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Online (Zoom)
Yorkshire branch

An online talk on the pioneering role of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in introducing the first effective smallpox treatment

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) is recognised today as a writer, poet, and medical pioneer whose life reflected the privileges and pitfalls facing a fiercely intelligent, creative and ambitious aristocratic woman in England. Lady Mary's life continues to attract interest and debate in her role in the introduction in Britain of the first effective smallpox treatment.

Following immunisation of her young son in Turkey, Lady Mary demonstrated its practical application in Britain over half a century before the procedure of Edward Jenner.

The talk by a representative of National Trust at Wentworth Castle Gardens (Barnsley) will span Lady Mary's lifetime and discuss how her personality and privilege enabled introducion of inoculation into a sceptical society. There will be demonstration of inoculation using an innovative surrogate subject!

Cost and booking

This event is free to attend, and is open to all. Non-RSB members may register to attend by creating a free mySociety account using their name and email address. Advance booking is essential via the link at the top of the page, and the Zoom meeting details will be sent to all registered guests on the day of the event.

Continuing Professional Development

This event is approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD and can be counted as 3 CPD points.


For specific event queries, please contact Chris Collins at
For booking or website queries, contact Harriet McAra at or on 020 3925 3445.