By Marcus Ackroyd, Laurence Brockliss, Michael Moss, Kathryn Retford, John Stevenson

Delivering the 1st ever statistical research of a pro cohort within the period of the economic revolution, this prosopographical research of a few 450 surgeons who joined the military scientific provider in the course of the progressive and Napoleonic wars, charts the historical past, schooling, army and civilian profession, marriage, sons' occupations, wealth at dying, and broader social and cultural pursuits of the contributors of the cohort. It finds the function which may be performed via the nascent professions during this interval in selling quick social mobility. the crowd of clinical practitioners chosen for this research didn't come from prosperous or specialist households yet profited from their years within the military to accumulate an effective and infrequently extraordinary fortune, marry into the professions, and position their sons in specialist careers. The research contributes to our knowing of Britishness within the interval, because the majority of the cohort got here from small-town and rural Scotland and eire yet seldom came upon their better halves within the local nation and often settled in London and different English towns, the place they typically grew to become pillars of the neighborhood.

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Extra resources for Advancing with the Army: Medicine, the Professions and Social Mobility in the British Isles 1790-1850

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Suffice it to say that they fully confirm the supposition that the army medical service was a window of social opportunity for those from relatively humble backgrounds. Director-General McGrigor is a prime example. Born in 1771 to a tacksman in Strathspey, Inverness-shire, with a surname which a few years before was still proscribed, he died a baronet worth £25,000. ⁵⁴ But successful self-promotion in the service was always a bit of a lottery: it required a strong constitution, talent (and not always at medicine), luck, and an ability to network in an age where patronage and meritocracy rubbed shoulders without apparent mutual discomfort.

No decision was initially taken to exclude surgeons who entered the service after 1815, so the database contains doctors who joined the army from 1772 to 1833, although the large majority—over 80 per cent—were recruited during the wars. As a result, the interval of time is enough for one father and son pairing to appear in the cohort— John Hennen (1779–1828), born Castlebar, Co. Mayo, and John Hennen Jnr (1800–71), born Deal, Kent. ⁵² The information in the questionnaires was first transferred to the database in a machine readable format as far as was possible.

16 Introduction continent both under the Ancien Régime or in the nineteenth-century European states with their large professional armies and increasingly bureaucratic support structures. As a result, many who started their careers as army doctors were to pass into non-service life as civilian practitioners. In the second place, the Army Medical Service was precociously professionalized compared with the wider British medical community before 1858. ⁴² The service was also hierarchically organized into regimental, staff, and general appointments with different levels of pay.

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