Elizabeth Blackwell Memorial at Kilmun, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on Elizabeth Blackwell, a pioneering female doctor of the 19th century who was born in England, studied in America and lies buried in the grounds of a small churchyard in Kilmun, S.W. Scotland.Kilmun has a long history as a religious site dating back to the early 7th century.

A summary of Elizabeth Blackwell’s eventful and remarkable life is as follows:

  • Born Bristol, England in 1821.
  • At age eleven years moved with her family to the U.S.A.
  • At age seventeen her father died leaving a widow and nine children.
  • Elizabeth and her elder sisters set up a school for young ladies.
  • Elizabeth subsequently took a post in Kentucky where she encountered slavery and was distressed by the experience.
  • In 1845 embarked on a mission to study medicine, then a male only preserve.
  • After many setbacks and rejections by medical schools she was finally accepted by Geneva Medical College, New York State and graduated in January 1849.
  • Next objective was to qualify as a surgeon to which end she moved to Europe. After rejection by medical schools in London she studied at ‘La Maternite’ in Paris but contracted purulent opthalmia and lost the sight of one eye.
  • She returned to New York in 1851 and established her own medical practice. She later joined two other female doctors, one of which was her sister,and established a dispensary which became the N.Y.Infirmary & College for Women.
  • In 1859 Elizabeth returned to England and was finally entered on the British Medical Register.
  • She returned to America to train field nurses during the American Civil War ( 1861-5).
  • By 1869 Elizabeth was back in England where she taught gynaecology at the London School of medicine for Women.
  • She later settled in Hastings on England’s south coast and from 1902 made visits to Kilmun in S.W. Scotland
  • Elizabeth died on May 31st 1910 and was laid to rest in the burial ground of St. Munn’s Church at Kilmun.

Symbols on Elizabeth Blackwell memorial at Kilmun, Scotland

Detail on Elizabeth Blackwell Memorial, Kilmun, Scotland

Be Sociable, Share!