A System of Care and Control: British Naval Medicine 1790-1815


Beginning on March 1, 2018, I will be beginning a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Dr. Erica Charters.  Funded by Associated Medical Services (AMS) this one-year project will consider the cyclical nature of care provision.  Conceiving of naval medical as a system of care allows for equal weight to be given to each stage of medical care delivery, re-integrating hospital ships, hospitals, and convalescent ships into the naval medicine narrative.

My postdoctoral research builds on my doctoral dissertation which examined British military and naval nursing between 1763 and 1820.   In order to better understand the spatial complexities of this naval system of care, I will use the log books of hospital ships.  These log books kept by Lieutenants and Captains contain detailed information about patients received on board, medical supplies transported, and the daily location of the hospital ship while at sea.  Using longitude and latitude coordinates for hospital ships, I will map their location using Historical Geographic Systems (HGIS).  This will allow me to visually demonstrate a naval system of care, and highlight the connectivity of such a system.  In particular, this will showcase the role of hospitals in transferring medical supplies to the fleet and taking sick and wounded sailors back to shore for care in hospital.