Smallpox Through Time


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5.Experiment in Newgate

How did a gruesome experiment in Newgate Prison advance our understanding of immunology? (4.5 mins)

6.The Speckled Monster
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iconSecondary Resources

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1. The Speckled Monster
By the 18th century, smallpox in Britain... Read more
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2. Treating the Speckled Monster
By the early 18th Century, a range of treatments... Read more
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3. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
In 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled to... Read more
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4. Inoculation in 18th C. Britain
The practice was slow to catch on because... Read more
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5. Royal Victims
Smallpox was famously a disease of 'princes and paupers'... Read more

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Newgate Prison stands on the site of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court. The name 'old bailey' originates from the London's fortified wall - as in 'motte and bailey'. And the porter who took us round showed us not just 18th century brickwork but a section of original Roman stone.


The present building dates from 1907. The figure of justice on the roof, with scales in one hand and a sword in the other, is popularly imagined to be blindfolded - but she's not. Apparently, her 'maidenly form' is supposed to make her impartial without need of a blindfold...

iconOur Sponsor: The Wellcome Trust

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The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health.

Timelines: "Smallpox through Time" was entirely funded with through a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Award. We are very grateful for the Trust's support in the making of this resource.

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