Plague of 1866 and 1867
From the research
I have done on this it seems to have been a really bad
infestation of cattle over a 2 year period in England
and Scotland. As can be seen from the diary of John Ostle
below smaller farmers were losing their herds because
probably the precautions that were put in place recently
with the foot and mouth disease were not put in place
then. However I would think that the disease was not so
easily spread as it was in modern times with transport
going long distances with cattle, and people carrying
it from one town to another. I know that during the foot
and mouth crises I went to America and those of us from
Britain had to walk through disinfectant before we were
allowed into the country. Back in the 1860's people did
not travel such long distances so the disease was not
transported so heavily. I do have a lot more information
on this if anyone would like to see it, please email me.
John Ostle (1828-1890)
kept a journal in which he recorded
the happenings, both momentous and mundane of a
Quaker farmer's life.
January came in very windy with some showers.
The Cattle plague is spreading through the county like
a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour. Some say it
is a Russian disease, they call it the Renderpest. Some
say it came from the heights of Siberia. It came into
Cumberland about the end of November by some men of trade.
T Lawson of Campfield brought it near Bowness in Cumberland.
One Johnston brought it to Cardulees by some cattle he
bought at Carlisle. Not in the market in a field near.
The cattle plague has got into the Holme a few days or
a week ago. W Mark of Angerton has nine died in two days.
Named Rinderpest. The magistrates are stopping all the
sales of cattle that is within two miles of a diseased
stock. There was a plague among cattle about one hundred
years ago much like this by accounts. Some say it raged
about for twelve years. So if this Rinderpest rages on
as fast as it has lately, I think it will clear the county
of all the cattle in much less time than that.
W Carson, Foulsike, has not one of his stock left alive.
They are all either dead or destroyed. Sir R Brisco and
Captain James insists on destroying all the cattle where
the disease breaks out whether they are healthy and weal
or ailing or recovering. I doubt they are taking the power
out of the Almighty hands. I think the Lord will have
some compassion on us and leave some alive but Sir R Brisco
and Captain James will leave none alive.
William Sharp and Joseph McFarren, New Cooper have got
the plague among their stock. They are destroying them
fast. McFarren has none left on the 20th April 1866. Sharp
has some left yet. Three Sterks, one cow, one calf.
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