VACCINATION OR ITS COMPULSORY ENFORCEMENT
Philosophers, Statesmen, Philanthropists, Medical Men, Publicists, and others.
Rose and Harris,
Printers, Broadmead, Bristol.
Immanuel Kant, Philosopher and Man of Letters ...... 5
Alexander von Humboldt, Naturalist and Traveller ..... 6
George Canning, Statesman ........... 7
Sir Robert Peel, Statesman. ......... 8
William Ewart Gladstone, Statesman ....... 9
John Bright, Orator and Statesman . . . . . . . . 10
Lord Salisbury, Statesman . . . . . . . . . . 11
Herbert Spencer, Philosopher and Man of Letters . . . . . 12
Alfred Russel Wallace, Naturalist and Man of Letters . . . . 13
Francis W. Newman, Scholar and. Man of Letters . . . . 14
William Cobbett, Essayist, Politician and Agriculturist . . . . . 15
Lord Shaftesbury, Philanthropist. . . . . . . . . 16
Florence Nightingale, Organizer of Nursing in the Crimean War
. . 17
Picton, Royal Vaccination Commissioners . . . . . . 18
Dr. James Copland, Physician and Author of Works on Medicine ... 20
Dr. George Gregory, Physician and Author of Works on Medicine . . 21
Dr. William Farr, Compiler of Statistics to the Registrar-General . . 22
Dr. Southwood Smith, Sanitary Reformer ....... 23
Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, Physician, Author, and Sanitary Reformer . 24
Sir Edwin Chadwick, Sanitary Reformer ....... 25
Mrs. Henry Fawcett, Authoress ......... 26
Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, Wesleyan Preacher, Editor of the " Methodist Times " 27
Professor Charles Ruata, Professor of Hygiene at the University of Perugia . 28
Professor Crookshank, Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology, King's College . 29
Dr. J. H. Bridges, Late Medical Inspector of the Local Government Board. . 30
Dr. Charles Creighton, Author of " History of Epidemics in Britain," &c.. . 31
Mr. Lawson Tait, Surgeon . . . . . . . . . 32
IMMANUEL KANT, born 1724, died 1804. Philosopher and Man
" As to Dr. Jenner's discovery of vaccination, he was less favourably disposed to it; he apprehended dangerous consequences from the absorption of a brutal miasma into the human blood, or at least into the lymph ; and at any rate he thought that, as a guarantee against the variolous infection, it required a much longer probation."
" The Last Days of Immanuel Kant and other Writings," p. 122, by Thomas de Quincey, Edinburgh, 1862.
" Kant from first to last did not recognize the usefulness of vaccination."
See " Fragments Litteraires," p. 382, by M. V. Cousin. Paris, 1843.
ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT, born 1769, died 1859. Naturalist
" I have been so much struck with the merit and penetration of mind which distinguish the work of Mr. Gibbs, that I remember having spoken of it with just praise to my illustrious friend, Mr. Schonlein, the first physician to the King, who perceives with me the progressive advance of opinion respecting the dangerous influence [ ? ] of vaccination in France, in England, and in Germany."
Letter to Mr. John Gibbs, dated October 18th, 1858.
GEORGE CANNING, born 1770, died 1827. Statesman.
" Though he considered the discovery (vaccination) to be of the very greatest importance, he could not figure any circumstances whatever that could induce him to follow up the most favourable report of its infallibility which might be brought forward, with any measure of a compulsory nature."
" Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, First Series," Vol. xi., p. 844, July 9th, 1808.
SIR ROBERT PEEL, born 1788, died 1850. Statesman.
" The proposal to make it (vaccination) compulsory was so contrary to the spirit of the British people, and the independence in which they rightly gloried, that he would be no party to such compulsion."
Quoted by Mr. T. S. Buncombe, M.P. for Finsbury,
" Hansard's Parliamentary Debates" Third Series,
Vol. clxiv. p. 674, July 10th, 1861.
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE, born 1809, died 1898. Statesman.
" I regard compulsory and penal provisions, such as those of the Vaccination Act, with mistrust and misgiving, and were I engaged on an inquiry I should require very clear proof of their necessity before giving them my approval."
Letter to Mr. Henry Pitman, dated April 17th, 1876.
" There are two sides to the question, but my opinion is, and always has been, that the facts respecting vaccination were not sufficiently cleared or matured to warrant compulsory legislation."
Letter to Rev. A. W. Hutton, dated July 30th, 1890.
" I always feel a strong repulsion to seeing the clear, pure skin of a child made to break out into pustules ... I dislike the idea of its (vaccination) being compulsory. I don't like the notion of the State stepping in between parent and child when it is not absolutely necessary. The State is generally a very bad nurse."
" Talks with Mr. Gladstone," p. 160, by Hon. Lionel A. Tollemache,
JOHN BRIGHT, born 1811, died 1889. Orator and Statesman.
" I have always felt that the law which inflicts penalty after penalty on a parent who is unwilling to have his child vaccinated is monstrous and ought to be repealed."
Letter to Mr. Henry Pitman, published in " The Public Letters of the Right Hon. John Bright, M.P.," p. 174, edited by H. L. Leech, 1885.
LORD SALISBURY, born 1830. Statesman.
" There is the knowledge that children, and a considerable number of children, have succumbed to the operation of this beneficent law, and the feelings which are worked upon are the deepest, the tenderest, the most tenacious, and the most difficult to overcome of any in the whole range of human sentiment . . . It is idle to tell me that the people are wrong, it is idle to tell me that they are deceived ; as long as they have these feelings they will respect them—they are Englishmen—and it is no use to quote to me the precedents of India and Ceylon to show the way in which, these objections are to be overcome."
"Hansard's Parliamentary Debates" Fourth Series, Vol. Lxiv., p. 55,
August 4th, 1898.
HERBERT SPENCER, born 1820. Philosopher and Man of Letters.
" Will any one dare to say that it (vaccination) produces no further effect than that of shielding the patient from a particular disease ? You cannot change the constitution in relation to one invading agent and leave it unchanged in regard to all other invading agents. What must the change be ? There are cases of unhealthy persons in whom a serious disease, as typhoid fever, is followed by improved health. But these are not normal cases ; if they were a healthy person would become more healthy by having a succession of diseases.
" Hence, as a constitution modified by vaccination is not made more able to resist perturbing influences in general, it must be made less able . . . the assumption that vaccination changes the constitution in relation to small-pox and does not otherwise change it is sheer folly."
" Facts and Comments," pp. 191-192.
" I wish I had known some time since that the vaccination persecution had in any case been carried so far as you describe, as I might have made use of the fact. It would have served further the parallel between this medical popery which men think so defensible, and the religious popery which they think so indefensible."
Extract from a Letter to Mr. Clark, of Crewe.
ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE, born 1823. Naturalist and Man
" The successive Vaccination Acts were passed by means of allegations which were wholly untrue, and promises which have all been unfulfilled. They stand alone in modern legislation as a gross interference with personal liberty and the sanctity of the home ; while as an attempt to cheat outraged nature, and to avoid a zymotic disease without getting rid of the foul conditions that produce or propagate it, the practice of vaccination is utterly opposed to the whole teaching of sanitary science, and is one of those terrible blunders which, in their far-reaching evil consequences, are worse than the greatest of crimes."
" The Wonderful Century," p. 314, London, 1898.
FRANCIS W. NEWMAN, born 1805, died 1897. Scholar and
Man of Letters.
" Against the body of a healthy man Parliament has no right of assault whatever under pretence of the Public Health ; nor any the more against the body of a healthy infant ... To forbid perfect health is a tyrannical wickedness, just as much as to forbid chastity or sobriety. No law-giver can have the right. The law is an unendurable usurpation, which creates the right of resistance."
" The Political Side of the Vaccination System," p. 8.
WILLIAM COBBETT, born 1762, died 1835. Essayist, Politician and
" What I am opposed to, what I am alarmed at, is the proposition of you and Dr. Clarke, to obtain, for the support of the system, an Act of Parliament, which would, in its operation, be nothing short of a compulsion on every man to suffer the veins of his child to be impregnated with the disease of a beast ... A measure to be adopted in no country where the people are not vassals or slaves."
Letter to William Wilberforce—" Cobbett's Weekly Political Register," January 29th, 1803, Vol. iii., p. 99.
LORD SHAFTESBURY, born 1801, died 1885. Philanthropist.
" The small-pox was chiefly confined to the lowest class of the population, and he believed that with improved lodging-houses the disease might be all but exterminated."
" Hansard's Parliamentary Debates," Third Series, Vol. cxxv., p. 1,012,
April 12th, 1853.
MISS FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, born 1820. Organizer of
Nursing in the Crimean War. Founded Nightingale Home for the Training of Nurses.
“Everyone who knows anything of public health questions will agree in your views as to the practical unity of epidemics, and their determining causes, and that exemption from all alike must be sought not by any one thing, such as vaccination, but by inquiring into and removing the causes of epidemic susceptibility generally."
Letter to Mr. John Pickering, dated March 31st, 1871.
ROYAL VACCINATION COMMISSIONERS.
MR. SAMUEL WHITBREAD, born 1830. M.P. for Bedford, 1852-95.
Lord of the Admiralty, 1859-63. Royal Vaccination Commissioner, 1889-96.
MR. J. A. BRIGHT, born 1848. M.P. for Central Birmingham, 1889-95.
Royal Vaccination Commissioner, 1891-96.
DR. W. J. COLLINS, D.L., M.S., B.Sc. (Lond. Univ.), F.RC.S.,
born 1859. Chairman of the London County Council, 1897-98. Fellow of London University. Royal Vaccination Commissioner, 1889-96.
MR. J. ALLANSON PICTQN, M.A., J.P., born 1832. M.P. for Leicester,
1884-94. Royal Vaccination Commissioner,
" We the undersigned desire to express our dissent from the proposal to retain in any form compulsory vaccination. We cordially concur in the recommendation that conscientious objection to vaccination should be respected. The objection that mere negligence or unwillingness on the part of parents to take trouble might keep many children from being vaccinated would be largely, if not wholly, removed by the adoption of the Scotch system of offering vaccination at the home of the child, and by providing for medical treatment of any untoward results which may arise. We therefore think that the modified form of compulsion recommended by our colleagues is unnecessary and that in practice it could not be carried out.
" The hostility which compulsion has evoked in the past toward the practice of vaccination is fully acknowledged in the Report. In our opinion the retention of compulsion in any form will in the future cause irritation and hostility of the same kind.
" The right of the parent on grounds of conscience to refuse vaccination for his child being conceded, and the offer of vaccination under improved conditions being made at the home of the child, it would in our opinion be best to leave the parent free to accept or reject this offer.""
Sam. Whitbread. John A. Bright. W. J. Collins. J. Allanson Picton.
DR. JAMES COPLAND, M.D., F.R.S., born 1791, died 1870. Physician
and Author of several Works on Medicine.
" Just half a century has elapsed since the discovery and introduction of vaccination ; and after a quarter of a century of most transcendental laudation of the measure, with merely occasional whisperings of doubt, and, after another quarter of a century of reverberated encomiums from well-paid vaccination boards, raised with a view of overbearing the increasing murmurings of disbelief among those who observe and think for themselves, the middle of the nineteenth century finds the majority of the profession, in all latitudes and hemispheres, doubtful as to the preponderance of advantages, present and prospective, to be obtained either from inoculation or from vaccination."
" A Dictionary of Practical Medicine," Vol. iii., p. 829. He also expressed the opinion that vaccination " will never be generally adopted, and that., if it were so adopted, it could never altogether banish small-pox, nor prove a complete or lasting preventive of variolous
Ibid, p. 831.
DR. GEORGE GREGORY, M.D., F.R.S., born 1790, died 1853. Physician to the Small-pox and Vaccination Hospital. Author of several Works on Medicine.
" When we look around us,—when we observe the quantity of small-pox, now (at the close of the first half century from the promulgation of vaccination) diffused through this and other countries,—when we see the practice of re-vaccination almost universal on the continent of Europe, and greatly increasing in this country, we are led irresistibly to the conclusion, that these broadly urged claims in favour of vaccination have not been substantiated. Small-pox does invade the vaccinated, and the extirpation of that direful disorder is an event as distant now as when it was first heedlessly (and, in my humble judgment, most presumptuously) anticipated by Jenner."
" Medical Times and Gazette " New Series, Vol. iv., p. 633, June 26th, 1852.
DR. WILLIAM FARR, M.D., F.R.S., D.C.L., C.B., born 1807, died 1883.
Compiler of Statistics to the Registrar-General.
" Small-pox attained its maximum mortality after vaccination was introduced. The annual deaths of small-pox registered 1760-79 were 2,323 ; in the next twenty years, 1780-99 they declined to 1740 ; this disease, therefore, began to grow less fatal before vaccination was discovered ; indicating, together with the diminution of fever, the general improvement of health then taking place."
" McCulloch's Statistical Account of the British Empire,"
2nd Edition, Vol. 2, p. 579.
" The mean annual (small-pox) mortality to 10,000 in the twenty years 1850-69, was at the rate of 2.04, whereas it was 10.24 in 1871, and 8.33 in 1872, and this after the most laudable efforts to extend vaccination by legislative enactments."
35th Annual Report of the Registrar-General, p. 223.
" Healthy sanitary condition as to food, drink, and cleanliness of person, house, and city, stands first in importance ; after it, but subordinately, come quarantine, vaccination, and other preventives, as means of subduing mortality.''
Supplement 35th Annual Report of the Registrar-General, p. xli.
DR. SOUTHWOOD SMITH, born 1788, died 1861. Sanitary Reformer.
"Overcrowding, for example, we can prevent; the accumulation of filth in towns and houses we can prevent; the supply of light, air, and water, together with the several other appliances included in the all-comprehensive word Cleanliness, we can secure. To the extent to which it is in our power to do this, it is in our power to prevent epidemics. The human family have now lived together in communities more than six thousand years, yet they have not learnt to make their habitations clean. At last we are beginning to learn the lesson. When we shall have mastered it, we shall have conquered epidemics."
" Epidemics considered, with relation to their common nature and to climate and civilization" p. 23.
SIR BENJAMIN WARD RICHARDSON, born 1828, died 1896.
Physician, Author, and Sanitary Reformer.
In a review of Professor Crookshank's " History and Pathology of
Vaccination," says :—
" If it be true that we of physic have really, for well-nigh a century past, been worshipping an idol of the market place, or even of the theatre, why, the sooner we cease our worship and take down our idol, the better for us altogether. We have set up the idol, and the world has lent itself to the idolatry, because we whom the world has trusted have set the example. But the world nowadays discovers idolatries on its own account; and if we continue the idolatry it will simply take its own course, and, leaving us on our knees, will march on whilst we petrify."
" The Asclepead,' 1890, Vol. vii.y p. 91.
SIR EDWIN CHADWICK, born 1800, died 1890. Sanitary Reformer.
" Cases of small-pox, of typhus, and of others of the ordinary epidemics, occur in the greatest proportion, on common conditions of foul air, from stagnant putrefaction, from bad house drainage, from sewers of deposit, from excrement-sodden sites, from filthy street surfaces, from impure water, and from overcrowding in foul houses. That the entire removal of such conditions by complete sanitation and by improved dwellings is the effectual preventive of disease of those species, and of ordinary as well as of extraordinary epidemic visitations."
" Prevention of Epidemics," p. 22. Address to the Brighton Health
Congress, December 14th, 1881
MRS. HENRY FAWCETT, LL.D., born 1847, Authoress. Member of
Ladies' Commission to Investigate Concentration Camps in South Africa.
" I am not an anti-vaccinator, that is, I believe that vaccination generally gives protection long enough at any rate to carry one safely through an epidemic ; but I have been nearer to being an anti-vaccinator than I ever was before since I have seen that the cause of vaccination appears to require magistrates in the course of the discharge of their duties to insult and endeavour to perplex the poor and ignorant who appear before them to claim exemption . . . The demand for vaccination in the presence of epidemic is so great that it needs no law to enforce it; the resistance to compulsory infant vaccination when there is no epidemic is so strong, and has so greatly increased in strength with increasing knowledge of the subject, that compulsory legislation becomes a dead letter and brings the law into disrepute and contempt."
" The Vaccination Act of 1898."
REV. HUGH PRICE HUGHES, born 1847. Wesleyan Preacher,
Editor of the " Methodist Times."
" The facts produced before the Royal Commission have finally convinced me that vaccination is a great mistake, and that compulsory vaccination is one of the most fearful outrages of sacred human rights that selfishness and cowardice have ever devised ... I further feel, as a Christian, the strongest a priori objection to a system which is essentially a compromise with evil. A physician of the body has no more right to enter into a compromise with disease than I have, as a physician of the soul, to enter into a compromise with sin. The true remedy for small-pox, as has already been proved in the case of all allied diseases, is such vigorous sanitary reform as we are all prepared to support, if the medical profession will only abandon its present mistaken and suicidal attitude."
PROFESSOR CHARLES RUATA, M.D., Regius Professor of Hygiene
and Professor of Materica Medica, in the University of Perugia.
" The sound principles of hygiene teach us to get rid of every kind of external filth, and not to modify our sound body in order that it may be proof against all the dirtiness of the surrounding. Vaccination is, for this reason, against the good teaching of hygiene, and against the laws of Nature."
" Morning Post," January 14th, 1898.
PROFESSOR CROOKSHANK, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Pathology and Bacteriology at King's College, London.
" There can be no doubt that ere long a system of Compulsory Notification and Isolation will replace vaccination. Indeed, I maintain that where isolation and vaccination have been carried out in the face of an epidemic, it is isolation which has been instrumental in staying the outbreak, though vaccination has received the credit.
" Unfortunately a belief in the efficacy of vaccination has been so enforced in the education of the medical practitioner, that it is hardly probable that the futility of the practice will be generally acknowledged in our generation, though nothing would more redound to the credit of the profession and give evidence of the advance made in pathology and sanitary science. It is more probable that when, by means of notification and isolation, smallpox is kept under control, vaccination will disappear from practice, or will retain only an historical interest."
" History and Pathology of Vaccination," Vol. i.} pp. 465-466, London, 1889.
DR. J. H. BRIDGES, F.R.C.P. (Lond.). Late Medical Inspector of
the Local Government Board. Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford.
" Firstly, its utility, great though it be, has been very much exaggerated. Secondly, it is attended with a small amount of risk, hardly appreciable indeed in the case of the children of the rich, but distinctly perceptible in the case of the children of the poor, especially of those living in the crowded quarters of great cities ... I regard the compulsory Acts of 1853, 1867, and 1871 as an undue and inexpedient intervention of the State, in a matter which should be left to each family to decide for itself. Non-vaccinated people are not a source of injury to their neighbours ; for their neighbours can get themselves vaccinated."
" Positivist Review," November, 1896.
DR. CHARLES CREIGHTON. Author of " History of Epidemics in
Britain," and other Works.
" The anti-vaccinists are those who have found some motive for scrutinizing the evidence, generally the very human motive of vaccinal injuries or fatalities in their own families, or in those of their neighbours. Whatever their motive, they have scrutinized the evidence to some purpose ; they have mastered nearly the whole case ; they have knocked the bottom out of a grotesque superstition."
" Jenner and Vaccination," p. 352, London, 1889.
MR. LAWSON TAIT, born 1845, died 1899. Surgeon.
" To take the case of vaccination and small-pox, it is beyond dispute that vaccination protects the individual to a large extent, from small-pox, but it does not protect the community,—as may be seen from the ravages it is making at the present time in the neighbouring towns and counties. The machinery of vaccination never can be so perfect as to stamp out the disease, and it must be regarded purely as a temporary expedient. The real agent for the stamping out of small-pox is the machinery of a system of sanitary police, such as we have here ; and even on the small scale in which we have had it for six years it has worked marvels. It will stamp out not only small-pox, but every other zymotic at the same time, and by the same measures, and then we need not trouble about vaccination—certainly it need not be compulsory."
" Proceedings of the Birmingham Philosophical Society," Vol. iii., p. 155, April, 1882,