IN a bid to 're-member' historical figures, a Hawick-based alchemist, alongside a range of experts, is bringing some lesser-known stories to life.

Dawn Berry founded Mother Maiden Crone CIC in the hopes of finding a way to re-enchant people and to discover new ways to move through the world away from "patriarchal systems to matriarchal, inclusive, and collectively chosen governance".

To help their work, Mother Maiden Crone is running events, titled 'Stories From the Edge of Chaos', on a variety of historical figures who can be found on the fringes, in an effort to champion their contributions and ask participants how the lessons of the past can be applied today.

A Mother Maiden Crone spokesperson said: "We're embarking on an extraordinary journey, diving deep into the tales that challenge the fabric of our perceived reality.

"This series is an exploration of those who've danced with the tumultuous tides of change and emerged with insights that redefine what we know.

"This is more than history; it's a movement. Inspired by ancient wisdom, we're crafting a future through the stories we choose to remember and tell."

The second instalment of the 'Edge of Chaos' series is a talk on James Barry, the Victorian army surgeon and medical pioneer.

Barry, who was born Margaret Anne Bulkley, lived as a man during a time when doing so came with severe consequences.

His gender identity was revealed after his death.

He was a talented doctor who performed one of the first successful caesarean births – where both mother and child survived – and who championed the improvement of conditions for slaves and prisoners.

The 'Edge of Chaos' talk aims to look at the ways in which Barry's gender impacted him, his success beyond his identity, and why he is perhaps lesser-known than his contemporaries such as Florence Nightingale.

The spokesperson added: "Join us for a deep dive into the life of James Barry, a remarkable figure whose journey as a Victorian transgender surgeon challenges our perceptions of identity and authenticity. In an era rigid with gender norms, James navigated the complex societal landscapes of his time, embodying the courage it takes to live authentically against conventional expectations.

"James Barry's story is a profound testament to authenticity, offering a unique lens on the challenges of maintaining one's true self in a society that strictly enforced gender roles.

"As a military surgeon in the British army who was born Margaret Anne Bulkley, his life compels us to reassess our inherited narratives about identity, freedom, and resilience, inspiring us to embrace our own truths with similar bravery."

The talk aims to look at Barry's life, his bravery and authenticity and use them as opportunities to ask questions of society today, including where venturing into the unknown can move society forward.

Stories From the Edge of Chaos: James Barry – The Shapeshifter will feature Dawn Berry, local historian Mary Craig, cultural engineer Michael Dudeck, philosopher Dr Rosalie Bouck, and medium Cheryl Prince.

Tickets for the event to be held via Zoom on Sunday, May 26 at 7pm can be found at:

And for more information on Mother Maiden Crone CIC, visit the organisation's Facebook page.