Byzantine and Russian icons, £15.99
Width: 151.000 mm
Height: 85.000 mm
Gift of R. Hewitt
Coins and Medals
£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.
D. Byatt, Promises to pay: the first 300 (London, Spink, 1994)
C. Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale (London, Constable, 1996)