As well as being one of the Edinburgh Seven, Matilda Chaplin was a British physician. (unable to source photo)
As well as being one of the Edinburgh Seven, Matilda Chaplin (Ayrton) was a British physician. Matilda eventually matriculated at Edinburgh, but was barred from instruction in higher branches of medicine. Legal intervention allowed her to gain high honours in anatomy and surgery at the extramural examinations held in 1870 and 1871 at Surgeon's Hall, before a judgment in 1872 finally prohibited women students.
She also studied medicine in London and Paris and during her studies Matilda maintained connection with Edinburgh, attending some of the classes open to her here.
In 1873 Matilda obtained a certificate in midwifery from the London Obstetrics Society, the only medical qualification then obtainable by women in England, and shortly afterwards She then travelled to Japan with her husband, where she opened a school for midwives and was an author of anthropological studies.
In 1879 Matilda gained the degree of M.D. at Paris, and presented as her thesis the result of her Japanese studies. She then became a licentiate of the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland, and, although the only female candidate, came out first in the examination. In 1880 she lived in London, chiefly studying diseases of the eye at the Royal Free Hospital.
Matilda had failing health and died age 37 in 1883.