The Edinburgh Seven

There is another fascinating story that happened at Edinburgh University, 40 years after the tale of William Burke and William Hare.

The Auld Toun Blog explores Edinburgh’s stories and gives updates about our latest news.

The story of Burke and Hare is inexorably linked with the Medical School. There is another fascinating story that happened at Edinburgh University, 40 years after the tale of William Burke and William Hare.

The Edinburgh Seven were the first women matriculated at the University of Edinburgh and any UK University, in 1869 and they studied Medicine.

The women petitioned and led a campaign for equal rights to education. It resulted in legislation allowing women to study Medicine. They faced The Surgeon’s Hall Riots against them, abuse and hostility from male students on campus. The University refused to let them graduate.

Five of the seven graduated as Medical Doctors from other institutions. Sophia Jex-Blake led a campaign and helped to create the London  School of Medicine for Women, eventually returning to become Edinburgh’s first woman Doctor.

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