Commons, and the following day
£65,000 was voted from the Consolidated Fund 'for
erecting a lazaret on Chetney Hill'.61 A statute of 1st
October allowed expenses to be defrayed by levying duties on ships
quarantining in Britain,62 and another of 31st December
extended these duties to ships bound for the Channel Islands and
Man.63 Building now commenced.
THE LAZARETT'S DESIGN
This is not known and the lazaret is no longer
standing. Wyatt's plans have not survived in the printed sessional
papers of 1800.42 The fire which destroyed the London
Custom House in 1814, so completely that 'The whole Custom House
is now down except the front wall',64 would have
probably accounted for papers lodged with the Customs despite the
efforts made to recover documents which had been buried or blown
away. (These included the appointment of 'two Inspectors of the
River with a sufficient number of Trusty Tidewaiters ... to assist
in saving such Books, Papers, Documents, and other property, as
may be dug out of the Ruins'; and the attendance of authorized
officers daily 'at the Sign of the Robin Hood and Little John,
Hoxton Fields, at the Shoulder of Mutton and Cat, London Fields,
Hackney, at the Lamb, Kingsland, and at the Bird Cage, Stanford
Hill', to receive any wayward documents.)65 However,
some evidence can be adduced of the lazaret's design and
The most influential medical members of the advisory
committee to the Privy Council of 1799, were Patrick Russell and
Gilbert Blane.66 Both believed implicitly in
quarantine. Russell, in addition, had written an authoritative
series of books on quarantine, and had clearly stated his views on
the superiority of land to floating lazarets, with a plan of an
ideal one 'which . . . must be accommodated to circumstances of
commerce, as well as to the various dispositions of the ground on
which they [the buildings] are erected; but the general plan
may be nearly the same for all' 67 (my
italics). The great Marseilles lazaret, of which he had personal
experience, was his model. Also, his views were similar to those
Ibid., lv, 697.
62 39 and 40 Geo. III, c. 80 (1800).
This repealed 26 Geo. II, c. 6; 29 Geo. II, c. 8; 12 Geo. III, c.
57; 28 Geo. III, c. 33; 39 Geo. III, c. 99.
63 J.H.G., lv, 911, 913, 921, 930.
64 National Register, 16th
65 R. C. Jarvis, 'Laing's Custom House', Trans.
Lond. Middlesex. Arch. Soc. xx(iv) (1961), 1-16.
66 The committee comprised: Pour of H.M.
Physicians-in-Ordinary; Dr. Patrick Russell, former physician to
the British factory at Aleppo; Drs. Johnston and Blane,
Commissioners of Sick and Hurt, and another physician; one of the
Commissioners of Customs; two members of the quarantine committee
of the Levant Company (Reports, 1800 (169) xxviii, 4; P.
Froggatt, op. cit.).
67 P. Russell, op. cit., p.