Mary Seacole: GCSE History


Mary Seacole Factfile

Who was she?

  • Mary Seacole was a pioneering nurse of the Crimean War, developing new ideas in terms of medicine and its progress. She was also a woman of mixed race who overcame plenty of prejudice throughout life.
  • Mary Jane Grant was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish soldier, her mother a Jamaican. 
  • Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother, who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers and was inspired to continue this profession into the future.
  • Though Mary was technically ‘free’, being of mixed race meant Mary and her family had few civil rights - they could not vote, hold public office or enter the professions.
  • In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole. The marriage was short-lived after he died in 1844, though Mary had attempted to cure him of his sickness, he was too ill. Some speculate that Mary and Edwin married for


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