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Ayrton [née Chaplin], Matilda Charlotte (1846–1883), physician, was born in Honfleur, France, the daughter of John Clarke Chaplin, a solicitor. Her early studies were in drawing and painting and she used her artistic talents throughout her subsequent career. But she began what was to prove a long struggle to qualify as a doctor about 1867. She attended classes at the ...

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Blake, Sophia Louisa Jex- (1840–1912), physician and campaigner for women's rights, was born on 21 January 1840 at 3 Croft Place, Hastings, Sussex. She was the youngest of the three surviving children of Thomas Jex-Blake (1790–1868), proctor of Doctors' Commons, and his wife, ...

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Sophia Louisa Jex- Blake (1840–1912) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brown, Dame Edith Mary (1864–1956), medical missionary and founder of the North India School of Medicine for Christian Women, was born on 24 March 1864 at Bank Buildings, 10A Coats Lane, Whitehaven, Cumberland. One of six children, she was the second of three daughters born to ...

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Caplin, Roxey Ann [formerly Emily Roxey Caplin] (1793–1888), corset maker, writer, and lecturer on health, was born in Canada, the daughter of English settlers; Canadian Indians taught her canoeing and swimming as a child. Probably trained as a milliner, she married about 1835, and by 1839 was living in ...

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Carter, Yvonne Helen (1959–2009), general practitioner and medical educationist, was born on 16 April 1959 at 3 Woburn Hill, Stoneycroft, Liverpool, was educated at Notre Dame High School, Liverpool, and then was accepted as a medical student at St Mary's Hospital medical school...

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Yvonne Helen Carter (1959–2009) by unknown photographer, c.2007 University of Warwick

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Cockayne, Dame Elizabeth (1894–1988), nursing administrator and teacher, was born on 29 October 1894 in Burton upon Trent, the youngest in the family of two daughters and three sons of William Cockayne, brewer's traveller and licensed victualler, and his wife, Alice Bailey. One of her brothers was killed in the First World War, the second died of tuberculosis, and the third died in 1943. Her father died when she was five. These distressing experiences sharpened ...

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Collins, Sheila Margaret (1921–2009), nurse and educationist, was born on 28 August 1921 at 6 Hillcrest Road, Tywyn, near Conwy, Caernarvonshire, the younger daughter of John Collins, assurance superintendent, and his wife, Mary, née Deehan. Her father was from co. Galway, her mother from ...

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Fowler, Lydia Folger (1822–1879), physician, author, and lecturer, was born on 5 May 1822 at Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA, the sixth child of Gideon Folger, mechanic, manufacturer, shipowner, and farmer, and his wife, Eunice Macy Folger. She received her early education in Nantucket, where she developed interests in mathematics and astronomy, and later she studied for one year at ...

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Gardner [married name Qvist], Dame Frances Violet (1913–1989), cardiologist and teacher of medicine, was born on 28 February 1913, the youngest of three daughters of Sir Ernest Gardner (1846–1925), a farmer and Conservative MP for Wokingham and then Windsor, and his second wife, ...

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Hector, Winifred Emily (1909–2002), nurse and educator, was born at 4 Leslie Avenue, Taunton, Somerset, on 21 December 1909, the daughter of Sidney Charles Hector, a fireman on the Great Western Railway, and his wife, Beatrice Annie, née Dugdale. Her mother later held a number of public appointments, including justice of the peace and president of the local ...

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Margaret Rachel Huxley (1854–1940) by unknown photographer Royal College of Nursing Archives

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Huxley, Margaret Rachel (1854–1940), nurse and promoter of nurses' training, was born on 21 December 1854 at Thornton Heath, Croydon, Surrey, the daughter of William Thomas Huxley, clerk at the Brighton railway, and his wife, Esther Hopkins. Margaret was a niece of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)...

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McAllister, Anne Hutchison (1892–1983), speech therapist and teacher, the daughter of Robert Dempster McAllister, apothecary, and his wife, Anne Hutchison Macnee, was born at Main Street, Biggar, on 29 November 1892. She graduated MA (1917) and BEd (1924) from Glasgow University, and after teaching in a ...

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McPherson [née Egelnick], Ann (1945–2011), general practitioner and health campaigner, was born at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, on 22 June 1945, the only child of Max Egelnick (1917–1996), then a cutter and designer of mantles, and his wife, Sarah (Sadie), née...

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Ann McPherson (1945–2011) by Richard Seymour, 2009 © Richard Seymour; reproduced courtesy of Green Templeton College