Explore the BBC
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

Florence Nightingale, Church and State
The winter of 1854-1855 was terrible in the Crimea. British troops were unprovided for - they only had summer uniforms, many had lost their kit bags and nothing was done to replace these. Many had nowhere to sleep. The hospitals were insanitary and lacked medical supplies. The arrival of Florence Nightingale in Sutari not only meant that the sick would be better off but also ensured that the scandal of mismanagement in the Crimea was recognized at home. Lord Aberdeen resigned and Palmerston became Prime Minister. A Commission of Inquiry was set up.

In March 1856 another Paris Peace Treaty was signed.

At home the Civil Service and the established Church were reformed and the British Medical Association was founded.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

  • Of upper-class family and educated in the classics and fluent in several European languages, Miss Nightingale (as ever she was known) set up the Institution for Sick Gentlewomen in London
  • She persuaded the Government to send her to Scutari in the Crimea to nurse wounded soldiers
  • Revolutionised standards of cleanliness and sanitation
  • Returned home due to ill-health in 1856 but continued to campaign for improved medical and nursing standards
  • Opened the first school of nursing - at St Thomas's Hospital in London
  • Was the first woman to win the Order of Merit (1907)
  • On her death in 1910 the trustees of her will refused her burial in Westminster Abbey and she was buried in home parish in Hampshire

did you know?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem called The Charge Of The Light Brigade.


Your Committee, in conclusion, cannot but remark, that the first real improvements in the lamentable condition of the hospitals at Scutari, are to be attributed to private suggestions, private exertions, and private benevolence.

Miss Nightingale, at the suggestion of the Secretary-at-War, with admirable devotion, organized a band of nurses, and undertook the care of hte sick and wounded.

A fund, raised by public subscription, was administer by the proprietors of the Times newspaper ....

By these means much suffering was alleviated, the spirits of the men were raised, and many lives were saved ....

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1834 Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
Tamworth Manifesto is announced
Houses of Parliament are burned down
1835Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
1837William IV dies
Victoria becomes Queen
1838 The People's Charter is issued
1839 The Opium War breaks out
1840 Victoria marries Prince Albert
1841Peel becomes Prime Minister
1842 The Opium War ends
1845The Irish famine starts
1846 The corn laws are repealed
Russell becomes Prime Minister
1848Public Health Act
1851 The Great Exhibition
Louis Napoleon seizes power in France
1854The Crimean War breaks out
Florence Nightingale arrives at Scutari
1855Palmerston becomes Prime Minister
1856The Treaty of Paris ends the Crimean War

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy