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Hampshire Genealogical Society

Alton Group

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
All Saints Parish Church Hall
Queens Road
Alton, Hampshire GU34 1RD
It is a tale of endeavour that begins with a chance encounter - an intriguing inscription on a tombstone. We embark on a search for the truth about Man’s early quest for immunity to infection and the strange practices used by ancient civilisations to protect against smallpox. We then meet a fascinating character, a Dorset farmer named Benjamin Jesty who brought a new idea to the fight against this disease - vaccination - 22 years before Dr Edward Jenner established the practice.
The story unfolds to describe a hunt for a portrait of historic importance that vanished 120 years ago and was thought to be lost. We learn how the speaker found this elusive oil painting half the world away and why it was brought back to England for restoration.

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