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Competition Answers and Mary Seacole

Thank you to all who entered our latest book competition to win a copy of My Ancestor was a Woman at War (SOG, 2013). The winners will be announced on our Facebook page next week.


The answers to the competition are: 
(i) Who was known as 'the lady with the lamp'?  
B Florence Nightingale
(ii) Aethelflaed was the daughter of which famous English King?
A Alfred the Great
(iii) Women killed in the First World War are named on memorial screens in which cathedral?
C York Minster.
Mary Seacole (c.1805-1881)
Florence Nightingale (who was born this week 1820, 12th May) features in the book as the founder of army nursing. Her innovative work in the Crimean War of 1854-56 led to the formalisation of nursing as a profession, but there were other women present in the region who took an alternative approach to tending the sick and wounded soldiers. One of the most well-known is Mary Seacole, who was obliged to arrange her own travel to the Crimea, where she opened a British Hotel between Sevastapol and Balaklava on the northern shoreline of the Black Sea. Here she provided Creole herbal remedies and nursing care alongside nourishing food and drink.

Born Mary Grant in Kingston, Jamaica, she married Edwin Horatio Hamilton Seacole on 10th  November 1836. The Seacole's marriage was brief, with Edwin dying young in 1844. Mary believed Edwin to be a godson of Admiral Horatio Nelson. This is unproven, but what is known is that Edwin's father, Thomas, worked as a surgeon.

Baptised in Prittlewell, Essex in 1803, Edwin H. H. Seacole had a number of siblings, two of whom can be found in Brompton Cemetery records in the Deceased Online database.

Annie Fox Seacole died in her 51st year and was buried on 11th June 1856. Her burial record (below) shows she was living at an address in the Brompton area of west London and was buried in a private grave.

Edwin and Annie's brother, Charles Witton Seacole, died on 10th March 1861, aged around 55, and was buried on the 15th March. His burial entry (shown below) indicates he was buried in a common grave.

Mary Seacole would outlive her in-laws by some years. After initially suffering bankruptcy on her return to England after the war, Seacole was helped by a national fund which had the approval of Queen Victoria. By the time she died, aged 76, Mary Seacole had the respect of many in the nation and left an estate worth more than £2,500.


Exciting news! Deceased Online will shortly be adding records for one of central London's oldest burial grounds. I can't announce the name just yet but can reveal that it is home to some of the most celebrated Londoners of the 18th and 19th centuries

To keep up to date with news of this release and further Aberdeenshire updates, please do like and follow our pages on Facebook and Twitter!

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