Emily Bovell

One of the 'seven' who studied medicine at Edinburgh in 1871. (unable to source photo).

Although credited as one of the 'Edinburgh Seven', Emily Bovell's name is absent from the 1869 matriculation records, and the University of Edinburgh Class Prize lists for the 1869/70 academic year - (the other women students are listed there). In late 1870 Mary won a scholarship sponsored by Katharine Russell, Viscountess Amberley.

Signature of Emily Bovell from Matriculation records 1861-1874
Signature of Emily Bovell from Matriculation records 1861-1874
In 1873 she moved to Paris to continue her studies, when it was no longer possible to continue at Edinburgh, and eventually qualified as a doctor in Paris in 1877. The subject of her medical thesis was "Congestive Phenomena following Epileptic and Hystero-epilectic Fits"

She and her husband (physician William Allen Sturge) set up practice together in Wimpole Street, London,  and Emily renewed her relationship with Queen's College, lecturing on physiology and hygiene, and running ambulance classes for ladies.

 In recognition of her contribution to the medical profession, in 1880 Emily was nominated by the French Government for the "Officier d'Academie", an award very rarely conferred upon women.

Emily's died of lung disease in 1881 aged 43 - her obituary states that she joined Sophia Jex-Blake and others at the University of Edinburgh to study medicine in 1871.


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