Prosecutions under the Vaccination Acts

The following are newpaper reports of prosecutions for non-compliance, brought under one of the small pox Vaccination Acts.


 

[Wimborne Petty Sesions]

Francis Shering was summoned for neglecting to have his children properly vaccinated.–Fined 10s. and 9s.costs. [Bridport News 26/06/1869 p3].

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[Sherborne Petty Sessions]

June 23rd.—Before J. Goodden, W. N. Allford, and Lewis George, St. Lo, Esqrs, and Rev. J. Blennerhasset.—Charles Hann, of Yetminster, was summoned for refusing to have his children vaccinated, fined 6d. and costs 8s., and allowed a week to pay the same. [Sherborne Mercury 28/06/1859 p5].

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[Sherborne Petty Sessions]

Ann Skents was summoned for neglecting to produce her child on the 8th day after vaccination for examination by the medical officer. The defendant admitted the charge, but she pleaded ignorance and that she had left the child at Yeovil. Fined for the mitigated penalty of 6s. 6d. including costs. [Bridport News 05/11/1869 p4].

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[Bridport Borough Petty Sessions]

Benjamin Rowe and Joseph Jesse Parker were charged by the public prosecutor for the board of guardians with non-compliance with the requirements of the Vaccination Act. Neither of the accused answered their names when called on, but appeared afterwards. Joseph Jesse Parker had since the information was laid complied with the Act, and was, therefore only mulcted in the costs. From the evidence adduced in the other case, that of Benjamin Row, it seems that he refuses to have his child vaccinated. The magistrates adjourned the case for a week, inflicting a fine of 5s. and costs; but allowing the defendant that time to have the child, who is now two years old, vaccinated. The prosecutor on behalf of the board of guardians stated that there were a great number of defaulters, but he was not desirous to prosecute, and had, therefore, summoned only two, hoping that before another court those who had not yet complied with the Act would do so. If they failed he should have to summon a large number. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 30/04/1870 p5].

Benjamin Row, who had been summoned at the Court the week before for neglecting to comply with the requirements of the Vaccination Act, and who was allowed one week to have the child vaccinated, was called on but did not appear. No notice having been sent to the registrar, the Bench ordered a fine of 5s. and 10s. 6d. costs, or in default seven days’ imprisonment. The defendant is at present serving with the Dorset Militia at Dorchester. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 07/05/1870 p5].

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[County Petty Sessions]

James Ashment, blacksmith of Bourton, was summoned by Mr. V. H. Norris, registrar of births and deaths, for neglecting to take his child to be vaccinated within three caldendar months after its birth as required by the Vaccination Act. Defendant did not appear in answer to the summons. Mr. Norris proved having served the usual notices, and produced a certificate he had received from a medical man stating that the child was ill and unfit for vaccination. The Bench considered this was no answer to the charge, and it was now 15 months old ; and, after some consultation, they decided upon convicting defendant in the sum of 10s. and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 14/05/1870 p5].

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[Bridport Petty Sessions]

Walter Walters, John Bowditch, Elizabeth Hoskins, and four others who were the previous week mulcted in costs for a breach of the Vaccination Act, and had not now paid, were allowed another week, and if not then paid a distress will be levied, and if sufficient effects be not found they will be committed. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 28/05/1870 p4].

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[Bridport Borough Police Court]

The various parties who had been summoned for non-compliance with the Vaccination Act and were fined 2s. 6d. had paid their fines with two exceptions. These two are now ordered to pay 8s. 6d., or in default seven days’ imprisonment. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 11/06/1870 p5].

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[Sherborne Petty Sessions]

James Gosney, of Sherborne, who was represented by his wife, was fined 6s., including costs, for neglecting to bring her child to be examined after vaccination by the parish surgeon, Mr. Davies. The prosecutor did not press the case, but stated that he had such difficulty in getting people to comply with the regulations that he was obliged to bring forward one case as an example to others. The woman Gosney, who looked very ill, said she was unable to pay the fine, having a young family, and her husband having been recently disabled by breaking a blood-vessel. Allowed a week to pay. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 05/11/1870 p4].

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[Wimborne Petty Sessions]

Thomas Bailey, Robert Barrett, William Brewer, Mark Loader, James Sherring, and Joseph Loader, were summoned for neglecting to take their children for inspection eight days after vaccination according to the Act. The case was adjourned from last court for the attendance of Dr. Van, the vaccinator, as several of the defendants asserted that they took their children for inspection on the proper day to the appointed place, but Dr. Van did not come at the time specified. Dr. Van failed to satisfy the Bench that he was guiltless of neglect in the affair, and the charges against James Sherring, William Sherring [Thomas Bailey?], and William Brewer, were dismissed. Robert Barrett had been summoned wrongly, through Dr. Van’s mistake, and was allowed his costs. Joseph Loader, who had himself showed negligence, was fined 2s. 6d., and Mark Loader, who failed to attend, was fined 10s. including costs. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 29/04/1871 p3].

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[Poole Petty Sessions]

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH VACCINATION ORDER.—Sarah Burke, of Constitution-hill, Kinson, was charged, at the instance of Mr. Slade, clerk to the guardians at Poole, with not complying with the usual notice to vaccinate her child. Samuel Garland, registrar for the sub-district of Canford, said he registered the birth of the child on the 30th May, 1870, and had received no certificate of vaccination though the usual notice had been served. A letter was handed to the magistrates, in which defendant pleaded inability to attend, and made some excuses for her neglect, and the Bench inflicted a fine of 10s. and costs. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 22/07/1871 p3].

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[Shaston Petty Sessions]

Charles Spicer, of Cann, and Moses Prowles, of Shaston St. James, were summoned by Mr. H. G. Norton, one of the officers appointed by the guardians of the Shaftesbury Union to enforce the provisions of the Vaccination Act, for neglecting to have their children vaccinated. Mr. Norton, who is also the registrar of births and deaths, proved serving the necessary vaccination notices upon registering the births of the children. The defendants, since the summonses were taken out, have caused their children to be vaccinated. The magistrates ordered defendants to pay the costs of the summonses, as they were the first persons who had been summoned for neglecting to comply with the Act ; but they intimated their intention to inflict a penalty in all future cases where the neglect by parents could be proved. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 12/08/1871 p3].

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[Bridport Petty Sessions]

THE VACCINATION ACT.—Several persons were on Tuesday last summoned before the magistrates for non compliance with the Vaccination Act. One man named Abbott was summoned on two cases ; his wife appeared and pleaded ignorance of the Act. She had, however, on the previous day had her two children vaccinated. Mr. Cox, the public prosecutor, called the policeman who served the summons, and stated that the woman declared in most abusive terms that she would not have her children vaccinated, but would rather go to gaol. She thought it very hard, she said, in reply to the policemen’s evidence, to be summoned for what she knew nothing about ; if she had been told she must have the children vaccinated, she would have attended to it. Mr. Cox reminded her that bills had been posted in all parts of the town, notice given her where the children were vaccinated, and the town crier was sent to tell people what would be the consequence. She, however, declared she had heard of none of that. The Bench said it was ridiculous for her to plead ignorance. She would be fined half-a-crown and costs, in all 12s., or in default her husband would be committed for fourteen days. Allowed three weeks to pay. Some other persons had had their children vaccinated, but neglected to send the proper form to the registrat. They were let off by paying costs. Two persons had had their children vaccinated, but had neglected to take them to the public vaccinator at the proper time that he might certify to the successful vaccination. On this occasion the Bench did not enforce the penalty, as it was the first case brought before them ; but they wished it to be know that in future cases the penalty would be stringently enforced. David Hounsell was permitted to stand over until next meeting in order to have his child vaccinated, as he was considered too unwell before. The Bench informed him he ought to have sent a proper form to the registrar. Noah Page, who has had a daughter die from small-pox, and who has always opposed vaccination was now ordered to have two children vaccinated and pay 8s. costs. The costs were paid. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 16/12/1871 p5].

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[Bridport Borough Petty Sessions]

Tom Bishop Courtney was charged with not having three of his children vaccinated. He obstinately refused to have the operation performed, and was ordered to pay 5s. and 8s. 6d. costs, or in default to be committed for 14 days. He said he would never pay the money, and if sent to gaol would never again support his family.–Eli Sembridge was charged with not taking his child to the surgeon the week after vaccination in order that a certificate of successful vaccination might be given. The defendant stated that his child had been examined, but Mr. Evans had told the mother as the child was weakly not to take it back. Mr. Evans denied this. He was fined 2s. 6d. and 9s. 6d. costs, and allowed a week to pay. [Southern Times & Dorset County Herald 23/12/1871 p4].