LAW & ORDER – A Saltburn-by-the-Sea Vaccination Case An Important Point

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 16/11/1877.


            At the Guisborough Petty Sessions, on Tuesday (13/11), a number of vaccination cases came on for hearing. The magistrates, on the bench were – Admiral Chaloner, Mr. James Lowther, M.P., the Rev. H. W. Yeoman, and Mr. James Merryweather, and in the opening case, an animated discussion on a point of considerable importance took place between them. The defendant was Mr. Joseph Taylor, of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, for whom Mr.  John Pierson’s, solicitor, appeared, and he was charged with neglecting to vaccinate his child and with disregarding the notice of the vaccination-officer. Mr. Pierson stated that he had received that morning, a duplicate certificate of vaccination signed by Dr. Bramwell, and all so a letter showing that the original certificate had been mislaid. The letter and duplicate certificate having been put in and read, the vaccination-officer, Mr. A. Ellis, stated that the defendant’s child was born on 13th April, 1877. On 14 July, he made some inquiries respecting the vaccination of the child, and on 28 September he served a notice on the parents. That notice being disregarded he took out, with several others the present summons. Mr Pierson said the Bench would observe that Mr. Bramwell stated in his letter that the certificate was mislaid. when Mr. Taylor called for it. That showed that the fault lay with the medical man. Mr. Lowther said it quite exonerated the parent. Admiral Challoner thought that Mr. Taylor had done his duty with regard to the vaccination of his child, but through some mistake of other the vaccination officer had not received the certificate. The parent bylaw was responsible for the certificate been sent to the vaccination-officer; but after the explanation they had had the only thing which remained was the matter of costs. Mr. Lowther, (two the vaccination-officer): When you called did the people say that the child had been vaccinated? The Vaccination-officer: The mother told me that the child was not vaccinated, but would be vaccinated as soon as it was well. Mr. Allow the: when you called again did you inquire if the child had been vaccinated? The Vaccination-officer: the next time I called I only saw the servant, and left the notice with her. Mr. Lowther: You have had two months to inquire since then. The Vaccination-officer: The instructions in the notice are clear. Mr. Lowther: I object to this sharp practice, because there is nothing more mysterious, and nothing that will tend to set the public against the Act itself more than a trivial prosecution of this sort. I know there is a feeling against private practitioners, but they have every right to practice vaccination. The only object of the law is to carry out the Vaccination Act, and a little inquiry on the part of the officer would have shown that this had been done. The Vaccination-officer: The notice clearly states that, on the child been vaccinated, the certificate is to be forwarded to me. Mr. Lowther: , you have the technical quibble of the law in your favour. Admiral Chaloner: It appears to me that the whole thing might have been avoided had the defendant, in receiving the notice, taken the trouble to look after the certificate, as he is required to do, and sent it to the vaccination-officer. The only thing now was the question of costs. Mr. Lowther for there was no occasion to order the defendant to pay the costs, whilst Admiral Chaloner contended that the vaccination-officer had only done his duty, and not ought to be called upon to pay them. Ultimately the bench, with the exception of Admiral Chaloner, agreed to dismiss the case without costs. Most of the other cases were dismissed, and three places were adjourned.


Lol Hansom January 16, 2015 Law & Order