Page:Remarks on the British Quarantine Laws.djvu/17

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British Quarantine Laws.

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gers from Smyrna should be rendered liable to a quarantine of longer duration than those from Constantinople in the inverse proportion of the distance. "Mais on ne finirait pas, si on voulait ramasser toutes les contradictions où le systême de la contagion a engagé ceux qui le soutiennent." Senac p. 182.

In 1754, soon after the quarantine act of the 26 of Geo. II., the sloop Fawey, Isaac Clemens, from Algiers, was sunk at sea, by order of Council. (Ingram's Historical Account, p. 197.) Thus the power of sinking ships, as well as burning goods, was exercised. Upon the Levant trade being laid open that year, it was thought necessary to enact that no ships, but with clean bills of health, should be received in England, excepting such as had previously performed quarantine in the Mediterranean, as if contagion, did such a thing exist in respect to pestilence, could be more readily conveyed in private ships, than in ships belonging to a company!

During the pestilence of 1743 at Messina, it was first proposed to build regular Lazarettos in England; but the measure was not carried into effect. In the same year, a bill for laying open the Levant trade passed the House of Commons, but was rejected by the Lords, probably apprehending that greater danger would exist of introducing infection under a free trade.

In 1752, when the measure of laying open the Levant trade, which passed into a law the following year, was again agitated, the subject of Lazarettos was revived. Chetney-hill was thought a proper site for such an establishment; and plans of a Lazaretto, with estimates of the charge of building, and of maintaining the same, were requested in an address to His Majesty, to which a gracious answer was returned: but nothing was in consequence done. Journals of the House of Commons, vol. 26.

In the year 1757 or 1758, an epidemic prevailed in England, and the country was alarmed by reports of the plague prevailing in Holland. Dr. Alexander Russell was consulted by Lord Chatham, then minister of state, and took a journey to Holland, in order to ascertain the truth of this matter. This affair appears again to have revived the subject of Lazarettos. A copy of a memorial, apparently drawn up by the desire of Lord Chatham, was found by Dr. Patrick Russell amongst his brother's papers; and a letter to that minister, which seems to have accompanied the memorial, dated the 28th of March 1758, which may be found at p. 438 to 440 of his Treatise of the Plague.

In 1764 the subject was again introduced into the House of Commons; and, in March 1765, in a committee of supply, £.5000 were granted to His Majesty towards building a Lazaretto.

Here the matter appears to have rested until 1772, when an act was passed explanatory of the 26th of Geo. II., and empowering