As a maritime trading nation, the issue of quarantine was one of constant concern to Britain. Whilst naturally keen to promote international trade, there was a constant fear of importing potentially devastating diseases into British territories. In this groundbreaking study, John Booker examines the methods by which British authorities sought to keep their territories free from contagious diseases, and the reactions to, and practical consequences of, these policies. Drawing upon a wealth of documentary sources, Dr Booker paints a vivid picture of this controversial episode of British political and mercantile history, concluding that quarantine was a peculiarly British disaster, doomed to inefficiency by the royal prerogative and concerns for trade and individual liberty. Whilst it may not have fatally hindered the economic development of Britain, it certainly irritated the City and the mercantile elites and remained a source of constant political friction for many years. As such, an understanding of British maritime quarantine provides a fuller picture of attitudes to trade, culture, politics and medicine in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; The 17th century; The Baltic crisis, 1709-1714: policy and procedure; The Baltic crisis, 1709-1714: mercantile worries; The Marseilles crisis 1720-1723; Gibraltar and Minorca, 1720-1814; The Messina crisis, and legislation, 1728-1754; Indecision in Britain, 1756-1788; The foul-bill dilemma, 1786-1800; Land or sea? The lazaretto debate, 1793-1800; British Board of Health and Kentish fiasco, 1803-1820; Malta: war, peace and plague, 1640-1814; Anti-contagionism in Britain, 1805-1825; Malta and the Ionian islands, 1815-1826; Mediterranean misery, plus cholera, 1825-1835; International deliberation, 1835-1853; Malta, 1826-1851, and the demise of quarantine; Glossary; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.
’Booker discusses a wealth of information about costs, shipping, ports, lazarets, traders, politicians and officials - a great deal of it accumulated by meticulous archival research. This book will long stand as a major work of reference in a field which the author has unquestionably made his own.’ Social History of Medicine ’Using a wealth of archival research in Britain, Malta and Marseilles John Booker has produced an exhaustive account, and one that will be a remarkable resource for those interested in all aspects of maritime quarantine... It is likely that this book will serve as the standard account of quarantine for some time to come.’ The Mariner's Mirror ’... Booker has assembled a clear, encyclopaedic and well-indexed narrative that will be a valuable reference work for specialists in the history of public medicine and the fascinating subject of maritime quarantine.’ International Journal of Maritime History ’... the subject of maritime history has been thoroughly unpacked by Booker, and his findings should find their way into numerous relevant historical fields.’ Journal British Studies ’S’appuyant sur une importante masse d’archives, John Booker apporte un éclairage plutÃ´t complet sur ce thème si controversé de la politique britannique et de l’histoire marchande...’ Annales de Démographie Historique