Source 5: Letter from a local medical officer

Letter from a local Medical Officer to the General Board of Health about vaccination in Evesham, Worcestershire, 31 January, 1878, (Catalogue ref. MH 12/14007 f529.)

Evesham   Jan 31st 1878

Dear Sir,

I am Medical Officer & public vaccination to the 3rd district of the Evesham Union, & on Oct 9th 1877 vaccinated at Bretforton (a village in the district) a child named Ernest Salter, residing at Bretforton: some three months after the vaccination the child had an attack of “eczuma impetiginades” [a contagious skin condition] affecting the face & ears – this was followed by an attack of “purulent ophthalmia”, [inflammation of the eyes] in consequence of which the child has entirely lost its eyesight. There is a good deal of prejudice against vaccination in this neighbourhood, & this case has been much quoted lately as showing its baneful effects; that being so, I believe a thorough & impartial investigation would be for the public good and I therefore, through you, petition the Local Government Board to hold an inquiry into all the details of the case.

I am, dear Sir,

Yours obediently

Horace L. Haynes

The Secretary – Local Government Board

« Return to Victorian Health Reform
  • Who was Ernest Salter and what happened to him?
  • Why was there ‘prejudice against vaccination’ in this area?
  • What does the Medical Officer suggest to put an end to this prejudice?
  • Why might his suggestion help?
  • How do the concerns of this letter connect to the Source 4?