“The Inoculator’s Lancet” – Excerpts from the Writings of H.A. Lachenay

” T h e   I n o c u l a t o r ‘ s   L a n c e t “
Excerpts from the Writings of H.A. Lachenay (1796 – 1869)

“On New Year’s Day 1796, I, Henri Allen Lachenay, was born in Devonshire, England, to refugees from Paris who had fled The Terror.  Of some irony, I was born the same year that Jenner first procured vaccinia from the hand of a milk-maid and conveyed the same to an eight-year-old boy, thereby insulating and safeguarding him from the horrors of small-pox.”

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“My youth I fondly recall.  My parents encouraged me to read.  My first book was Songs of Innocence, by William Blake.  I soon graduated to Homer, Plato, Jonathan Swift, and Voltaire.”

“I was quite ordinary, not unlike the others, with average physical prowess and mental facility.  As a young boy, I was taken with electricity and the experiments of Dr. Franklin.  I tinkered with magnets, of which I had amassed a rather large collection.  I became obsessed with learning the true nature of magnetism, electricity, and the electromagnetic force!”

“What causes magnetic attraction?  Does it bear relation to gravitational attraction?  In contemplating these queries, I am oft lost in daydreams.  I shall prove that gravity is but magnetic attraction tho’ on a grander scale.  Electricity is surely cosmic fire!”

“When I began to take interest in the company of ladies, I was curious to know the role that magnetism plays during the courtship process.  I wondered whether the force that attracts two inert objects is the same force that attracts two animate souls.  This I pondered at some length.”

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“Originally destined for the parsonage, I spent many idle hours in daydreams.  I had become proficient at juggling.  I managed four balls proficiently.  My ambition was to join Philip Astley’s touring troop and travel to London.  I once saw a Cornish street performer with four balls in rotation.  This garish little man would make a fifth ball hang suspended in midair.  It took away my breath.  This trick I vowed to learn.”

“One day, in Plymouth, at a knocking shop, I had been drinking gin to the point of unconsciousness.  When I awoke, I found myself out-at-sea.  The Old Andrew crimped many.  I was aged 21.  Into service I was pressed.  It was not without irony that my unfortunate circumstance came after the Peace.”

“It was miserable.  In Occupied France, The Royal Navy Recruitment Office had pressed into service many Frenchies who had honorably surrendered.  During my service, I resolved that I should speak only French to my captors.  “Parlais qu’en français.”  The native Frenchmen, however, quickly determined I was not from The Continent.  None could read, tho’ they readily deduced I was an Englishman.  During our three squares, I became their English tutor, translating the Officer’s calls and the Purser’s orders for shelving stores in the ship’s cargo.”

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“January 1818 — at Charles Fort, Barbados, W.I., along with other recruits, I was variolated.  The Royal Navy had lost many able seamen to the small-pox.  I was reluctant.  Yet I believed it was my benefit.  Many questions I asked.  The Ship’s Surgeon made two incisions on my uppermost left arm and then inserted morbid matter, variolas, but I could not look upon the procedure.  The good doctor then applied a salve.  My entire left arm was flush with heat.  It was all very quick and not a little frightening.”

“I was immediately seized of indisposition in the pit of my left arm.  The Sergeant placed us in quarantine tents, row upon row.  The following morning, I was seized of a flashing febrile rash.  Sweat lay upon my brow.  I was alternately cold and hot.  The humidity of the West Indies made my situation most uncomfortable.  We were under orders to remain in tents.  Sentries manned the perimeter.  About my abdomen, neck and arms, I developed several pustules.  A few did suppurate.  And with great discomfort.  A Nurse and Surgeon’s Asst. did take care to drain the vesicle and clean the suppuration.  For a fortnight, I did not leave my tent, save for the privy.  For ten days, my sleep was interrupted by volatile night sweats.  On Day 11, the pustules began to recede.  I then took delight in the warm nighttime breezes.  I breathed deeply and it donned on me that I should never suffer with the small-pox.”

“I am now insulated with immunity from the dreaded small-pox.  I shall confidently walk the dimly lit corridors and alleyways.  And when the Heavens open with pathogenic deluge, between the raindrops, I shall flit unseen.  Freely I shall visit small-pox wards, but never shall I be liable to that most hideous of infections.”

“I sailed aboard His Majesty’s Armed Vessel, Eurydice, commanded by Sir William Bullingdon.  For five burdensome years, I traveled the globe.  Many tedious voyages I made to the Society Islands, back to Jamaica, round Cape Horn to Valparaiso, and not without many hazards.  During these travels, I saw nothing save bondage, oppression, violence, and despair.  Towards what end, I know not.”

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“On shore leave in Jamaica, a dozen Frenchmen and I made good our plans to desert, the penalty for which is hanging.  We had no trouble in our flight to the American frigate USS Congress.  The boisterous Americans delivered us to Martinique.  At length they interrogated me.  I told them all I knew of the Royal Navy’s designs in those waters.  In exchange, an Officer-of-the-Watch shared stories of Dr. Franklin’s exploits.  We then signed on with Frenchie merchants and sailed for La Rochelle.  After five years abroad, I am returned home.”

“In 1836, the small-pox then came round.  My parents died in Winter 1836, both taken by the pox.  I witnessed their suffering.  The pox having no effect upon me, I lent what comfort I could.  I did remove all mirrors from the house, lest they gaze upon the horrors of their own pock-marked countenance.  I held their hands as they passed.  The Vicar and I laid them to rest in the churchyard at St. Winifred’s.”

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“And so, aged 40 years, I began life as an orphan.  Being unmarried, and with no suitable prospects on the horizon, gin once again became my mistress.  It was then I was determined to choose a career in medicine — to attain status and prestige — but most of all, wealth.”

“Lack of medical training proved, for me, no obstacle.  I was then determined to become an inoculator.  I undertook to learn all I could.  I eagerly set upon Jenner’s Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of The Cow Pox.  I read a series of inoculation papers from Royal College of Physicians.  Verily, ’tis one thing to treat disease, but the notion that one might prevent it, for me, held the allure of magic.”


“In Spring 1836, I secured a position in Bournemouth as surgeon’s apprentice to one, E.W. Chadlington, who came from a prominent medical family in Dorset County.

“In Fall 1843, I set out on my own.  Throughout the next several years, I inoculated many children and adults in the West Country, where there dwelt many cows to provide abundant lymph for the Inoculator’s Lance.  With this instrument, I did become most proficient .  My industry, skill, and effort yielded enormous wealth.”

“While most found the dreaded small-pox ever so repugnant and loathsome, I found it most profitable.  With each bout of contagion, town to town, my purse swelled.”

La vita è bella.  In spring 1846, and for many summers following, I traveled to the Continent.  Now a gentlemen of leisure, I toured Venice and Rome.  I spent one summer in Salzburg, another in Vienna.  But my heart belonged to Florence and the charming Toscana countryside where I met Lucy Hayvenhurst, love of my life.  She avowed that, as we should grow older, she’d be there at my side to remind me how she still loves me.”

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“There in Florence, in 1849, I met a big name on the Continent, Albert Emanuel Vogler, who had journeyed from Stockholm with his travelling Magnetic Health Theatre, a ragtag group of misfits, outliers, and street performers with a dubious provenance from the Swedish Royal Theatre Company in Stockholm.”

“I soon learnt the trick which since boyhood had haunted me.  Herr Vogler revealed that, whilst juggling, balls will indeed hang suspended midair — provided they are properly magnetized.  I felt foolish that I had not earlier discovered this trick.”

“I so greatly admired Herr Vogler, who ingeniously authored the book: The Science of Animal Magnetism.  I was fascinated to tinker with the good doctor’s wondrous inventions.  I did employ his dietary regimen.  I drank his heralded magnetic potion, which sparked enormous vigor for tired blood and brought a general sense of euphoria that lasted some hours.”

V0011094 A practictioner of Mesmerism using Animal Magnetism

“Years later, in 1856, I again met Herr Vogler, but under sadder circumstances.  The good doctor was on his way back to Ostia to lay to rest his venerable grandmother, Countess Agata de Macopazza, once a celebrated opera singer.  She died aged 118 years.  Herr Vogler’s eulogy would contain the makings of his thesis for publication of the pamphlet:  Communication Beyond the Five Ordinary Senses.  Herr Vogler postulated that a continuous stream of electrically charged particles leads to immortality.  “Electricity makes us angels,” he would preach.  It is rumored that Albert Emanuel Vogler, lived to the age of 119 and in good health to the very end.  This I find comforting.”

“And then, a stroke of good fortune.  In 1853, Parliament passed The Compulsory Vaccination Act, which required inoculation for all infants at birth.  Parents were given three months to comply, lest they be fined the sum of one guinea or otherwise imprisoned for refusal to inoculate.”

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“I earned a handsome living.  At all times, I carried with me, in my waistcoat pocket, vials of vaccinia — in order to meet the demand for inoculation wherever that need might arise.  Upon the first sign of epidemiological outbreak, I was prepared to ply my trade.  I often spread small-pox rumors for the sole purpose of generating revenue.”

“All too often, my vaccinia vials would grow putrid whilst on my person, especially during the warm summer months.  During a particularly humid, late summer day in 1857, I knowingly inoculated seven Exeter children with spoilt vaccinia.  I knew it had spoilt.  When I removed the seal, the stench overwhelmed the room.  But I managed to convince the two families that the horrid smell was indeed proof of my “strong medicine,” as I explained it.  The families paid me a tidy sum; unfortunately, all seven children were instantly seized by violent tremors and acute vomiting followed by unconsciousness.  All seven children died by morning.”

“The two patriarchs swore-out affidavits.  The County Sheriff drew an arrest warrant.  But I had fled.  The patriarchs and extended kin pursued me to Bournemouth.  They anticipated my flight across The Channel, but I had fled east to Southampton, then Portsmouth, where I retired for the winter.  The following spring, I crossed The Channel at Portsmouth to Le Havre.”

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“Like a nighttime thief, I stole away to Normandy on the French Coast.  There I was, an Englishman, born on English soil, now returned to my parents’ native home.  I would never again set eyes upon England’s green and pleasant land.  For Geneva I headed.”

“On the road to Geneva, from my horse, I fell.  It all happened so quickly.  I was trampled under foot.  Never again would I walk.  To recuperate, I was taken to Lausanne.  For more than ten years, I was bedridden.  My body swollen, my limbs numbed.  With all my strength, I prayed.  But it was not to be.”

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“I often reflect upon the results of my inoculation efforts.  On my account, many good folk in the West Country were killed or left for cripples.  Many died of matured small-pox.  Still more died from secondary infections and sepsis.  I reaped large monetary rewards.  But I am the cause of untold misery and suffering.  I stand blameworthy.  How shall I repent?  Even if that were possible, repentance brings no compensation to victims.  If it were somehow possible to atone for my sins, atonement changes not the fortunes of the Dead.  For the Dead know but one thing — ’tis better to be alive.”

“I reckon my transgressions are among the gravest.  My sins, the blackest.  I am a Deceiver.  Inoculation is a dirty trick; this I know.  Inoculation does not prevent disease.  It proliferates disease.  But I played along with La Masquerade.  I wagered against humanity — in a rigged card game.”

“Inoculation brings only indisposition, disease, and too often death.  This, I witnessed.  However, I was undeterred. I corrupted children’s bodies — by breaking their skin and packing filth into open wounds — all the while falsely praising this supposed miracle of science, which so many blindly revered as if it were Holy Scripture.”


“Sadly, in exchange for a few guineas, I crippled countless numbers of God’s children.  On the deathly altar of inoculation, I laid to rest scores of innocents.  I foully murdered infants and children.  And for their parents, I forever extinguished hope.  Purveyor of poison!–I paralyzed bodies and disabled limbs.  I robbed the spark of health and vigor.  I spelt death for vast numbers of souls.”

“When I depart this mortal coil, I shall not dwell in Heaven.  I shall be sent to The Netherworld, where I shall forever dwell accursed.  I shall never again see the sun nor smell the wildflowers of Devon.  I shall never visit my family or otherwise adopt human form.  My hot-house sentence lasts an eternity. Lamentably, I now estimate eternity is a mighty long time.”


Editor’s NoteGazette de Lausanne reports that H.A. Lachenay died from “untoward confluences of Dropsy and the Grippe,” 30 September 1869, in Lausanne, Switz., aged 73 yrs.

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Excerpts from the Writings of
Compiled and Edited by
Vaccine Abolition Society Editorial Staff

– Gena, Christiana, Jackie & Tracy –

vas drawing FINALeee

Produced and Directed by TMP’s Midnight Minions
in association with Chapter Eleven Productions,
Fly-By-Night Management Services, and
Neurotica Entertainment Group

Copyright 2020 – T. Matthew Phillips, Esq.

“Freedom means nothing
if you can’t keep the government out of your body!”
~~T. Matthew Phillips

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