Extract from a letter

Extract from a letter dated 12 August 1857 concerning the erection of a statue of Edward Jenner (1749-1823) who pioneered vaccination. It was designed by William Calder Marshall in 1858 and originally placed in Trafalgar Square, (Catalogue ref: WORK 20/33).

At a meeting of the committee of the subscribers to the Jenner Monument held this day in the house of Sir James Clark to consider if a proper site for the Bronze statue executed by [William] Calder Marshall, it was resolved that application should be made to the First Commissioner of Public Buildings & for permission to place the statue at the South West angle of Trafalgar Square, it being clearly understood that, granting this request, the Government would be put to no expense, and that a drawing of the statue with the pedestal will be submitted for approval. Subscriptions for the monument have been received from every country in Europe and from America, a proof of the veneration in which the memory of Jenner is held throughout the civilised world, no other man it is believed, has ever had such an honour paid to his memory. It remains only to be desired that a fitting place should be granted in his own country, for the statue of so great a benefactor of mankind.

John Conolly, M.D.

Chairman of the Committee

« Return to Victorian Health Reform
  • What does this letter reveal about attitudes towards Jenner’s achievement?
  • How has money been raised to pay for the statue?
  • Can you find an image of the statue in its different location today?
  • Do you think Edward Jenner should still to be commemorated? Give your reasons.