01935 429609
Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

The amazing story of Dr James Barry

Date: 16th November 2022
Time: 19:30
Location: The Bow Room of The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
Blackmore Vale Group

Speaker: Felicity Herring

Dr James Barry was first female doctor in Britain! Born in Cork in 1789 she was the niece of the artist James Barry RA. In 1809 she disguised herself as a man and went to Edinburgh University to train to be a doctor. Following her graduation in 1812 she joined the army and was posted to South Africa where she maintained her male persona throughout, even fighting a duel. In Cape Town she performed the first successful caesarean section in which both mother and baby survived. Further postings followed to Mauritius, Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, Malta, Corfu and Canada. It was not until her body was being bathed for her funeral that her female identity was discovered. How could this happen??

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