Marion Gilchrist

Biography of Marion Gilchrist

Marion Gilchrist
Marion Gilchrist

Marion Gilchrist (1864-1952) was the first woman to gain a medical degree in Scotland and the first female graduate of the University. She was Vice-President of the Queen Margaret College Student Union, Vice-President of the Literary and Debating Society, and Convener of the Queen Margaret College Committee of the Glasgow University Liberal Club. The Marion Gilchrist Prize is named for her.

Born in Bothwell Park, Gilchrist matriculated as an arts student at the Queen Margaret College in 1887. At the end of her first year she began to take the exams leading to a LLA (Lady Literate in Arts) awarded by the University of St Andrews, which she gained in 1890. That year, she was one of nine women who enrolled newly-opened Medical School at Queen Margaret College. She graduated MB CM in July 1894 with Alice Lilian Louisa Cumming, gaining the distinction of being the first female medical graduate by winning a high commendation.

Gilchrist became a general practitioner in the West End of Glasgow, specialising in eye diseases. From 1914 until 1930 she was Assistant Surgeon for Diseases of the Eye at the Victoria Infirmary. In 1927 she became an ophthalmic surgeon at Redlands Hospital for Women. She was also active in the voluntary sector, serving from 1903 to 1911 as physician to the Queen Margaret College Settlement's Invalid Children's School.

In 1903 Gilchrist joined the Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage, but left in 1907 to join the more radical Women's Social and Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. She was a prominent member of the British Medical Association and the first woman chairman of its Glasgow division. She was also a trustee of the Muirhead Trust.

Gilchrist was an early motoring enthusiast and her garage and chauffeur's house were situated in Ashton Lane, in premises which are occupied in 2007 by Bar Brel.


Marion Gilchrist

Born 6 February 1864, Scotland.
Died 7 September 1952.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MB CM, 1894;
Occupation categories: physicians
Additional Information: R3/1/1 (vol 2)
Record last updated: 26th Feb 2015

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