Early in the century, when cases of injury were first charged to vaccination by either the suffering victims or their relatives, they were met by emphatic denials on the part of the supporters of Jenner. Proofs of the failures and mischievous results of vaccination, as shown by Dr. Creighton in his remarkable historical work, "Jenner and Vaccination," accumulated from all quarters, but still the vaccinators held on to their creed, Jenner having supplied them with a theory broad enough to meet any contingency. He says there were some varieties of spontaneous eruption, all of which produced sores on the milkers, but only one of these was the true cow-pox, all the others being spurious and exerting no specific protective power over the constitution.

On the 18th June, 1890, evidence was adduced by me before the Royal Commission concerning the early failures of vaccinators and the mischievous effects of vaccination (See Third Report of the Royal Commission on Vaccination, pp. 150-151.) In the year 1806 the College of Surgeons instituted an inquiry into the results of vaccination. The results of this inquiry have been overlooked by all the advocates of compulsory vaccination, and notably omitted from Sir John Simon’s remarkable "Papers relating to the History and Practice of Vaccination, presented to both Houses of Parliament," London, 1857.( The report of the Royal College of Physicians, which was favourable to vaccination, was included by Sir John Simon in these ‘Papers." The corresponding report of the College of Surgeons, which appeared in the same publication, but was adverse to vaccination, was ignored — an important historical omission.)

This report states that on the 15th December, 1806, a circular was drafted and referred to the Board of Curators, and, having received their approval, was despatched to 1100 members of the College in the United Kingdom, submitting the following questions

"1st. How many persons have you vaccinated?

".2nd. Have any of your patients had small-pox after vaccination?

"3rd. Have any bad effects occurred in your experience in consequence of vaccination? and, if so, what were they?

"4th. Is the practice of vaccination increasing or decreasing in your neighbourhood? if increasing, to what cause do you impute it?"

To the 1100 circulars only 426 replies were received. Why nearly two-thirds of the members kept silent, when at the outset they were converted in multitude to vaccination, was left unexplained. The replies were thus summarised by the Board on, 17th March, 1807— "The number of persons stated in such letters to have been vaccinated is 164,381.

"The number of cases in which small-pox had followed vaccinatioa is 56.

"The Board think it proper to remark under this head that, in the enumeration of cases in which small-pox has succeeded vaccination, they have included none but those in which the subject was vaccinated by the surgeon reporting the facts.

"The bad consequences which have arisen from vaccination are— 66 cases of eruption of the skin,

24 of inflammation of the arm, whereof 3 proved fatal."

A copy of the original report containing these remarkable admissions was produced by me before the Royal Commission and examined by the president and each member of the Commission then present.

I have before me a copy of Volume VIII. of the Medical Observer,. an ably conducted Metropolitan journal published in 1810 (produced also before the Royal Vaccination Commission), and on pp. 183 to 197 I find recorded (with chapter and verse for reference to the authorities) the particulars of 535 cases of persons having small-pox after vaccination ; also similar details of 97 fatal cases of small-pox after vaccination and of 150 cases of injury, together with the addresses of ten medical men, including two professors of anatomy, who had suffered in their own families from vaccination.

Concerning these remarkable evidences a leading physician, Dr. Maclean, observes :— -

"Although numerous, they are nothing to what might be produced. It will be thought incumbent on the vaccinators to come forward and dispute the numerous facts decisive against vaccination here stated on unimpeachable authorities, or make the amende honorable by a manly recantation. But experience forbids us to expect any such fair and magnanimous proceeding, and we may be assured that under no circumstances will they abandon so lucrative a practice until the practice abandons them."

We commend these prophetic words, uttered years ago, to those who look for the impartial treatment of this question at the hands of professional propagandists at the present day.

Appendix  Index