Florence growing up
Up to the age of thirty-three Florence led a protected life at home in a well-to-do Victorian household. She was proposed to by no fewer than 3 suitors: Harry Nicholson, her cousin, was rejected by Florence, which upset the Nicholsons and a coldness developed between the two families thereafter; Richard Monckton Milnes courted Florence for nine years before she eventually rejected him; Sir Harry Verney first proposed to Florence and, after her refusal of him, formed an attachment to her sister - Parthe married Sir Harry at Wellow Church in June 1858.
Sketches of Florence Nightingale drawn by her sister Parthe
Hampshire Archives ref 96M72/F697/1
Florence continued to be bored and frustrated with her life at home and was determined to somehow break free from the monotony of visitors and daily routine.
Watercolour of Florence Nightingale at Embley Park
Hampshire Record Office ref 94M72/F613/8