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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

Introduction: health care in the Royal Navy Nursing in the Royal Navy and the Ottoman army present opposite poles in terms of nursing, systematic and well-resourced medical care, and above all, in the patients themselves. This chapter demonstrates how important all these factors were to good nursing care and the immense difference the treatment the sailors received from their military superiors made in their health care outcomes. Dr John Davidson, who directed the naval hospital in Therapia, worked in a

in Beyond Nightingale
An absence of trained nurses and basic resources

survey of military nursing from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent but makes no mention of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russo-Turk Wars until the war of 1877–78. The section for the Ottoman Empire in the Turkish government archives lists no entries for the Crimean War. Most of what we know about the Turkish medical department comes from the writings of two British observers, Rear Admiral Adolphus Slade and Dr Humphry Sandwith. Slade spent many years in Turkey: in 1849, retaining his rank in the Royal Navy, he entered the Ottoman service as administrative

in Beyond Nightingale

, 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

. By contrast, Russian society was based on serf labor; significant industrialization would not begin until after the war. Captain Edouard Ivanovich Totleben, the brilliant young army engineer who designed the awesome defenses of Sevastopol, identified two major consequences of Russia’s backward economy: first, the allies had overwhelmingly greater sea power, and second, allied gunnery was much superior. In both allied navies about one third of the ships were steam powered, a much larger proportion than in the Russian navy. In the naval campaign in the Baltic in

in Beyond Nightingale
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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