Mary Seacole’s Medicine Boxes

Mary Seacole's Medicine Boxes

I’ve just finished the last of a series of workshops at National Trust property Sutton House – the oldest house in Hackney. Each workshop was themed around one of nine Influential Black Londoners, and the final one was inspired by Mary Seacole. A very knowledgeable Year 5 class from a local primary school set about making little cubes to represent Mrs Seacole’s life and work – and wrote instructions to go inside on how to nurse soldiers the Mary Seacole way. Her combination of kindness and bravery, together with her blending of traditional Caribbean herbal medicine and European medical practice proved very inspiring for the class, and their little medicine chests are decorated with bandages, blankets, warm food and medicines, as well as some Jamaican flags to represent her birthplace.

It’s been a wonderful project to be part of. Many thanks to Gemma, Gina and the team at Sutton House as well as all the volunteer helpers – especially Daisy.


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