Grace Ross Cadell (25 October, 1855 – 19 Februar, 1918) wis in the first group o weemen tae study medicine in Scotland an tae qualifee. She wis, alangsyd Elsie Inglis, ane o the first entrants tae the Embro Schuill o Medicine fer Women, set up bi Sophia Jex-Blake in 1886. Her determination an chairacter war shawn bi her staundin up tae Jex-Blake ower a discipleenary maiter, bein deified frae the schuil an suin Jex-Blake an her schuil efter, successfu-like. Her career as a Scots pioneer physician, surgeon wis devotit mainly tae the care o weemen an bairns. She turnt intae an acteeve suffragette an wis weel kent fur public acts o defeein the cause o women's suffrage. She wis staunin oot in providin medical care an gien a place o haund fur ither suffragettes, some o thaim war pit intae her care direct frae episodes o force feedin in prison. Her hame turnt intae weel kent as a girth fur suffragettes.

Grace Cadell
Born25 October 1855(1855-10-25)
Carriden, West Lothian, Scotland
Dee'd19 Februar 1918(1918-02-19) (aged 62)
Yetts o'Muckhart, Kinross, Scotland
ThriftMedical practitioner
Kent forWirk as suffragette
The Cadell graff, Morningside Cemetery, Embro

Early life an eddication


Grace Cadell wis born on 25 October 1855, the auldest o fower dauchters o George Philip Cadell o Carriden, Bo'ness, thit wis superintendent o the local coalwirks, an his wife Martina Duncanson Fleming.[1]

In 1887, wi her sister 'Ina', Martha Georgina Cadell, Grace turnt intae ane o the students in the first o the students tak intae the Edinburgh Schuil o Medicine fur Weemen thit haed been estaiblisht bi Sophia Jex-Blake in 1886. The lecturs war gien in the schuil's premeeses in Surgeons' Square an clinical teachin at Leith Hospital. Jex-Blake wis regairdit bi her students as strict, an her rules needit the students tae lea' Leith Hospital bi 5pm. On 8 Juin 1888 Grace an Martha Cadell, alang wi Elizabeth Christie an Ida Balfour stayed in the hospital efter this ooir tae follae a patient wi head injury. Whan Jex-Blake fund oot aboot this breach o her rules she expelled Grace an Martha Cadell frae the School.

Thair respone wis tae bring on an action fur daimidges against Jex-Blake an the Schuil. The sisters claimt £500 in daimidges, an the court fund it in thair favour, gien ilka wyin wios gien £50 in daimidges in Julie 1890. The ensuin publicity wis a muckle setback fur Jex-Blake an her Schuil. Elsie Inglis, anither student fae the schuil, haednae been happy wi the haundlin o the maiter an lea'ed the Schuil in 1889. Wi the help fae her faither John Inglis, a keen supporter o medical education fur weemen, she estaiblisht the Edinburgh College o Medicine fur Weemen in Chammers Street. Inglis an the Cadell sisters became students at the College. The Cadell sisters did guid academic-like wi Martha winnin the medal fur midwifery an Grace won the medal fur medical jurisprudence.[2]

Grace Cadell qualifee'd in 1891 efter passin the examins fur the 'Triple Qualification' o LRCPE, LRCSE an LFPSG (awtho like mony of her peers she chose tae abbreviate this tae LRCP&SEd). This quality haed been set up wi the three Scots Medical Royal Colleges to allou fowk thit coudnae enter universitie tae dae exams alike tae the yins duin bi universitie students. This slloued her name tae git ontae the Medical Registrate an alloued her tae practise as a doctor. Weemen didnae graduate in medicine frae a Scots University until 1894.



Medical career


Jex-Blake haed estaiblisht the Embro Hospital fur Weemen and Bairns, at Bruntsfield, this wad later on become Bruntsfield Hospital. This haed an halely female staff an the newly qualifee'd Cadell wis appyntit as surgical resident.

The Hospice on Embro’s Ryal Mile

In 1899, whan Elsie Inglis stairtit up the Medical Women's Club ((in Scots) Medical Weemen's Club), set up wi the prime aim tae stairt a hospital fur weemen, Grace Cadell wis a weel-kent memmer o the club an served on the medical committee o the hospital efterwids, thit wis apppent at 11 George Square. In 1904 she jynt the staff o The Hospice, on the Ryal Mile, a hospital fur weemen an bairns thit haed been set up bi Elsie Inglis. She specialised in obstetrics an gynaecology and in 1911 she teuk ower directorship o the hale clinic. She later on became registrar at the New Hospital for Women in Lunnon.

Suffrage acteevities


On 9 October 1909, Cadell wis ane o the mony suffragettes on the public procession in Embro demandin Votes fur Weemen, local named the "Gude Cause".

An acteeve suffragette she wis preses o the Leith brainch o the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU; (in Scots) Weemin's Social an Poleetical Uinion) in 1907 afore jynin the newly makit Women's Freedom League (WFL; (in Scots) Weemen's Freedom League). In 1912, efter refuisin tae pey taxes as a protest, her furniture wis taen awa an publicly selt at the Mercat Cross on the Ryal Mile. She turnt the gaitherin intae a suffrage meetin. Durin the Scottish Suffrage Campaign o 1913-14 (thit involved attacks on speceefic biggins) she wis medical advisor tae fowk on hunger strike in prison.

Unner the Cat and Mouse Act 1913, aften, thit meant prisoners war pit intae her personal care tae rekivver.[3] Ethel Moorhead wis infamously pit intae her care follaein force-feedin at Calton Jail, same wi baith Edith Hudson and Arabella Scott.

In anither act o rebellion Grace refuised tae stamp the insurance cairds o her five servants an wis gien a fine o £50 bi Lord Salvesen in the Glesgae Heich Coort. The trial made the newspapers acause o fellae-suffragettes flingin aipples at the judge (but hittin ane o the jurors), at the sentencin o ither suffragettes fur fire-raisin. Grace peyed her fine wi a sackfu o copper coins as a wey tae faurer defy thaim.

Her hoose at 145 Leith Wawk wis a reset fur suffragettes. It stuid juist north o Smiths Place but wis brocht doun tae mak a printworks (Allander Hoose). She niver mairriet but durin the course o the First World War she adoptit fower bairns. In Julie 1914 she attendit the trial at Embro Shirra Coort o Maude Edwards, this wis chairged wi slashin the portrait o King George V on display at the Ryal Scots Academy. Edwards was fund guilty bi Shirra Maconochie an sentenced tae three month in Perth Prison (Perth bein haurder fur her suffragette freends in Embro tae attend or tae be a scunner).[4] Grace haed tae be remuived bi force bi three constables durin the trial fur causin an affray but wasnae arrestit.

Deith an legacy

The inscription tae Grace Cadell in Morningside Cemetery, Embro
Mosspark, Yetts O Muckhart

She dee'd at Mosspark Hoose,[5] on the Rumbling Bridge road at Yetts o'Muckhart, on 19 February 1918. Hounaiver, she wisnae buried in the local kirkyard at Muckhart but wis buried wi her parents an sisters in Morningside Cemetery.

In her will, she left ower £50,000 alang wi property an muivable assets, a muckle sum at the time. This was left pairtly tae charity, tae remeenin faimilie an pairtly tae her fower taen bairns, ainly ane o thaim, Grace Emmeline Cadell, teuk her seicont name. The ithers war Margaret Frances Clare Sydney, George Bell, an Maurice Philip Shaw.[5] Grace Emmeline wis clearly named efter Emmeline Pankhurst an is thoucht tae hiv been taen in as a new-born frae a young quine at the Magdalene Hoose in Embro, whaur girls no marriet wad hiv thair bairns tak awa an made tae wirk in workhoose condeetions as "punishment" fur becomin biggen. The ither three (aulder bairns) are thocht tae hiv been frae Dean Orphanage on the wast o the ceetie. The will gied aw o'aim £150 per annum fur the lave o thair lives, aroond four or five times the average yearly salary at the time.

In 2009, a re-enactment o the sale o Grace Cadell's furniture wis haudit at the Mercat Cross in Ebro. The re-enactment wis staged bi actors o the Citadel Arts Group tae prmuive thair play What Women want[6] ((in Scots) Whit weemin want) thit representit suffrage events in Scotland an featurt Grace Cadell's story.[7]

Personal life


Her niece Isobel Cadell (1890–1971) mairriet Harry MacDonald Simson, cousin o the eminent physician Sir Henry Simson, hissel a cousin o Elsie Inglis, makin Elsie her second cousin.


  1. "Scotland births and baptisms. Grace Ross Cadell" (in Inglis). Retrieved 7 Mairch 2018.
  2. "RCPE Archives Catalogue: Record". (in Inglis). Retrieved 7 Mairch 2018.
  3. "Grace Cadell". (in Inglis). Retrieved 8 Mairch 2018.
  4. "Suffragettes - Maude Edwards, July 1914". (in Inglis). Retrieved 8 Mairch 2018.
  5. a b "House with suffragette story to tell". Press Reader. Courier and Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire edition). 21 Januar 2013. Retrieved 14 Mairch 2018.
  6. "What Women Want Review - Edinburgh Guide". (in Inglis). Archived frae the original on 13 Mairch 2018. Retrieved 8 Mairch 2018.
  7. "Home - Productions - Living Memo". (in Inglis). Retrieved 8 Mairch 2018.