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The Great InoculatorThe Untold Story of Daniel Sutton and his Medical Revolution$
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Gavin Weightman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300241440

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300241440.001.0001

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An Imposter in the Family

An Imposter in the Family

(p.86) 10 An Imposter in the Family
The Great Inoculator

Gavin Weightman

Yale University Press

This chapter studies how, asserting his right to be regarded as the chief of the dynasty, 63-year-old Robert Sutton put an advertisement in the London Evening Post on May 9, 1771, to complain of 'many imposters who have assumed the Suttonian art of inoculation, and likewise my name'. He felt he was 'under the necessity of informing the public where my sons and partners reside to practise inoculation'. A lengthy list included accredited Suttonians not only in Britain, but in France, America, and the Caribbean. Top of the list were all family: seven sons and two sons-in-law. A tenth family member might have been included: Daniel Sutton's father-in-law Simeon Worlock. He had been practising as a Suttonian since 1769, but he was not on the list. He was, in fact, the most blatant imposter ever to usurp the name of Sutton, safe in the knowledge that he could not be brought to book because he had quietly slipped across the Channel to Paris where, for several years, he enjoyed considerable celebrity.

Keywords:   Robert Sutton, Suttonian inoculation, Suttonians, Simeon Worlock, inoculation

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