1840: 3 & 4 Victoria c.29: An Act to extend the Practice of Vaccination.
[23d July 1840.]
WHEREAS it is expedient to extend the Practice of Vaccination: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same,
[Poor Law Guardians to contract with their Medical Officers, or other Medical Practitioners, for Vaccination.]
That from and after the passing of this Act it shall be lawful for the Guardians of every Parish or Union, and for the Overseers of every Parish in which Relief to the Poor shall not be administered by Guardians, in England and Wales, and they are hereby directed, to contract with the Medical Officers of their several Unions or Parishes respectively, or with any legally qualified Medical Practitioner or Practitioners, for the Vaccination of all Persons resident in such Unions or Parishes respectively: Provided always, that it shall be a Condition of every such Contract that the Amount of the Remuneration to be received under the same shall depend on the Number of Persons who, not having been previously successfully vaccinated, shall be successfully vaccinated by such Medical Officers or Practitioners respectively so contracting.
[Guardians to conform to the Regulations of the Poor Law Commissioners.]
II. And be it further enacted, That in making such Arrangements as may be required for the Execution of this Act, such Guardians and Overseers, and all other Officers engaged in the Administration of the Laws for the Relief of the Poor, shall conform to the Regulations which may from Time to Time be issued by the Poor Law Commissioners in that Behalf, which Regulations the said Commissioners are hereby authorized and required to make and issue.
[Medical Officers to report the Number of Persons vaccinated, &c.]
III. And be it further enacted, That such Medical Officers or Practitioners shall make a Report to such Guardians or Overseers from Time to Time of the Number of Persons successfully vaccinated by them respectively, and shall make such further Report, with respect to the Persons so vaccinated, as such Guardians and Overseers, under the Direction of the Poor Law Commissioners, shall require.
[Copies of Contracts to be sent to Commissioners.]
IV. And be it enacted, That such Guardians or Overseers shall forthwith, after the Conclusion of any such Contract as before mentioned, transmit a Copy thereof to the Poor Law Commissioners.
[Annulling of Contracts.]
V. And be it enacted, That if such Commissioners shall not annul such Contract within Fourteen Days from the Receipt thereof such Contract shall thenceforth not be liable to be annulled by such Commissioners.
[Guardians of Poor Law Unions in Ireland to divide their Unions into Districts, &c.]
VI. And be it further enacted, That as soon as may be after the passing of this Act the Guardians of every Poor Law Union in Ireland shall (subject to the Approbation of the Poor Law Commissioners) divide such Union into Districts of convenient Extent, and may alter the same from Time to Time, subject to the like Approbation, and shall (subject to such Approbation as aforesaid) contract with competent Medical Practitioners for the Period of One Year, and so from Year to Year as such Contracts may expire, for the Vaccination of all Persons who may come to such Medical Practitioners for that Purpose.
[Previous Provisions with respect to Unions in England and Wales to apply to Ireland.]
VII. And be it further enacted, That all the Provisions herein-before made with respect to England and Wales for the making of Reports of such Medical Officers or Medical Practitioners shall apply to all such Contracts as may be made under this Act by the Guardians of any Poor Law Union in Ireland; and such Guardians, and all other Officers engaged in the Administration of Relief to the destitute Poor, shall conform to the Regulations and Instructions of the Poor Law Commissioners, in like Manner as is herein-before directed with respect to Guardians, Overseers, and other Officers in England and Wales.
[Persons inoculating or otherwise producing Small Pox to be subject to One Month’s Imprisonment.]
VIII. And be it further enacted, That any Person who shall from and after the passing of this Act produce or attempt to produce in any Person, by Inoculation with variolous Matter, or by wilful Exposure to variolous Matter, or to any Matter, Article, or Thing impregnated with variolous Matter, or wilfully by any other Means whatsoever produce the Disease of Small Pox in any Person in England, Wales, or Ireland, shall be liable to be proceeded against and convicted summarily before any Two or more Justices of the Peace in Petty Sessions assembled, and for every such Offence shall, upon Conviction, be imprisoned in the Common Gaol or House of Correction for any Term not exceeding One Month.
[Interpretation of Words.]
IX. And be it further enacted, That every Word in such Part of this Act as refers to England and Wales shall be interpreted in like Manner as such Word is directed to be interpreted in an Act passed in the Fourth and Fifth Year of His late Majesty King William the Fourth,
[4 & 5 W.4 c. 76.]
intituled An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales; and that every Word used in such Part of this Act as relates to Ireland shall be interpreted in like Manner as such Word is directed to be interpreted in an Act passed in the First and Second Year of the Reign of Her present Majesty,
[1 & 2 Vict. c. 56.]
intituled An Act for the effectual Relief of the destitute Poor in Ireland.
Related legislation: Amending Vaccination Extension Act, 1841.
Further reading: The Victorian Commons, ‘Vaccination and the Vote.’