Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/25

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Nightingale
Nightingale
15

of Magdala, and received the Abyssinian medal. He attained the rank of captain in 1869. During the Afghan war of 1878–80 he saw much active service. He took part in the occupation of Kandahar and fought at Ahmed Khel and Urzoo. He was mentioned in despatches, and in 1879, while the war was in progress, he was promoted major. After the war he received the Afghan medal with one clasp, and in March 1881 the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel. He became army colonel in 1885 and substantive colonel in 1894. For his services in the Zhob Valley campaign of 1890 he was again mentioned in despatches, and he was made C.B. in 1891. From 1891 to 1894 he was aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria, being promoted major-general in the latter year and lieutenant-general in 1899. A good service pension was conferred on him in 1893. He died on 7 Aug. 1904 at Mackay’s Gardens nursing home, Madras, and was buried in St. Mary’s cemetery. General Nicolson was an expert linguist, having passed the interpreter’s test in Baluchi, Brahui, and Persian, and the higher standard in Pushtu.

[Madras Mail, 5 Oct. 1904; Athenæum, 29 Oct. 1904; Gent. Mag., N.S. viii. 634; The Times, 11 Aug. 1904; Army Lists; information supplied by friends.]

F. L. B.

NIGHTINGALE, FLORENCE (1820–1910), reformer of hospital nursing, born at the Villa La Columbaia, Florence, on 12 May 1820, was named after the city of her birth. Her father, William Edward Nightingale (1794–1874), was son of William Shore, long a banker at Sheffield; he was a highly cultured country gentleman of ample means, and a great lover of travel. When he came of age on 21 Feb. 1815 he assumed by royal sign-manual the surname of Nightingale on inheriting the Derbyshire estates of Lea Hurst and Woodend of his mother’s uncle, Peter Nightingale (d. unmarried 1803). On 1 June 1818 he married Frances, daughter of William Smith (1756–1835) [q. v.], a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. The issue was two daughters, of whom Florence was the younger. Her elder sister, Frances Parthenope (d. 1890), so called from the classical name of Naples, her birthplace, married in 1858, as his second wife, Sir Harry Verney [q. v.], second baronet, of Claydon, Buckinghamshire.

Florence Nightingale’s first home was at her father’s house. Lea Hall, in Derbyshire. About 1825 the family moved to Lea Hurst, which Nightingale had just built. In 1826 he also bought Embley Park, in Hampshire, serving the office of high sheriff of that county in 1828. It became the custom of the famlly to spend the summer at Lea Hurst and the winter at Embley Park, with an occasional visit to London. Miss Nightingale enjoyed under her father’s roof a liberal education, but she chafed at the narrow opportunities of activity offered to girls of her station in life. She engaged in cottage visiting, and developed a love of animals. But her chief interest lay in tending the sick. Anxious to undertake more important responsibilities than home offered her she visited hospitals in London and the country with a view to finding what scope for activity offered there. Nursing was then reckoned in England a menial employment needing neither study nor intelligence; nor was it viewed as a work of mercy or philanthropy. Sidney Herbert, afterwards Lord Herbert of Lea [q. v.], and his wife were Miss Nightingale’s neighbours at Wilton House, not far from Embley Park. A close friendship with them stimulated her philanthropic and intellectual instincts. Her horizon was widened, too, by intercourse with enlightened members of her mother’s family, by acquaintance with Madame Mohl and her husband, and possibly by a chance meeting in girlhood with Mrs. Elizabeth Fry.

Miss Nightingale’s hospital visits seem to have begun in 1844, and were continued at home and abroad for eleven years. She spent the winter and spring of 1849–50 with friends of her family, Mr. and Mrs. Bracebridge, in a long tour through Egypt. On the journey from Paris she met two sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, who gave her an introduction to the house of their order at Alexandria, where she carefully inspected their schools and “Miséricorde.’ She recognised that the Roman Catholic sisterhoods in France, with their discipline and their organisation, made better nurses than she found in her own country (cf. Miss Nightingale, Letters from Egypt, privately printed). On her way back to England she paid a first visit (31 July to 13 Aug. 1850) to the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses at Kaiserswerth on the Rhine near Düsseldorf. The institute had been founded on a very humble scale in 1833 for the care of the destitute by Theodor Fliedner, protestant pastor of Kaiserswerth, and had since grown into a training school for women teachers and for nurses of the sick. The institution was run on the lines of poverty, simplicity, and common sense. A very brief experience of the Kaiserswerth