Mary was born in Jamaica to a black mother and a Scottish father in 1805 but moved to England during World War 1 in 1854. She requested to be sent as a nurse to Crimea where many soldiers were dying because of poor medication and facilities, but she was rejected. Upon rejection,
Mary travelled to Crimea and set up a hotel called the British Hotel and with time, Mary became the most sought-after nurse in Crimea with a reputation for healing all sorts of deadly wounds. Many wounded soldiers were sent to her hotel, and she visited the battlefield during dangerous times to cater for the sick. She soon became known as Mother Seacole, the black Florence Nightingale.