The Doctor Who Feigned Manhood

/ˈbɑːri meɪnɪak/
person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal for Dr James Barry (1789-1865), a 19th century transgender army surgeon from Cork City, Ireland.


I’ve always been sceptical of Dr James Barry being pregnant and I think it’s more likely that he wasn’t. Because of the sparse nature of the information regarding Juliana Bulkley, I think she was either:

  1. A child they took in, like my grandfather who was raised by his aunt and uncle because his family had too many children. I know this was commonly done by the parents of unmarried women who became pregnant but it was also common with large families and two children is a small family, especially for the time. My granny was one of 14, my grandad one of 12 and most families I know now have 4 kids. I know the Bulkleys were in trouble at that point but that doesn’t mean they weren’t less in trouble than someone else they cared about.
  2. Died. There is little evidence for Juliana after a certain point and infant mortality was a problem so it wouldn’t have been that unusual if she didn’t live long. That would explain what happened to her when Mary Anne & James went over the England each time. It would also explain why nothing was heard about her after the age of two or three.
  3. Actually was Mary Anne’s. If she was born around 1765 and the baby was first referred to in 1803 that makes her 38 so it’s still possible for Juliana to be hers. Which to be honest, would be my immediate assumption rather than a 13 year old. That doesn’t explain Redmond Barry’s falling out with the Bulkleys but still.

(A Juliana Barry was Mary Anne Barry/Bulkeley’s mother - that’s presumably where the name came from and there is reportedly proof of a baby Juliana in the early 1800s so this theory of June Rose’s is unlikely to be correct. Though it’s possible that Mrs Bulkeley’s name was actually Juliana Mary-Anne or Mary-Anne Juliana. I know a lot of Irish people, especially older or deceased ones, who went by their middle name and therefore show up on records under both names which can be confusing.)