Advancing with the Army: Medicine, the Professions and by Marcus Ackroyd, Laurence Brockliss, Michael Moss, Kathryn

By Marcus Ackroyd, Laurence Brockliss, Michael Moss, Kathryn Retford, John Stevenson

Supplying the 1st ever statistical examine of a pro cohort within the period of the economic revolution, this prosopographical examine of a few 450 surgeons who joined the military clinical carrier through the progressive and Napoleonic wars, charts the historical past, schooling, army and civilian profession, marriage, sons' occupations, wealth at demise, and broader social and cultural pursuits of the contributors of the cohort. It unearths the function that may be performed via the nascent professions during this interval in selling fast social mobility. the gang of clinical practitioners chosen for this research didn't come from prosperous or expert households yet profited from their years within the military to accumulate a pretty good and infrequently amazing fortune, marry into the professions, and position their sons in specialist careers. The research contributes to our figuring out of Britishness within the interval, because the majority of the cohort got here from small-town and rural Scotland and eire yet seldom discovered their better halves within the local state and often settled in London and different English towns, the place they typically grew to become pillars of the neighborhood.

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The authors would like to construct entries for the remaining two-thirds returnees and make the database publicly available. So far, though, they have been unable to raise funds to do this. ⁵⁴ No. 320 in the database. ⁵⁵ No. 231 in the database. His place of birth is unknown but he was apprenticed in Edinburgh so almost certainly came from Scotland: see comments on cohorts’ place of origin in Ch. 2 under ‘Geographical Origin’ and Ch. 3 under ‘Apprenticeship’. 1. g Keith Robbins, Nineteenth-Century Britain: England, Scotland and Wales: The Making of a Nation (Oxford, 1988); Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (London, 1992); Brockliss and Eastwood, Union of Multiple Identities.

In addition, in a small but significant number of cases, a much more rounded sense of the individual surgeon has been realized thanks to the survival of personal memoirs and letters. The information in the database is presented and analysed in the following chapters, which except for the last on the cohort’s contribution to the arts and science, broadly follows the surgeons’ life cycle. This is not the place to reveal the contents of individual chapters, even briefly. Suffice it to say that they fully confirm the supposition that the army medical service was a window of social opportunity for those from relatively humble backgrounds.

For developments in the army generally, see Hew Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy: The Reform of the British Army, 1830–1854 (Manchester, 1984). 26 Army Medical Service At the beginning of the French wars the army medical service was effectively run by one man—the surgeon-general, the choleric John Hunter—because the other general officers of the day were too old to play an active role. But Hunter himself died suddenly of apoplexy after organizing the first Flanders campaign and the following year, 1794, the secretary at war used the opportunity to take the first hesitant steps down the path of reform.

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