Sophia Jex-Blake

Physician, pioneer of medical education for women in Britain, alumna.

Jex Blake plaque


Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake was born in Hastings in 1840.

She attended various private schools before enrolling at Queen's College, London. In 1859, while still a student, she accepted a post as mathematics tutor at the College.

In 1869, she became determined to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh, though its doors were still closed to women.

After a bitter struggle, which divided the faculty and ended with Jex-Blake suing the University unsuccessfully in the Court of Session, she moved to Berne to qualify.

In 1889, however, largely as a result of her struggles, an Act of Parliament sanctioned degrees for women.

She was one of the first female doctors in the UK. A leading campaigner for medical education for women, she was later involved in founding two medical schools for women: one in London (at a time when no other medical schools were training women) and one in Edinburgh, where she also started a women's hospital.

The plaque

Jex-Blake's plaque is located at Teviot Place, on the East wall of the main entrance of the Medical School Building.


In honour of Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake


Physician, pioneer of medical education for women in Britain, alumna of the University