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Jessie McLaren MacGregor

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Jessie MacLaren MacGregor

Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Edinburgh University Library - Ref GD1/53/22

Dr Jessie MacLaren MacGregor (1863 – 1906)

Dr Jessie MacLaren MacGregor wrote to the College in 1905 asking: ‘First on what grounds women were held to be ineligible for the Fellowship, and, secondly, if their hindrance might possibly be reviewed.’ Her request was refused. MacGregor was one of the first women to be awarded a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh, yet the College refused to acknowledge her status as a qualified doctor, referring to her as ‘Miss’ throughout the discussion.

The design features undulating curves of the female form and landscapes of maternal figures, connecting with MacGregor’s work establishing The Hospice, a maternity hospital for the care of working class women in Edinburgh. She also practiced at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, with the design incorporating a flowing striped pattern referencing The Meadows site and childlike, unrealistic scale combinations. Microscopic imagery from MacGregor’s book, "A contribution to the pathology of the endometrium", and linear patterns inspired by sketches from her gold medal winning thesis, "The comparative anatomy of the auditory nerve", are visible throughout. Her remarkable personality, intellectual and artistic gifts are represented by the floral imagery of the iris and dianthus.