Mary Anderson, Emily Bovell, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Sophia Jex-Blake
, Edith Pechey and Isabel Thorne will be awarded the posthumous honorary MBChB at the University of Edinburgh's McEwan Hall on Saturday July 6.
A powerful, insightful piece of feminist theatre, Unsung explores the lives and legacies of four inspirational women - Sophia Jex-Blake
, Lilian Bader, Ada Lovelace and Andrea Dunbar - asking why they, and hundreds more like them, have been relegated to mere footnotes.
Several hundred male students went further, throwing mud and other objects at Sophia Jex-Blake and her six colleagues as they arrived for an exam.
They were prevented from graduating, but still Jex-Blake went on to run the London School of Medicine for Women and later opened a similar school in Edinburgh and all the other six became MDs or were involved in medicine in some way.
The women - Sophia Jex-Blake
, Isabel Thorne, Edith Pechey, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Mary Anderson and Emily Bovell - insisted upon access to study at Edinburgh uni in a high-profile dispute in 1869.
One was to Sophia Jex-Blake
, who was the first woman to study medicine at Edinburgh.
In Great Britain, physicians Sophia Jex-Blake
, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Elizabeth (Garrett Anderson were influential in enabling women to enter the medical profession.
When the London School of Medicine for Women, (later to become the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women) opened in 1874, it was mainly due to the efforts of another great pioneer for the medical education of women, Sophia Jex-Blake
(1840-1912), who enrolled to read medicine at Edinburgh University in 1868, had faced a long and weary legal battle against obstructionists in the university at every level, which was not finally won until 1876.
When she was 16, she enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study medicine with Sophia Jex-Blake
and her coterie.
Nine years later, Sophia Jex-Blake
and several other women encountered more violent opposition in Edinburgh, where male students rioted to prevent women from attending clinical instruction.
Shirley Roberts, Sophia Jex-Blake
: A Woman Pioneer in Nineteenth-Century Medical Reform (Routledge, 1993), 207 pp., $69.95.