WILLIAM RATHBONE 1
22 June 1860
'I have thought a great deal over the Liverpool plans as I wd. if I were going to be Matron myself.' Submits her considerations.
4p B.M. Add.MSS.47753.f.1
1. In 1859 William Rathbone (1819-1902) a philanthropic merchant of Liverpool began the first experiment in district nursing when he hired a Mrs. Robinson to nurse the poor in their homes for a three month trial period. He soon realised that a body of trained nurses would be necessary for this enormous and exacting work and accordingly consulted F.N. At this stage F.N. was unable to offer concrete help and advised Rathbone to start his own nursing school. This he did; the history of the experiment is told by Rathbone in Sketch of the history of district nursing from its commencement in the year 1859 to the present date, with an introduction by Florence Nightingale, London, Maemillan, 1890. (For a modern survey of the develop ment of district nursing see Mary Stocks, A Hundred years of district nursing, London, Allen & Unwin, 1960.) Rathbone's letters covering the years 1860-1902 are in the British Museum, Add.MSS.47753-47755.
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