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Cuddy, Catherine

Biographical

Registration number243
SurnameCuddy
First name(s)Catherine
Address(es)

St John's House, Norfolk Street, Strand

Date of registration7 March 1890
Qualifications

King's College Hospital, 1884 - 85
St John's House,1885 to date (ie 1890)

Remarks

Deceased, March 1896

Personal details

Date of birth1858
Place of birthStepney, London
Date of death1905
Place of deathLondon
Additional personal details

Miss Cuddy hanged herself at her lodgings in Porchester Place, near Edgware Road, in 1905.
An inquest cited a lack of work and a debt of £7 to her landlady as the causes.
According to Miss A J Hobbs, Secretary to the Royal British Nurses Association, Miss Cuddy had been an excellent nurse but had had very few engagements in the previous two years. She had rejected with scorn many offers of a guinea a week. 'I give my best work', she would say, 'and I will not take less for anybody.' The jury returned a verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane.The British Journal of Nursing expressed sympathy with Miss Cuddy in her refusal to try and make ends meet on a miserable pittance, pointing out to the reader that she had to live between cases.
A subsequent letter from a friend railed against the cruel and heartless remarks that Macmillan's paper (The Nursing Times?) had recorded about Miss Cuddy - 'she seems to have squandered health, substance and time, and then, when dark days came, her mental instability showed itself; without courage, without hope, without faith, she gave up the fight.' The friend went on to say that 'Nurse Cuddy was a woman of strong individuality, who in life squandered her health only, in that she gave of the best that was in her to the sick she attended; and of her substance much was given to others, and never returned. She was a strong, proud woman, and to be offered a stone when she asked for bread was terribly bitter to her. Death seemed better to her than a half-starved old age.'
The friend asked that the press, professing to speak for her nursing sisters, might extend pity to a sad and lonely woman

Professional details

Work experience

St John's House and Kings Coll. Hosp. (Pro. Nurse and Priv. Nurse), 1884 - 91
Owen Charlottes Lying in Hospital, St Marylebone, London, 1891
London (Priv. Nurs.), 1891 - 95
Nurses' Co-operation (Priv. Nurs.), 1895 - 96

Additional professional details

1901, living at at Broomfields Mills, Broomfield St Mary's, Chelmsford
One of two professional Nurses employed at the house

Sources

Register of Trained Nurses 1892; Nursing Directory for 1909; RBNA Roll of Members 1909 and Register of Nurses (RBNA 4/1) - Royal British Nurses' Association Records, King's College London Archives

The British Journal of Nursing, Feb 17 1906, pg 135 and Feb 24 1906, pg 166

Census returns of 1891 and 1901

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