Source 4a: nurses


Mr Blackbourne [the secretary of the Admiralty Commissioners],

I intreate [beg] you presenting humble service to all my Masters, and to your selfe, Sir you have sent mee downe to Harwich [port town in Essex] with five pounds, but believe mee it hath cost mee three times soe much, since my cominge hither, I have laid out my moneys for divers [various] necessaries about the sicke & wounded men heere, it pitties mee, to see poore people in distresse, I cannot see them want if I have it, a great deale of moneys I have given to have them cleansed, in their bodies and their haire Cutt, mending their Clothes, reparacions [repairs], and severall things else…

« Return to Women and the English Civil Wars

This is a letter from Elizabeth Alkin to a Parliamentary committee that dealt with the navy, July 1655.

  1. During the 17th century there was no National Health Service and medical advances such as anaesthetics and antibiotics did not exist. What do you think this would have meant for soldiers who were wounded in battle?
  2. What does this source also tell us about the type of care that Elizabeth Alkin provided to wounded soldiers?