1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jex-Blake, Sophia

JEX-BLAKE, SOPHIA (1840–1912), English medical practitioner, was born in 1840. In 1858–61 she was mathematical tutor at Queen’s College, London. She subsequently set out on a tour of inspection of girls' education institutions, and in America became a pupil of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. In 1866 Miss Jex-Blake began a course of study in Boston under Dr. Lucy Sewall. In 1868 she returned to England and applied to the university of London for admission to their medical examinations. Being refused, she returned to the university of Edinburgh and was told that they could not admit one lady only. She got others to join her, and finally in 1869 they were admitted to classes, and in 1870 to the hospitals, though here they encountered much riotous hostility from a section of the male students. The university, however, still refused to allow graduation, and after some legal proceedings and much expense Miss Jex-Blake in 1874 went to London, where she took a leading part in establishing the London School of Medicine for Women. In 1877 this was associated with the Royal Free Hospital, and in the same year Miss Jex-Blake obtained the M.D. degree of Bern. She was also admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians, Dublin, and member in 1880. She began practice in Edinburgh in 1878 and opened a dispensary there for women and children. In 1886 she founded the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women. She retired in 1899. Besides various medical works she published Medical Women (1872) and American Schools and Colleges (1886). She died at Mark Cross, Sussex, Jan. 7 1912. Her niece Katherine (b. 1860) became mistress of Girton College, Cambridge, in 1916, and another niece, Henrietta (b. 1862), became principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, in 1909. Both retired in 1921.