Sophia Jex-Blake

Last week’s edition of the BMJ reported that seven current medical students at Edinburgh University had accepted degree certificates on behalf of the pioneering women who were among the first female students to be admitted to a British university.

The above image shows Violet Borkowska, Hikari Sakurai, Megan Cameron, Simran Piya, Izzie Dighero, Caitlin Taylor, and Mei Yen Liew, collecting the degrees on behalf of the “Edinburgh Seven”: Mary Anderson, Emily Bovell, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Sophia Jex-Blake, Edith Pechey, and Isabel Thorne.


Below I have collected archive material on Dr Sophia Jex-Blake (1849-1912), beginning with extracts from a biography published in 1918:

The following article was  published in the Common Cause, 19 September 1924:

The following letters were written in mid-January 1871 and published in the Scotsman. These letters reveal what an extraordinary young woman Sophia Jex-Blake was and also the outright hostility that she faced from the Royal College of Surgeons – simply for asking to be treated equally: