£10 note, Bank of England

Great Britain, around AD 1980

The lady with the lamp

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is famous across the world for her pioneering work in the nursing profession. She became a national hero in Britain because of her extraordinary work during the Crimean War (1854-56), when she improved the appalling conditions in the military hospitals at Scutari in Turkey.

Apart from Queen Elizabeth II, Florence Nightingale is the only woman to be featured on Bank of England notes. From 1975 until 1992, her portrait appeared on the back of £10 notes, accompanied by a scene showing her tending the wounded soldiers in Scutari: it was on these nightly rounds that she became known as 'the lady of the lamp'. On the notes, the rays from her lamp gradually merge into the abstract patterns of security printing in the background.

In 1860 Florence Nightingale founded the Nightingale School for Nurses at St Thomas's Hospital in London, the beginning of professional training for nurses. In 1907 she became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit.

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£10 note, Bank of England

© 2000 Bank of England

  • Front



More information


D. Byatt, Promises to pay: the first 300 (London, Spink, 1994)

C. Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale (London, Constable, 1996)


Width: 151.000 mm
Height: 85.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1980-9-41-2


Gift of R. Hewitt


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