Nursing & Midwifery

William Rathbone, 1819-1902

Display No. 70

William Rathbone was an English businessman and philanthropist who is credited with creating organized district nursing. He wanted to enable access to nursing care for those who could not afford it and enlisted Nightingale’s help.

He set up and funded a school in Liverpool to specifically train nurses for the city’s ‘districts’, with London and Manchester soon adopting similar programmes. He also founded what is now called The Queen’s Nursing Institute as the next step in coordinating national standards for district nursing across the country.

Portrait of William Rathbone. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0

Exhibits from ‘Nursing & Midwifery’.

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!