Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Louis XVI and Smallpox

From Vive la Reine:
After the death of Louis XV from smallpox and the contraction of the disease by his three daughters, various other members of the royal family were persuaded to receive a smallpox inoculation to protect themselves. At the time this was done by injecting a person with a serum made from a mild case of the disease, which would cause a fever and hopefully milder smallpox pustules on the body. Marie Antoinette had already contracted smallpox as a child, but Louis XVI, his brothers and the comtesse d’Artois chose to receive an inoculation in the hopes of preventing a deadlier strain of the disease such as that of Louis XV.(Read entire post.)


Julygirl said...

I understand, in those days, receiving the vaccine was a serious step that many were hesitant to take. Some died from the administration of the vaccine.

lara77 said...

The best part of the article is King Louis XVI's pure and simple humanity. "No one who has never had the disease should attend him; down to the lowliest of servants." What kindness, what humanity, what a truly Christian King of France. I could never imagine Louis XIV uttering these words and certainly not Napoleon!