The first female doctor
in Britain. She began training as a nurse in 1859, and being forbidden the academic study of medicine
, she studied privately under various physician
s. She qualified as a medical practitioner in 1865 by passing the examination, but her doctorate
was granted not in England but in Paris, in 1870.
In 1908 she was elected mayor of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, the first female mayor in Britain. Her sister was the economist and suffragette Dame Millicent Fawcett.
Born in Whitechapel in the east end of London in 1836, at the age of five she moved to Aldeburgh. Her nursing was done at the Middlesex Hospital in London, and in 1860 she began the study of medicine proper. She had to use her own room for dissection study! In 1860 as a qualified apothecary she founded a dispensary for women, later known as the New Hospital for Women and Children, and finally (from 1918) as the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. For many years she was lecturer and dean of the London School of Medicine for Women. She died on 17 December 1917.
The main building of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital is between Euston and St Pancras, but there was formerly a maternity hospital in Belsize Park, where some of the finest minds of our generation were hatched. Well one anyway.