Labour History

Bathsheba Ghost, Matron of the Sydney Infirmary 1852-66: A Silenced Life

Labour History (2004), 87, (1), 49–63.

Abstract

Bathsheba Ghost was Matron of Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary (now Sydney Hospital) from 1852-66. She has been subsumed into the ‘before’ narrative of the bad old days at Sydney Hospital (and Australia) before rescue by the arrival from England of middle-class nurses trained under the auspices of the iconic Florence Nightingale. Matron Bathsheba Ghost was one of the few working-class women who rose to prominence, on her own merits, from a convict past. With her recognition also comes recognition of the major Sydney hospital when it was a pre-industrial style workplace not yet dominated by medical needs. It was an institution run by prominent male philanthropists whose rules were subverted and adapted by the staff, their families and the destitute, chronically ill who found a temporary home.

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Author details

Godden, Judith

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