Florence Nightingale and Claydon House
Florence Nightingale is best known for her part in improving nursing standards and training from her time in the Crimea War. In 1858 Sir Harry Verney married Florence's sister, Parthenope Nightingale. Explore the connection between Florence and Claydon.
Florence’s connection to Claydon
Timeline of Florence’s life
Florence was born in the Italian city of Florence in 1820. Both sisters were named after the places of their birth, Parthenope is the Greek name for the city of Naples. Their parents travelled around Europe on an extended honeymoon, when both children were born. Back in England they owned large estates and a house near to London.
As Florence grew up she went with her mother to visit the sick and the poor who lived near her home in the country. She wrote many diaries and letters explaining how she felt she had a duty to help those around her.
Despite disapproval from her parents and society, Florence was determined to become a nurse. Her paretns were reluctant to let her go to Germany to do her training, and she was only allowed her to gain valuable experience at her local hospital. Nurses in hospitals at that time had no proper training and it was not considered suitable employment for upper-class ladies.
Beginning a new career
Friends arranged for Florence to get a position working in a nursing home for gentlewomen, this was unpaid but Florence was ready to accept the challenge.