Edward Jenner Fact File: Lifespan: 1749 – 1823 *** Full Name: Edward Jenner *** Occupation: English Physician and Scientist *** Date of Birth: Edward Jenner was born on May 17th 1749 *** Place of Birth: Edward Jenner was born in Berkeley in Gloucestershire, England *** Family background: His father was Reverend Stephen Jenner *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Berkeley *** Education: Edward Jenner received his education initially from his father but later attended Wotton-under-Edge and Cirencester ***
Edward Jenner Fact 1: Edward Jenner was born on May 17th 1749 and during the 18th century period in history when many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry.
Edward Jenner Fact 2: When he had completed his formal education at fourteen years of age he became apprentice to Mr Daniel Ludlow of Chipping Sodbury who was a surgeon.
Edward Jenner Fact 3: By 1770 he began his apprenticeship in surgery and anatomy with John Hunter a surgeon a St George’s Hospital.
Edward Jenner Fact 4: In 1773 he returned to his home in Gloucestershire and set up a practice on the premises of Berkeley as a family doctor and surgeon.
Edward Jenner Fact 5: In December 1802 he would become a master mason in Lodge of Faith and Friendship.
Edward Jenner Fact 6: In 1788 he would be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society after publishing a study on the nesting cuckoo that included dissection experiment and observation.
Edward Jenner Fact 7: What he observed was that the newly hatched cuckoo chick was the culprit when it came to the removal of rival eggs or chicks. Born with a specific indentation in its back, for the sole purpose of pushing out of the nest, any other occupant and not as previously thought the adult bird removing any completion.
Edward Jenner Fact 8: During 1788 he also married Catharine Kingscote and together they had three children, two sons and a daughter.
Edward Jenner Fact 9: In 1792 he was awarded his MD from St Andrew’s University and would be credited with understanding and advancing the condition of angina pectoris.
Edward Jenner Fact 10: Although inoculating against certain diseases was also being used regularly, Jenner himself received such an inoculation whilst at school for smallpox, it did not come with great risk.
Edward Jenner Fact 11: Although it had been some decades previously discovered that the more minor cowpox could be used to immunize against smallpox it was not largely understood exactly how it worked.
Edward Jenner Fact 12: Jenner needed to take the hypothesis further by understanding exactly how one was prevented by the other when the diseases were similar but not the same.
Edward Jenner Fact 13: Milkmaids were contracting cowpox from milking infected cows but were immune to smallpox. Jenner’s gardener had an eight year old son and he was used as a guinea pig, infected with cowpox he suffered a mild temperature and slight discomfort but no all-out infection. He was then infected with smallpox and did not contract the disease at all.
Edward Jenner Fact 14: Although Jenner did not develop the idea for inoculations itself what he did discover was how the introduction of a small amount of infection to the body helped build immunity. He also managed to establish that the infectious material could pass between humans not just animal to human, in other words an infected human could be used to create the inoculation material.
Edward Jenner Fact 15: So successful did this practice become that his vaccination process was used in the Spanish Balmis Expedition en masse. This was a three year long expedition around the America’s, Macao, the Philippines, China and Saint Helena Island with the aim of inoculating thoughts of people with the smallpox vaccine.
Edward Jenner Fact 16: This mission was a success and Edward Jenner said "I don’t imagine the annals of history furnish an example of philanthropy so noble, so extensive as this.".
Edward Jenner Fact 17: As a result of the success he had with this discovery and his continued work in this field, his family medical practice was closed permanently.
Edward Jenner Fact 18: With the assistance of the King petitioning Parliament in 1802 Jenner was awarded £10,000 to assist with his work and a further £20,000 was given to him in 1807 to help further his discoveries. The Royal College of Physicians were highly impressed with the success of the vaccination process and encouraged Jenner to further his study.
Edward Jenner Fact 19: So impressed with his success King George VI appointed him as the Royal physician. As well as being honored by being appointed major of Berkeley and justice of the peace.
Edward Jenner Fact 20: On January 26th 1823 it is believe from a stroke, aged seventy three. His body was laid to rest at the Church of St Mary’s in the Jenner family vault in Berkeley.
Influence and Legacy: His greatest achievement would be by 1979 the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated. Although modern medicine would play a large part in this eradication clearly inoculating large swathes of the world population was largely responsible too.
Short Facts about Edward Jenner for Kids
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