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Snell, Hannah

SNELL, HANNAH (1723-1792), the "female soldier," was born at Worcester on the 23rd of April 1723, being the daughter of a hosier. In order to seek her husband, who had ill-treated and abandoned her, in 1745 she donned man's attire and enlisted as a soldier in Guise's regiment of foot, but soon deserted, and shipped on board the sloop " Swallow " under her brother- inlaw's name of James Gray. The " Swallow " sailed in Boscawen's fleet to the East Indies, and took part in the siege of Araapong. Hannah served in the assault on Pondicherry and was wounded, but she succeeded in extracting the bullet without calling in a surgeon. When recovered she served before the mast on the " Tartar " and the " Eltham, " but when paid off she resumed woman's costume. Her adventures were published as The Female Soldier, or the Surprising Adventures of Hannah Snell (1750), and she afterwards gave exhibitions in military uniform in London. She died insane in Bethlehem Hospital on the 8th of February 1792.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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