Leadership and Empowerment

Dr James Barry, 1795-1865

Display No. 152

Dr James Barry was a surgeon in the British Army, serving in India and Africa. Barry performed one the first caesarean sections where both mother and child survived. However, when Nightingale met Dr Barry in the Crimea, and she concluded he was “the most hardened creature I ever met”.

Dr James Barry was born Miss Margaret Ann Bulkley. He lived as a man, and when he died he left strict instructions to be buried without his body being inspected. These were ignored and his biological status was made public after his death. However Dr Barry wanted to be understood as male in life and death. Today badges like this are worn by some people to publicly declare their preferred pronouns and gender identity. This is a marked contrast to the experience of historical individuals like Dr James Barry who were forced to live secretively.

Dr. James Barry’s headstone, Kensal Green Cemetery. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC 4.0

Choose the 200th Exhibit

Exhibits from ‘Florence The Leader’

Discover the 200 Exhibits

Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!