Campaign underway to honor Britain's first female doctorBreaking News
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
- The six-day war: why Israel is still divided over its legacy 50 years on
- "Space archaeology" transforms how ancient sites are discovered
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?