Handwritten letter from Florence Nightingale found in Dorchester

Handwritten letter from Florence Nightingale found in Dorchester

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:25am 15th October 2019.

A letter penned by Florence Nightingale in 1897 worth around £1,000 has been found in Dorset.

Weldmar Hospicecare found the letter, written by the mother of modern nursing and dated 1897, during a house clearance when it fell out of an old photo album.

The charity was visited by Tim Medhurst, from the Antiques Road Trip TV series, who verified the letter's authenticity.

Donations are usually handed in over the counter when someone's had a clear out. Now and again the charity is invited to house clearances to see what can be given a second lease of life.

Regional Manager, Bev Peck found the letter. She said:

"I get goose pimples whenever I talk about it.

"It's such a piece of history.  It fell out of a photograph album I found in the last box we were taking out of a room.  The letter is a response to an invitation to an event, and her letter explains that she would have liked to have gone but she can't, because she's not very well.

"Quite honestly, it's the people of Dorset who offer us the clearance of the houses of their loved ones that bring up these wonderful items."

florence letter 2

'What else is in the letter?'

In her letter, Florence Nightingale talks about her own illness, as well as looking after others.

Tim Medhurst from Antiques Road Trip's said:

"She says in her letter that she's been unwell at home for two years, and yet she is talking about going out and looking after other people and their sickness.  

"It talks about beginning of life care, in clothing and feeding children but then also end of life care which is what Weldmar is all about".
 
"When it comes to value, with historical letters and signatures of famous people, it comes down to the content and why the were written - if she had mentioned soldiers on the front line, that would bring a big price.  

"This letter has a lot of writing by Florence Nightingale, so I would imagine it could fetch up to one thousand pounds.  Well done Bev for finding it!".