Women in science

women scientistsfemale scientistsscience
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu defied convention by introducing smallpox inoculation through variolation to Western medicine after witnessing it during her travels in the Ottoman Empire. In 1718 Wortley Montague had her son inoculated and when in 1721 a smallpox epidemic struck England, she had her daughter inoculated. This was the first such operation done in Britain. She persuaded Caroline of Ansbach to test the treatment on prisoners. Princess Caroline subsequently inoculated her two daughters in 1722. Under a pseudonym, Wortley Montague published an article describing and advocating in favor of inoculation in September 1722.

1721 in Great Britain

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu introduces smallpox inoculation to Britain: the Princess of Wales is persuaded to test the treatment and the procedure becomes fashionable. Thomas Guy founds Guy's Hospital in London. Nathan Bailey publishes An Universal Etymological English Dictionary.

Timeline of medicine and medical technology

medical author in antiquity
But it was Paré's writings which were the most influential. 1518 – College of Physicians founded now known as Royal College of Physicians of London is a British professional body of doctors of general medicine and its subspecialties.

Alexander Stuart (scientist)

Alexander Stuart
In 1728 he became a physician-in-ordinary for Caroline of Ansbach and was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians the same year. He retired in 1736. In 1738 he gave the first Croonian Lecture of the Royal Society, and in 1740 he was awarded the Copley Medal by the same institution. He delivered the Croonian Lecture again in 1740. Despite the money he was earning as physician-in-ordinary he was heavily in debt when he died on 15 September 1742.

Andrew Cantwell

Cantwell had translated a paper from 1740 by Stephen Hales in this area into French; and went on to translate work of Hans Sloane on the eyes. Cantwell became a persistent opponent of inoculation against small-pox, and made an extended stay in England to study the practice and its results. He took issue with the favourable views of James Jurin and Charles Marie de La Condamine. He wrote a Dissertation on Inoculation (Paris, 1755), an Account of Small-pox (Paris, 1758), and Latin dissertations on medicine.

Henrietta Louisa Fermor

Henrietta Louisa JeffreysHenrietta Louisa, Countess of PomfretHenrietta Jeffreys
., and in September 1727 was appointed master of the horse to Queen Caroline, to whom also Lady Pomfret was one of the ladies of the bedchamber. On the death of the queen in November 1737 Lady Pomfret, with her friend Frances, countess of Hertford, retired from court. In September 1738 she and her husband made a three years' tour in France and Italy. At Florence, where they arrived on 20 December 1739, they were visited by Horace Walpole and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. They soon afterwards returned to England by way of Bologna, Venice, Augsburg, Frankfort and Brussels, reaching home in October 1741.

Matthew Maty

Dr Matthew Maty
He was in the same year admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians. In 1772, on the death of Gowin Knight, Maty was nominated his successor as principal librarian of the British Museum. In his capacity as chief librarian he placed, like his predecessor, difficulties in the way of visitors. He bought a number of valuable books for the Museum at Anthony Askew's sale in 1775. Maty died on 2 July 1776. His books were sold in 1777 by Benjamin White. Maty's chief works are: His contributions to the Philosophical Transactions are enumerated in Robert Watt's Biblioteca Britannica.

History of smallpox

smallpoxsmallpox epidemicsmallpox epidemics
In 1713, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's brother died of smallpox; she too contracted the virus two years later at the age of twenty-six, leaving her badly scarred. When her husband was made ambassador to Ottoman Empire, she accompanied him to Constantinople. It was here that Lady Mary first came upon variolation. Two Greek women made it their business to engraft people with pox that left them un-scarred and unable to catch the pox again. In a letter, she wrote that she intended to have her own son undergo the process and would try to bring variolation into fashion in England. Her son underwent the procedure, which was performed by Charles Maitland, and survived with no ill effects.


History of Vaccines Medical education site from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest medical professional society in the US. Images of vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunisation, BBC Radio 4 discussion with Nadja Durbach, Chris Dye & Sanjoy Bhattacharya (In Our Time, Apr. 20, 2006).

Edward Jenner

JennerJenner, EdwardDr. Edward Jenner
Inoculation was already a standard practice but involved serious risks, one of which was the fear that those inoculated would then transfer the disease to those around them due to their becoming carriers of the disease. In 1721, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had imported variolation to Britain after having observed it in Constantinople. Voltaire wrote that at this time 60% of the population caught smallpox and 20% of the population died of it. Voltaire also states that the Circassians used the inoculation from times immemorial, and the custom may have been borrowed by the Turks from the Circassians.

John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey

Lord HerveyJohn, Lord HerveyJohn Hervey
Caroline Hervey (1736–1819), unmarried Hervey was bisexual. He had an affair with Anne Vane, and possibly with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Princess Caroline. He lived with Stephen Fox often during the decade after he followed him to Italy in 1728. He wrote passionate love letters to Francesco Algarotti, whom he first met in 1736. He may have had a sexual affair with Prince Frederick before their friendship dissolved.

Lady Louisa Stuart

At Gloucester-pl., aged 94, Lady Louisa Stuart, youngest daughter of John Earl of Bute K.G., the prime minister, and the grand-daughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montague. To this lady we owe the charming Introductory Anecdotes prefixed to the late Lord Wharncliffe's edition of Lady Mary's Works. Lady Louisa remembered to have seen her grandmother, Lady Mary, when at old Wortley's death that celebrated woman returned to London after her long and still unexplained exile from England.


cowpox virusCow Poxcow-pox
The cowpox vaccination saved the British Army thousands of soldiers, by making them immune to the effects of smallpox in upcoming wars. The cowpox also saved the United Kingdom thousands of pounds. Kinepox is an alternative term for the smallpox vaccine used in early 19th-century America. Popularized by Jenner in the late 1790s, kinepox was a far safer method for inoculating people against smallpox than the previous method, variolation, which had a 3% fatality rate.

Royal Society

FRSFellow of the Royal SocietyRoyal Society of London
Although the overall fellowship contained few noted scientists, most of the council were highly regarded, and included at various times John Hadley, William Jones and Hans Sloane. Because of the laxness of fellows in paying their subscriptions, the society ran into financial difficulty during this time; by 1740, the society had a deficit of £240. This continued into 1741, at which point the treasurer began dealing harshly with fellows who had not paid.

William III of England

William IIIWilliam of OrangeKing William III
Baptised William Henry (Willem Hendrik), he was the only child of stadtholder William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Princess Royal. Mary was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and sister of King Charles II and King James II and VII. Eight days before William was born, his father died of smallpox; thus William was the Sovereign Prince of Orange from the moment of his birth. Immediately, a conflict ensued between his mother the Princess Royal and William II's mother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, over the name to be given to the infant.

Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeth
On 6 November, Mary recognised Elizabeth as her heir. On 17 November 1558, Mary died and Elizabeth succeeded to the throne. Elizabeth became queen at the age of 25, and declared her intentions to her Council and other peers who had come to Hatfield to swear allegiance.

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute

Lord ButeEarl of ButeThe Earl of Bute
On 24 August 1736, he married Mary Wortley Montagu (daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), bringing the large Wortley estates to his family. In 1737, due to the influence of his uncles, he was elected a Scottish representative peer, but he was not very active in the Lords and was not reelected in 1741. For the next several years he retired to his estates in Scotland to manage his affairs and indulge his interest in botany. During the Jacobite rising of 1745, Bute moved to Westminster, London, and two years later met Prince Frederick, the Prince of Wales there, soon becoming a close associate of the Prince.

Hot chocolate

cocoahot cocoadrinking chocolate
In the late 17th century, Hans Sloane, president of the Royal College of Physicians, visited Jamaica. There, he tried chocolate and considered it "nauseous", but found it became more palatable when mixed with milk. When he returned to England, he brought the recipe with him, introducing milk chocolate to England. The aristocratic nature of the drink led to chocolate being referred to as "the drink of the gods" in 1797. The Spanish began to use jicaras made of porcelain in place of the hollowed gourds used by the natives. They then further tinkered with the recipes by using spices such as cinnamon, black pepper, anise, and sesame.

Immunity (medical)

immunityimmuneimmune response
In Europe, the induction of active immunity emerged in an attempt to contain smallpox. Immunization, however, had existed in various forms for at least a thousand years. The earliest use of immunization is unknown, however, around 1000 A.D. the Chinese began practicing a form of immunization by drying and inhaling powders derived from the crusts of smallpox lesions. Around the fifteenth century in India, the Ottoman Empire, and east Africa, the practice of inoculation (poking the skin with powdered material derived from smallpox crusts) became quite common. This practice was first introduced into the west in 1721 by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach

Eleonore Erdmuthe LuiseEleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-EisenachEleanor Erdmuthe Louise
George II and Queen Caroline. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, 2013. 240 p. ISBN: 0750954485, ISBN: 9780750954488. google.books.com. Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. Random House, 2011 pp. 277–278. 400 p. ISBN: 1446449114, ISBN: 9781446449110. google.books.com.

George Edwards (naturalist)

George EdwardsEdwardsG. Edwards
In 1733, on the recommendation of Hans Sloane, he was appointed librarian to the Royal College of Physicians in London. Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the British Museum, had employed George Edwards as a natural history painter for many years, and Edwards drew miniature figures of animals for him. Edwards visited Sloane once a week to share news and a coffee. Sloane kept track of Edwards's expenses and reimbursed him annually. Edwards served as College librarian for thirty-six years. He was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society and of the London Society of Antiquaries and was rewarded with the Copley Medal.

Cabinet of curiosities

cabinets of curiositiescabinetwunderkammer
Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) was an English physician, a member of the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians, and the founder of the British Museum in London. He began sporadically collecting plants in England and France while studying medicine. In 1687, the Duke of Albemarle offered Sloane a position as personal physician to the West Indies fleet at Jamaica. He accepted and spent fifteen months collecting and cataloguing the native plants, animals, and artificial curiosities (e.g. cultural artifacts of native and African populations) of Jamaica. This became the basis for his two volume work, Natural History of Jamaica, published in 1707 and 1725.