I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. My Associated Medical Services (AMS) research project “A System of Care and Control: British Naval Medicine 1790-1815,” is under the supervision of Dr. Erica Charters.
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 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. Additionally, the work of nurses on board these ships will contribute to a broader contextualization of the labour of civilian women to support the Royal Navy and British imperial aims. For more on my postdoctoral work please click here.
My dissertation studied British military and naval nursing in the late Hanoverian period. In particular, I examine the use of civilian women as nurses in military and naval hospitals in this period based on their perceived gendered suitability for the workand how nursing became more medicalised over time. I consider the importance of cleanliness to preventative medicine, study Plymouth Naval Hospital as a household structure using collective biography to track the careers of individual nurses, and study the use of enslaved Afro-Caribbean women in West Indian naval hospitals. For a more detailed overview of my dissertation work please see the dissertation project.