Mary Jane Seacole (1805-1881) was a British-Jamaican healer, nurse and business-woman. Daughter of a black mother and a white Scottish father she was born as a “free-person” at a time when many black people in the Caribbean were forced to slavery. She first learned to use Jamaican traditional medicine from her mother, who ran a lodging house. She travelled widely and, in England, she complemented her skills of Caribbean healing techniques with the knowledge of European medicine.

During the Crimean War she tried to volunteer as a nurse but was rejected. She then funded her own trip to Crimea where she looked after and nursed wounded soldiers. Some have argued that Seacole was the first nurse practitioner.

Artists: Deborah Miles-Williams

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Click here to learn more about what this license means

Thiss means you are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format; Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material. As long as you: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made; ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Credit: Open Past & Deborah Miles-Williams

Want more images?

We will be publishing more images in the coming months. If you would like to be alerted when they are published, please subscribe below.

Consider Donating

All images are FREE, thanks to our funders. If you enjoyed them and want to help us make more please consider donating. Our goal is to get 100 people to donate 5 $ or £ or € month so that we can commission new drawings each month.

Progress: 2 of 100

Click the donate button and either give a one off donation or sign up for monthly donations. Please leave your email in the notes so we can thank you. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!