Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Belgravia and its Aristocratic Nurses

Two Victorian medicine or invalid spoons. The lower spoon is a ”half-teaspoon.”

Aristocratic Nurses... 
The Fashionable English Dames Learning to Be Practical in the Sickroom
This antique cup and pitcher in one, was for feeding invalids more easily.

Two or three years ago, the Prince and Princess of Wales distributed badges and prizes to a large number of professional nurses and afterward entertained them royally at Marlborough House. It was expected that fashionable dames would show their appreciation of the Royal example by taking up nursing as a recreation, but little was done until a few months ago, when the National Health Society opened classes for the benefit of the aristocracy, at which something more is taught than a coquettish arrangement of caps and aprons. 

The idea is to teach ladies the value of good nursing and enable them to learn something about fit food for invalids and how to give first assistance to the injured, in all of which, it seems, Duchesses, Countesses and the like, are lamentably deficient. The Duchess of Bedford is particularly active in the work. She has placed her fine house in Belgrave Square at the disposal of the society’s lectures on every Wednesday during the winter season, and as the course includes an afternoon tea, the attendance is expected to be large. 

The proceedings should certainly be interesting, as it is announced that each lecture “will be practically illustrated with a patient, bedding, etc...” The pioneer among the aristocracy of nursing and sanitation was Lady Brooke, who, with her husband, enjoys the particular friendship of the Prince of Wales. Her Ladyship has for years been accustomed to keep a sharp eye on the water supply and sanitary arrangements of the villages on her estates in the counties of Warwick and Sussex, often to the deep disgust of the cottagers, who claimed the inherent right of a Briton to please himself in such matters, and who objected strongly to being coerced into cleanliness on pain of eviction. Puritanical people have sometimes said hard things of Lady Brooke. It is right that credit should be given her in this matter. —London Letter, 1894

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©️ Etiquette Encyclopedia

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