of John Howard, his influential lay
contemporary, who had wide experience of all the European
lazarets, and had published detailed plans of an appropriate one
for England.68 It seems certain that to be accepted
Wyatt's plans must have met Russell's (and Howard's)
The lazaret was to be a large, walled enclosure 'of
the most cheerful aspect [with] a spacious and pleasant garden [to
be] convenient as well as salutary'.68 The walls 'were
not so much intended for the prevention of persons making their
escape, as of the clandestine conveyance of goods or small
parcels'.69 There would be compartments for airing
goods, those with foul Bills being segregated; and a fresh water
supply, three infirmaries for 'infected . . . dubious . . . and
those convalescent from the plague', separate buildings for
passengers depending on their Bill of Health, houses for the
superintendent, chaplain, surgeon, stewards and clerks; a laundry,
a tavern, porters' and sentinels' lodges, and a parloir. Outside
the walls, close to the quay, would be a powder magazine, and a
pratique house 'for the reception of captains of ships, when they
come to present their patents and letters, and to be examined'.
The main enclosure would have three gates, 'one . . . towards the
land and two towards the water', these last two having quays for
handling goods respectively before and after quarantine.
Passengers' quarters were to be in two buildings 'both being
provided with a vaulted room for fumigation, and with a bath. Each
department should have its separate entry, and other
convenience,.. . but as the number of passengers from the Levant
is inconsiderable, and the Continent is seldom in quarantine, the
buildings proposed need not, at first, be extensive as they may be
enlarged afterwards if found necessary.' Also, Russell was keen to
avoid the worst practices of the European lazarets, those of
Venice and Syra being notorious but the others being little
better. Of the former Howard wrote: 'I was shown to lodgings in
the lazaret which was a very dirty room full of vermin, and
without a table, chair or bed ... I hoped for better lodgings . .
. The apartment now appointed me, consisting of an upper and a
lower room, was no less disagreeable and offensive than the
former. I preferred lying in the lower room upon a brick floor
where I was almost surrounded by water.'70 Of the
latter 'where the exactions are monstrous', an eye-witness had
seen 'a person come out [from the lazaret] having had his garments
devoured by rats, and his person disfigured by vermin'.71
J. Howard, op. cit., p. 11.
69 Facts about the lazaret plan from ibid.,
p. 11 seq., and P. Russell, op. cit., p. 403-08.
Quotations from the latter.
70 J. Howard, op. cit,, p. 11.
71 J. Bowring, Observations on the
Oriental Plague, and on Quarantine as a Means of Arresting its
Progress, Edinburgh, G. Tait (1838). Abstracted in Lancet (1838),