- Museum number
- Object: Vaccination against small pox, or mercenary & merciless spreaders of death & devastation driven out of society
Jenner (r.), standing between two colleagues, holds a vaccination knife whose blade is inscribed 'Milk of human Kindness'. He addresses three old-fashioned doctors, practicers of inoculation, who run off to the left. holding similar but much larger knives, the blades dripping blood and inscribed 'The curse of human kind'. Jenner says: "Oh Brothers, Brothers, suffer the love of Gain to be Overcome by Compassion for your fellow creatures, & do not delight to plunge whole Famileis in the deepest distress, by the untimely loss of their nearest and Dearest relatives". A cherub is about to crown him with a laurel wreath, saying, "The preserver of the Human Race". The three inoculators say: "Curse on these Vaccinators we shall all be starved, why Brother I have matter enough here to Kill 50,; And those would communicate it to 500 more; Aye - Aye. I always order them to be constantly out in the air, in order to spread the contagion". The ground is covered by dead or dying infants, heavily spotted. A spotted mother clasps her spotted infant, while her infected husband leans against her. On the extreme right. stands a woman saying "Surley [sic] the disorder of the Cow is preferable to that of the Ass". Jenner's two colleagues hold large rolled documents, one inscribed 'Bill to'; one (r.) also holds a rose.
June 20 1808
- Production date
Height: 255 millimetres (cropped)
Width: 369 millimetres (cropped)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
For the vaccination controversy see BMSat 9925, &c. It was revived in 1808 by the establishment of the Vaccine Institution, with Government support after a report of the Royal College of Physicians, 10 Apr. 1807, to whom the subject of vaccination had been referred. See 'Parl. Debates', xi. 803, 841-4. This replaced the Jennerian Institute 'for the extermination of smallpox'.
Reid, No. 45. Cohn, No. 2066 (mainly by I. C).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number