Select Nightingale Miscellany


Here are some Nightingale stories and
accounts over the years:


The Nightingale


While I lingered away the latter half of May in Scotland, and the first
half of June in northern England, and finally in London, intent on
seeing the land leisurely and as the mood suited, the thought occurred
to me that I was in danger of missing one of the chief pleasures I had
promised myself on crossing the Atlantic, namely the hearing of the
song of the nightingale.
Hence, when on the 17th of June I found myself down among the copses
near Haslemere on the borders of Surrey and Sussex and was told by an
old farmer, to whose house I had been recommended by friends in London,
that the season of the nightingale was over, I was a good deal
“I think she be done singing now, I ain’t heered her in some time,
sir,” said my farmer as we sat down to get acquainted with a mug of the
hardest cider I ever attempted to drink.”Too late!” I said in deep chagrin, “and I might have been here weeks
ago.””Yeas, sir, she be done now.  May is the time to hear
her.   The cuckoo is done too, sir.  And you don’t hear
the nightingale after the cuckoo is gone.” 

The Nightingale Trust

The Nightingale Trust was founded in 1580 for the village
of Kersey in Suffolk by the will of Robert Nightingale.  There are
six trustees, two representative trustees appointed by the Parish
Council and four co-opted trustees who must be residents of the
village.  The income, mainly derived from garden allotment land,
is distributed at Christmas to the elderly of the parish.  


The Church in Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire

Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, erected in the 14th century, is a
building of stone and flint, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south
porch of the 15th century and an embattled western tower containing a
clock and five bells cast by Milton Graye in 1650.  In the church
are monuments to the Nightingale and Turpin families, including Jeffrey
Nightingale, born in 1664, and Edward Nightingale, born in 1723.


Lea Hall in

The origins of Lea Hall are obscure, but it is fairly certain that
Robert Alverley raised a chantry chapel a short way behind the house in
the reign of King John.  In 1709 the house was bought by Thomas
Nightingale, a local farmer who was very skilled in prospecting for
lead.  Within a short period of time he owned the local smelting
works and much of the land in the area.  During the next hundred
years his family became one of the richest in Derbyshire.  In 1754
Thomas’s son Peter added the Georgian facade to Lea Hall.  In
1796, the family moved elsewhere but continued to own the estate until

Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War

Although being female meant Florence Nightingale had to fight against
the military authorities at every step, she went about reforming the
hospital system.  With conditions which resulted in soldiers lying
on bare floors surrounded by vermin and unhygenic operations taking
place, it is not surprising that, when Nightingale first arrived in
Scutari, diseases such as cholera and typhus were rife in the
hospitals.  This meant that injured soldiers were seven times more
likely to die from disease in hospital than on the battlefield.
Whilst in Turkey, Nightingale collected data and organized a record
keeping system.  This information was then used as a tool to
improve city and military hospitals.

Nightingales’s knowledge of mathematics became evident when she used
her collected data to calculate the mortality rate in the
hospital.  These calculations showed that an improvement of the
sanitary methods employed would result in a decrease in the number of
deaths.  By February 1855 the mortality rate had dropped from 60
percent to 43 percent.   Through the establishment of a fresh
water supply as well as using her own funds to buy fruit, vegetables
and standard hospital equipment, the mortality rate in the spring had
dropped further to 2.2 percent.



Samuel Nightingale of Providence, Rhode Island

Samuel Nightingale was the founder of the Nightingale family in
Providence, Rhode Island.  The son of Joseph Nightingale, he was
raised in Braintree, Massachusetts.  Early in life he was a
clergyman.  He lived in Pomfret, Connecticut for a number of years
and then settled in Providence in 1751.  He operated a distillery
there, invested in mercantile ventures, and served for a time as a
Justice of the Peace.

His eldest son Samuel was a prosperous Providence
merchant, a youinger son Joseph an even more prosperous one as founder
of the merchant partnership of Clark & Nightingale.


John Nightingale, Forty

was a real forty-niner, having arrived in San Francisco from New Jersey

settled with his wife and eight
children in the Lower Haight/Hayes Valley area of San Francisco.  Although he didn’t literally strike gold, he
did amass a huge fortune by buying up properties and turning them over
profit years later.  He was a San
Francisco alderman and was credited with selecting the site for City
Hall (although
the building itself was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake).

John Nightingale’s own house at 301 Buchanan spanned
the entire block of Haight between Buchanan and Webster.
What is known as the Nightingale House today
is the property that stood next door at 201 Buchanan.
This house was in fact John Nightingale’s
wedding present to his daughter Florence when she married Hamilton Page
in 1882. Florence and Hamilton Page sold the
Nightingale House a year after her father’s death in 1912.

John’s eldest son John practiced general
medicine in San Francisco.  For ten years
his office was at the corner of Stockton and Market before he built his
own six
story medical building at the corner of Market and Van Ness.



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