by Walter Hadwen
Case Against Vaccination"
Verbatim Report of an address by Walter Hadwen, J.P.,
M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.S.A., Etc (Gold Medalist in
Medicine and in Surgery) at Goddard's Assembly Rooms,
Glouster, on Saturday, January 25th, 1896 (During the
Gloucester Smallpox Epidemic)
Fraud of Vaccination"
two other articles by Dr. Hadwen, from The Truth
Address by Dr.Hadwen after being found innocent of
manslaughter in the death of a young diphtheria patient
upon whom Dr.Hadwen had refused to use anti-toxin.
The Case Against
Verbatim Report of an
by Walter Hadwen
J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.S.A., Etc
(Gold Medalist in Medicine and in Surgery)
ASSEMBLY ROOMS, GLOUCESTER
On Saturday, January 25th, 1896
(During the Gloucester Smallpox Epidemic)
Foreward to Tenth
THE speech here reproduced was delivered twenty-eight years ago,
before the "Conscience Clause" was known. The speaker had been nine
times prosecuted for refusing to submit his own children to
During the intervening years the cause of Anti-vaccination has made
steady progress, and at the present date three-fifths of the parents
in this country have followed Dr. Hadwen’s example. But the passage
of time has no effect upon the arguments against vaccination.
Objections to an already venerable superstition remain invulnerable
in 1924, though they were expressed in 1896. No apology is needed,
therefore, for the reproduction of the speech as it was uttered so
The speaker looks back, through the twenty-eight years, upon a
period of strenuous and painful struggle, and forward to the
ultimate doom of vaccination, now imminent.
The latest statistics are given on the last page of this pamphlet.
The Case Against
DR. HADWEN, J.P.
AT GODDARD’S ROOMS, GLOUCESTER
A large and enthusiastic meeting of citizens was held in the
Northgate Assembly Rooms, Gloucester, on Saturday evening,
January 25th. The hall was crowded, and many failed to gain
admittance. Mr. S. BLAND, J.P., presided.
The CHAIRMAN, in opening the proceedings, said: Ladies and
Gentlemen, - The issue of the Doctors’ Manifesto on the present
outbreak of small-pox in Gloucester has opened the floodgates of
discussion and denunciation upon the vaccination question. The
anti-vaccinators, firm in their convictions, remain unmoved by
the stale sophistries, bogus statistics, and stupid taunts
thrown at them. (Cheers.)
The spectacle of a
few individuals opposing the unanimous dictum of the local
doctors is a fair butt for the small jokes of those superior
persons who, to save themselves the trouble of study and
thought, give their bodies to the doctor and their souls to the
priest, relying on the necromancy of the one, and on the other,
for their physical and spiritual salvation. I yield to no one in
proper respect for both of those professions - (hear, hear) -
but knowing as I do, and as you do, the discarded fallacies and
tremendous blunders which have received their unanimous support
in the past, I maintain the God-given right of liberty of
conscience and the use of my reasoning powers to accept or
reject any of their present dogmas. (Cheers.)
We read the truism
in an older Book than any of their treatises, "that whatsoever a
man soweth, that shall he also reap."
physician, Sir Andrew Clarke, said - "Nature never forgets and
never forgives." And until it is an indisputably proven fact,
which it is not present, and I do not think ever will be, that
you can preserve health by the inoculation of disease, I will
have none of it. (Cheers.)
Many years ago my attention was directed to the subject of
vaccination by an extraordinary event. The Guardians of Keighley
Union were sent in a body to prison for refusing to enforce the
Compulsory Vaccination Acts. That led me to study the whole
question, with the result that I became an anti-vaccinator by
conviction. In the course of events I was forced to the front in
a public discussion of the subject, in which Dr. Bond was our
Neither of us convinced the other, but the
result showed that the public were convinced, for shortly
afterwards our Board of Guardians, yielding to the pleadings of
our good friend Councillor Karn and others, stopped
prosecutions, and very few people have voluntarily adopted
vaccination for their children since.
At that time only a
solitary medical man here and there was found on our side. But
since then we have been joined, amongst others, by two of the
foremost scientists in our country - Drs. Creighton and
Crookshank - in denouncing vaccination as a superstition and a
fraud. (Cheers.) The disputes as to obscure scientific theories
are therefore no longer in the hands of non-scientific laymen.
We can leave it to
the doctors to fight them out. They have never refuted
Crookshank and Creighton, and until they do so we are abundantly
justified in our attitude of opposition and unbelief. Into the
merits or demerits of the question I am not going to enter
I have by my side in the person of Dr. Hadwen - (cheers) -
a duly certified medical practitioner, who, by the examinations
he has passed and the diplomas he has obtained in the medical
schools, is thoroughly well qualified to deal with any subject
pertaining to the laws of health and the treatment of disease.
You have had a taste
of his advocacy in the admirable letters which he has
contributed to the "Citizen," and as I venture to think you are
more anxious to hear him than me, I will not debar you from that
pleasure any longer. Mr. Bland explained in conclusion that Dr.
Hadwen was not a paid advocate of the Anti-Vaccination Society,
which was really poor in funds, though rich in the allegiance of
its supporters and in the intelligence of those who adopted its
principles, but he came at the sacrifice of his time and his
practice, in furtherance of the cause to which he had committed
himself after studying it exhaustively in all its bearings.
Dr. Hadwen’s Speech
whose reception was most cordial, said: Mr. Chairman, Ladies and
Gentlemen, - It certainly does one’s heart good to see such a
splendid and enthusiastic audience here to-night. It shows that
one thing is very certain: that whether you are united upon the
question under discussion or not you are deeply interested in
the subject. (hear, hear.)
Upon coming into the
room I had placed in my hands a paper, written, I see, by Dr.
Bond, in which he gives "Fifteen reasons why we should believe
in the efficacy of vaccination as a preventive of smallpox." I
do not know whether Dr. Bond is here himself, but should he be
here, I will invite him to come on the platform and discuss
those points with me after I have finished what I have to say.
I have cast my eyes
over them; I shall take up most of those arguments in the course
of my address, and I have only now to say that every statement
made in that paper has been smashed and pulverized thousands of
times before. (Cheers.)
I had better, at the outset, state to you distinctly the
position I occupy on the subject. I stand here not only as a
medical man, but as a father and a citizen. As a medical man I
look upon vaccination as an insult to common sense, as
superstitious in its origin, unscientific in theory and
practice, and useless and dangerous in its character; whilst as
a father and a citizen I view the Compulsory Vaccination Acts as
demoralizing in their tendencies, degrading in their character,
cruel and unjust in their enactments, and an unwarrantable
interference with parental responsibility and liberty -
(cheers) - such as ought not to be tolerated in a country
like England, which has boasted of her civil and religious
freedom for generations past. (Renewed cheers.)
NOT PURELY A MEDICAL
constantly told that this is purely a medical question, and that
if I want to air it I should discuss it before a medical
audience or by letters in the medical papers.
Those who say that
know what is the treatment medical anti-vaccinists receive in
the journals in question. But it is not a purely medical
question. It is one of observation, of history and of
statistics, and any intelligent layman can understand it as well
as a medical man. It is a mere superstitious creed, and needs no
professional knowledge to grasp it.
And what is more, I
can say from what I have learned in experience that intelligent,
thoughtful and studious anti-vaccinators know more about this
subject than the majority of the medical men of to-day.
(Cheers.) And, furthermore, I say that the very moment you take
a medical prescription and you incorporate it in an Act of
Parliament, and you enforce it against the wills and consciences
of intelligent people by fines, distraints and imprisonments, it
passes beyond the confines of a purely medical question - and
becomes essentially a social and political one. (Cheers.)
The medical profession of to-day is divided into two great
sections. On the one hand we have a section, who form, I am
bound to say, the majority, who believe that the only remedy for
small-pox is vaccination with all its risks. On the other hand
there is another section, the minority to which I have the honor
to belong, which believes that the remedy for small-pox is not
vaccination but sanitation - (cheers) - which is accompanied by
no risk at all. We protest against the diseasing of children by
Act of Parliament.
We say that
small-pox is a filth disease, and that if we get rid of the
filth we shall get rid of the disease. We also declare that when
a person is ill the doctor is justified in doing all he possibly
can for his patient; but when a person is well he has no right
whatever to interfere with the normal functions of the human
body as he does when he introduces disease, especially the
disease of an inferior animal, unless he can give a distinct and
absolute guarantee, not only that the operation will effect the
purpose avowed, but also that it will produce no injurious
And with all the
fifteen reasons Dr. Bond can produce I will defy him to give
such a guarantee. It is a serious blot upon the medical
profession that it has encouraged and that it has helped to
enforce a measure and that the Gloucester doctors even to-day
are urging the Guardians to prosecute in order to enforce it,
when they cannot guarantee that it will effect the purpose
professed, nor yet that it will produce no injurious results.
The public vaccinators are told in their Orders that they must
hold themselves responsible for the quality of the lymph they
But where is there
one who would think of doing so when he can but know that the
operation is accompanied with risk? Therefore what right have
they to interfere with healthy children? (Cheers.)
Remember, the Order
is most distinct to public vaccinators that it is only healthy
children that are to be diseased. ("Shame.")
HISTORY OF THE
Carlyle has told us "that no error is fully confuted until you
have seen not only that it is an error, but also how it became
one." It will, therefore, be as well for me to take you over
something of the history of the movement, and give an idea how
this gigantic superstition and this monstrous fraud of
vaccination came to be enforced, and came to be adopted by the
profession and the public.
so-called was, as you all know, a man by the name of Edward
Jenner, who lived at Berkeley, in your own county. He was not,
however, the discoverer. The whole thing was a superstition of
the Gloucestershire dairymaids years before Jenner was born -
(laughter) - and the very experiment, so-called, that he
performed had been performed by an old farmer named Benjamin Jesty twenty years previously. Now this man Jenner had never
passed a medical examination in his life.
He belonged to the
good old times when George III. was King - (laughter) - when
medical examinations were not compulsory. Jenner looked upon the
whole thing as a superfluity, and he hung up "Surgeon,
apothecary," over his door without any of the qualifications
that warranted the assumption. It was not until twenty years
after he was in practice that he thought it advisable to get a
few letters after his name.
Consequently he then
communicated with a Scotch University and obtained the degree of
Doctor of Medicine for the sum of £15 and nothing more.
(Laughter.) It is true that a little while before, he had
obtained a Fellowship of the Royal Society. but his latest
biographer and apologist, Dr. Norman Moore, had to confess that
it was obtained by little less than a fraud. It was obtained by
writing a most extraordinary paper about a fabulous cuckoo, for
the most part composed of arrant absurdities and imaginative
freaks such as no ornithologist of the present day would pay the
slightest heed to.
A few years after
this, rather dissatisfied with the only medical qualification he
had obtained, Jenner communicated with the University of Oxford
and asked them to grant him their honorary degree of M.D., and
after a good many fruitless attempts he got it. Then he sent to
the Royal College of Physicians in London to get their diploma,
and even presented his Oxford degree as an argument in his
But they considered
he had had quite enough on the cheap already, and told him
distinctly that until he passed the usual examinations they were
not going to give him any more. This was a sufficient check in
Jenner’s case, and he settled down quietly without any diploma
The period in which he lived was undoubtedly a very filthy
period. It was a time when, to take London for instance, the
streets were nothing but a mass of cobble stones, the roads were
so narrow that the people could almost shake hands across the
street, and as for fresh air they scarcely knew anything about
it, for locomotion such as we have to-day was unknown.
arrangements were altogether absent. They obtained their water
from conduits and wells in the neighborhood, Water closets there
were none, and no drainage system existed. It was in London
especially that small-pox abounded, where bodies were buried in
Old St. Paul’s Churchyard in Covent Garden only a foot below the
soil, and people had to get up in the middle of the night and
burn frankincense to keep off the stench; and where those who
could afford it had houses on each side of the Fleet river, so
that when the wind blew towards the east they lived in the west,
and when it blew towards the west they lived in the east.
This was the
condition of old London, and you cannot be surprised if
small-pox was then what Dr. Bond calls a scourge; you cannot be
surprised if small-pox has declined since, even after this
wonderful discovery of vaccination - (laughter and cheers) - and
let us not forget that sanitary improvements began in London as
early as 1766, and small-pox began to decline as a consequence
before vaccination was invented.
I won’t go now into the personal character of Jenner, but Dr.
Creighton has well described him when he tells us that he was
vain and petulant, crafty and greedy, a man with more
grandiloquence and bounce than solid attainment, unscrupulous to
a degree, a man who in all his writings was never precise when
he could possibly be vague, and never straightforward when he
could be secretive.
This is the
character that Dr. Creighton gives him; and as for the
statement, which we constantly hear, that Jenner received such
wonderful homage in the later years of his life, we well know
that his closing years were years of misery as the failures of
his fetish began to crowd upon him. It was on January 23rd,
1823, that he wrote his last letter to his confidential friend,
Gardner, when he told him he was never surrounded by so many
Two days later
Jenner breathed his last.
of vaccination was simply a legend. The idea of charming away
disease has been common in all countries and at all times, not
only amongst the ignorant but amongst the educated.
In old herb books we
find how much the remedies for certain diseases depended on the
jingle of the names; and there is no doubt that the way in which
the idea got amongst the dairymaids that a person who had
cow-pox never had small-pox depended upon the jingle of cow-pox
and small-pox, and it was this which had such an extraordinary
effect upon the mass of the people at that time.
In the old herb
books, for instance, we find that if you want to prevent
suffering from the bite of a mad dog you must carry a herb
called hound’s tongue, and again, to prevent the ill-consequence
of a dog bite you must take a portion of the root of a dog rose.
This kind of thing
was common at that time; it was a most superstitious period in
which Jenner lived, when live frogs were swallowed for the cure
of worms; when cow dung and human excreta were mixed with milk
and butter for diphtheria; when the brains of a man who had died
a violent death were given in teaspoonful doses for the cure of
Even Jenner had
invented, not merely a cure for smallpox, but also one for
hydrophobia, which quite takes the steam out of Pasteur’s
treatment. All you had to do was to duck the man who had been
bitten three times in a stream of running water, only taking
care that each time you ducked him life became almost extinct.
(Laughter.) He said he never knew that to fail under any
circumstances. (Renewed laughter.)
He evidently had an
idea that persons bitten by a mad dog become possessed of an
evil spirit, and should be treated as they used to treat the
witches. So much for Jenner.
When he first of all heard the story of the cow-pox legend that
the dairymaids talked about, that if you only had cow-pox you
can’t have small-pox, he began to mention it at the meetings of
the Medico-convivial Society, where the old doctors of the day
met together to smoke their pipes, drink their glasses of grog,
and talk over their cases. But he no sooner mentioned it than
they laughed at it.
The cow doctors
could have told him of hundreds of cases where small-pox had
followed cow-pox, and Jenner found he would have to drop it.
however, he performed his first experiment as it is called. He
took a boy named James Phipps and inoculated him with some lymph
which he took from a cow-pox vesicle.
A short time
afterwards he inoculated this boy with small-pox, and for very
solid reasons which could be explained, the small-pox did not
Jenner, "is the grand discovery. This will answer my
purpose, and I shall soon be able to get another paper for
the Royal Society," to follow in the wake of the glorious
cuckoo, which has been wittily termed "the bird that laid
the vaccination egg." (Laughter.)
That was in 1796,
and we are close upon the century since that wonderful
Russia is preparing to celebrate it, and the Bristol
medical men are sending round for subscriptions for £1,000 in
order to purchase the relics of this wonderful man - such as his
snuff box, his lancets, and the chair the great man sat in - to
put in the museum of the Bristol University.
I have noticed that
the doctors have omitted one important article which appeared in
the Bristol Exhibition - a hair from the tail of the first cow
that supplied the vaccine lymph. (Loud laughter.) I am sorry
they have left that out. I am sure nothing would so stir the
hearts of the coming race of medical men as an evidence of
belief in the principle contained in the old herb book by which
a person had to carry a hair of the tail of the dog that bit
I do not know
whether the sensation from Russia is going to filter through to
England, but unless you people in Gloucester are going to be
swayed by the manifesto issued by the medical men my advice to
you is to keep your rejoicings for the 5th November, and then if
you happen to be hard tip for a companion for Guy Fawkes I would
advise you to have an effigy of Edward Jenner to help feed the
flames of your bonfire. (Laughter and cheers.)
Jenner inoculated this boy James Phipps in 1796. Then, as soon
as he had done that, he wrote it down - (laughter) - and went
round the neighborhood collecting desultory information with
regard to cow-pox and cow-poxed milkers. He got cases of those
who had had cow-pox years before and had never had small-pox, as
if everybody was bound to have the small-pox. Then he took some
worn-out paupers, over 6o years of age, who had had the cow-pox
years and years before and inoculated them with small-pox to see
if they would take.
He found they did
not take, because as people get advanced in life they are more
or less proof against it.
Jenner, "is the grand proof of the value of inoculation of
cowpox as a preventive of small-pox."
HOW JENNER CHANGED HIS
the materials which he got together in order to present his
paper to the Royal Society. It was not to be surprised at that,
with miserable material such as this, the Royal Society, though
at that time at so low an ebb scientifically, should,
nevertheless, immediately reject his paper as unsatisfactory and
unsuited to a scientific society or a healthy public. (Cheers.)
Jenner took care in
that paper never to mention the cases of people who had cow-pox
and had small-pox afterwards, he mentioned the cases of a dozen
old men who had cow-pox and did not take small-pox afterwards,
but he could have had hundreds of cases who had had both. These
he took good care never to say anything about.
As soon, however, as
he came back with his paper the cow doctors were at him. They
said this was all rubbish and began to pour on him hundreds of
cases, just as we pelt the pro-vaccinists with figures showing
that 90 per cent, of those who have had small-pox have already
been vaccinated. (Cheers.)
So Dr. Jenner soon found he would have to change his whistle,
and invented a novel idea. The idea he started was this: he said
there are two kinds of pox. One is the genuine kind and the
other spurious, and those who have had cow-pox and yet have had
small-pox afterwards, have had the spurious variety. Those who
had cow-pox and did not have small-pox afterwards were those who
bad had the genuine disease.
This was a very
clever and specious kind of argument, and the next thing that
Jenner had to do was to find out where the genuine cow-pox could
be found. Accordingly, on going into a stable one day he found
that a cow had been affected with a very peculiar kind of
disease that was produced in this way. It seems that a man had
been seeing to the grease upon a horse’s heels, and had gone to
milk the cows without washing his hands.
The result was that
it produced that peculiar kind of disease known by the name of
Jenner, "is the life-preserving fluid," and he went home to
write about the wonderful virtues of horse-grease cow-pox.
However, it was
necessary to perform an experiment, and he inoculated a boy
named John Baker with horse-grease, direct from the horse’s
He intended later to
inoculate him with small-pox in order to see whether it would
take, but it was something like the case of the man, you
remember, who had an idea that if he only gave his horse a
gradually diminishing diet he would at last be able to keep it
You remember that
the horse died before the experiment could be completed, and it
was the same with John Baker, for the poor boy died in the
workhouse directly afterwards from a contagious fever contracted
from the inoculation. ("Shame.")
HORSE-GREASE FOR COW-POX
He then took
some of the horse-grease cow-pox and inoculated six children,
and without waiting to see the result or to prove whether it
would take or not he rushed to London to get his paper printed.
And in that paper he
had the audacity to assert that it was not necessary to wait to
see the result because the proofs he already had were so
conclusive, and time experiments had told such an extraordinary
tale - although he had completed but one experiment in his life,
and that did not prove it at all.
That boy James Phipps was
hawked about the country as a proof of the value of vaccination,
but he had not been inoculated with horse-grease cow-pox at all,
but with spontaneous cow-pox, which Jenner now declared in his
second paper was absolutely useless and unprotective against the
But as soon as the paper was published the outcry was
"What," said the
people, "take horse-grease, filthy grease from horses’
heels, take that and put it into the blood of a child?"
No, they would have
nothing to do with it. They did not mind having cow-pox without
the horse, but they could not think of having the cow-pox with
the horse in it. Dr. Pearson wrote Jenner telling him he must
take the horse out, or "it would damn the whole thing."
Consequently - there
is no accounting for taste - they denounced horse-grease
cow-pox, but were prepared to accept spontaneous cow-pox.
JENNER HARKS BACK TO
Jenner do? Did he attempt to stick up for his creed or to prove
that he was right? No; he wanted money.
He said he was looking
forward "in the fond hope of enjoying independence," declaring
he was in an impecunious condition. He accepted the verdict of
the people. They wanted cow-pox; they should have it. And
accordingly he wrote a third paper and tried to wipe out what he
had written before.
With the exception
of a solitary footnote, in that paper, horse-grease cow-pox was
not mentioned at all, and he fell back on the spontaneous
cow-pox theory which he had previously denounced as useless and
cow-pox is what we are recommended to have by Dr. Bond in almost
his last clause, i.e., lymph direct from the cow - which is
denounced by the discoverer himself as absolutely unprotecive
against the disease in question. (Cheers.)
Well, having told you briefly the history of the matter, you may
ask, "However was it that this thing was foisted on the people?
How came the medical men of the country to accept it?" In the
first place science was then at a very low ebb. It was about
that time Joanna Stephens lived. She had a wonderful remedy for
stone, which gained great notoriety.
There was much
anxiety to obtain it, and at last a subscription list was
opened. It was headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and all
the leading doctors subscribed. Joanna wanted £5,000 for her
recipe. The money was obtained amid the recipe came to light.
It ran as follows:
are a powder, a decoction and a pill. The powder consists of
egg-shells and snails, both calcined. The decoction is made
by boiling some herbs (together with a ball, which consists
of soap, swine’s cresses burnt to a blackness, and honey) in
water. The pills consist of snails calcined, wild carrot
seeds, burdock seeds, ashen keys, hips and haws, all burnt
to a blackness, soap and honey."
She got her £5,000
and the doctors got their recipe: they say that fools and their
money are soon parted. (Laughter.)
I don’t begrudge either
Joanna Stephens the money or the doctors her recipe, but I don’t
think any more of the doctors in consequence, and we can’t be
surprised at their accepting with so little opposition the
wonderful recipe of Jenner for small-pox.
There was another reason why they accepted it, and that was that
the majority of the doctors of that time had never heard of or
seen cow-pox. Dr. Denham, writing at that time, said the
majority had never heard of it.
However, when Jenner
came forward with the letters F.R.S., M.D., after his name, with
all the impudence of a charlatan, saying,
"Such is the
singular character of my discovery that a person who is once
inoculated with cow-pox is for ever afterwards secure
against small-pox," the whole of the profession was arrested
by the deliberate statement made, and they all bowed down
before the golden calf which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set
up. (Laughter and cheers.)
reason was that inoculation had turned out a failure. What was
It consisted in
this: It was supposed at that time that small-pox was a
permanent evil influence amongst us, and that everybody was
obliged to have it some time or other before they died.
Consequently it was thought if they could only have the
small-pox in a mild form and at a convenient season it would be
nice to have it over, just as mothers now think that their
little ones must have measles, scarlatina, whooping-cough,
Chicken-pox. etc., and are glad to get it over.
It was consequently
said, what is more simple?
Let us give the
people a mild case of small-pox when they are well and able to
resist it. This idea, which became very popular, first of all
originated in India. They had there a small-pox goddess whose
name was Matah, and the Hindus used to inoculate themselves
with small-pox in order to appease the goddess, fancying that if
they did so and if small-pox came along they would then have it
in a very mild form, or, perhaps, that her Majesty would look
kindly upon them and they might not have it at all.
through to the Ottoman Court, and in 1721 Lady Worthy Montague,
wife of the then Ambassador, was so struck with it that in her
letters to London she told them that everybody in Turkey was
being inoculated with small-pox. Coming from such a person and
from the very cream of Society the people were taken with it,
and it became the fashion through the length and breadth of
England to inoculate with small-pox.
But they soon found
that it spread the disease tremendously. It was between 1700 and
1800 that small-pox was so rife. You don’t see so much now. Why?
They were then giving people small-pox right through the country
by inoculation. Dr. Bond talks about the unanimity of the
profession. Why, the whole profession were unanimous about that
inoculation was the thing and that it must be done. Talk about
the unanimity of the profession! That goes for nothing; we have
principles to deal with, not the unanimity or otherwise of the
profession. (Cheers.) Majorities are never a proof of the truth.
The consequence was that small-pox spread, for though a person
inoculated might have it mildly he was able to give it to others
much more severely.
Dr. Lettsom, writing
in 1806, tells us that whereas small-pox deaths for 42 years
before inoculation were only 72 per thousand, they were 89 per
thousand in the 42 years after.
doctors were getting staggered, though they carried this out
unanimously for 80 years, and when Jenner came forward and said,
"Here’s a mild
kind of small-pox; it’s not infectious; it is certain to
stop the small-pox;" why, the doctors at once fell in with
it and received it with open arms.
The people craved
for it, and instead of wanting to get the small-pox over as
before, everyone began to cry for the cow-pox which Jenner
brought before their notice. In the first twelve months the King
had accepted it, the Queen and her courtiers had fallen in with
it, and the illegitimate sons of the Duke of Clarence were
vaccinated with it. (Laughter.) And when they saw this done
honest mothers knew their doom.
And depend upon it,
my friends, such was the terror of small-pox inoculation at that
time that if you and I had been living then I am quite sure we
should have joined the "genteel mob."
after that the whole of the London doctors signed a testimonial
and declared that this discovery was such that persons once
vaccinated were for ever protected against small-pox. We have
found out since then by experience that doctors are as liable to
make mistakes as other people.
It would have been
just as well, before putting their pens to a testimonial like
that, to have remembered the old proverb,
until you know."
They very soon began
to talk about compulsion. In 1840 vaccination was paid for out
of the public rates, and the doctors said inoculation must be
put down. The vaccinators and inoculators - here were two sets
of doctors then, as now - fought against one another like the
pro-vaccinists and the anti-vaccinists at the present time.
The vaccinists were
in a majority, and could not rest until they had the inoculators
put down. Consequently in 1840 an Act was passed that anybody
who tried to inoculate another with small-pox would be liable to
a month’s imprisonment. In 1853 they managed to pass that
Compulsory Vaccination Act which we are here to protest against
to-night. (Cheers.) I think one of the most serious complaints
against the whole system is this: They dare not trust it to its
own merits. Do people want small-pox?
If the System is any
good it will speak for itself; if it is bad they have no right
to enforce it. You may ask, "Why was compulsion necessary?" The
reason was simply this - the people were beginning to find out
it was no good; they were beginning to clamor again for
inoculation, and the working classes, who reason more by the
hard facts of experience than by medical dogmas, found that it
was not the slightest use for protecting People against
small-pox. In 1811 there had occurred a notable instance of
Lord Robert Grosvenor, ten years of age, who had been vaccinated by Jenner
himself, was now taken with small-pox, and lay hovering between
life and death.
Jenner sat by the
bedside of his illustrious patient, and when at last the boy
began to turn and get better Jenner turned to the father with,
"What a lucky
job he was vaccinated. If he had not been, he would surely
Thus Jenner started
the glorious doctrine of mitigation, which has been handed down
as the heirloom of the medical vaccinists ever since.
THE GLAMOUR OF A NAME
reason why the doctors accepted it was this: Jenner gave a brand
new name to cow-pox that had not been heard of before, he called
cow-pox small-pox of the cow, or Variolae Vacciae, but you may
search in vain for any attempt upon his part to prove it.
He might as well
have called it diphtheria of the cow, for all the analogy it
bore. It gave a scientific air to the whole thing, although
there was just as much science in it as in the heads of the old
women of Gloucestershire. (Laughter)
The theory was this
cow-pox is small-pox of the cow; therefore, if you give a person
this cow-pox it is the same as small-pox, only in a very mild
form, and it is not infectious. Sir John Simon, the great high
priest of the vaccine cult in England for many years, said that
the reason cow-pox prevents small-pox is because it is
small-pox, and that a person who has had cow-pox has really
passed through small-pox. And Jenner himself absolutely declared
that it is not that cow-pox is a preventive of small-pox but it
is small-pox itself.
Look at the
incongruity of the whole thing. Someone has remarked that "the
law’s an ass," and I am sure it is in the present instance. By
the Act of 1840 anyone who gave another small-pox was liable to
a month’s imprisonment; by the Act of 1853 if you don’t give
another small-pox - which is what cow-pox is supposed to be -
you are liable to a fine of £1 and costs.
So that between the
two things, as Mr. Alfred Milnes has said, "a man is about as
happy as a Jew in Russia." (Laughter.)
COW-POX AND SMALL-POX
It is a disease
which occurs on the teats of cows; it only occurs when they are
in milk; only in one part of the body, and naturally only in the
female animal; it results in an ugly chancre; and is not
Small-pox, on the
other hand, is not limited to the female sex as is cow-pox, nor
to one portion of the body; it presents different physical
signs, and, furthermore, is tremendously infectious, and the
course and symptoms of the two diseases are totally different.
Therefore there is
no analogy between the two. Badcock, of Brighton, accepting this
theory, however, inoculated a number of cows with small-pox, and
fancied that it should have become cow-pox. But it never
produced anything but small-pox. So much had this question
obscured the minds of the medical profession that the French
savants formed the Lyons Commission to go thoroughly into the
whole thing, and Mons. Chauveau, the eminent French scientist,
after experimenting, told his Government that it was totally
impossible to convert smallpox into cow-pox.
The fact is, as Dr.
Creighton said, to try and turn small-pox into cow-pox you may
as well try to convert a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse.
If they can turn cow-pox into small-pox I say let them do the
conjuring trick backwards, and I’ll believe them. (Cheers.)
Look at the absurdity of the whole thing! For the sake of
argument take it for granted that cow-pox is small-pox, and that
to vaccinate is to give small-pox. Then, according to Jenner’s
theory, the person inoculated with small-pox should not take it,
like his case of James Phipps.
But is it not a fact
that you can be successfully re-vaccinated frequently? If,
therefore, vaccination is a form of small-pox, it does not
prevent you having "small-pox" again. If once vaccinating does
not prevent your being re-vaccinated, how can it protect against
the genuine article? (Cheers.)
If it can’t protect
you against the bite of a cat, how can it against the scrunch of
a tiger? Why, these Gloucester doctors, in boasting of their
re-vaccination, are absolutely damning their whole creed, for if
their theory were correct they have no business to be able to be
re-vaccinated at all!
But I may be told,
this may be true enough. There may be no science in it - and I
have no hesitation in saying that the gentlemen alluded to by
the Chairman, Dr. Crookshank and Dr. Creighton, have knocked the
bottom out of this grotesque superstition and shown that
vaccination has no scientific leg to stand on - but there are
some remedies, which, though you can’t prove the physiological
effect they have or see the science that belongs to them, yet
you know by experience will produce certain results.
Now let us test
vaccination by this law.
THE TEACHING OF
clearly proved that there is no science in vaccination; now we
will see what experience has to say upon the subject. Since the
passing of the Act in 1853 we have had no less than three
distinct epidemics. In 1857-9 we had more than 14,000 deaths
from smallpox; in the 1863-5 epidemic the deaths had increased
to 20,000; and in 1871-2 they totaled up to the tune of 44,800.
It might be asked; Did not the population increase?
Between the first
and second epidemics the population did increase by 7 per cent.,
but the smallpox deaths increased by 41 per cent. Between the
second and third epidemics the population went up by 9 per cent.
and the small-pox by 120 per cent. Small-pox is an epidemic
disease, and if cow-pox is to do anything as a preventive of
small-pox it should prevent an epidemic.
It is all very well to
say what a splendid protection it is when there is no epidemic
about, but the question is: How will it stand when small-pox
But, as Dr. Druitt
has well remarked:
"You may just as
well try to stop small-pox epidemics by vaccination as to
prevent a thunderstorm with an umbrella."
In 1880 the
Registrar-General reported that although typhus fever and other
zymotics had gone down, the only one to show a rise was
small-pox; i.e., after thirty years of compulsory vaccination it
was 50 per cent above the average of the previous 10 years. We
got rid of the black death and gaol fever entirely. What did it?
Good water, good drainage, and the whitewash brush. (Cheers.)
Yet the only zymotic
which shows a notable increase is the only one against which a
special prophylactic has been used, and so remarkable was this
that the Registrar-General had to draw attention to it.
Undoubtedly small-pox would have gone too if the inoculators had
not taken such pains for nearly 100 years to establish it in
I constantly find that when the pro-vaccinists are driven into a
corner as to the failures occurring in this country they always
adopt the plan of Jenner, and invite us to look at the brilliant
successes in other countries.
As soon as ever they
are asked to remember the number of vaccinated people who get
small-pox they say,
"Oh, look at
Ceylon," "come with me to the plains of India," or they ask
you to hook into Central Africa and "see what vaccination
Yes, it is all very
well to be carried away to those countries where no
Registrar-General is kept and no official statistics have ever
been published. (Cheers.)
THE HISTORY OF
SMALL-POX IN GERMANY
Prussia, and the way vaccination has stamped out small-pox
Very well, we will
look at Prussia, which, I may say, has kept better vaccination
records than any other country in Europe, except, perhaps,
In 1834, which is
twenty years before England adopted the Compulsory Vaccination
Act, so severe was the Act in Prussia that, in addition to
primary vaccination, every child had to be vaccinated over again
when he started upon his school life; he had to be re-vaccinated
on going from college to college; and re-vaccinated over again
when he entered the Army, which meant every healthy male out of
the whole of Prussia.
And so severe was
the Act that if any man refused to be vaccinated he was ordered
to be held down and vaccinated by force; and so thoroughly was
it done that he was vaccinated in ten places on each arm. That
was stiff enough for anybody, I should think. (Laughter,) In
1871-2 - thirty-five years after this Compulsory Vaccination Act
- came the terrible epidemic which swept all over Europe.
It came to Prussia,
and what was the result? In that year small-pox carried off no
less than 124,978 of her vaccinated and re-vaccinated citizens
after thirty-five years of compulsory vaccination of the
description which I have referred to! This roused Prussia, and
she began to look about her; she saw the cause, and she was
determined to remedy it.
She brought good
water into her cities, purified her river Spree, introduced a
complete drainage system throughout the country - (loud cheers)
- she got rid of her "rookeries," and ordered model barracks to
be built for the soldiers; and away fled the small-pox, like the
Philistines before the Children of Israel. Sanitation did for
Prussia what 35 years of compulsory vaccination was unable to
At the present time
in Prussia small-pox is almost extinct. (Cheers.) It is not that
people are being vaccinated more; they are vaccinated less.
They hate it in
Germany as we English people do; and you can now get out of
vaccination there by the payment of a shilling fine. Even the
very children in Germany know well enough how it is hated, and
in proof of this I may relate to you an amusing incident.
A school inspector
went to one of the schools the other day and asked the question
of the class,
"Why was Moses
hidden by his mother in the bull-rushes?"
Very soon a little
fellow put up his hand and replied,
"Please sir, she
did not want him to be vaccinated." (Loud laughter.)
SMALL-POX EPIDEMICS IN
We will now
come nearer home and take the Metropolitan Asylums Board and
their statistics. From 1870 to 1886 there were 53,579 cases of
small-pox, and out of that number there were 43,919 who had
undergone the process spoken of by Sir John Simon as "removing
every taint of susceptibility to infection."
But you may say,
"Will it protect
for a time?"
Well, I should like
to know for how long? (Hear, hear.)
Dr. Bond says up to fourteen
years, some people say ten; in Birmingham they were rejoicing
the other day that they had had nobody take small-pox, no
vaccinated child, under three; so that it has got down rather
Jenner said that to
talk about re-vaccination was to rob his "discovery" of half of
its virtues; he was dead against it by the statement he made
that one vaccination was protection for a life-time. On that he
got £30,000. (Laughter.) Dr. Bond tells us that that was altered
afterwards, and that it was not the expression of Jenner’s
No, Jenner altered
it afterwards; he got his £30,000 first, though. (Renewed
laughter.) He never yielded up the £30,000 when he found he had
made a mistake.
How long will it protect? Dr. Bond talks about the Sheffield
epidemic in his letter two or three days ago, and I have no
doubt Mr. French Hensley, to whom he replies, will very soon put
the matter straight.
He tells us that the
Sheffield statistics show a wonderful immunity of vaccinated
children. Dr. Bond bases that upon the marvelous statistics of
Dr. Barry. Dr. Bond has evidently never read the Royal
Commission reports at all. (Laughter and cheers.) It looks as
thought Dr. Bond has never seen the cross-examination of Dr.
Barry. Dr. Bond has no idea of the fatal fallacy underlying the
Sheffield epidemic report, which came to an utter collapse when
Dr. Barry was cross-examined upon it. He has no idea of all
that; he is evidently something like the old lady Sydney Smith
talked about, who never read anything on the opposite side of
the question in case she should be prejudiced. (Laughter.)
If it had not been
for the Sheffield report - I am very pleased it was brought
forward, although it is a perfectly hollow thing so far as facts
go - we should not have had the Royal Commission. The
vaccinators thought when it fell into Government quarters that
they had such a tremendously strong case that the
anti-vaccinators would have been wiped off the scene.
But when it came
before the Royal Commission, Dr. Collins, one of the
Commissioners, took Dr. Barry in hand and very soon spoilt the
whole game; and it turned out that the whole of the report, from
beginning to end, was nothing but a statistical trick, based
upon evidence collected by census collectors towards the close
of the epidemic instead of at the beginning, when many of the
unvaccinated had passed over to the vaccinated class. (Cheers.)
I will give you some
statistics with regard to Sheffield as far as one can gather
them, which I take out of this very report. There were ten cases
of small-pox under one year old, 87 cases under five years of
age - vaccinated all of them - and 241 cases of vaccinated
small-pox between the ages of five and ten. In spite of what is
said about vaccination protecting up to 14 years of age, this
splendid report, that Dr. Bond speaks of with such admiration,
declares that Dr. Bond’s theory is as false as anything can be,
for it gives no less than 338 cases of vaccinated small-pox
under ten years of age. (Cheers.)
Well now, let us see what vaccination did for Sheffield. This
Sheffield epidemic occurred in 1887 in the very worst quarter of
the town, on 135 acres of the most horribly insanitary part of
the town, which was condemned years ago by the Government
Inspector, and it has never been put right yet.
That is where
small-pox has always broken out, that is where small-pox has
flourished: and when this tremendous epidemic took place on they
went, vaccinating and re-vaccinating; and still the small-pox
There were no less
than 7,000 cases of small-pox, and, alas! 600 deaths, and still
the small-pox went on; until at last God in his mercy opened the
floodgate of heaven and down came the rain, which washed the
sewers and the drains, cleared away the refuse from the gutters,
washed the dirt from the streets and the filth from the slums
and away went the small-pox. Pure water accomplished for
Sheffield what 56,000 vaccinations had been unable to effect.
Again, take Gayton, a great authority with the pro-vaccinists,
who in his book entitled "The Value of Vaccination" shows that
of 10,403 cases of vaccinated small-pox 20 cases were under one
year old, 341 between one and five, and 945 between five and
ten; i.e., 1,306 cases of small-pox in vaccinated children, in
order to prove the efficacy of vaccination!
CHILDREN "DON’T DIE"
"But," we are
told, "the children don’t die."
Well, that may be
all very well; we will see whether they die or not. Turn to
Germany, for instance. During that epidemic I spoke of just now
there were 2,140 cases of children under ten who had small-pox,
and 736 of them died; there were 1,503 cases vaccinated under
five, and there were 573 deaths.
You may say,
"Then why is it
they don’t die in this country?"
Turn to the Muller’s
Orphanage in Bristol. In 1872 there were 740 children, all
vaccinated, and 292 cases of small-pox amongst them, and there
were 17 deaths. But I can give you the reason, perhaps, why the
children don’t die - why vaccinated children don’t die from
small-pox so much as we should expect.
In 1886, for
instance, there were 275 cases of small-pox deaths altogether
throughout England and Wales; there was only one vaccinated
child that died from small-pox under ten years of age, but there
were 93 children who died from "chicken-pox." (Laughter.)
the Registrar-General, in commenting upon the fact, declared
that nearly, if not all. those cases should have been registered
as small-pox, because chicken-pox "never kills "; and Dr. Ogle,
the chief in the Registrar-General’s Department, told the Royal
Commission as a witness before it, that he had never known
chicken-pox kill a child in his life. (Cheers.)
Why were not they
registered as small-pox?
In 1893, the last published returns we
have, there were 127 children who were reported to have died
from "chicken-pox"; so perhaps that will explain why "the
children don’t die." (Laughter and cheers.)
Then they say
if it will only protect for a time re-vaccination is the thing.
I want to know how often are we to be re-vaccinated?
once was enough
Porter, Superintendent of the Dublin Small-pox Hospital
Sheds, says he has no faith in re-vaccination
the great Indian vaccinator, says re-vaccination is an
unpathological and unphysiological blunder
Seaton says that to be vaccinated once at puberty is
Jenner says you ought to be vaccinated once in infancy,
again at seven years, and again every time an epidemic
comes along (laughter)
says you ought to be vaccinated every ten years
and a great
German vaccinator, whose name I won’t attempt to
pronounce, says you ought to be vaccinated every four
months until you cannot be re-vaccinated any longer.
What, to be kept in
a constant state of cowpox in order to prevent small-pox? Why, I
would sooner have the smallpox - it would be a thousand times
better - and have done with it. (Cheers.)
THE SMALL-POX NURSE
"What about the
nurses; why, don’t you know that for 50 years there has not
been known a single nurse in any small-pox hospital who has
taken the small-pox, because they have been re-vaccinated?"
Dr. Cory was
responsible for the card which has been handed for years to
mothers who brought their children to the vaccination station,
and which served to stamp this delusion upon the country; and
when Dr. Cory was before the Royal Commission this card was
brought to his notice.
"How is it that
it has been published; is it a fact?" he was asked, and the
answer was "No." "Is it not a fact that nurses who have
taken small-pox had been re-vaccinated?"
"How is it that
you printed this?"
"Oh," said Dr.
Cory, "originally the card was simply concerning Highgate
Small-pox Hospital and it was the printer" - oh, that
naughty printer - (laughter) "who deleted the definite
article when it ought to be there, who put an ‘s’ after the
‘I’ who dropped out two capital letters instead of leaving
three, who scattered the word Highgate, and left it as a
matter for generalization!" (Renewed laughter.)
Small-pox Hospital we know that whenever it was possible they
got the nurses from the small-pox patients, and the reason these
did not have it was because they had had small-pox beforehand,
Now take the nurses in the fever hospital.
Dr. Hopwood lately
declared that no nurse had died in the Fever Hospital of London
for ten years. But they were never vaccinated against fever, and
why did not they die? The fact of the matter is this, the
small-pox nurse fable is a very absurd one. We know well enough
that small-pox has the faculty of taking hold of the weakest;
that is the reason why children, whether vaccinated or not,
naturally fall the easiest prey.
In Gloucester you
have practically no vaccinated children to suffer. It depends
upon the constitution and the amount of resisting power to the
disease. The nurse is a selected person - she will never be
likely to be taken on as such unless she is perfectly healthy;
As I said, she is frequently taken from the ranks of the
small-pox patients, but otherwise is perfectly healthy; she has
good food, regular exercise; she works in a well-ventilated
ward; amid, what is more, she has no fear - which I believe is
one of the greatest protectives under the sun. (Cheers.)
She is in a far
better position than her patients who, as a rule, come from
insanitary places, from the slums and dens of our cities; and it
is not, therefore, to be wondered at that the nurses should be
able to resist the small-pox. Even in the time of the plague,
when vaccination was not dreamed of, it was remarked in all the
old writings that the doctors and nurses rarely if ever caught
But it is not that
the nurses do not take it, Dr. Cohn, of the Paris Small-pox
Hospital, said that in the hospital he had no less than 200
nurses re-vaccinated under his own eyes, and yet out of that
number 15 took small-pox and one of them died.
tells us that at time Bicetre hospital there were 40 medical
attendants and apothecaries who never contracted small-pox at
all, although they had neglected to be re-vaccinated; and he
mentions, moreover, 40 sisters of mercy who were right in the
very centre of the hospital who refused to be re-vaccinated, and
not one of them had small-pox. (Cheers.)
RE-VACCINATION IN THE
Then look at
our re-vaccinated Army. From 1860 to 1888 we had no less than
3,953 cases of small-pox in the British Army, and 391 of them
died. If re-vaccination won’t protect the soldier, how is it
going to protect the nurse? (Hear, hear.)
In Egypt in 1889
they died at the rate of 1,750 per million from small-pox. But,
as a matter of fact, the Government do not believe in
re-vaccination. The other day, when the epidemic broke out in
London, a regiment of soldiers was stationed at St. John’s Wood,
near, and so terrified were the Government with regard to the
matter that an urgent order came down from the Horse Guards
sending the regiment right away to the other end of England,
lest the re-vaccinated soldiers should catch small-pox.
I heard an amusing
incident the other day about a magistrate who had some of those
"ignorant fanatics" like some of you - (laughter) - before him.
He told the
defendants that they ought to be ashamed of themselves letting
their children go unvaccinated, and added,
"Why, I would
not let my children go unprotected from this dire disease on
A short time
afterwards illness came into his house, and the doctor told him
that a servant had the small-pox; and no sooner did the old
gentleman hear that than his courage oozed out at his
finger-tips, and he sent for the nearest fire-escape in order
that the children might be taken away through the window, so as
to avoid passing the door of the infected chamber. (Laughter.)
Then there are those
doctors who tell us that not only have they been re-vaccinated,
but that if a small-pox epidemic occurred they would be done
again, which shows that they have not much faith in
re-vaccination. (Hear, hear.)
Sir Astley Cooper, who has been sitting on the Bench, declared
in a speech on the subject that he had been vaccinated no less
than seven times, and such was his wonderful faith in the
operation that he declared, with all the courage of a Roman
"If an epidemic
occurred, I would go and be vaccinated again." (Laughter.)
Why, if they had
tatooed the old gentleman from head to foot he would still be
"Do, pray give
me more vaccination." (Renewed laughter.)
Then they tell us that vaccination will mitigate the disease
that it will make it milder. I should like to have it proved.
(Hear. hear.) How are we to know how severely a person is going
to have small-pox?
If everybody who had
been vaccinated had it in a milder form and every person who was
unvaccinated had the smallpox more severely, there would
certainly be some ground for the argument.
But we know well
enough that long before vaccination was dreamed of the usual
kind of small-pox was the mild; and, as Dr. Wagstaff wrote to
Dr. Freind in 1721,
"There is one
kind of small-pox which the doctor cannot cure, and another
kind which the nurse cannot kill."
That is quite enough
to show there were very mild cases of small-pox at the time; and
Dr. Plot in 1677, in speaking of an epidemic at Oxford, tells us
that the whole of the cases were extremely mild, and that with
proper care they all recovered. So that before ever there was
vaccination there was plenty of mild small-pox. (Cheers.)
Look at the hospital statistics, and see what they have to say.
I find from the last published statistics, which are for 1893 -
I am now speaking from memory - that there were 150 unvaccinated
cases and 253 vaccinated, but 1,054 cases were never stated at
all. When out of a total of 1,457 cases over 1,000 are left
undescribed, and we are not told whether they were vaccinated or
not, what confidence can you have in such statistics?
I say that such
statistics as those, upon which vaccinators base their case, are
nothing more nor less than a fraud. (Cheers.)
Now, you test the mitigation theory by malignant cases. Mr.
Alexander Wheeler proved before the Royal Commission that of
those said to be vaccinated 82 per cent died, and of those with
good marks 85 per cent died; so that the well marked patients
come worse off when vaccination is most needed.
The argument we
generally get is this: If a person happens to have been
vaccinated and he goes through life without catching small-pox
"What a splendid
thing it is that he was vaccinated"; if he has a mild attack
they say, "How very fortunate he was vaccinated, or he would
have had the small-pox very severely"; if he happens to have
a severe attack we are told, "It was a lucky job he was
vaccinated, or he would have died "; and if a person who has
been vaccinated should have the impudence to go and die,
then we are coolly told, "Oh, he had not been vaccinated
In the hospital
statistics of to-day you generally find that the unvaccinated
people die at the rate of from 30 to 60 and even 80 per cent. or
higher; and yet when we come to look at the fatality of the last
century and the horrible condition of things which I have
mentioned to you, we find that the fatality was only 18 per
If, therefore, the
fatality of unvaccinated people last century was only 18 per
cent., and the average fatality of the present day amongst the
unvaccinated runs from 30 to 80 per cent., I want to know, like
Trehawney’s Cornishmen, "the reason why." (Hear, hear.)
I do not believe the
doctors of the present day are less competent than those of a
hundred years ago; and therefore why double and treble the
number of unvaccinated patients who are slipping through their
fingers as compared with a century before? It is not for me to
explain this. Let them explain it themselves. Mitigation is
therefore a sham. I remember that the Duke of Connaught,
although vaccinated with the very finest and the most recherché
lymph, had the small-pox afterwards, and they could not
understand it. (Laughter.)
A great deal of
interest was aroused upon the point, and the doctors came to the
conclusion that his Royal Highness could not have been
Why, if a Royal
Vaccinator cannot do their work properly what must you poor
wretches expect from the rank and file of the profession? (Loud
laughter and cheers.)
THE NUMBER OF MARKS
Then we are
told it goes by the marks: that you must have a certain area, a
certain shape, and a certain number.
In fact there are any
amount of shuffles: as Cobbett used to say,
always one shuffle left." (Renewed laughter.)
When you come to
remember that you can have no less than 70 different kinds of
marks from the same lymph, it shows the utter absurdity of the
whole thing. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Marson, who was the surgeon at
the Highgate Smallpox hospital, produced a number of statistics
showing that the unvaccinated patients died at the rate of 35
per cent., and then according to the marks they had, one to
three or four marks, so they died less and less until with four
marks it almost came down to a vanishing point.
Mr. Marson was
submitted to cross-examination before the Committee of 1871, and
then it turned out that a good many of those patients had died
from what he was pleased to call "super-added disease."
That is, although
they went in suffering from small-pox, yet there was some other
disease they had got, and they were put down not as dying from
small-pox, but from this other disease. It is a most
extraordinary coincidence that the more marks the patients had
the more they died from something else than small-pox.
And when you come to
the four mark patients, of whom there were only eleven,
absolutely ten died of "super-added disease," and there was only
one left for the record of small-pox, and that one was made to
record a fatality of three-quarter per cent.
This has been the
sheet-anchor of the medical profession for years; these are the
statistics dinned into the ears of the medical students to
prejudice their future career in the medical profession; these
are the statistics which present, I have no hesitation in
saying, the most glaring specimen of "cookery" ever penned by
mortal man. (Cheers.)
I think I have shown
pretty clearly that vaccination is no protection, that
mitigation is false, and that re-vaccination is a fallacy.
THE DANGERS OF
important point is this: You may say,
rather than have the bother of being summoned and the rest
of it, I will let my children undergo the operation."
What about the
danger? (Cheers.) Upon this subject I will dare to say this:
There is not a medical man in the kingdom but will admit there
is a risk. Before the Royal Commission 6,000 cases of injury
from vaccination were presented, with 800 deaths. This is the
condition which we have upon the most reliable statistics, and
that represents a very sorry fact.
We are told by Dr.
Bond that we should have calf lymph; but we must not forget that
some of the most disastrous results which have ever occurred,
and which have been recorded only recently, have been the result
of the use of calf lymph; and so terrified is the Government
about it that it will not sanction its use by the public
vaccinators. Therefore it is no use going to cow-pox direct from
You may say, "What is this calf lymph?"
There are three
kinds. Supposing you have the spontaneous cow-pox taken from the
sore on the cow’s udders, a calf is strapped to a table and its
abdomen having been shaved, about 100 punctures are made in it
and some cow-pox matter rubbed into them; the calf is then tied
up for eight days when it is strapped down to the table again
and this lymph, by means of clamps, is squeezed out of the
various sores raised and put into capillary tubes.
Then the calf is let
loose and sold to the butcher for prime veal. (Laughter.) That
is the spontaneous cow-pox, which Jenner himself said was
With regard to the other kind of cowpox, which is commonly used,
you put the matter from a child’s arm into the calf’s abdomen;
and you stand a chance of getting some human diseases of the
worst kind as well as cattle disease into the bargain. The third
kind is small-pox virus itself with which Badcock inoculated no
less than 20,000 people under the name of vaccination. Even Sir
James Watson said he could sympathize with, and even applaud a
father who would pay multiple fines and even undergo
imprisonment rather than submit his child to such a ghastly
He (Sir J. Watson)
was then speaking about syphilis.
INCREASE OF INFANT
syphilis? (Hear, hear.)
It is a very strange thing that up to
1853, when the Compulsory Vaccination Act was passed, the annual
deaths from syphilis of children under one year old did not,
exceed 380; the very next year the number had jumped up nearly
double, to 591; and syphilis in infants under one year of age
has gone on increasing every year since until 1883, when the
number of deaths reached 1,813.
It has increased
four-fold in infants since the passing of the Compulsory
Vaccination Act, and yet in adults it has remained almost
stationary. Surely this speaks for itself. (Hear, hear.)
These deaths have
only begun to decline since, in proportion as the number of
vaccinations to births have declined. Therefore we have not
merely children dying primarily from vaccination, but from a
The question is
"Cannot you get
any pure lymph which will really answer the purpose?"
Well, they have
tried all sorts.
They have tried cow-pox, horse-pox,
horse-grease cow-pox, also goat-pox, and that from the sheep;
they even went to the buffalo, but the buffalo-pox stank so
horribly that they had to give it up. (Laughter.) Surgeon O’Hara
even advises that we should get some lymph from the donkey.
One would have
thought that the donkey was low enough, but someone has gone
further. Dr. Monckton-Copeman as suggested in the "British
Medical Journal" that some small-pox scabs should be powdered as
fine as possible in a mortar, placed in an egg, stirred up into
a kind of smallpox omelette, and after being put by for a
certain time it is ready to be placed in the babies’ arms.
That is what I may
call a "fowl" concoction. (Laughter.) We have had almost as many
animals suggested for the purpose of supplying lymph as there
were in Noah’s Ark - a regular menagerie of them; the
vaccinators are in as big a muddle about it as ever, and yet
"You must have
the genuine variety or you will be sure to catch the
small-pox." (More laughter) "Pure lymph from the cow!"
It reminds me of the
notice one sometimes sees, "Pure milk from the cow; animals
milked on the premises." (Laughter.) "Pure lymph" calls to mind
the green fields and pastures of the country! Can it be had, you
Well, Government Microscopist Farn, who examines the lymph sent out, was asked by
"As a matter of
fact have you ever guaranteed the purity of lymph in your
life?" and he had to acknowledge "No."
And yet members of
the medical profession are saying this kind of thing: Dr. Hind
wrote to the Devices Board of Guardians some time ago saying
that he would be very happy indeed to supply them with calf
lymph "which would be undoubtedly pure."
He is another
gentleman who does not appear to have read the other side of the
question. (Laughter.) Mr. Microscopist Fain was further asked by
recognize under a microscope of the highest power the germs
of syphilis?" and the answer was "No." And yet they talk
about "pure lymph!"
From 1881 to 1892 we
have had no less than 620 deaths recorded, 620 English homes
which have been one little occupant the less, 620 mothers’
hearts which have been bleeding as a result of this Compulsory
Vaccination Act; and yet they say "there are no bad results with
How is it, then,
that this mischief occurs? If they cannot happen with proper
care, then these results, according to that theory, must he due
to carelessness, and if so it is manslaughter; and have you ever
heard of a medical man being charged with manslaughter in such a
case? (Cheers.) The Grocers’ Company a few years ago offered
£1,000 to anybody who would discover an artificial nutritive
medium by which the germ vaccinia could be cultivated without
any foreign elements or risk of disease.
No one has claimed
the £1,000 yet, and still they talk about "pure lymph." I will
give you one or two statistics with regard to Leicester. In
1868-72 the mortality of children under one year was 107 per
thousand, when 98 per cent were vaccinated; from 1888-9 only two
per cent, were vaccinated, and, in spite of what Dr. Bond says,
the general mortality of children had declined from 107 to 63
per thousand. Furthermore, from 1874-89 the number of children
under one year who died of erysipelas had declined from 193 to
47 per 10,000 deaths.
The Guardians of
Gloucester are being urged to re-commence prosecutions, and I
appeal to them to make a firm stand against it. (Loud cheers.)
LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
There is one
thing about this Vaccination Act which I don’t like: it’s an
unequal law - it presses hardly upon the poor.
The rich man can pay
his sovereign fine and feel none the worse for it; but the poor
man has to either submit or have his goods seized, or go to the
prison cell in default of paying his fine. I say that the poor
woman’s child is as dear to her as the child of a prince is to
its parents, and that she has no right to be put in a harder
position for its protection than those who are wealthy.
But there is another thing that I must mention to you, and that
is the case of Emily Maud Child, of Leeds. That child who was
vaccinated, died, and a coroner’s jury having held an inquest,
it was brought in conclusively that she died from syphilis, as
the result of vaccination. A certificate to that effect went up
to the Government, who sent an inspector down to investigate the
case; he took photographs of the teeth of the other children,
declared they were syphilitic, and reported that it was not
vaccine lymph which produced the syphilis, but that the fault
lay with the mother herself. (Cries of "Shame.")
At last the Royal
Commission heard of the case and sent down independent
investigators, who found that there was not a vestige of
syphilis in the remaining children, and that the charge against
the mother was false. (Cheers.) It is a terrible thing, I say,
that not only have you to stand the chance of losing the child
who is dear to you, but you have to stand the chance of the
powerful machinery of Government being turned on in order to
take away the character of your wife.
They tell me I have
no right to pick out these hard cases; but I tell my friends I
will stop picking them out when they stop putting them in.
(Cheers.) Then, when you go before the Bench, the magistrates
tell you they are "only administrators of the law," which has
been the plea of the greatest persecutors of every age. Remember
that the Vaccination Act does not deal with the drunkard; it is
the best classes of the country, the earnest, honest people, the
Sunday school teachers, who love their children and their homes.
Covenantors, Ann Askew, John Wyecliffe, and the apostles of old
were told that their persecutors were "only the administrators
of the law," but they defied the law, and the proudest
privileges and blessings we possess have been won for us by the
law-breakers of this country. It is not a question merely of the
health but of the very lives of the children which are at stake
in this matter; and I believe that the present century shall not
close until we have placed our foot upon the dragon’s neck, and
plunged the sword of liberty through its heart. (Cheers.)
They tell us we are
trying to rouse the country with a "crazy cry" - the cry of
liberty of conscience - and, we are not ashamed of that cry. It
is that "crazy cry " which snapped the shackles of despotism in
the past. That "crazy cry" is spreading at the present time
throughout the length and breadth of the country. We are told
that the intelligent portion of the population is against us;
That "crazy cry" is
ascending higher and higher, into a raging and tremendous storm;
that liberty which has been won by the blood of our forefathers
for the theological conscience, is the liberty we demand for the
scientific conscience. (Loud cheers.) Already it is thundering
at the door of the House of Commons, and it shall be heard.
Yes, we are going
forward with the "crazy cry " of liberty of conscience upon our
unfurled banner, and we never intend to rest until we get it.
(Loud and prolonged cheering.)
Mr. D.C. JONES proposed the following resolution, which was
seconded by Mr. A. RICE, and carried unanimously, amidst great
meeting of the inhabitants of Gloucester views the
Compulsory Vaccination Act as a serious infringement of the
liberty of the subject, and earnestly desires its repeal,
believing that the practice of vaccination has not only not
fulfilled its promise of protection from small-pox, but that
it is also accompanied with very serious risks."
Mr. GEORGE NEWMAN
proposed, and Mr. H WHILEY seconded,
"that a hearty
vote of thanks be accorded Dr. Hadwen for his eloquent and
interesting address," This was carried unanimously, the
audience spontaneously rising to their feet and singing "
For he’s a jolly good fellow."
A vote of thanks to
the Chairman, proposed by Mr. CARTER and seconded by Mr. T.
CLIFFORD, terminated a most enthusiastic meeting.
THE MORTALITY AMONG
It is often
said that unvaccinated children are in special danger.
fable has been dissipated by a table given by Mr. Neville
Chamberlain (who appeared quite unable to grasp the meaning of
his own figures) on July 23rd, 1923. We reproduce it from the
Star of July 26th, in order to incorporate the editorial
The following table gives the number of deaths per million
living from small-pox arranged in decades, and divided up
according to the ages of the sufferers:
It will be noted that there has been an enormous decrease in the
small-pox mortality among children under 15.
At the beginning of these periods (1871) It was officially
recorded that 97.5 per cent, of the whole population between the
ages of two and 50 was vaccinated.
At the end of these periods (1921) only 38 per cent of the
births was vaccinated.
There has admittedly been a constant decline in the number of
The Editor of Truth, commenting upon the above figures on August
1st, 1923, observed:
"No doubt Dr.
Garstang will be of the opinion that for calling attention
to these incontrovertible facts I ought to be sent to
Broadmoor. For my part I think that a man who cannot see the
significance of the above figures and those referred to in
Truth last week ought not to allowed to practice on the
pubic as a doctor."
Dr. Garstang is a
medical man who, at a recent Medical Congress, had described all
anti-vaccinationists as "criminal lunatics." They can at least
draw a logical deduction from figures so easily understood.
The following figures form a complete refutation of the claims
for vaccination. They were given in a written answer by Lord E
Percy to a Parliamentary question by Mr March, MP to the
Minister of Health on July 16th 1923.
cent of births
death-rate per 100,000 population
cowpox and other effects of vaccination
for 1922 not yet available.
b. In addition one death certified as influenza, and so
classified, was regarded by the Ministry of Health as definitely
ascribable to haemorrhagic smallpox.
Back to Contents
THE FRAUD OF VACCINATION
Dr. Hadwen's First Article
January 3, 1923
Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace in his book The Wonderful Century, devoted
a chapter to "Vaccination, a Delusion"; Dr. Charles Creighton, an
acknowledged authority on epidemiology, declared independently that
"the bottom had been knocked out of a grotesque superstition," a
conclusion irresistibly forced upon anybody who gives unbiased study
to the subject.
Yet so strong is the
effect of authority, custom, and endowment, and so prone are people
to save themselves the trouble of personal investigation by the
simple process of accepting the decisions of "the majority" (which
they thereby swell, rendering the process easier to others), that it
has been possible, within the last few weeks, for a gigantic scare
to be got up in the interests of vaccination on the ground of an
altogether insignificant outbreak of smallpox almost entirely
confined to one East End workhouse, where the Public Vaccinator
himself was one of the first to fall a prey to the disease.
One well-known daily paper, not a household word for accuracy,
committed itself to the ludicrous statement that two of the adult
patients, having been protected by vaccination in infancy, thereby
secured a mild attack, ignoring the fact that vaccination in infancy
had not prevented the actual death of others. Jenner declared
positively that a primary vaccination protected for life, and his
followers, while obliged to drop this claim (for which piece of
unsupported bombast be received £30,000), have fallen back upon the
theory that it at least mitigates the disease.
Evidently these have
SMALLPOX NO LONGER
a reply given recently by Major Boyd Carpenter in Parliament, 56
provincial and 7 London districts have had cases of smallpox during
the past year. And in all these places many thousands of
unvaccinated persons, called a "danger to others," have not even
been a danger to themselves, the total deaths, including vaccinated
and unvaccinated, having only been 27, with the unprecedentedly low
death-rate of barely 3 per cent.
The total number of
cases all over the country is given as 902, of whom 271 were
vaccinated and 625 either "unvaccinated" or" presenting no evidence
of vaccination" and incubation cases; 6 cases with no information.
We are struck here with the remarkable fact that two distinct
classes are included among the unvaccinated, namely, those which
presented no doubt, and those apparently examined for "evidence"
which was not found. Clearly the latter cases are those in which the
patients declared that they had been vaccinated. The marks may have
been concealed by the eruption, or their vaccination may not have
"taken" - in which case, according to the theory, smallpox ought not
to have "taken" either.
together with the tricks that can be played with the classification
during a scare - counting as unvaccinated those alleged to have been
"probably" sickening before the vaccination took place - renders the
classification highly unsatisfactory. I have had personal experience
of the tendency to put down a smallpox case as unvaccinated. Every
kind of disingenuousness is resorted to in order to make the
diagnosis agree with a preconception. The fact has ere now been
confessed by the offender.
Even where - if anywhere
- the classification is correct, it must be remembered that the
unvaccinated class is liable to contain children so delicate that
the public vaccinator has refused to vaccinate them, infants a few
days or weeks old whose parents are among the sufferers, and others
who cannot be fairly compared with the normal majority. In the
recent Poplar outbreak an official of the Ministry of Health has
stated that only 19 per cent of the child population is vaccinated,
and practically everywhere the percentage of the unvaccinated
exceeds that of the vaccinated.
This, of course, has a
great influence on the figures. If smallpox breaks out in a school,
in a district where most of the children are unvaccinated, the
majority of the sufferers are bound to be in that class.
People have been solemnly warned that the reason why smallpox has
just broken out is because our population is unvaccinated; yet Dr.
Killick Millard complains of primary vaccination as liable to make
smallpox mild and unrecognized, so that the element of danger lies
in the vaccinated!
He has his excuse in the
circumstance that these have always started epidemics.
THE ORIGIN OF
Why do people
believe in vaccination? Why did they ever believe in the King's
Jenner's idea was based solely upon a dairymaid's superstition. He
sought to give it a scientific air by calling cowpox (a disease
which bears no analogy to smallpox) variolae vaccinae - i.e.,
smallpox of the cow. The Latin name was not without its effect, and
anything that promised less harmful results than the prevailing
practice of the direct inoculation of smallpox matter (which had
been killing people by hundreds, and afterwards had to be forbidden
by Act of Parliament) was acceptable at the time to the frightened
and gullible population.
The rest was an affair
of influence. When once an error is accepted by a profession
corporately and endowed by Government, to uproot it becomes a
herculean task, beside which the entrance of a rich man into the
Kingdom of Heaven is easy.
The Compulsory Vaccination Act was passed in 1853; a still more
stringent one followed in 1867. And between the years 1871 and 1880
there were 57,016 smallpox deaths. Compare this with the small
number in the present day, when considerably more than half the
population is unvaccinated, and when awful warnings are periodically
uttered about the decimating scourge always "bound to come," which
Between 1911 and 1920 the deaths numbered only 110.
Let us look at the most recent Annual report of the
Registrar-General - the eighty-third. He states that during the last
15 years 53 vaccinated persons have died of smallpox. In addition,
there were 92 other deaths of the "doubtful" class mentioned above;
that is, those declared by patients or friends to have been
vaccinated, but which have been entered by medical officials as
"doubtful" rather than take the slight trouble of searching the
registers for verification.
We may conclude,
therefore, that there were 145 cases of smallpox deaths in
vaccinated persons in this country during the last 15 years. And yet
there were only 78 unvaccinaed deaths during the same period. Thus,
the rate of vaccinated to unvaccinated deaths is nearly two to one.
This is the more
remarkable seeing that during this same 15 years England has been
largely unvaccinated, probably to the extent of about 75 per cent.
DANGERS OF VACCINATION
But the tragedy of the whole sorry business is this:
That during the same
15-year period there is recorded by the same authority the
terrible toll of 165 deaths from "cowpox and other effects of
In short, vaccination
not only failed to save 145 persons from death, but actually killed
another 165 in addition! Hence, whereas 78 are alleged to have died
because the "preventive" had not been resorted to, more than double
that number died from the effects of its use. What have the
scaremongers who boast of the "certain and harmless preventive" to
say to this?
The only way, so far as
I can see, that those 165 poor little victims of the eighteenth
century Gloucestershire dairymaid's superstition were prevented from
having smallpox (if they were ever likely to get it) was in being
killed by the "preventive" before the disease could attack them.
In some years more
persons have been officially certified as killed by vaccination than
by smallpox. Besides this, enormous numbers are left with some
permanent disability, a fact to which parents, at least, can
testify. Meanwhile, whenever smallpox comes, it is promptly and
easily dealt with, and fails to spread beyond a limited time and
area. Sanitation has practically banished the disease, just as it
banished black death, cholera, and typhus.
It would appear that
vaccination, so far from aiding, actually retarded the decline, for
the Registrar-General reported in 1880 that it was the only gross
zymotic which showed a rise in the death-rate - that is, after 30
years of compulsory vaccination.
THE GLOUCESTER EPIDEMIC
The advocates of vaccination are never tired of quoting the smallpox
epidemic which occurred in Gloucester in1895-6. A picture of
Gloucester Cemetery is often presented, apparently with the idea of
impressing an ex parte statement upon the memory.
Where the picture itself
cannot be given, the statement alone is made - viz., that 279
unvaccinated children lie buried in that cemetery (the picturesque
detail is never by any chance omitted), together with only one out
of some 8,000 children said to be vaccinated before or during the
epidemic. The latter figure may be correct officially, but it is
incorrect actually, for I worked in Gloucester at the time and came
into personal contact with the cases, and I have the names and
addresses of 116 vaccinated children up to ten years of age attacked
by the disease, of whom 27 died.
The truth is that the whole child population of Gloucester was
practically an unvaccinated population, the vaccinated numbering
only 4 per cent.; hence the greater number of unvaccinated attacked
is easily explained. Ten thousand unvaccinated children passed
through that epidemic unscathed.
The severity of the
scourge was due to sanitary defects, which were afterwards remedied
at great cost, to the fact that the disease broke out and spread
like wildfire in a large unsanitary elementary school, where the
vaccinated teacher was the first to succumb, and to the utterly
disgraceful hospital conditions to which these little patients were
Out of the 1,979 total
cases; about 1,750 occurred in the southern half of Gloucester,
where the sanitary defects above mentioned existed, the unvaccinated
children of time northern half escaping practically unscathed.
Nearly two-thirds of
those attacked - viz., 1,211 out of 1,979 - were vaccinated, in
spite of the fact that Gloucester was an "unvaccinated city."
GERMANY AND THE
No European country has had such severe vaccination laws as Germany.
They started in 1834, and enforced continual re-vaccinations. Yet in
1871-2 smallpox carried off no fewer than 124,948 in Prussia alone.
In Berlin itself there
were 17,038 vaccinated cases of smallpox, of whom 2,240 were under
ten years of age, and of these vaccinated children 736 died.
A particularly interesting case is that of the Philippines. When
these islands fell into the hands of the Americans a vast
vaccination scheme was carried out, and smallpox, which had
naturally been a scourge among the inhabitants owing to the bad
sanitary conditions, declined just in proportion as these were
The result was, of
course, put down to vaccination, though there is a certain humor in
the circumstance that, while the natives were suffering less from
smallpox, the vaccinated and re-vaccinated American soldiers fell
victims to it, dying at a percentage three times higher than that
which obtained among the unvaccinated people they had come to
instruct. Of course, the usual thorough system of cleansing, finding
its parallel later in the Panama region, was pursued, and for many
years it was the great boast of the disciples of Jenner that
smallpox was banished from the Philippines.
They boasted too soon. Within the last few years, in spite of the
rigorous vaccination laws, the disease has regained its old
virulence, and there were no fewer than 60,612 cases and 43,294
deaths from smallpox in the Philippines during 1919 - an enormous
toll in a population of something under 11,000,000.
Whenever laxity in sanitation occurs, it is clear that smallpox
ignores vaccination, just as typhoid fever ignored inoculation
during the war under similar conditions. The Americans, content with
having once cleansed the Philippines, no doubt shut their eyes to
many unhygienic practices. It is one thing to teach natives how to
live and start them on a right path, but quite another to see that
they keep to it.
never suffers neglect so long as medical officials are maintained
for the performance of the rite; and it is somewhat amusing to find
that the Filipinos, horror-stricken at the toll smallpox has been
taking, have attacked vaccination itself as the originating cause
which seems to them time most probable.
The Birth of the
in "Truth" for January 10, 1923
In his article "The Fraud of Vaccination," published last week in
Truth, Dr. Hadwen made some remarks not altogether complimentary to
the discoverer of time reputed prophylactic against smallpox.
These remarks led one
reader to denounce both Dr. Hadwen and myself - Dr. Hadwen for
libeling one of the greatest benefactors of humanity, and myself
for propagating the libel. Dr. Hadwen is well able to take care of
himself. For my own part, not wishing to do any injustice to the
name and fame of the late Dr. Jenner, I asked Dr. Hadwen what he had
against him, and he replied by sending me a pamphlet he has written
on the subject.
This I have compared
with the account of Jenner's life given in the Dictionary of
National Biography, and the result is so illuminating that I will
now give the salient facts as briefly as possible.
To begin with, it is clear that Jenner never possessed anything that
would be recognized to-day as a medical qualification. At the age of
16 he was apprenticed to a country surgeon and apothecary, and at 21
he was sent for two years as a pupil to Dr. John Hunter, of London,
who undoubtedly was the most eminent surgeon of his day, and, like
Jenner himself, a keen naturalist. At 23 Jenner returned to his
native village and started to practice as surgeon and apothecary.
Here he remained for 17
years, just a plain unqualified country surgeon and apothecary,
unknown to the world at large, but keeping up a correspondence with
Hunter on a variety of natural history subjects. At the end of this
period he made his first bid for fame. In 1787 he sent a paper on
"The Natural History of the Cuckoo" to the Royal Society, and, as a
result, with Hunter's influence, he was elected F.R.S.
The paper contained a
number of commonplace facts and some others, which Jenner stated to
be from his own observation. The latter turned out to be purely
imaginary, Jenner having accepted the report of a youthful nephew on
the incidents he described. The coveted fellowship, therefore,
appears to have been obtained by something very nearly approaching
Three years later he
applied to St. Andrew's University for an M.D., and as St. Andrew's
in those days was no more squeamish about granting degrees than some
of the so-called American Universities are to-day, so long as the
fees are forthcoming, Jenner became Dr. Jenner for the modest outlay
of £15. Later on in life, after several applications, he was also
granted an M.D. by the University of Oxford, though this was not
until after his discovery had been generally adopted.
As for the discovery itself, it appears to have been founded upon
what Dr. Hadwen calls a,
"superstition among the dairymaids of
Gloucestershire that a person who had suffered from cowpox would
never have smallpox."
I hardly think anyone would to-day regard this
as more than superstition.
Smallpox was then one of
time commonest, most dreaded diseases in all ranks of society, and
it was already the custom to inoculate people with it in order that
they should get the disease under the most favorable circumstances.
Jenner appears to have bethought himself of testing the Dairymaid's
superstition, and with this object he inoculated a boy named James
Phipps with lymph from a vesicle on the hand of a dairymaid
suffering from cowpox in May, 1796.
In July of the same year
he inoculated the same boy with smallpox by what Dr. Hadwen calls
the "bogus Suttonian method," which "afforded no evidence as to
Yet it was upon the
strength of this solitary experiment that Jenner had launched his
discovery upon the world, claiming that cowpox was a prophylactic
against smallpox, while to give some sort of scientific color to
the claim he labeled cowpox with the name "Variolae Vaccinae"
(smallpox of the cow).
On the later developments and time exploitation of vaccination there
is no need to dwell at any length. Jenner obtained both cash and
credit. He received £30,000 in grants from Parliament for his
wonderful discovery, and all classes, medical and lay, tumbled over
themselves in their desire to do him honor, though even then there
existed a few skeptics who asked for better proof of the claims made
for time new prophylactic.
That those claims could
not be fully substantiated was proved when he was called upon to
attend the son of Earl Grosvenor, who was suffering from confluent
smallpox, although vaccinated in infancy by Jenner himself. He
thereupon modified his claims for the protective powers of his
cowpox vaccine, and he was content to assert that vaccination had
modified the disease so that his patient's life was preserved.
What strikes me as most remarkable about the whole story is the ease
with which Jenner got his theory accepted. It is true that medical
research was a very different thing in the early days of the
nineteenth century from what it is to-day ; but even then the
picture of the whole of time Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons
swallowing the theory of an unqualified country apothecary, based on
one totally unreliable experiment, seems scarcely credible.
Jenner's personal bona
fides is a different matter. It is unquestionable that he obtained
his Fellowship of the Royal Society by humbugging that learned body
with his yarn about a cuckoo; but that he deliberately set himself
to humbug the whole of the public as well as the medical profession
'with his "Variolae Vaccinae," I hesitate to believe.
I should imagine that he
was one of those unscientific researchers who, like the
spiritualists, are on the look out for facts to fit their theories,
instead of first making sure of their facts. His methods were those
of the quack, but of the self-deluded quack.
But how any real
scientist can accept his theories to-day seems astounding, except
under the supposition that they have been supported by later and
more conclusive experiments.
THE ORIGIN OF
From "Truth," January
By following the superstitious impulses of Edward Jenner and the
ancient tradition of time Gloucestershire dairymaids, the medical
profession has lost sight of the vital question, what is the origin
The faculty of reasoning
upon time subject appears to have become almost extinct; in its
place there has arisen a demand for obedience to authority. Fashion
has usurped the place of scientific thought, and arbitrary Acts of
Parliament and the policeman's truncheon have supplanted logical
When the question is asked,
"Why does smallpox
break out at all?" the twentieth century scientist answers,
"Because time populace have not been 'protected' against it by
This reply only begs the
question. It pre-supposes that smallpox is a natural visitation of
Providence which may strike anybody at any moment, and that the only
way by which this presumed inevitable evil can be met, is to compel
every human being in this world to undergo a process of
"protection," which is to render the system "immune" to attack.
This is a negative form
of reasoning. It leaves unanswered the crucial question,
What is the
origin of smallpox?
Why are we to suppose, as was believed in the
eighteenth century, that a smallpox attack is the probable lot of
every member of the race?
Why must everybody be diseased to protect
him against disease, especially if that disease is one from which,
owing to altered conditions, lie is never likely to suffer?
Surely, if a disease
breaks out there must be a cause for it.
THE SOURCE OF ALL
Now one fact
stands out pre-eminently in every part of time world where smallpox
has appeared - namely, it has been invariably associated with
insanitary and unhygienic conditions.
From time immemorial it has
been called in Austria "The Beggar's Disease."
It has followed in the
wake of filth, poverty, wars, pestilences, famines, and general
insanitation, in all ages. It accompanied the clash of arms of the
American armies in their struggle for independence, and in their
Civil and Spanish wars; it claimed more victims than the battlefield
in the ravages of the Crimea; it formed the dark background to the
triumphant marches of the German army in 1870; it increased tenfold
the horrors of the siege of Paris; and plagued our warriors at
Even during the late
Great War no inconsiderable amount of smallpox occurred amongst all
the armies involved wherever conditions of unsanitation triumphed
over the scrupulous efforts made to circumvent them.
outbreaks and epidemics have invariably been the call of Nature to
responsible authorities at home:
"Put your house in
order"; personal municipal, and civic cleanliness has been her
unvarying demand, a demand which was couched in one striking
injunction by the prophet of old: "Wash and be clean."
I remember 26 years ago there was an outbreak of smallpox at Redruth,
The Press in all parts
of the United Kingdom was immediately supplied with exaggerated
reports, and scares were created by public vaccinators hundreds of
miles away. I went down to investigate the affair on my own account.
There were altogether 44 cases; 84 per cent occurred in vaccinated
persons. One-fourth of the cases was located in "Trestrails Row,"
consisting of seven houses, each containing only two small
low-roofed rooms, and with no water connections.
One midden privy, in the
most disgusting condition, accommodated the seven houses. One of
these hovels was occupied by no fewer than seven persons, all of
whom contracted smallpox, and out of the total of seven deaths three
occurred in this house. Nearly another fourth of the cases was
confined to Adelaide Road and Raymond Road, where smallpox first
appeared, the houses of which were supplied with uncovered cesspits.
Three cases occurred in
Falmouth Road, with one death which took place in a house closely
hedged in by foul middens, a manure heap, and a piggery. Three more
cases and one death occurred in the midst of similar unsanitary
conditions at Hockin's Court. Midden privies were the order of the
day, and the ultimate disposal of the sewage was primitive to a
The smallpox rapidly
played itself out, and then the municipality corrected the
conditions that had been the cause of time outbreak.
I remember, too, the epidemic in Gloucester in 1895-6. I was in and
out of the smallpox houses throughout that visitation of nearly
The echo of it is still
heard among time ranks of Jennerian followers, and always with time
"Gloucester was an
Never in all time
history of professional scaremongering was such a determined effort
made to boost vaccination, and never a word was uttered as to the
shocking insanitary conditions which produced the tragedy. In fact,
those conditions were persistently denied by time officials who were
responsible for them.
The smallpox was practically confined to the southern half of the
city, where there was no fall for the sewage. The pipes had been
hurriedly laid in this new district without concrete base or
There was a drought that
lasted months; time water supply ran short; flushing of the sewers
had to be discontinued, and time sewerage pipes became choked. When,
after time epidemic was over, investigation was made, the pipes were
found to be broken in all directions; in fact, the whole district of
- for the most part - crowded houses, many of them back-to-back with
no through ventilation, lay over what was nothing more nor less than
a huge cesspit.
The outlets for the
sewer-gas consisted of street manholes, which belched their poison
into time atmosphere. I traced the first case of smallpox in every
street to the house nearest to a manhole. Wooden stoppers were made
to close them down, but they had to be used sparingly lest the
sewer-gas should be driven into the houses. Hundreds of the houses
were drawing their water supply from shallow wells, liable to
contamination by constant leakage into them from house drains; and
the sewage-pipes in numerous instances ran under the floors of the
houses from the closets at the back to the street in front.
Some of the houses had
their w.c.s in the back kitchen. In one street of 114 houses the
latter were supplied with water declared by the city surveyor to be
contaminated with sewage from its source to its delivery, and as it
had not force enough to fill the flushing tanks, the w.c.s were
never flushed and always choked, the contents being emptied
periodically on to the small garden ground attached.
In some of these tiny houses there were seven, nine, and even twelve
cases of smallpox. A sixth part of the whole epidemic occurred in
three streets. In one street the sewage entered the cellars of the
houses, and the choked-up street sewer had to be opened up in the
midst of the epidemic. Nearly half the houses in this street had
Then the epidemic caught
on in two disgracefully insanitary and overcrowded, ill-ventilated
elementary schools. Forty-five children were struck down suddenly in
one of them and 31 in the other. The patients were removed to what
was called an isolation hospital. It was congregation, not
isolation. A woman employed in the early part of the epidemic as
solitary night nurse told me that time sight and screaming of these
poor children at night as they ran about the wards in delirium so
completely unnerved her that she was obliged to leave.
They were allowed no
water for their fevered skins, time baths were choked with dirty
linen, and never used. The little ones were packed three, four, and
even five in a bed; vermin was crawling everywhere; no oil was used
for the faces, and the poor children scratched themselves till they
bled. Of every two taken in to the Stroud Road Hospital one was
carried out a corpse; when the mortuary became choked with dead
bodies, the bathroom was utilized for this purpose.
One child lay for two
weeks and two days with her eyes scabbed and not a single drop of
water was given to relieve her. When one hospital became full,
another one was opened which had been used as a cholera hospital
many years before. It was built on stakes in a rough, boggy field;
it had no sewerage connections, nor any drainage whatever, and water
had to be carried in water-carts over a quarter of a mile of bog to
The panic became fearful, and a wild, despairing cry went up from
the plague-stricken city as the destroying angel sped from house to
house in these awful slums. And what was the answer the
terror-stricken inhabitants received from the Guardians of Public
Still the same mad
"These be thy gods,
O Israel!" as they pointed to the vaccine lancets, dripping with
their filthy venom; in helplessness and fear they implored the
people, in a unanimously signed medical manifesto, to bow down
and worship at the shrine.
At last the rain came.
It washed the atmosphere, it flushed the sewers and drains; it
filled the vacuoles of sewer gas in the sandy soil, and the epidemic
The councilors who put
up at the next municipal contest were one and all indignantly swept
away at the polls by the enraged voters, and anti-vaccinationists
took their place; a new sewerage system was laid throughout the
whole smallpox district at a cost of some £30,000; 20,000 sanitary
defects in the houses were rectified, and no smallpox has occurred
since, although nearly 90 per cent, of the population is
But even in that awful
epidemic, smallpox picked out the vaccinated for attack; two-thirds
of the sufferers had been "protected" by time filthy superstitious
SHEFFIELD AND OTHER
I remember Sheffield and its epidemic in 1887-8.
No less than 98 per cent
of the population had been vaccinated; it was the best vaccinated
town in the kingdom the public vaccinators had reaped a richer
harvest of bonuses for "successful vaccination" than those of any
other town, and yet they had 7,000 cases of smallpox.
It originated and clung
to an unsanitary area of 175 acres covered with cesspits - which was
called The Croft. The medical profession helplessly cried
"vaccinate" and "re-vaccinate" - as if the pubic had not already had
enough of it. At last the flood-gates of heaven were mercifully
opened, and the bountiful rains suddenly accomplished what 56,000
vaccinations had failed to effect.
I went to Middlesbrough in the great epidemic of 1898. I visited
every smallpox hospital ward, and investigated the conditions of the
houses, and their environment, from whence the smallpox came. As
everybody knows, the houses at that time had been run up at an
enormous rate, much too fast for the sanitary officials to keep pace
The part where the
smallpox raged was situated chiefly over a swamp where it was
difficult to find foundations for the houses; many of them were
raised on piles driven through the soil. The only method of house
sanitation in all that district was that of pails in the backyards.
But whatever else had been neglected, vaccination had been
sedulously attended to - the inhabitants were vaccinated up to 98.4
per cent, of the population.
vaccinated and re-vaccinated hospital officials fell before the
disease side by side with the vaccinated and re-vaccinated
inhabitants. Nine hospital ward-maids, one trained nurse, one
medical man and three policemen fell victims to the disease.
Outraged Nature laughed outright at the Jennerian fetish and
declared in plain and unmistaken language that if smallpox was to be
prevented the conditions which caused it must be remedied.
Poisoning human bodies
with the products of a foul eruption on a cow's udder could only add
fuel to the fire by reducing the vital resisting powers of the
I call to mind the case of one adult male I interviewed in one of
the smallpox hospital wards at that time. He was vaccinated in
infancy, had smallpox when eight years old, and was subsequently
re-vaccinated three times.
That man died of
smallpox. I took a particular interest in that case, and was
staggered to find when the official report was published that, owing
to his having had the eruption so badly as to cover his vaccination
marks, he was actually declared to be "unvaccinated"!
I have visited Glasgow in two of its smallpox epidemics. The slums
in which they occurred; the overcrowded and unsanitary condition of
the tenements told, the same tale as elsewhere. Nothing but sweeping
away, the rookeries, where smallpox invariably, takes hold, can ever
save those parts of the city from periodical visitations. Space
forbids further reminiscences but it is the same story everywhere.
Go back to the records
of Old London and we find insanitation and smallpox keeping company
THE LESSON OF THE
PUBLIC HEALTH ACT
passing of the Public Health Act of 1875 in this country, every
succeeding epidemic of smallpox was worse than its predecessor in
spite of more and more compulsory vaccination; but with less and
less vaccination and more and more sanitation smallpox has become a
comparative curiosity. It is only in unsanitary quarters it can gain
Sir Edwin-Chadwick, the
veteran sanitarian, has well said:
and other fevers occur in common conditions of foul air,
stagnant putrefaction, bad house drainage, sewers of deposit,
excrement sodden sites, filthy street surfaces, impure water,
and overcrowding, and the entire removal of such conditions is
the effectual preventive of diseases of those species, whether
in ordinary or extraordinary visitations.
When will the medical
profession arouse itself to ask the question:
"What is the origin
When will a Ministry of
Health cease to bring discredit upon itself by the advocacy of a
disgusting fetish that has proved, itself a failure as a preventive
of the disease in every part of the world in which it has been
adopted for the last century and a quarter?
When will a British
Government that boasts of its progress and civilization cease to
ally itself with a filthy, uncivilized, unscientific practice that
has done nothing but spread disease and death amongst the populace
for generation and which is opposed to the common-sense views of the
majority of thinking men and women in the realm?
Back to Contents
"Dare Doctor's Think?"
Verbatim Report of the
Great Meeting held at Queen's Hall, London
February 6, 1925
In connection with the
Rex versus Hadwen manslaughter charge
Dr. HADWEN, on rising to speak, received a great ovation, which
lasted some moments.
Mr. Chairman and
friends - I cannot thank you in words for such a reception as
you have given me. In fact, your sympathy throughout the whole
of my trial has been such as has supported me when everything
else seemed dead against me. I must also thank the vast numbers
who wrote me kind letters of sympathy and congratulation,
telegrams and cablegrams galore.
I tried again and
again to reply to them, but the thousands that lay before me
took all the heart out of me. I hope a great many here to-night
who have written or wired me will accept my very deepest thanks
for all their kindness throughout the whole of that period.
I have passed through some strange experiences in the course of
a long and chequered life, but I never expected to reach a stage
in my career when I should stand as a criminal at the bar of an
English Court of Justice to answer the charge of having
"feloniously killed and slain" an innocent little patient of 10
years old. (Shame.)
This grave charge rested primarily upon the fact that I had
neglected to look for a particular kind of "microscopic bug" (as
American scientists call it) which was subsequently found in a
swab taken from the child’s throat; and secondly, because I had
declined to inject into my little patient’s body a certain
nostrum by the name of antitoxin, which is supposed to scotch
the microscopic bug when it has been discovered. (Laughter.)
I viewed this attack upon my treatment of my patient as a gross
interference with medical right and liberty (applause), and, as
a fully qualified medical man, possessing qualifications and
experience at least equal to those possessed by any of the men
who were responsible for this persecution, I repudiated this
onslaught upon my intelligence and reputation and declined to
submit to such unwarrantable dictation. (Hear, hear.)
The whole thing resolved itself into the question as to whether
a medical man of the 20th century had a right to think for
The slogan "Dare Doctors Think," which has been displayed upon
the London hoardings for the last two or three weeks was not,
however, chosen by me. It was chosen by those who, rightly or
wrongly, had come to the conclusion that the position in which I
found myself recently, namely, that of a prisoner in the dock,
with a charge of manslaughter hanging over my head, was not
because of anything I had done or of anything I had not done,
but was because of the opinions I hold and which I have never
hesitated to openly express. (Loud applause.)
It is quite certain that there would have been no trial inasmuch
as there would have been no inquest, had I not been so
unfortunate as to estrange a fellow practitioner by the exposure
I made of the ridiculous smallpox scare in Gloucester the year
If I had refused to
think for myself, but had, instead, bowed down to the Ministry
of Health and had joined in the scaremongering along with 27
other doctors who obliged the Whitehall emissaries by signing a
manifesto to the effect that there was smallpox in Gloucester
and the only remedy was vaccination, it is quite certain that
the death of little Nellie Burnham would have passed unnoticed.
I had dared to think and act for myself and that was the brunt
of my offence. (Applause.)
This was not the first time I have had to take my stand in the
cause of personal liberty. Nor was it the first time that I had
been accused of willfully making a false diagnosis of the illness
of a patient to suit my views, but on the first occasion when
that happened I was able to clear my character by bringing an
action for libel against my medical traducer.
On this occasion I
was not given the opportunity. I was charged with manslaughter
instead. Nearly half a century ago, I was hauled again and again
before the Magisterial Bench because I declined to allow my
children ‘s pure blood to be polluted with the loathsome
excretion from the sores of a diseased beast. (Cheers.)
At that time men
were led handcuffed to prison through the public streets, their
goods were sold in the public market place to pay the fines
inflicted upon them; mothers who had lost their husbands were
sent to prison for a month at a time because they dared to
protect their children from this wholesale blood-poisoning:
conscience was treated with derision, and no punishment was
thought too severe to inflict upon respectable, home loving,
thinking men and women - aye, the very salt of the community -
by the authorities of the day, who bowed, as they still do, to
the medical hierarchy which held sway over the bodies of the
We broke down that tyranny. (Applause.)
We secured the addition
of the Conscientious Objectors’ Clause to the Vaccination Acts -
that was a compromise - we shall not rest until that indignity
to liberty-loving parents is swept away and vaccinated and
unvaccinated stand equal before the law. (Renewed applause.)
Again and again it
has been sought by the bureaucrats of Whitehall and their
obsequious public officials throughout the country to reinstate
the hydra-headed monster of vaccination in its old place, but
the attempt has failed, and now, after my 50 years of struggle
against these iniquities and superstitions, I have been forced
to appear before an antiquated Coroner’s Court, presided over by
a young and very cocksure Coroner
Then before a Bench
of my fellow Magistrates, and, after being informed by a Grand
Jury that a true bill of manslaughter was found against me, I
had to take my place in the dock as a common felon whilst the
best Counsel of the day spent three days in debating whether I
ought or ought not to be sent to gaol for exercising a medical
man‘s right to do the best he could for his patient in
accordance with his knowledge and experience. (Shame.)
The case of
the opposition was that my diagnosis and treatment were all
wrong. But it is clear that if they were right there must have
been the most remarkable combination of circumstances arranged
by a special Providence to give them a case against me.
It will be remembered that the doctor who was called in when the
child was dying - the very doctor who had used such strong and
vulgar language concerning my views on the alleged smallpox
epidemic - declared that he found diphtheritic membrane - which
is the characteristic sign of diphtheria - stretching right
across the throat. It certainly was not there when I examined
the throat in the morning, nor was it there when the post-mortem
examination took place two days later.
But had it been
there when this doctor professed to see it, it must have been
there during no less than 11 days. This must have been a very
special arrangement by a very special Providence acting on
behalf of my enemies, for I have never seen, and I doubt if any
of the many medical men on this platform to-night have ever
seen, a membrane persist for more than six or seven days at the
As a rule, in four
days, it has come away bit by bit and all but disappeared.
To say the least of it, it was a rarity of a very exceptional
Next we come to the pneumonia which my little patient had
contracted by going downstairs in her bare feet and nightdress
and walking over a tiled passage on a line with the street door
into the scullery where she stood on a floor of blue bricks and
drew some cold water from the tap to assuage her thirst.
The doctor who
conducted the post-mortem examination admitted that he found
lobar pneumonia, and declared that it was the kind of pneumonia
which follows a chill, of ‘‘not more than two or three days
duration," which coincided with the date when she had so exposed
herself, and that it was not the kind which arises out of
diphtheria. But after he had come in contact with the Home
Office Medical Adviser, he weakened upon the point and
subsequently discovered that it could in very rare exceptions
follow diphtheria - a rarity of less than one per cent., Sir
William Willcox subsequently stated.
This was an
additional curiosity - a second rarity of a very extraordinary
type. (Laughter.) But Sir William Wilicox, the special medical
adviser of the Home Office, who was out to give me no quarter
upon any point or under any circumstances, denied flatly that it
was lobar pneumonia - although he had never seen the child, dead
He declared it was
lobular pneumonia - the kind which arises directly from
diphtheria, (for he had to push the diphtheria theory for all it
was worth, in order to condemn me for neither taking a swab nor
giving antitoxin), but instead of the consolidation being in
patches as lobular pneumonia should be, he declared it had taken
such a severe form that the patches had all run together and the
lung had become solid as in the lobar variety.
That was a
remarkable explanation from a man who had never set eyes on it.
"But," said he,
"I admit it is very rare." (Laughter.)
This was the
third startling exception and a rarity such as I have never
seen, nor do I believe that any experienced medical man in this
hall to-night has ever witnessed it.
But the curious fact existed that the pneumonia was confined to
only one lung - which is the characteristic of lobar pneumonia -
and this undoubtedly considerably nonplussed Sir William Willcox,
for in lobular pneumonia both lungs are invariably affected. Sir
William Willcox, however, was quite ready even for this
emergency. In very, very rare cases, said he, lobular pneumonia,
might affect only one lung; even though the attack were as
severe as he described, which to any medical man of practical
experience would be deemed an utter impossibility. (Hear, hear.)
Did ever you hear, in all the experience of the whole medical
profession since the days of Hippocrates, such a marvelous
combination of exceptions and rarities gathered together in one
little body, all so carefully arranged by Providence for the
special purpose of convicting a heterodox medical practitioner
of manslaughter? (Laughter.)
It was solely upon this marvelous combination of the greatest
rarities and curiosities that the medical witnesses depended for
their case against me.
Now this precious membrane, so facetiously referred to by
Lt.-Col. Donegan, played the most important part in the trial.
My chief opponent declared the mouth was "full of it" when he
first examined the throat by the light of an electric lamp about
an hour before the little one died, and the question of
questions was: what had become of it?
My contention was
that all he saw was some clotted milk which he had mistaken for
membrane, as many a medical man had done before him.
THE SEARCH FOR A
there, what had become of it? For the little one was surrounded
to the time of its death by friends who declared at the inquest
that the child had neither vomited nor choked; nor was it
swallowed, for no membrane was found in the stomach.
Mrs. Burnham, the mother, was greatly exercised upon this point,
and so were the medical witnesses. And realizing, apparently,
after the first day of the Coroner’s inquest, how necessary it
was that that membrane should he discovered, she announced a
month later that when she was washing the daughter’s clothing
after the death, she found it lying among the soap-suds at the
bottom of the bath! (Laughter.)
It was circular in
shape, she averred, all in one solid piece of about three inches
in diameter and half-an-inch thick. (Renewed laughter.) And as
the prosecution were most serious upon this point, I presume it
was believed by them and their medical supporters with the same
touching degree of faith that they placed in antitoxin.
Of all the combined rarities this, perhaps, was the most
remarkable of all. It is a great pity that scientific
experimentation was not instituted to show its possibility.
Sir William Willcox
has told us that he dropped poison into a cat’s eye in order to
prove something in the Crippen case, and we have lately seen in
America that in order to ascertain whether a woman had
deliberately got into a furnace feet first in order to commit
suicide, two live guinea-pigs were thrown by a vivisector into a
furnace whilst legal gentlemen stood outside with watches in
their hands calmly calculating how long it took before the poor
little frantic, screaming, roasting creatures were slowly done
It ought not to have
been beyond the capability of an expert vivisector like Sir
William Willcox to have devised some great scientific experiment
by which to check this comical story of membrane in the bath.
But the doctor who conducted the post-mortem examination had his
own theory about that precious membrane. He found it - a piece
three inches by one - on the top of the lung! so that, putting
the two samples together, there must have been a rare collection
of it in that small throat, such as defied the accounts of all
The quantity was
more suited to the throat of an elephant. (Laughter.) He thought
it must have slipped down from the throat just before the child
died. But this again would have to be a rarity such as is
unheard of in medical history. Who ever heard of a diphtheritic
membrane either vomited in one huge piece or slipping down the
windpipe like a bear down a greasy pole?
This wonderful membrane was described by the mother on different
occasions as looking like "a piece of tissue paper"; like "a
yellow sponge," and like "a piece of India-rubber about
half-an-inch thick," and all the medical witnesses for the
prosecution listened open-mouthed without a smile upon their
You will thus see that the special Providence of the prosecution
had arranged for them the most marvellous combination of
rarities in one little body that had ever entered into the mind
of man to conceive.
The jury, however,
who, fortunately, were not men and women of science, arrived at
the commonsense conclusion that although mine was only one
solitary voice against 12, my diagnosis of a simple sore throat,
followed by pneumonia contracted through a chill, was much more
reasonable than an aggregation of miracles and impossibilities.
I have been told that medical men are amazed at the boldness
with which I enunciated my views at the trial. It was evident
that the Judge himself was greatly astonished at my not
following the fads of the hour. He looked upon me as very
old-fashioned and asked me if I were not prepared to progress
with the times. (Laughter.)
I told him I was,
but that I looked upon Pasteurism and all its superstitions as a
retrograde movement - it was like the go-aheadism of the
lobster, a progression backwards. (Laughter and loud applause.)
It is the old-fashioned medical man who believes in Jenner and
vaccination and the outcome of all the legendary nonsense
represented by vaccines and serums and inoculations of every
description. (Hear, hear.)
I once believed in
Jenner; I once believed in Pasteur. I believed in vaccination. I
believed in vivisection. But I changed my views as the result of
hard thinking. (Hear, hear.) I belong to the new fashion and not
to the old, antiquated fashion of my medical opponents.
Why is it that medical men for the most part follow the fashion
of the day? Is it that they dare not think?
Are they like Sidney Smith‘s old lady who said she never read
the other side of a subject in case she might be prejudiced? I
know one of the most eminent medical men of the present day,
perhaps the most eminent medical man in his particular line,
who, after he became converted to anti-vaccination, was unable
to fill a lecture hall. Students were not encouraged to go and
hear him. A man is eminent as long as he is orthodox. When he
begins to think for himself he becomes a crank. (hear, hear, and
The only way to
remedy this state of things is to have more cranks, so that the
man who is boycotted and persecuted shall not have to plough a
lonely furrow. (Applause.)
It might be supposed that the very unscientific nature of modern
medical treatment would have been sufficient to open the eyes of
tile understanding to its folly.
First look at the method. Today, the whole scheme is inoculation
for everything. I say that that in itself is unscientific.
Nature has given us a covering of skin for the protection of the
body, whose organs are vested with the power of excretion only.
The skin as a whole is the largest excretory organ of the body,
in which are situated millions of excretory glands for the
purpose of carrying off the waste material of the system: the
thought of its being a receptive organ is opposed entirely to
the character of its structure.
The modern system
does violence to Nature ‘s law and teaching; it ignores the only
aperture which Nature has provided for the entrance of solids or
liquids into the system; it ignores the only numerous and
complicated workshops ranged in association with the alimentary
canal, placed there to prepare everything that enters by the
mouth for assimilation and absorption, and deliberately
punctures this protecting organ and forces drugs–many of them of
the most filthy description–directly into the life blood, the
results of which cannot possibly be gauged.
Frequently, it ends
in sudden death. Even the injection of plain water by this
unscientific method has proved fatal In its very inception the
system of inoculation by the skin is unscientific and false.
(Cheers.) If medical men would only think for five minutes as to
this method of inoculation, the whole system would be condemned
and ended. (Hear, hear.)
Then as to what is injected: Perhaps one of the most amusing
episodes in the whole trial was when the Judge asked Sir William
"Tell me, what is antitoxin?"
The look of surprise
on his Lordship’s face was a study as Sir William Willcox
unfolded the weird romance.
"It is made," he
said, "by inoculating a horse."
His Lordship put
down his pen and turned full round to look into the face of the
doughty knight, and repeated in astonishment and almost awe,
"Into a horse!"
(Laughter.) "Yes, my lord," proceeded Sir William jauntily,
"by inoculating a horse with the poison of diphtheria; and
by so doing the horse develops protection, and after the
horse has been protected by several doses of the poison, the
horse’s blood is taken."
Again his Lordship
stopped writing and turned found and seemed to mutter "horse’s
But Sir William
"and the serum -
a straw-colored, clear liquid, separates, and it is that
serum which is the antitoxin, and it is that which is
injected into the patient suffering from diphtheria."
The judge looked
from counsel to counsel in almost bewilderment! (Laughter.) He
must have fancied himself back in Shakespeare’s day, looking in
wonderment at the witches’ cauldron. (Renewed laughter.) As I
described it to his Lordship afterwards, it is "poisoned horse
blood" - poisoned by the injection of so-called diphtheria
The medical man does not think - he dare not - or he would see
at a glance the superstition wrapped up in all this unscientific
THE COMMERCIAL PUSH
It is the
great commercial manufacturing firms who are providing the
brains for the medical man of to-day. (Applause and laughter.)
We are deluged with circulars of ready-made medicines for every
ailment under the sun.
There never was a
day when a medical man had less need for the use of his brains
than he has at the present time. The commercial firms do all the
thinking for him. (Hear, hear.) With a pocket syringe and a case
of concentrated tabloids he can go forth a veritable medical Don
Quixote to do battle with every imaginary foe. (Laughter.)
I said "imaginary," for what are the foes to-day? In the old
days medical men fought against conditions of disease, to-day
the fight is against germs - "a germ is a disease and a disease
is a germ." What was all the fight at my trial about?
As to whether my
little patient had diphtheria. She never had a solitary sign of
diphtheria from first to last, but they found the germ - and
that was sufficient to charge a man with manslaughter although
this germ can be found in healthy throats, in every kind of sore
throat and in lifeless objects.
The modern germ theory of disease, upon which the charge against
me was based, was formulated by M. Pasteur, a French chemist. It
was an evolution of the folklore of the Gloucestershire
dairy-maids which was popularized by Edward Jenner.
This in turn was the
outcome of the weird practice of inoculation common among
Turkish peasants a couple of centuries ago - a practice which
had itself been derived from a Hindu smallpox superstition which
goes back to the misty era of past ages when invisible devils
and hobgoblins and wrathful gods and goddesses or witches and
the "evil eye" were supposed to be the originators of every
human disease. The germ theory is the most old-fashioned
tradition of the heathen world. (applause and laughter.)
This craze for finding the germ origin of every disease is well
illustrated in the case of swine fever. Its origin has been
attributed to no less than 15 germs in succession, every one of
them proved scientifically to be the real, genuine thing, and
now science has reached the conclusion that none of these
alleged germs is genuine, but that the real one must be a
filter-passer, which the most powerful microscope in the world
cannot discover, and therefore, one which nobody has ever seen
or is ever likely to see. (Laughter.)
Science declines to
consider the common-sense fact that with wholesome pigsties and
a sanitary environment swine fever cannot get a look in.
This is known
as the anti-vivisectionist point of view. All these inoculation
treatments are based upon the most cruel experiments on animals,
and necessitate whole menageries of animals kept for the purpose
of testing them.
We object to the
cruelty that is involved, but we can also prove that out of it
comes no good to mankind, but harm. Anti-vivisection is not only
love for animals - it is a sane and rational system, a belief in
all that is good in medicine and surgery but a disbelief in
modern fads which arise in the vivisection laboratory and do not
fit the facts observed at the bedside of human patients. (Hear,
This is the anti-vivisection that is growing so rapidly that it
has inspired fear among our medical rulers, so that at a recent
Congress in Ottawa, British and Canadian medical men were urged
to combine to "fight anti-vivisection."
They began by
fighting me and they were beaten. (Loud cheers.)
They are now after a
parent in Canada who would not allow antitoxin to be used on his
child, because he knew of several deaths that had been caused by
it, and I understand he is charged with manslaughter; and it is
a remarkable coincidence that a town in Alaska which nobody can
get at except by dog sledges, and from which any scare can
therefore be started with absolute impunity, is said to be in
danger of extinction from diphtheria - an unheard of thing! -
and the solitary medical man there, instead of thinking, and
treating his patients naturally, is frantically calling for
antitoxin by airplane! (Laughter.)
I don‘t believe a
word of it.
I have traveled
across America from the Atlantic to the Pacific twice over, and
I know how largely the American Press is in the hands of the
serum manufacturers. It is only a newspaper stunt.
WHAT A DOCTOR MAY DARE
profession during my trial was divided into two camps. The one
desired me to be convicted because I was a nuisance, and the
other was terrified lest I should be convicted, for they
realized that my conviction would mean an end to medical
When the verdict of
the jury was known, the majority rejoiced; but the minority held
up its hands in pious horror, and cried,
"Good heavens! why, the
verdict means that any doctor will he able to do as he likes!"
The only other part
of the world where I found that sentiment expressed was in an
editorial article on my trial published by an advanced editor in
a Chinese newspaper. (Renewed laughter.)
Sir William Willcox actually went so far as to declare that a
man who doesn’t believe in a certain treatment ought to give his
patients the chance of it by recommending them to somebody more
orthodox than himself.
Have you hear such sublime logic? and to emanate too from the
lips of the medical adviser to the Home Office! a man is
expected to do despite to dictates of his own conscience in
order to comply with time current fashion of the time.
But my opponents do not fight fair; they don‘t play the game.
Right the way through I have had to contend with every form of
misrepresentation by unscrupulous opponents. Most of you have no
doubt seen that since the trial I have been obliged to compel
one medical man to publish a public apology for declaring that I
had been surreptitiously vaccinated by another medical man
during the smallpox scare.
It took me years to
run that widely circulated libel to earth. The stupidity of the
libel is apparent, for had I wished to protect myself in this
silly manner I should hardly go to an enemy to do it for me. I
should have vaccinated myself. (Laughter and cheers.)
Another medical man
remarked to a medical friend who is on this platform to-night:
"Of course, it
is Hadwen’s living"; I had an anonymous postcard some three
or four weeks ago, in which a medical man wrote, "You old
humbug, you know you get fifteen hundred a year from the
Anti-vaccination League for what you do."
Fancy the poor
Anti-vaccination League offering me fifteen hundred a year!
(Laughter.) Let me at once say, that it has always been the
proudest boast of my life that I have fought my battles without
ever having put a single halfpenny of pay or reward of any kind
into my pocket. (Loud applause.)
The Societies’ I
work for are rich in loyalty, sterling in their zeal and
earnestness, proud in their ideals, but poor in their funds. But
even were they wealthy I should still feel it the greatest honor
to say with the Apostle Paul:
have ministered unto my necessities and I would not be
beholden unto any of you." (Renewed applause.)
When I went into
this recent light for the maintenance of personal and medical
liberty to maintain time right to think and act for myself, I
knew that it meant months of anxiety and strain and a cost of
some thousands of pounds, which I should probably have to bear
Your sympathy and loyalty helped me in the strain, your
marvelous liberality freed me entirely of the burden of cost. I
am still your unpaid servant, and the memory of your love will
be my reward for all that I may yet hope to do in the field that
lies before me. (Continued applause.)
Our battle against wrong, our struggle for liberty both for
ourselves and others is a battle of sacrifice and unselfishness
against the most selfish of creeds in Christendom.
Our claim is that
right is greater than might; that time work of evil cannot be
the foundation of good; that the defenseless and the weak must
not be exploited by the strong, and even though we may be few
against the many, nevertheless, as James Russell Lowell wrote :
slaves who will not choose
Hatred, scoffing and abuse,
Rather than in silence shrink
From the truth they needs must think.
They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three."
As the speaker
resumed his seat there was prolonged applause, the audience
rising and giving loud cheers, followed by the singing of "For
he ‘s a jolly good fellow" and further cheers.
The Chairman thanked
the several speakers and Dr. Gertrude Best for her beautiful
rendering on the organ, and the meeting closed.
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