Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden

Born in 1749, Edward Jenner spent much of his childhood exploring the fields and hedgerows surrounding the Gloucestershire town of Berkeley. After training as a surgeon with the great John Hunter in London, 23-year-old Jenner returned to Berkeley with a renewed enthusiasm to uncover the secrets of the natural world.

Edward Jenner’s early experiments included medicine, horticulture and the natural world. He achieved his Fellowship of the Royal Society for a paper on the nesting habits of cuckoos. Then, in 1796, he carried out the world’s first controlled vaccination against smallpox. Soon after he established a free vaccination clinic in the Temple of Vaccinia, a rustic hut in his peaceful garden.

Edward Jenner devoted the rest of his life to explaining the benefits of vaccination and telling others how to carry it out safely. As vaccination travelled the world, smallpox gradually came under control and in 1979 was declared eradicated. Now other vaccines inspired by Jenner save two to three million lives every year.

 

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