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Home » Memories » Pre-1939 » Smallpox in Yeadon – 1837

Smallpox in Yeadon – 1837

Memories Smallpox in Yeadon 1837
Title Smallpox in Yeadon
Date 1837
Location Yeadon
Written By David Kitchen
Comment A little bit of history shared with us by David Kitchen, this extract is taken from his Great, Great, Great Grandfathers diary. Probably best not to read this account before breakfast!

“Dear Carlo, …
I was wondering if this note would be of interest to people visiting the website.
As you can see it relates to an ancestor of mine who had Smallpox in 1837 and lived in Yeadon

Smallpox in Yeadon during the 19th Century
An account of a young girl surviving Smallpox

The following comes from the diary of John Yeadon (1764- 1843). He is my 3 x Great- grandfather.

In the spring of 1837, Isabella Yeadon who was John’s granddaughter had a severe form of Smallpox. Although as we shall disclose she came close to dying, she survived and went on to live for another seventy years. She died in 1907 just fifty years before I was born.
I have spoken with an aunt who has very clear memories of her daughter Cora who is my Great-grandmother.
Thinking on this, then the penny drops. If this young girl Isabella, had not survived this dreadful episode then a whole chain of people; probably well over a hundred by now, would never have lived.
Of course I am one of them.

“Tuesday morning 28th March 1837. Joseph’s girl, Isabella began in the Smallpox. She is about 15 years old.

It is March 28th. I saw her on the 30th for the first time, they are coming out- no doubt she got the contagion by lying at James Slater’s who had buried his wife and child lately of the Smallpox.

Friday 31st at 5 o’clock pm. I hope Isabella had an easy night. I say hope she will not have a great load. God grant it if it is consistent with his will.

Saturday April 1st. Tonight she seemed to be free from fever. Sat up a little. The Good Lord save Isabella.

Lords Day April 2nd……..Isabella on Sunday 2nd. I saw her in the afternoon. She had a greater load of pox than I expected. Lord save her if consistent with thy righteous will. Amen.

Monday April 3rd. Isabella has no alarming symptoms that I can find, nor fever. It will be the 8th day from sickening tomorrow.

Tuesday April 4th. This is the 8th day from sickening. A full load there certainly is but no symptoms that I can disapprove of in such a load. I mean Isabella Yeadon April 4th 1837. Glory be to God for it.

Wednesday April 5th. Isabella is at the height in her Smallpox, a full load indeed, but symptoms moderate so far. Her Grandfather JY.

Thursday April 6th. Isabella had a good day but sore. Glory be to God and Lamb.

Friday 7. Isabella Pox turned white a day or two back. This day they are turned yellow, they are full plump and ripe. This is the 11 day since beginning.

Saturday 8th April. Isabella no worse. Tho passing the crisis 4 O’clock PM. This is the 12th day since first sickening. J.Y. her grandfather.

Sunday April 9. Isabella is turned the height of Small Pox. They are the wet kind and full of mater. The Good Lord has heard prayer and answered so far for Isabella. God be for-ever praised for so doing. Let it be for thy glory my God.

Monday 10. Isabella Pox runs much. They had much to do in shifting her this morning so stiff and Barked on. John Denison girl 20 years old died this morning about 4 o’clock of the same Small Pox. Isabella symptoms continue the same only she has passed the height and great hopes are entertained of her perfect recovery. Lord grant it for her own sake, for her family and for thy own glory. 7 o’clock Monday night.

Tuesday 11th . This is the 15th day since Isabella first sickness for the Small Pox. She can now feel the pox stinck, they run very much indeed and there is abundance of mater. The swelling is subsiding in proportion as they run. I still hope that she will be spared a little longer in this world of trouble and sorrow. I write as an old man. Isabella has seen little of either yet but. I will now take my leave of this subject for this day 3 O’clock PM Tuesday. Her Grandfather.

Wednesday April 12th. This is the 16th day since Isabella began. It was on Easter Tuesday in the morning. She has been greatly favoured by a Good God. One is taken and another is left.. They are burying John Denison daughter now while I am writing this. Praise God for thus sparing even Glory.

April 13th. Isabella is mending. Cannot sit up too much yet but today for the first time sat up for more than an hour and a half. She is better and better. Praise God.”

September 2013.

Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 05 August 2022.
Last updated: 05 August 2022.

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