CONTAINING THE PLAGUE ON BRITISH CORFU

Notificazione. Uffizio della segreteria del governo. Corfu, 7 Maggio 1816 …

Corfu, ‘en te typographia tes dioikeseos’, [1816].

Printed broadside (445 x 325 mm), printed in Italian and Greek in two columns divided by typographic ornaments above a letterpress table, woodcut arms of United Kingdom at head; creases from folding, some light dampstaining; very good.

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Notificazione. Uffizio della segreteria del governo. Corfu, 7 Maggio 1816 …

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A seemingly unrecorded bilingual broadside, in parallel Italian and Greek, reporting on cases of plague in the district of Leftimo on the island of Corfu, issued during the British protectorate in May 1816 and printed in the capital at the government press.

Long under Venetian control, Corfu became a British protectorate within the United States of the Ionian Islands in 1815 following the Napoleonic Wars, with Sir Thomas Maitland as its first Lord High Commissioner. Plague broke out in the village of Marathia, in southern Corfu, in December 1815, prompting the British to establish a board of health and military cordons to isolate affected communities. This notice declares that on 6 May 1816 no one had died from the plague but that there was one new confirmed case of infection and eleven suspected cases at Anaplades, and that seven people had been discharged from the plague hospital and taken to a convalescent camp. The table at the foot, intended for recording the names of the deceased, is happily blank. The text explains that three strictly separate camps had been created to contain the epidemic, for those merely suspected of infection, for those under observation, and for those highly suspected.

A thorough account of the epidemic can be found in J.D. Tully’s The History of the Plague, as it has lately appeared in the Islands of Malta, Gozo, Corfu, Cephalonia … (London, 1821).

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