade, Matthew (1628/9–1699),” ODNB (Oxford: 2004), online edn., January 2008 at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/18466.Google Scholar
  25. 59.
    Arnold Zuckerman, “Dr. Richard Mead (1673–1754),” (PhD dissertation, University of Illinois: 1965), 8–9; John Waddington, Congregational History, vol. 5: 1850–1880 (London: 1880), 388, online from the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/congregationalhistory00wadd. See also Joseph J. Green, “Marshes and Meads,” Friends Quarterly Examiner (1907) 41:477–90. I thank the Multnomah County Library ILL department for finding this rare article. Another of Richard Mead’s uncles, also named Richard, was the grandfather of Mary Mead, who married the politician John Wilkes in 1747. Thus, Dr. Richard Mead and Wilkes were, by marriage, first cousins once removed. Wilkes became wealthy through this marriage because Mary inherited fortunes from her Quaker uncle William and from her father. Zuckerman, “Mead,” 3–5. See also T. L. Underwood, “Edward Haistwell, F.R.S.” N&R (December 1970) 25, no. 2:179–87.Google Scholar
  26. 62.
    Ludmilla Jordanova, “Richard Mead’s Communities of Belief in Eighteenth-Century London,” in Christianity and Community in the West, ed. Simon Ditchfield (Aldershot, UK: 2001), 241–59, argues that Mead was not a Deist because he believed in a living faith, practical philanthropy, and medicine as beneficial, but these traits do not conflict with Deism. I don’t see evidence in Mead’s work that he was a providentialist who believed God directly intervened in human affairs.Google Scholar
  27. 63.
    Matthew Maty, Authentic Memoirs of the Life of Richard Mead, M.D., (London: 1755), online from Google Books. See also the “Life of Richard Mead” in Mead’s Medical Works; Zuckerman, “Dr. Richard Mead,” and same, “Plague and Contagionism in Eighteenth-Century England: The Role of Richard Mead,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (2004) 28, no. 2:273–308; and Anita Guerrini, “Mead, Richard (1673–1754),” ODNB (Oxford: 2004); online edn., January 2008 at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/18467.Google Scholar
  28. 65.
    For Mead and Pope, see Marjorie Hope Nicolson and George S. Rousseau, “This Long Disease, My Life” Alexander Pope and the Sciences (Princeton: 1968). For Burnet, see chapters 2 and 8 above.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 67.
    W. B. Howie, “Sir Archibald Stevenson, His Ancestry, and the Riot in the College of Physicians in Edinburgh,” Medical History (1967) 11:269–84, on 283. Mead also helped the Nonjuror Thomas Hearn regain his post at Oxford. Guerrini, “Mead.” Sloane rescued the Jacobite botanist Patrick Blair from Newgate after the “Battle of the Books” between Bentley and Charles Boyle (later Lord Orrery), see Richard Foster Jones, Ancients and Moderns: A Study of the Rise of the Scientific Movement in Seventeenth-Century England (Berkeley: 1937).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 68.
    For example, when the French refugee Michel Maittaire needed copies of John Toland’s scandalous work The Pantheisticon, he found two: one in Sloane’s library and one in Mead’s. Margaret C. Jacob, The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans (London: 1981), 275. Mead owned one of just three surviving copies of Servetus’s Christiansmi Restituto; most were burned when their author was condemned. Yvonne Hibbott, “Medical Books of the Sixteenth Century,” in Thornton’s Medical Books, Libraries and Collectors, 3rd ed., ed. Alain Besson (Aldershot, UK: 1990), 61.Google Scholar
  31. 69.
    Sloane wrongly believed that Woodward had been the author of The Transactioneer; the true author was William King. Woodward accused Sloane and Petiver of spreading rumors about this. In 1710, Woodward had been thrown off the Council of the Royal Society for rudeness to Sloane. See Levine, Dr. Woodward’s Shield, 85–92, and Eric St. John Brooks, Sir Hans Sloane: The Great Collector and His Circle (London: 1954), 109.Google Scholar
  32. 71.
    The “Scriblerians” were a circle of writers associated with the satirist Jonathan Swift and the poet Alexander Pope, who attacked modern learning under the pseudonym of Martinus Scriblerus. See Richard G. Olson, “Tory-High Church Opposition to Science and Scientism in the Eighteenth Century: The Works of John Arbuthnot, Jonathan Swift, and Samuel Johnson,” in The Uses of Science in the Age of Newton, ed. James G. Burke (Berkeley: 1983), 171–204. Arbuthnot also appears in William R. Le Fanu, “The Lost Half-Century in English Medicine, 1700–1750,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1971) 46, no. 4:319–48. Other articles by this author spell his name “LeFanu.”Google Scholar
  33. 72.
    For evidence of Woodward’s irascibility, see his letters to James Jurin on February 13 and 15, 1719, which apparently bewildered Jurin. Andrea Rusnock, The Correspondence of James Jurin, (1684–1750): Physician and Secretary to the Royal Society (Amsterdam: 1996), 78–82.Google Scholar
  34. 74.
    Richard Mead, A Short Discourse Concerning Pestilential Contagion (London: 1720), 3, italics omitted. This work saw seven editions in 1720; an eighth enlarged edition appeared in 1723 and a ninth corrected edition in 1744. See the introduction to The Medical Works of Mead, vii.Google Scholar
  35. 78.
    Richard Mead, A Mechanical Account of Poisons, in Several Essays (1702), 4th ed. (London: 1747), 15.Google Scholar
  36. 79.
    Mead, Short Discourse, 28. For British quarantines, see John Booker, Maritime Quarantine: The British Experience, c. 1650–1900 (Aldershot, UK: 2007).Google Scholar
  37. 85.
    A severe epidemic in the Baltic from 1709 until 1713 had affected Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Prussia, and northern Germany. See Karl-Erik Frandsen, The Last Plague in the Baltic Region, 1709–1713 (Copenhagen: 2010).Google Scholar
  38. 86.
    Charles F. Mullett, “The English Plague Scare of 1720–23,” Osiris (1936) 11:487–8.Google Scholar
  39. 89.
    Mullett, Plague Scare, 504. Colbatch’s treatise, A Scheme for Proper Methods to Be Taken, Should It Please God to Visit Us with the Plague (London: 1721) is online on the World Health Organization’s Historical Collection: “Rare Books on Plague, Smallpox and Epidemiology” at http://www.who.int/library/collections/historical/en/index5.html.Google Scholar
  40. 90.
    Brookes, Remarkable Pestilential Disorders (London: 1722), 48, and see chapter 6 above.Google Scholar
  41. 93.
    On Hodges’s etiology and its scientific underpinnings, see Robert Frank, Harvey and the Oxford Physiologists (Berkeley: 1980), 240–1.Google Scholar
  42. 95.
    Benjamin Colman, Some Observations on Receiving the Small-Pox by Ingrafting or Inoculating (Boston: 1721), 503.Google Scholar
  43. 96.
    Pye, Discourse, 2, and see Mullett, Bubonic Plague, 277–8, and Slack, Impact of Plague, 329. The anticontagionist Charles Maclean Charles Macleanfound Pye’s refutation effective. See his Results of an Investigation, Respecting Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases (London: 1817), 362.Google Scholar
  44. 98.
    Richard Blackmore, A Discourse upon the Plague with a Prefatory Account of Malignant Fevers in Two Parts (London: 1721). I thank the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for access to the first edition of this work. The second edition is on the World Health Organization Historical Collections website at http://www.who.int/library/collections/historical/en/index5.html. He also argued that the “worms” seen in the bodies of victims were the effect of putrefaction, not the cause. Mullett, Plague Scare, 497, commented that “of all the medical writers at this period, none mirrored more completely ordinary enlightened opinion concerning the plague than … Blackmore.”Google Scholar
  45. 103.
    Bradley, Plague of Marseilles, 2nd ed. (London: 1721), 20–21, online from Google.Google Scholar
  46. 104.
    Charles Singer, The Development of the Doctrine of Contagium Vivum 15001750 (London: 1913), 14; and see Williamson, “Germ Theory,” 57. Cf. Petty’s unpublished theory, chapter 4.Google Scholar
  47. 106.
    Defoe, Journal (Harmondsworth: 1966), 92–3. This passage is sometimes anachronistically attributed to the date of Defoe’s subject, the London plague of 1665.Google Scholar
  48. 108.
    Apart from the cost to merchants and traders, it was estimated in 1721 that more than two hundred thousand soldiers would be needed for a cordon sanitaire around London and other large cities. See Mullett, Bubonic Plague, 272. This, however, was exaggerated as the Austrians maintained a cordon of more than one thousand miles with eleven thousand men, drawn from a special military territory along the border that contained about one hundred thousand resident soldiers. Gunther E. Rothenberg, “The Austrian Sanitary Cordon and the Control of the Bubonic Plague: 1710–1871,” Journal of the History of Medicine (January 1973) 28, no. 1:15–23, on 17–19.Google Scholar
  49. 111.
    Adrian Wilson, The Making of Man-Midwifery: Childbirth in England, 1660–1770 (Cambridge: 1995), 83. On Manningham, see 82–5 and 114.Google Scholar
  50. 112.
    The Scottish William Cockburn, also identified by Wilson as a Whig “Deventerian” opposed to forceps, is described by Anita Guerrini as a Tory later in his life. He was Swift’s physician. Guerrini, “Newtonian Matter Theory, Chemistry and Medicine, 1690–1713,” (PhD diss. Indiana University, 1983), 36. Manningham’s iatromechanism resembles that of other “Tory Newtonians” studied by Guerrini, such as Cheyne, Keil, and Pitcairne.Google Scholar
  51. 113.
    Donald Gray, “Manningham, Thomas (d.1722),” ODNB (Oxford: 2004), online at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17983.Google Scholar
  52. 114.
    Richard Manningham, The Plague No Contagious Disease (London: 1744), 8.Google Scholar
  53. 120.
    Lobb (1678–1763, MD Glasgow) had been a Dissenting minister. His father Stephen Lobb, a prominent Independent pastor, was in and out of jail during the Restoration. Gordon Goodwin, “Lobb, Theophilus (1678–1763),” rev. Lynda Stephenson Payne, ODNB (Oxford: 2004), online ed., January 2008 at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16879.Google Scholar
  54. 122.
    Illustrated in Thomas Bartholin’s Historiarum Anatomicarum (Copenhagen: 1664–1671), National Library of Medicine, images from the History of Medicine, online at http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov. See also the article in Wikipe-dia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_doctor_costume. A search under “plague doctor” in Google Images retrieves many variants with questionable captions.Google Scholar
  55. 123.
    Mackenzie to Dr. Mead, Constantinople, November 23, 1751, in “Extracts of Several Letters … concerning the Plague,” Philosophical Transactions (1753) 47:384–95, on 394. The letters were communicated by Dr. John Clephane. Mackenzie sent a “Further Account” to Clephane, which appears in the same volume on 514–16. In 1764, Mackenzie also sent Sir James Porter “An Account of the Plague at Constantinople,” which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions (1764) vol. 54 and was reprinted in the London Magazine in 1765. His firsthand accounts were a source for authors such as Brownrigg (see below).Google Scholar
  56. 124.
    “Art[icle] IV. An Inquiry concerning the Cause of the Pestilence, and the Diseases in Fleets and Armies …” (Edinburgh: 1759), The Critical Review (1759) 8:16–28. Trained as a surgeon, Smollett had MD degrees from Geissen and Aberdeen. For Smollett’s identity as a Whig, see Robin Fabel, “The Patriotic Briton: Tobias Smollett and English Politics, 1756–1771,” Eighteenth-Century Studies (Autumn 1974) 8, no. 1:100–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 125.
    Joshua Dixon, The Literary Life of William Brownrigg, M.D.[,] F.R.S (London: 1801), 65–6.Google Scholar
  58. 127.
    Mullett, Bubonic Plague, 320. Guthrie, son of an Edinburgh Episcopalian minister, trained as a surgeon, studied with William Cullen and obtained an MD from St. Andrews in 1770. He lived in Russia. He became an FRS in 1782 but was never a member of the London College of Physicians. Eric H. Robinson, “Guthrie, Matthew (1743–1807),” ODNB (Oxford: 2004) online at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/40507.Google Scholar
  59. 128.
    Mullett, Bubonic Plague, 320. Charles de Mertens, An Account of the Plague Which Raged at Moscow, in 1771, trans. Richard Pearson (London: 1799), online from the Medical Heritage Library at https://archive.org/details /accountofplaguew00mert.Google Scholar
  60. 133.
    John Howard, Account of the Principal Lazarettos in Europe (Warrington: 1789), 32.Google Scholar
  61. 134.
    Howard died in Cherson, in the present Ukraine, after riding through a tempest to attend a dying woman and possibly contracting typhus from her. The most dramatic, though not always accurate, account of his life can be found in William Hepworth Dixon, John Howard and the Prison-World of Europe (London: 1850), online from the Hathi Trust at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008976226. John Aikin wrote a biography of his friend: A View of the Character and Public Services of the Late John Howard, Esq. LL.D., F.R.S. (London: 1792). See also Leona Baumgartner, “John Howard and the Public Health Movement,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1937) 5:489–508; John Ransom, “John Howard on Communicable Diseases,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1937) 5:131–47; and Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, The Conquest of Epidemic Disease: A Chapter in the History of Ideas (Madison: 1980), 236–8.Google Scholar
  62. 136.
    Dr. John Jebb died in 1786. The other possible “Dr. Jebb” is Sir Richard Jebb, 1729–1787, a close friend of John Coakley Lettsom. His father, Dr. Samuel Jebb, had died in 1772. For John Jebb’s writings on prison construction and government, see Anthony Page, John Jebb and the Enlightenment Origins of British Radicalism (Westport, CT: 2003), 231–5.Google Scholar
  63. 137.
    Gilbert Blane, “A Letter … to Rufus King, Esq. Minister Plenipotentiary from the States of America,” in Observations on the Diseases of Seamen, 3rd ed. (London: 1799), 608, online from Google.Google Scholar
  64. 138.
    Charles Maclean, Results of an Investigation respecting Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases; Including Researches in the Levant, concerning the Plague, 2 vol. in 1 (London: 1817), 361, online from Google.Google Scholar
  65. 139.
    Erwin Ackerknecht, “Anticontagionism between 1821 and 1867,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1948) 22:563–98; an abridged version is in The International Journal of Epidemiology (2009) 38, no. 1:7–21, doi: 10.1093/ije /dyn254.Google Scholar
  66. 144.
    Richard Mead, A Treatise concerning the Influence of the Sun and Moon upon Human Bodies, and the Diseases thereby Produced, trans. Thomas Stack (London: 1748).Google Scholar
  67. 145.
    Theodore Brown, The Mechanical Philosophy and the ’Animal Oeconomy’: A Study in the Development of English Physiology in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Century (New York: 1981), 291.Google Scholar
  68. 147.
    Richard Mead, A Mechanical Account of Poisons, in Several Essays, 4th ed. (London: 1747), 303.Google Scholar
  69. 148.
    Michael W. Flinn, The European Demographic System, 1500–1820 (Baltimore: 1981), 60–61, argues that local action in the seventeenth century and national government action in the eighteenth century, particularly quarantines in ports and the Hapsburg cordon sanitaire across Europe, prevented epidemics of plague in Western Europe. See also Edward A. Eckert, “The Retreat of Plague from Central Europe, 1640–1720: A Geomedical Approach,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Spring 2000) 74, no. 1:1–28; Peter Christensen, “’In These Perilous Times’: Plague and Plague Policies in Early Modern Denmark,” Medical History (2003) 47:413–50; Paul Slack, The Impact of Plague, and same, “The Disappearance of Plague: An Alternative View,” Economic History Review (August 1981) 34, no. 3:469–76; and Rothenberg, “The Austrian Sanitary Cordon.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Margaret DeLacy 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret DeLacy

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations