Sairey Gamp character jug incised with the initials JH circa 1975. Sairey Gamp, or Mrs. Gamp as she is more commonly known, is a nurse in the novel Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens, first published as a serial in 1843-1844. Mrs. Gamp is dissolute, sloppy and generally drunk. She became a notorious stereotype of untrained and incompetent nurses of the early Victorian era, before the reforms of campaigners like Florence Nightingale. The caricature was popular with the British public. A type of umbrella became known as a gamp because Mrs. Gamp always carries one, which she displays with "particular ostentation". The character was based upon a real nurse described to Dickens by his friend, Angela Burdett-Coutts. Sairey's umbrella forms the handle of this jug.
Charles Dickens Series