In 1745 rinderpest was carried into England, Ireland, and Scotland, according to one source, by English troops. But the Whig government blamed the Scots for introducing the disease when the Jacobites invaded England, reaching Derby in December, before retreating to be defeated at Culloden in April 1746. By May of that year, some 6,000 cattle were reported to have died in Argyllshire alone, and it is likely that infected English cattle looted by the Scots in their retreat were responsible. Contrary to conditions surrounding the outbreak 30 years before, the spring and summer were very wet and the ground very damp, followed by a dry and cold autumn. There had been severe frosts in 1740 with great drought in the seasons immediately following, until in 1745–6 there was much rain. This was claimed by some to have produced too rank a grass, causing the disease through a redundance of the “crude aliment” (Anon., 1746a).
KeywordsInfected Cattle Privy Council Cattle Movement Conditional Contract Leighton Buzzard
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- 1.Until January 1752, the year ran from April to March; hence Elizabeth Purefoy’s letter of January 9, 1746 is actually dated 1745, before the cattle plague entered Britain. It is usually impossible to tell in the literature whether quoted dates before 1752 have been corrected or not, although they have been so in the reprinted Gentleman’s Magazine.Google Scholar