Dr Charles R Drysdale to Henry Wilson

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/43/11
  • Dates of Creation
      14 Jul 1899
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Written from National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London SW.

Says he has been invited by Dr Dubois Havenith to the Congress for the prevention of venereal diseases in Brussels in Sep. He has written a paper for it in which he shows by statistics about venereal disease in London and Dublin in 1867 and 1899 that 'owing to the effort of the purity party there are now very few hospitals in the kingdom which take venereal contagious cases into their wards'. The CD Acts party has done absolutely nothing to provide such want [e.g. the setting up of voluntary lock hospitals]. He has also upheld the English system of 'laissez faire' against 'the absurd systems of the Continent. He has therefore recommended that the 'abolition of St Lazare and all its horrors' together with the setting up of beds in hospitals for poor people with CDs He would welcome any suggestions from HJW.

Administrative / Biographical History

'But on the one hand I entirely dissent from Lord Lister and his CD Acts friends'

In the 1860s when the CD Acts were first introduced into England an Association called 'The London Memorial' was formed for the advocates of the Continental system of control of prostitutes. By 1868 43 branch associations were established and the leading doctors such as Jenner, Paget, Acland and the Presidents of the RCS and RCP were enthusiastic about it. (See 'James Stansfeld' by JL and Barbara Hammond pp 132-4)

Then in the 1890s owing to agitation over the increase of these diseases in the army, especially the Indian Army, the cry again arose that the CD Acts should be reimposed and found expression in the medical papers and occasionally in the general press. (See the Dawn 1 Jan 1893 p 7)

The leading physicians and surgeons, including Lord Lister were definitely pro-Regulation

'Lord Lister' Joseph Lister, Surgeon, Baron Lister 1897

Biog: Dr Charles Drysdale, Lord Lister