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Quarantine and professional identity in mid nineteenth-century Britain

5 Policing boundaries: quarantine and professional identity in mid nineteenth-century Britain Lisa Rosner Introduction As the British imperial presence spread across the world’s inland seas and oceans from the late eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries, so too did deadly diseases like yellow fever, cholera and dysentery. Management of these diseases invariably created disputes between medical men in Royal Navy ships and those at the ports they visited, over whether specific diseases were communicable and, thus, whether there was any purpose to quarantine

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

, passenger and merchant ships –​targeted because of their cargoes of coal, food and other commodities –​and even small fishing boats. Shortly after the United States entered the war in April 1917, US Navy destroyers were sent to Queenstown (now named Cobh) to escort shipping convoys, and the United States also established naval air stations at Wexford, Whiddy and Lough Foyle to help secure the Atlantic shipping lanes. The war also increased dangers to –​and fears about dangers to –​ public health. Both in Great Britain and in Ireland there was an awareness that infectious

in Stacking the coffins
Scurvy and imprisonment

species of being’. 6 Yet, by 1822 Gilbert Blane believed that the ‘medical art’ had cured scurvy, and thus saved Britain in the Napoleonic Wars. By 1847, J.B. Jukes would suggest that the surgeon on HMS Fly had ‘never seen scurvy in the Navy before, so completely have modern discoveries and improvements eradicated that naval scourge’. 7 This ‘eradication’ of scurvy is reflected in the physical arrangement of naval surgeons’ medical journals. By the time they began to routinely superintend convict voyages in 1815

in Health, medicine, and the sea
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liable to be mixed with another kind, that sometimes rises from the hold or well’. 60 Adding fresh water in a misguided attempt at cleanliness only increased the dangers. Robert Finlayson’s address to the captains of the Royal Navy (1825) described a similar ‘morbid chain of humidity’ that arose from the practice of washing the lower decks of ships, particularly in the tropics; the washing water, now saturated with vegetable and animal matter, ran into the lower department of a ship, where, below decks, the putrefying matter became

in Health, medicine, and the sea
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Mediterranean quarantine disclosed: space, identity and power

as a confrontation between contagionism and anticontagionism (miasmatism). The authors reflect on how opinions about quarantine acted as professional boundary markers for medical bodies and individual doctors within them. A first approach is made by Lisa Rosner in Chapter 5, focusing on a particular group of British doctors, those practising with the Royal Navy. She argues that in the early nineteenth century, these physicians usually acquired their first experience of quarantine in the Mediterranean. It was an established practice for navy doctors to spend the

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

military centres.38 This made them also the terminal stations of the ‘general interest’ railway lines established by the 1855 Railway Law. By contrast, when it came to the territorial network of the Navy, one observes a strategy of complementarity, a plan to distribute functions among the different ports. In this case, the territorial network of the Navy, well defined since the late eighteenth century, departed ostensibly from all the other networks, which were ultimately related to trade, including the sanitary network. Ports with a first-class DES were thus exempt from

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
Narratives of the Indian Medical Service

dissatisfaction with their professional choices and personal lives. The survey concludes that India provided an alternative forum for the display of medical competition rather than any scope for its meaningful reduction. In the process, Narratives of the Indian Medical Service 77 it taps into a refrain of disappointment at odds with assumptions of opportunity. Medical employment in the East India Company Practitioners intent on working abroad could consider service with the army, the navy, on merchant, emigrant, or convict ships, or with the East India Company (EIC).3

in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890

health in the colonies. They were always mindful of the need to ensure the blame for sickness always lay elsewhere. Inspections: concealment and conflict From 1815, when a naval surgeon received a letter of appointment to a convict ship he proceeded to Deptford, where, on the bank of the River Thames, a few miles to the east of London, a huge dockyard flanked by storehouses contained rum, ropes, cables, bedding, and clothing for the Royal Navy. Here, the prIvate vessels which had been hired by the government for the

in Health, medicine, and the sea

health and hygiene portfolios.12 Even before the 1756 Measures, the decree ordering the council to draw up a new statute for the pesthouse and its staff13 and the decision to take the lazaretto out of the council’s hands so it could be used by the Casa da Índia (except during epidemics)14 as a staging post for goods and prisoners bound for the East15 accentuated the trend of forcing the city government to become institutionally dependent on the central government. The innovative aspect of the Measures lay in the governor’s choice of the navy and not the chief health

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
Medicine and the world of letters

original was spelt, was a treatise on forest trees and the propagation of timber whose origins lay in a paper delivered to the Royal Society in 1662 prompted by ‘certain queries . . . by the Honourable the principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy’.59 Editing a new and improved edition of 58 Performing medicine this work was Hunter’s most significant literary undertaking. It was no mere facsimile of Evelyn’s original text. Hunter added copious footnotes and commentaries, doubling the size of the work. He probably began work on it in the early 1770s and the

in Performing medicine