First name:
19th century
Field of expertise:
Place of birth:
Charny (FRA)
* 29.01.1822
† 14.11.1906
Biography print

French nurse.


Marguerite Bottard (1822-1906) was born in Charny (Burgundy) and grew up in a poor peasant family together with three siblings. She had to look after other family members and work in the fields from a young age. At a time when, in France, nursing was still mainly performed by members of religious orders, Bottard’s career can be considered typical of an emerging professionalization process. Eighteen-year-old Bottard started working at the Paris-based Hôpital de la Salpêtrière as a “fille de salle” (assistant nurse) carrying out cleaning and simple care duties. Soon thereafter, in March 1841, she was promoted to “soignante” (nurse; Walusinski 2011: 279 ff.). In 1852, she became head nurse of the psychiatric department at Salpêtrière and an assistant to Jean-Pierre Falret and Ulysse Trélat, both students of Jean-Étienne Esquirol. She later also worked under Louis Delasiauve and Henri Legrand du Saulle. On October 1, 1861, she was appointed “surveillante” (supervisor) at the “Petites Loges”, which housed patients diagnosed with “hysteria” and “epilepsy”, where she worked under Jean-Martin Charcot, Édouard Brissaud and Fulgence Raymond until retiring in 1901. She spent her retirement years at the “Pavillon des Reposantes”, a house on the grounds of the hospital where long-time employees were given board (Walusinski 2011: 281). Marguerite Bottard died in 1906, at age 84.



Poisson, M. (2009): Marguerite Bottard (1822-1906). In: Revue de l’infirmière 58, (150), pp. 43-44.

Schultheiss, K. (2001): Bodies and Souls. Politics and the Professionalization of Nursing in France. 1880-1922. Cambridge: Harvard University.

Tourette, G. de la (1898): Mademoiselle Bottard. In: La Revue Hebdomadaire 7, (8), pp. 562-565.

Mesureur, A., F. Raymond (1906): Mademoiselle Bottard. Nécrologie. In: Le Progrès Médical 22, (47), pp. 856-858.

Walusinski, O. (2011): Marguerite Bottard (1822-1906), Nurse under Jean-Martin Charcot. Portrayed by G. Gilles de la Tourette. In: European Neurology 65, (5), pp. 279-285.


Robin Pape



Referencing format
Robin Pape (2015): Bottard, Marguerite.
In: Biographisches Archiv der Psychiatrie.
(retrieved on:03.10.2023)