Sophia Jex Blake

1840 - 1912

Medical practitioner, reformer and suffragette. Born in Hastings, after persuading her conservative father, who did not believe in education for women, Jex Blake attended Queen's College (London). She then worked in Germany and the United States before entering the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. However, despite her passing the necessary exams, the University refused to award a degree to a woman. Jex Blake's protests were taken up in Parliament and eventually led to a change in the law. Returning to London, she became involved in setting up a new medical school especially for training women, but was disillusioned when she was not appointed as its head. Moving back to Edinburgh, she practised as a General Practitioner, set up the first mother and child dispensary and fought for women's suffrage.

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