Fran Badger


Delivering nineteenth-century maternity care. Midwives and midwifery practice in the English midlands, 1796 - 1880

Midwifery history has largely focused on provision in major centres including London and Edinburgh, and provincial midwifery has been neglected. Focusing on the midlands’ counties of Staffordshire and Warwickshire, this study aims to contribute to the growing understanding of nineteenth century midwifery in the English regions. Using records from dispensaries, lying-in charities, the Poor Law, trade directories and other local sources, the aim of research is:

  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the work of women midwives in the English midlands,
  • to gain insights into the use of midwifery services by women patients, and
  • to compare midlands midwifery practice with other urban areas.

In recognition of the absence of a national system of registration of midwives during this period, the study has adopted an inclusive definition of the term 'midwife' with the aim of understanding the lives of women who had occasional, as well as more sustained careers as midwives.

Elaine Boyling...'Quakerism and Therapeutic Environments: dynamic resources in the management of a Therapeutic Community 1962-1995'

This thesis considers the role of individual members and groups of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the development of therapeutic communities and other types of therapy that consider social environments. The thesis focuses on the history of one specific therapeutic community (anonymised in the research) established and governed by a group of Quakers. The study also provides a contextual history of therapeutic environments, particularly those involving Quakers. The thesis then considers attitudes towards dealing with conflict and resource management, and how these topics have been explored in notions of 'youth' and 'adolescence', in therapeutic environments, and in Quakerism. This work was initiated as the first studentship to be supported collaboratively by the University of Brimingham and the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments. The thesis is just one part of a process of encouraging multidisciplinary discussion of this topic among historians, archivists, practitioners and policy makers. .

Antonia Morgan-Forster...


'Malaria and the prehistoric Aegean'

My thesis considers the early origins of the malarial plasmodia (falciparum, vivax and malariae) within the Aegean, focusing on the Greek mainland. Investigating palaeoclimatic, palaeoenvironmental, economic and social date, I attempt to reconstruct the potential disease burdens of early populations from the Early Mesolithic (c. 8600 BC) to the Late Bronze Age (c. 1100 BC).

Referring to modern clinical studies, I consider the effects such a disease would have had on the development of these early societies from the hunter-gatherers of Franchthi cave, to the early urban sites of the Late Bronze Age.

Guy Houghton

‘Influence of the NHS on General Practitioner Postgraduate Education in the context of the Development of General Practice in Birmingham’

At the time of the inception of the National Health Service in 1948, there was little specific postgraduate education fro general practitioners. Over the last sixty years, vocational training for entrance into general practice has become mandatory and general practitioners are expected by politicians, patients and their peers to keep up-to-date with advances in clinical practice through a personal programme of continuing medical education. I intend to chart this development through the analysis of the changes in GP terms and conditions of service and the memories of GP educationalists who have led the process.

Sarah York...


'Self-destruction: Suicide, Lunacy and the Asylum in Nineteenth Century England'

My thesis focuses on the admission, discharge, management and treatment of suicidal patients in the nineteenth century public asylums. Changes in practice are assessed in the context of the changing nature of the asylum and its management, and the transformation of 'mad-doctoring' into the emerging psychiatric profession. Evidence is drawn primarily from the administrative and medical records of Birmingham. Leicestershire, Rain hill, Warwickshire and Worcestershire asylums.

Stuart Wildman

Local Nursing Associations in an Age of Nursing Reform, 1860-1900

This research examines the reasons for the development of local associations, their impact upon nursing as an occupation and their ultimate failure to influence the reform of nursing. In addition, it analyses the relationship between nursing in the home and the hospital and also that between national initiatives for reform, emanating from London, with those taking place within the provinces.