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FENWICK, Ethel Gordon (Mrs Bedford) (1857-1947)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0405 X56
Held at: St Bartholomew's Hospital
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Full title: FENWICK, Ethel Gordon (Mrs Bedford) (1857-1947)
Date(s): 1878-1948
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 40 items
Name of creator(s): Fenwick | Ethel Gordon | 1857-1947 | née Manson | founder of British Nurses' Association


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1857; Morayshire, Scotland; educated privately at Middlethorpe Hall, York; nurse, Children's Hospital, Nottingham, 1878; Royal Infirmary, Manchester, 1879; Sister, London Hospistal, 1879-1881; Matron, St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1881-1887; married Dr Bedford Fenwick, 1887; Managing Directress, Gordon House Home Hospital, 1889-1896; Founder and First Member, British Nurses' Association; Member and Councillor, Matrons' Council; President, British Nursing Section, Chicago Exhibition; Convener of Professional Section, International Congress of Women, London, 1899; Founder and Honorary President, International Council of Nurses, 1899; Honorary President, International Nurses' Congress, Buffalo, USA, 1901; President, National Council of Nurses Great Britain and Ireland, 1908; President, International Congress of Nurses, London, 1909; President, Society for State Registration of Trained Nurses; Editor, British Journal of Nursing; President, Society of Women Journalists, 1911; Member, General Nursing Council, Nurses Registration Act, 1920; Registered Nurse (no.1), 1921; President, British College of Nurses, Ltd, from 1926; Honorary President, Florence Nightingale International Foundation, 1934; died, 1947.
She extended significantly the training period for nurses, and campaigned for the state registration of nurses. This was achieved through the Nurses Registration Act 1919, and Mrs Fenwick was appointed state registered nurse no.1. She is regarded as a pioneer of professional nursing and was the founder of the International Council of Nurses.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Mrs Ethel Gordon (Bedford) Fenwick, 1878-1948, comprising testimonials for her, 1878-1889; completed application form for the register of trained nurses, 1921; letters to her son Christian Fenwick, [1939-1946]; letters to and from Christian Fenwick, 1941-1948, relating to Mrs Fenwick; obituary of Dr Bedford Fenwick, 1939; letters of condolence after the death of Mrs Fenwick [1947]; reminiscences of Mrs Bedford Fenwick and her family, by her grandson David Fenwick; photographs, [1880-1940], including of Dr and Mrs Bedford Fenwick; medals presented to Mrs Fenwick, [1921-1933].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the archives should first contact the Archivist, St Bartholomew's Hospital, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is not permitted. However, single sheets dated after 1850 may be photocopied at the discretion of the Archivist. Photographs of items are obtainable, subject to copyright regulations, from the Department of Medical Illustration at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Arrangements can be made via the Archivist. Outside photographers and researchers' own cameras are not permitted.

Finding aids:

A list in card index form is available at St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Some of the papers were collected and donated to St Bartholomew's Hospital by David Fenwick, grandson of Mrs Bedford Fenwick.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Correspondence and papers, 1887-1937 are in the Royal British Nurses' AssociationArchive held by King's College London College Archives Rec GB 0100 RBNA

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 CD-ROM (A & C Black). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
October 2001

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