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The letter, written 121 years ago in 1899, was taken along to Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire, prior to lockdown, for valuation because its baffled owner could not understand why it had been kept among his family heirlooms for decades. Hansons’ experts were swift to reveal an extraordinary explanation. The letter about eggs was written by Florence Nightingale, the famous founder of modern nursing who lived from 1820-1910. Known as The Lady With The Lamp, she came to prominence while serving as a trainer of nurses during the Crimean War.
“The note about eggs, written in pencil by Florence Nightingale 121 years ago, has what she is known best for at its heart – her caring nature. It was written to help someone who was sick. Our organisation’s ethos is built on the same principles that were held by Florence Nightingale and we are honoured to have this letter in our archives.”
The note, signed and dated March 6, 1899, and written on headed paper – 10, South Street, Park Lane. W. – says: ‘To the Aylesbury Dairy Co. Would you be so very good as to send me at once 6 eggs, if possible, laid this morning (or less than 6 if laid this morning) with the dark brown shells, for a gentleman very ill indeed, who fancies them – and to supply me with the same every morning for the gentleman who likes your eggs, & takes hardly anything. I will send them to him at once. Yours faithfully, Florence Nightingale. I shall be so much obliged to you.’
“What a wonderful find, a letter from Britain’s most famous nurse aptly displaying her caring nature once again. As the nation battles Covid-19, it is good to be reminded of Florence Nightingale, an iconic British figure whose caring nature and dedication continues to be displayed by NHS workers today.”