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steve h  •  Link

Smallpox was the major epidemic disease in Europe in the 17th century, when it really took off. It was a major problem in London in this period, with what seem to be a new series of epidemics from 1659 onward. Demographers believe that factors promoting the worst outbreaks smallpox in England included low temperatures in winter, low rainfall in autumn, crowding in the city, and malnutrition. Living in London was bad for your health.

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vincent  •  Link

who discouvered the cure first:
The Introduction of Inoculation to the West
http://www.foundersofscience.net/lady_mary_mont...
from letter by Letter of Lady Montegu: ...... To Sarah Chiswell ........ Adrianople 1, April 1717
They make parties for this purpose, and when they are met (commonly fifteen or sixteen together) the old woman comes with a nutshell full of the matter of the best sort of smallpox and asks what veins you please to have opened. She immediately {ug}
other leads [cowx-smallpox google]
Edward Jenner learned early in his medical career of the farm worker's' belief that if at one time one had cowpox, one would not get smallpox

http://www.foundersofscience.net/jenner.htm
then man at his most ....
An early BW attack took place in the Black Sea port of Kaffa (now Feodossia, Ukraine) in 1346. Rats and their fleas carried the disease to attacking Tatar soldiers. In spite, the Tatars catapulted the bodies of victims at the defending Genoese who contracted plague and left Kaffa. The same rats afflicting the Tatars likely brought disease to the Genoese.[5]
Another attempted use of biological warfare occurred between 1754 and 1767 when the British infiltrated smallpox-infested blankets to unsuspecting American Indians during the French and Indian war. Smallpox decimated the Indians, but it is unclear if the contaminated blankets or endemic disease brought by the Europeans caused these epidemics.[92]
http://www.toxicmold.org/documents/0376.html

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vicente  •  Link

leads for those of enquiring mind :
More on smallpox and who dun it first. It appears not one of the begowned ones.At the time, Reverend Cotton Mather lived in Boston had known of the practice of inoculation since 1706. A slave, Onesimus, had explained to him how he had been inoculated as a child in Africa. The practice was an ancient one, and Mather was fascinated by the idea. He encouraged physicians to try it, without success. Then, at Mather's urging, one doctor, Zabdiel Boylston, was courageous enough to use the procedure.
......................
Around the fifteenth century, a practice of applying powdered smallpox "crusts" and inserting them with a pin or

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dirk  •  Link

Lady Mary Mortley Montagu

Vincent, is she in any way related to "my Lord" - just curiosity. (I know it killed the cat!)

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vicente  •  Link

interesting: she married Wortley:
here not sorted:
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)
Her father, Evelyn Pierrepont, was connected with the Evelyns of Wootton, and married Mary Feilding, daughter of the earl of Denbigh, from one of whose brothers Henry Fielding the novelist descended. Mary was born in May, 1689; a year later, her father became earl of Kingston and, at the whig triumph of 1715, duke of Kingston; she was brought up, carelessly enough, in a library....One of her girl friends was Anne Wortley Montagu, a granddaughter of the first earl of Sandwich (Pepys

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vicente  •  Link

"Evelyn Pierrepont" Evelyns Diary: Evelyn, grand pa had 16 sons and * daughters. One daughter became mother of the 'present' Evelyn, Earle of Kinston and son of William Perpoint: interesting read, page 2 of DeBeers version of Kalendarium by J.E..
Evelyn fortune was derived from Powder workes.

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Sjoerd  •  Link

Sorry, that second son was a Sidney, not an Edward. So the two sons that were first inoculated against smallpox by Lady Mary were grandsons of the Sidney that stayed overnight at the pepys household for fear of smallpox.

See http://www.geocities.com/mbrodgers/wga77.html#I...

for a family tree

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Paul Timbrell  •  Link

It seems to me that these comments are barking up the wrong tree for 2nd September 1661. This is not a reference to smallpox but to venereal disease.The context is " the vices of the Court ". Surely smallpox was not as common as eating and swearing. The Oxford Dictionary defines pox as syphilis.

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Tim Owen  •  Link

In context this almost certainly means venereal disease. If true, given the incubation period and symptoms of syphillis it is more likely to be a less critical GU infection. However I suspect this is a comment generally critical of Court morals with minimal basis in fact - then, as now, I don't think prominent members of society would reveal such an infection.

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vicente  •  Link

pox: Pock- mark: pox on ye , cow- small- chicken-, any of the outbreak of pustles or eruptions; or animal poxes. Then the unmentionable not in polite company.

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Jess A  •  Link

Hey I was wondering why did milk maids way way way back then, didn't get small pox?

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guye ffalkes  •  Link

No one put two and two to-gether to make a case of molehills out of the mountain. "didn

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Grahamt  •  Link

Why milkmaids didn't get smallpox
Follow the links above for the full story, but:
Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids who developed cowpox, a less serious disease, did not develop the deadly smallpox. In 1796, Jenner took the fluid from a cowpox pustule on a dairymaid's hand and inoculated an 8-year-old boy. Six weeks later, he exposed the boy to smallpox, and the boy did not develop any symptoms. Jenner coined the term "vaccine" from the word "vaca" which means "cow" in Latin. (more at: http://dermatology.about.com/cs/smallpox/a/smal... ) variolation described above used actual smallpox matter, not cowpox, and killed 2-3% of the patients.

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Cumgranissalis  •  Link

For the enquiring mind on 'pox or "The Speckled Monster " . by Jennifer Lee Carrell PHD lit Harvard, dothe write a nice but not a best seller [maybe not enough on the famous cousen 'pox and its means of transmission] on the Disease that killed more than the bubonic, only to be eradicated by 1980's although some governments have been rumored to keep a few samples for future scientfic studies.
Book going for 5$ orig 26 bucks At Barnes and Nobel. The notes and sources be worth that for those that be interested in 17C/18C doings.
It be a nice insight to the life of the wealthy, as added plus for those wish to know the life of the betters .
A quote from a letter of Lady Mary to Papa "... the Small Pox---so fatal and so general amongst us ---is here rendered harmless, by the invention of engrafting {which is the term the give it}. There is a set of old women who make it their business t perform the operation. Every autumn in the month of September, when the great heat is abated,......They make parties for this purpose, and when they are met.....the old woman comes with a nutshell full of the matter of the best sort of smallpox and asks what veins you please to have opened. ...."Page 73. dated April 1 1717 Adrianople Lady Mary [Mortley]
was this another BBC Panorama story it being the day it be.

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Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The poxes, there be cow, small then there be the one that will be never mention in Polite Society -The Great Pox [syphalis]

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Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Where are you going my prety maid?
I'm going a-milking, Sir she said
whats's your fortune my pretty maid?
My face is my fortune Sir, she said. Anon
A good read be " The Armies of Pestilence " by R.S. Bray

Virus transmission by air droplets not by touch. It came in three strengths : Haemorihagic, Purpuric, and Confluent. Kill Rate 25% to 100 %
then their be another version, alastrum [fast spreading] death rate only 1%;
It was known, that once had, it never to be had again.
Strangely, it was reckoned to less contageous than Chicken pox as the droplets had to be inbedded deeper into the brachea.

There was a cure, not fully understood or practiced way back in China [early christian era] and elsewhere , it be called practice of variopation, or putting the scabs of small pox into the nostrils of those wish to have their skin unmarked, dosage be uneven so success be uneven.
The beginnings of story of the virus be lost by the lack of documentaion, but there be some that claim Athens and Cathage had their differences resolved by an out break of the disease.The Disease had a reputation for changeing the course of many dynasties.

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Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The Great pox appeared in Europe after The Discovery of the West Indies. Small pox was known as killer long before the lower brain version.

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Cumgranissalis  •  Link

ref 2 sep 61: be the pox that be the one that does not kill in days of it showing only to disappear, then erode the little gray cells then the demise. This be a virus by contact, selecting ones victim by attraction, not by sleeping or convorting , needs more than a friendly kiss or rubbing noses. 'Tis why it be called the Great pox.
"...how the pox is so common there,..."

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Horst Fassl  •  Link

Most probably it was not small-pox but syphilis, signs and symptoms are rather typical. Fassl

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cumsalisgrano  •  Link

From Ruben
Measles [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7119/ ] versus smallpox not an easy diagnosis in Pepys time.
A famous Poster published by Thomas Thacher in the colonies explains some. See:
http://www.countway.harvard.edu/rarebooks/exhib...

From terry F:
"[T]he first scientific description of the [measles] and its distinction from smallpox is attributed to the Persian physician Ibn Razi (Rhazes) 860-932 who published a book entitled "Smallpox and Measles" (in Arabic: Kitab fi al-jadari wa-al-hasbah)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles

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bitter o salt  •  Link

syphilis not a word in use as a medical problem in Egland until 1718?
OED
Also 8 siphylis, 9 siphilis, syphylis. [mod.L. syphilis (syphilid-), orig. the title (in full, Syphilis, sive Morbvs Gallicvs) of a poem, published 1530, by Girolamo Fracastoro or Hieronymus Fracastorius (1483-1553), a physician, astronomer, and poet of Verona, but used also as the name of the disease in the poem itself; the subject of the poem is the story of a shepherd Syphilus, the first sufferer from the disease, the name Syphilis being formed on the analogy of Æneis, Thebais, etc. (The poem was translated in 1686 by Nahum Tate with the title 'Syphilis: or, a Poetical History of the French Disease'.) The term was employed systematically by Fracastoro in his treatise De Contagione II. xi. (1546). Cf. F. syphilis, It. sifilide, Sp. sifilis, Pg., G., etc. syphilis.
The source of the name Syphilus is disputed; it has been suggested that it is a corrupt mediæval form of Sipylus, the name of a son of Niobe (so called after a mountain) in Ovid Metam. VI. 146 ff. (See F. Boll in Neue Jahrb. f.d. klass. Altertum, 1910, XXV. 72 ff., 168.)]

A specific disease caused by Treponema pallidum (Spirochæte pallida) and communicated by sexual connexion or accidental contact (acquired form) or by infection of the child in utero (congenital form).
Three stages of the disease are distinguished, primary, secondary, and tertiary syphilis; the first characterized by chancre in the part infected, the second by affections of the skin and mucous membranes, the third involving the bones, muscles, and brain.
1718 J. F. NICHOLSON (title) The Modern Siphylis: or, the true method of curing every stage and symptom of the venereal disease, etc.

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