Royal Jennerian Society. Honorary Membership Diploma.

Royal Jennerian Society. Honorary Membership Diploma.
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An interesting and rare item. In 1803 the Royal Jennerian Society was founded by the physician and father of vaccination Edward Jenner (1749-1823), to promote smallpox vaccination for the poor and the elimination of the disease through inoculation. The Society continued until around 1852. This certificate, with its architectural motifs of a triumphal arch bearing the Royal Arms, and statue of Jenner, carrying the slain python of disease, standing on a pedestal bearing a bas-relief of a milkmaid and cow (a reference to to Jenner’s discovery that matter taken from cowpox lesions on the hands of milkmaids, and provided protection from smallpox). Through the arch is a vista of the City of London and in the foreground are engraved scrolls bearing the names of the members and officers (foremost amongst whom is the Duke of Wellington as President) of the Society. The Diploma carries the name of the watercolour artist James Holworthy (d. 1841), elected as an honorary member on May 17th 1820 (Jenner’s birthday).