Mary Seacole, born in Kingston Jamaica in 1805, was the daughter of a free Jamaican woman and a Scottish solider. Mary’s mother was a ‘Doctoress’ who practiced herbal healing, and Mary inherited an interest in traditional medicine and nursing skills from her, whilst also learning more modern methods from Army Doctors who stayed with her family.

In her earlier years, Mary ran a hotel (which operated like a hospital) for primarily injured or disabled European ex-soldiers, alongside her mother. Here she furthered her nursing and business skills. She married in 1836, but her husband died just 8 years later.

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