Florence Nightingale: Major new study will look at her life in Derbyshire

October 30, 2017



"The greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel". Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale - Nursing/Medical Pioneer and Statistician. She is also Barbara Bodichon's cousin (whose mother Anne Longdon was born in Alfreton Derbyshire - See listing for Anne Longdon in Derbyshire 200 women list). Although famously born in Florence, Italy, Florence moved as a baby with her family to Derbyshire where the family maintained a home at Lea, in 1821. Nightingale continued to invest in the region, most prominently advising Dr William Ogle in the 1860s on the redevelopment and management of the then the Derby Royal Infirmary (now closed and demolished). The new hospital opened in 1869 with a wing named in Nightingale’s honour. Florence's statue, (above now cleaned and restored) still stands outside the former hospital site. 



Blue plaque for Nightingale in South Street, Mayfair, London


Littleover based Professor Paul Crawford, University of Nottingham along with colleagues at The University of Derby and Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is set to lead a new study digging deeper into Florence Nightingale's life in Derbyshire to uncover more about the notable nurse, and statistician.

The aim of the project is to increase awareness of Florence Nightingale's contribution to the practise, professionalisation and history of nursing and her life and time Derbyshire and across the East Midlands. One of Nightingale's signal achievements was the introduction of trained nurses into the workhouse system in Britain from the 1860s onwards.


Florence Nightingale's influence is an international one, and monuments hospitals worldwide


As well as the monuments already mentioned in Mayfair, London, London Rd Derby.  Monuments are also erected to Florence Nightingale in Florence, Waterloo Place, Westminster, London, The Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas' Hospital in London, Turkey and many others. 


Famously born in the Italian city she was named after, Florence moved as a baby with her family to the East Midlands in 1821. Nightingale invested in the region, most prominently advising Dr William Ogle in the 1860s on the redesign and management of the biggest hospital in the area: the Derby Royal Infirmary. The new hospital opened in 1869 with a wing named in Nightingale’s honour.


Much of Nightingale's work improved the lot of women everywhere, she was noted for her less than sympathetic attitude towards women, criticised early women's rights activists and felt that women were not as capable as men. We hope that the project will look as much at her character as it will of her contribution in the region. 


The four year project will have an interactive website and involve several exhibitions and seminars



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