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Forgotten Women Logo

A dead victim of cholera In Sunderland 1832

Lithograph with water colour. IWG (lithographer’s monograph)  Wellcome Collection

Attribution 4.O International (CBT 40)

Ill-health played a part in the lives of these women. You can access the stories by clicking on the women's names below.

Here are some resources to help with this topic:

Abel-Smith, Brian The Hospitals: 1800-1948: a study in social administration in England and Wales Heinemann (1964)

Black, N Walking London's Medical History Royal Society of Medicine Press (2006)

Cummings, Juliana Medicine in the Middle Ages: surviving the times Pen and Sword (2021)

Dainton, Courtney The Story of England’s Hospitals London Museum Press (1961)

Few, Janet ’Til Death Us Do Part: causes of death 1300-1948 Unlock the Past (2015)

Grundy, Joan A Dictionary of Medical and Related Terms for the Family Historian Family History Partnership (2006)

McGann, Stephen Flesh and Blood: a history of my family in seven sicknesses Simon and Schuster (2018)

Norman, Ben A History of Death in Seventeenth Century England Pen and Sword (2020)

Read, Sara and Evans, Jennifer Maladies and Medicine: exploring health and healing 1540-1750 Pen and Sword (2017)

Ryan T  The History of Queen Charlotte's Lying-In Hospital (1885)

Webb, Cliff An Index of London Hospitals and their Records Society of Genealogists (2002)

Wills, Simon How our Ancestors Died: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2013)

Bills of Mortality 

Epidemics Timeline

Epidemics Timeline 

The Historical Hospital Admissions Records’ Project

Hospitals, Asylums and Sanatoriums (worldwide) from Cyndi’s List

The Hospital Records Database

Lost Hospitals of London 

Medical Officer of Health Reports

Medical Officer of Health Reports for London boroughs from 1848-1972 

Mortality Statistics

The Royal Society of Medicine Library

Timeline of Anaesthesia 

Voluntary Hospitals' Database

Jessie Franklin aka Jessie Gray aka Jessie Richardson aka Jessie Graham aka Lilian Newlands c.1870-? from Bermondsey, Surrey - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Prostitution, Sickness, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 8 minute read

Florence 'Florrie' Greaves, later Florence Wharton 1865-1941 from Barrow, Lincolnshire – Child Mortality, Sickness. 6 minute read


Betty Kershaw 1832-1877 from Leeds, Yorkshire - Disability, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Murder, Sickness. Warning, this story includes an account of domestic abuse. 12 minute read

Mary Mallett, later Mary Dunn, then Mary Braund 1846-1901 from Alwington, Devon - Sickness. Warning, this story includes a description of a post mortem. 2 minute read

Marjorie O’Brien, aka Valerie St. Quentin, aka Marjory Swan c.1870-? from Bristol, Gloucestershire - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Sickness, Farmfield Reformatory for Inebriate Women. 5 minute read

Minnie O’Shea c.1854-1916 from Cork, Ireland – Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Sickness, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 20 minute read

Sarah Ann Sadler, later Sarah Ann Spibey 1842-1844 from Whitchurch, Shropshire - Mental Health, Poverty, Sickness. 7 minute read

Winifred Sullivan c.1870-? from Wandsworth, Surrey - Alcoholism, Lawbreaking, Poverty, Sickness, St. Joseph’s Inebriate Reformatory. 4 minute read

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