Welcome to Dorset Allsorts

We'll be posting a variety of facts and photos of whatever takes our fancy as we wander around Dorset. They may be of churches, buildings, visitor attractions or natural scenes – in fact there will be all sorts! We hope they will give you a glimpse of some of the sights this beautiful county has to offer.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Grave of Benjamin Jesty

In the churchyard of St Nicholas, in Worth Matravers, is the grave of Benjamin Jesty and his wife, Elizabeth.

While Dr Edward Jenner is the man regarded the world over as the man who discovered a vaccine for smallpox, one of the most horrendous illnesses ever, Benjamin Jesty, a Dorset dairy farmer, inoculated his family against the disease 22 years before Jenner’s discovery!

As a farmer he’s become aware that his workers who contracted the mild disease of Cowpox were protected from Smallpox.  Thus he gathered some pus from an infected cow and using a knitting needle ‘enoculated’ his family against the disease by inserting said needle into their flesh.

In recognition of his work The Vaccine Pock Institute commissioned this portrait which is now to be found in The Dorset County Museum.

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