27th September the Customs estimated
that 'sheds or lazarets for the opening or airing of goods after
quarantine performed, and also proper Houses and Centinal Boxes
for the persons attending the opening, airing and re-packing . . .
'29 would cost £1,672 11s 0d.30 This sum
was authorized by an Order in Council of the 29th;31
but at the same time it was clear to the Privy Council that the
quarantine facilities were inadequate for expanding commerce, and
'inconvenient and expensive to the merchant'.32 Further
plague outbreaks in Turkey and the proposed alteration in the
Levant Company's charter decided the Government on legislative
reform, and the construction of a lazaret was reconsidered.
On 8th January, 1752, the Admiralty ordered officers
to Stangate Creek to 'examine whether there is a piece of ground
for building of lazarets',33 and on the 13th reported
that the officers 'had found a proper place at the upper end of
Stangate Creek',34 This intelligence was considered by
a parliamentary committee to which had been co-opted the assistant
to the Master Shipwright, and the Master Attendant of H.M. Dock,
both of Deptford.36 On 5th March they reported,
deprecating the 'present manner of performing quarantine by airing
goods on board Hoys and Vessels', and resolving 'that Chetney Hill
... is the proper place for a lazaret, . . . and plans and
estimates to be prepared and laid before the House'.30 This
is the first reference to Chetney Hill as the lazaret site.
The Quarantine Act of the following year (1753)
anticipated the erection of the lazaret.37 This Act was
for an indefinite period, power to expropriate lands for
quarantine purposes was vested in Parliament, and arrangements
were made for quarantining ships, on which plague had occurred
after passing Cape Finisterre, in the Scillies between Tresco and
Bryer. (The uninhabited islands of St. Helen's Tean and North
Withell were later substituted.38) A further Act
required ships with foul Bills of Health, i.e. from infected
ports, to quarantine at one of the Mediterranean lazarets, ships
with clean Bills of Health, i.e. from non-infected ports, to
quarantine at Stangate Creek, and goods to be aired on hulks.
These arrangements were temporary pending erection of the lazaret.39
However, building the lazaret was again postponed presumably
because the Mediterranean lazaret ports were open to
P.R.O., MSS. T11/22, p. 359.
30 Calendar of Treasury Books and
Papers, 1742-1745, p. 317.
31 P.R.O., MSS. T11/22, p. 369.
32 J.H.C., xxvi, 478.
33 Minutes of the Navy Board, P.R.O.,
ADM. 106/2664. Under dates.
34 Ibid. Under dates.
35 J.B.C., xxvi, 463.
36 Ibid., xxvi, 478.
37 26 Geo. II, c. 6 (1753).
38 29 Geo. II, c. 8 (1766). Facts from J.H.C.,
xxvii, 372-3, 412.
39 26 Geo. H, c. 18 (1753), sect. 12.