Pioneer and Campaigner

Florence in her own words: Agriculture in India

Display No. 39

Nightingale never visited India due to ill health but became an expert on the subcontinent. She campaigned for reform in India including improvements to irrigation, agricultural policy and rural land finance among others.

She was not afraid to criticise British rule and a letter to W.R. Robertson in 1880 she wrote:

“When one thinks that we take 20 million land revenue out of India’s agriculture and give nothing back, one almost wonders that there is not universal agrarian mutiny”.

Mrs T. Lewis in a garden in India. Photograph taken in India. lent by Miss H. Hannyngton, neice of Col. W.H. Lewis. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0

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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!