Remembering Philip Ollerenshaw (1953-2020)

Phil Ollerenshaw

By Kent Fedorowich Phil joined the History staff at what was then Bristol Polytechnic from Ulster Polytechnic in January 1986.  On arrival in Bristol, Phil and his wife, Hilary, settled in Downend and began to raise a family blessed by two daughters, Jennifer and Linda. Educated at Leeds University, the London School of Economics and… Continue reading Remembering Philip Ollerenshaw (1953-2020)

Raingard Esser remembers Phil Ollerenshaw

I remember Phil as a great colleague with a great sense of humour, as an academic teacher, for whom the care and nurturing of students stood at the heart of his work, and as a dedicated researcher, who took his profound scholarship lightly. I remember very well two scenes capturing these characteristics. The first centres… Continue reading Raingard Esser remembers Phil Ollerenshaw

Nick Conway pays tribute to Phil Ollerenshaw

Phil was one of my PhD supervisors from 2012-2018. The first time I met Phil was in 2012 at my initial interview during the application process for my PhD. His enthusiasm and friendly nature were immediately evident and helped to make what had been a terrifying prospect into a thoroughly pleasant and productive experience. Needless… Continue reading Nick Conway pays tribute to Phil Ollerenshaw

‘A long career of brutality to the poor’: Popular resistance to the Vaccination Acts in the nineteenth century South West

satirical scene poor patients receive the cowpox vaccine and develop bovine features
James Gillray 'The Cow-Pock or the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation 1802 (c) Trustees of the British Museum

At Stroud in 1897, protesting crowds congregated outside the market hall for three days in an attempt to prevent a public auction of household effects, seized by the authorities in a ‘distraint sale’. These were the belongings of a local family who had refused to let their children be vaccinated against Smallpox as the law required. Distraint sales like this had increasingly become an arena for protest and carnivalesque displays of public outrage and the Stroud riot was no exception. The crowd set fire to heather bushes, acted out pantomimic scenes in fancy dress, and pelted eggs at police constables and auctioneers. They overwhelmed the local police force, as well as the police who had been sent in from neighbouring towns and cities. But why would anybody riot against a vaccination programme set up to combat Smallpox? In this article, Holly John investigates a nineteenth century medical controversy and discovers that despite being the home of Dr Edward Jenner, the ‘Father of immunisation’, the south-west of England was also once home to a fervent anti-vaccination movement.