Saturday, May 6, 2017

Robert Poole: England

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Robert Poole was born in June 1704 in Staplegrove, Somerset, England. He had one daughter with Susanna Symonds in 1737. He died on October 24, 1748, in Dorchester, Dorset, England, at the age of 44.

When Mary Poole was born in 1737 in Somerset, England, her father, Robert, was 33, and her mother, Susanna, was 23. She died as a child in March 1740 in Somerset, England. She married Richard Ham on August 4, 1757, in her hometown.

Smallpox Vaccination in 18th-Century England

In 1740, Mary Poole was living in Somerset as citizens lived in terror of smallpox

Considered the microorganism that has killed more humans than any other, smallpox was a dreaded scrouge in early 18th-century Europe. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a noted writer, suffered from it in her twenties and it left her disfigured. She also lost her brother to the disease. While living in Turkey with her husband who served as British ambassador, she observed older women who were able to prevent the virus. They held parties in which they brought pus from smallpox victims. They opened a vein of each attendee and rubbed a small amount of the virus in it, conferring immunity. When Lady Montagu returned to England, she informed the court of King George I of this and Princess Caroline organized a trial, offering it to seven condemned prisoners in exchange for their freedom. When they were proven immune to smallpox, the inoculation was given to six orphaned children. Eventually, it was widely distributed throughout England, saving countless lives.

Scientists never discovered a cure for smallpox, the virus that killed up to 30 percent of those infected and left many survivors disfigured or blind. 1871, Hampstead, London, England. Credit: Print Collector/Hulton Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images


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