The County of Dorset, England (PJP)
Benjamin Jesty was a dairy farmer who lived in Dorset, England. During 1774 he used cowpox to vaccinate his wife and two sons against smallpox. This happened twenty-two years before Dr Edward Jenner used a similar technique in 1796.
This Benjamin Jesty website was initiated in November 2015. Its sole purpose is to raise awareness of Benjamin Jesty and his endeavours.
Everyone viewing the website is invited to communicate to others that Jesty was the first in the world to devise and perform authenticated vaccinations.
Those resident in the UK or from abroad, who are travelling through the country, are invited to visit the grave of Benjamin Jesty in the churchyard of St Nicholas of Myra at Worth Matravers (Dorset, England) to read the famous inscription.
Jesty’s home at the time of his vaccinations, Upbury Farmhouse, is in Church Street at Yetminster, Dorset. This is a private residence and not open to the public. A commemorative Blue Plaque faces Upbury on an opposing wall.
The oil portrait of Benjamin Jesty shown on this page is archived at the Wellcome Library, Euston Road, London. When not on loan for exhibition, it may be viewed by prior arrangement with the library authorities.
The pages of this website contain relevant information, together with news of any current publications, events or anniversaries associated with the first vaccinator. The website is maintained by a volunteer webmaster.
Dr Edward Jenner brought vaccination to the world, and his achievement will always take precedence, but evidence from primary sources suggests that Dorset was the true origin of its concept and practice.
It is now time to give Benjamin Jesty the recognition he deserves.
"History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember"
1066 and All That (Sellar & Yeatman)
Benjamin Jesty : The Grandfather of Vaccination
Recently Published By
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (13) 978-1-5275-4382-9
ISBN (10) 1-5275-4382-X
280 pages, 15 chapters, 650 references, 7 appendices.
Illustrations: 108 --- 81 in colour --- 27 in black and white
An Ebook version is now available
please order from
or on line companies e.g Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
or major booksellers
“meticulously researched text, against which any future biography will require to be compared”
Journal of Medical Biography
an extremely thorough account of Jesty’s role in the discovery of vaccination. Being easy to read
as well as informative, the book is suitable for both the amateur and professional historian of
British Society for the History of Medicine