Campaign underway to honor Britain's first female doctor
The teenager adopted the name James Barry, later becoming a pioneering Army surgeon and keeping her elaborate deception a secret until she lay on her deathbed in 1865.
Now an amateur historian wants to recognise her unique achievements with a plaque on the Lothian Street house where she once lived.
Barry, who was rumoured to be the granddaughter of the 11th Earl of Buchan and niece of the famous painter James Barry, arrived in the city in around 1805. She secretly became Edinburgh University's first female graduate while still a teenager.
During her extraordinary life, she travelled the world as an Army surgeon, still keeping up the pretence of being a man. She also gained a reputation as a controversial and sometimes ill-disciplined officer. In 1819, the year she joined, Lord Albemarle was critical of the doctor's "unmistakably Scotch type of countenance", as well as a "certain effeminacy in his manner".
Barry retired from the services in 1859, having earned a reputation as a medical pioneer through her work to prevent disease spreading in dirty, overcrowded field hospitals.
comments powered by Disqus
- Kissinger Memo from 1972: Make the North Vietnamese think Nixon and I are crazy
- How Much U.S. History Do Americans Actually Know? Less Than You Think.
- Ice cream cone named after Adolf Hitler on sale in India sparks anger in Germany
- Isis Palmyra demolition has begun with ancient God Lion statue destroyed
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize