Paintings of the Edinburgh Seven by David Hutchison

The Heroines Among Us

David Hutchison points our attention to the Edinburgh Seven, women who fought to be able to study medicine! Hutchison delightfully brings their story to life for us to appreciate and be inspired by their efforts in the fight for women equality.

Artist Statement:

150 years ago on 2nd Nov, 1869 a group of six women: Sophia Jex-Blake, Edith Pechey, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Mary Anderson and Isabel Thorne became the first women to matriculate at a UK university. Emily Bovell joined the group later and they became known as the Edinburgh Seven.

Many of the male students and lecturers were against the women studying and this culminated in the Surgeons’ Hall Riot of 1870. The group were thwarted from graduating but five of them completed their studies abroad whilst the other two continued to help the cause of women in medicine.

With further research I discovered that Margaret Anne Bulkley, changing their name and appearance to James Miranda Barry, gained a MD at Edinburgh University in 1812.


David Hutchison


See more of his exhibition at Edinburgh University last year called Medical Inspirations at: