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Dr. Jenner's discovery entailed upon him a most extensive correspondence, and obliged him frequently to travel to London. His professional engagements were not only interrupted, but almost annihilated, and his private fortune encroached upon by such circumstances. His friends urged an application to parliament:—and who so deserving of attention, as the discoverer of a practice so salutary as vaccination, by which millions of lives have been saved ? He had promulgated his views; he had withheld nothing from the medical profession, or from the public; in short, he had sacrificed all private benefits for the advantage of mankind. A petition to parliament was presented on the 17th of March, 1802, and Mr. Addington, afterwards Lord Sidmouth, informed the House, that he had taken the king's pleasure on the contents of the petition, and that his majesty recommended it strongly to the consideration of parliament. A committee was appointed, of which Admiral Berkeley was the chairman. A great mass of evidence was brought forward, and many professional and other persons were examined. The Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV., gave his testimony, and manifested strongly his conviction of the prophylactic powers of the vaccine disease. The committee reported, and the House voted £10,000 to Dr. Jenner. An amendment, proposing £20,000, was lost by a majority of three! Sir Gilbert Blane, Dr. Lettsom, and others, feeling the utter inadequacy of this reward to the merits of the case, proposed to raise a fund by public subscription; but the proposal was not carried into effect.
The Royal Jennerian Society was established in 1803, and had the king for its patron, the queen for its patroness, and various members of the royal family and nobility for its supporters. The design of the institution was to vaccinate the poor gratuitously, and supply virus to all parts of the world. It effected great good, and reduced the number of deaths by small-pox in a very remarkable degree. But dissensions sprang up, chiefly through the conduct of the resident inoculator, who recommended practices contrary to the printed regulations of the Society, and it was virtually dissolved in 1806.
Lord Henry Petty (now Marquis of Lansdowne) was the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1806, and on the 2nd of July he brought the subject of vaccination again before the House of Parliament. Upon this, the College of Physicians was directed to make inquiry into its state and condition, and a report was made on the 19th of April, 1807. The report was highly satisfactory as to the advantages of the practice. On the 29th of July, the Right Honourable Spencer Perceval, being then Chancellor of the Exchequer, called the attention of the House to it, and moved an additional grant of £10,000; when an amendment to double the sum was proposed by Mr. Edward Morris, M.P. for Newport, in Cornwall, and carried by a majority of thirteen.
In 1808, the National Vaccine Establishment was formed, where the practice of vaccination and the supply of lymph have ever since been continued.
His marriage in 1788 with Miss Catherine Kingscote, sister of the present Colonel Kingscote, a lady described as elegant in her manners, accomplished in her mind, and
EDWARD JENNER, M.D.
possessed of an understanding of great vigour, afforded to Jenner lasting delight and happiness, and gave to him two sons and a daughter.
Jenner had two narrow escapes from death ; one in 1786, from exposure to intense cold, of the effects of which he has given an interesting account;* and another in 1794, from an attack of typhus fever, which he has also described.
Foreign academies and societies enrolled him in the lists of their associates, and the medical societies of his own country were not less anxious to adorn their Transactions with his name. In 1808, he was elected a corresponding member of the National Institute, and in 1811, he was chosen an associate, in the room of Dr. Maskelyne, deceased. The empress-dowager of Russia sent to him a diamond ring, accompanied hy a letter in testimony of her admiration of vaccination. She had the first child vaccinated in Russia named “Vaccinoff," and fixed a pension upon it for life. The Medical Society of London presented him with a gold medal; the Physical Society of Guy's instituted a new order of members, under the title of Honorary Associates, and named Jenner for the first; the nobility and gentry of Gloucestershire presented him with an elegant gold cup; and various other marks of consideration were bestowed upon him as testimonies to the benefits he had conferred upon mankind. chosen mayor of his native town ; received the freedom of the corporation of Dublin; the freedom of the city of Edinburgh ; and was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of that city. In 1813, the University of Oxford granted him a degree of Doctor in Physic, by a decree of the convocation.
On September 13th, 1815, Dr. Jenner lost his wife. He then retired to Berkeley, and may be said, after that period, to have resided in retirement. A fit of apoplexy attacked him August 6th, 1820, but left no paralysis; he recovered, but his existence was terminated on the 26th of January, 1823, in the 74th year of his age, by another fit. He was buried on the 3rd of February, in the chancel of the parish-church of Berkeley ; a large concourse of people being present on the occasion.
Dr. Jenner's labours seem to have been most warmly appreciated in the East; the two Presidencies transmitting to him substantial proofs of their regard. Public subscriptions were entered into, to remunerate him: £4,000 was transmitted from Bengal; £2,000 from Bombay; and £1,383. ls. 10d. from Madras. Poems were written in praise of vaccination ; " Il Trionfo della Vaccinia, Poema di Gioachina Ponta, Genovese," published at Parma, and printed at the splendid press of Bodoni. Découverte de la Vaccine, Poëme en Trois Chants, par un Médecin,” “An ode to Hygeia on the Vaccine Inoculation,” by the Rev. T. D. Fosbroke. Mr. Coleridge also contemplated a poem on the subject, but it was never accomplished; it was only, to use the poet's own language," one of his "lazy indefinite reveries, early dreamt about, but never done."
• Baron's Life, vol. i. p. 72.
STEEP HILL, ISLE OF WIGHT.
The scenery in the Isle of Wight is proverbially exquisite; and in no part, perhaps, of the island, is it finer than in the vicinity of Steep Hill. Nothing can be more magnificent than are the views which lie before the spectator, whether he gaze from or towards the picturesque cliff which bears that name; in fact, by many tourists, Steep Hill is considered as the very gem of the island in point of beauty. Some years ago, the Hon. Mr. Tollemache, son of the Earl of Dysart, had, on this lovely spot, a villa, which was known by the name of Steep-Hill Cottage. This charming residence, which was constructed in the genuine cottage style, and covered by thatch, presented in its interior arrangements, a refined simplicity of beauty, and a chaste elegance of decoration, which, if not wholly unrivalled, were only equalled in the exquisite Welsh cottage, known to fame as the residence of Lady Eleanor Butler, and Miss Ponsonby, of romantic memory.
Earthly possessions, however, are transitory; and the domain of Steep Hill has now passed from the noble family bearing the motto “Confido, Conquiesco," into other hands. A castellated building rears its lofty towers above the stately trees, whose large masses of luxuriant foliage clothe the face of the cliff. Around this proud castle lies a glorious expanse of woods and downs, with the “ever-sounding sea” for the boundary of the noble prospect ; while the road which winds round the base of the hill, presents an appearance beyond description picturesque. Fragments of rock are here piled upon each other in grand confusion; some still bare, others covered by moss or stunted shrubs. In short, both nature and art have united to deck this picturesque spot with the perfection of beauty.
The shore of this portion of the Isle of Wight is rocky and dangerous. Numbers of falcons and other wild birds build in the rugged cliffs against which the ocean dashes in its fury. It is, indeed, the juxtaposition, in this romantic region, of scenes of the softest beauty, and of objects calculated to excite emotions of awe, if not of fear, that constitutes the charm which so powerfully rivets the attention of the spectator.
Within a short distance from Steep Hill, is a little bay, or inlet, which, though of surpassing beauty, is little known, and seldom visited by tourists; or, as travellers are called in the Isle of Wight, " Felicity Hunters." Yet Puckaster Cove surely deserves notice, if not as the only safe shelter for boats—which, with the exception of that of Yarmouth, this part of the island affords—at least, as the traditional abode, as its name would seem to import, of Shakespeare's “tricksy sprite.” Here, as we may suppose, it was, that Puck and his companion-fairies
“Over hill, and over dale,
Through bush and through briar,