2nd March – James Barry RA and his niece Dr James Barry by Felicity Herring


This is a Zoom talk and will take place at 6pm on Thursday 2nd March.

Felicity has a BA in Economics and History and as a mature student went back to university to do an MA in Fine Art Valuation at Southampton. She has been a NADFAS [now renamed the Arts Society] lecturer since 2007 and enjoys talking to various groups around the country, she has also lectured on cruise ships.

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.