Asks Emma to write to Erasmus [E. A. Darwin] in support of Miss Elizabeth Garrett as Professor of Physiology at Bedford College for girls.
Metropolitan Board of Works | Spring Gardens
20 Nov 65
My dear M
Permit me to awaken your feminine sympathies in behalf of a very admirable young lady & dear friend of ours Miss Elizabeth Garrett who has, after encountering an amount of opposition which few men would have had the courage to encounter, succeeded in obtaining the diploma of the Apothecaries Company, & has started in practice—
Your brother in law M
I may add what I know will interest you although it cannot help her in the matter now
under consideration, viz that the very special career to which she has devoted herself
has nothing impaired the charm of her manner or her social converse
she is neither masculine nor pedantic & except you knew her intimately you would
only recognise a well bred English Lady— I hope you will be able to give me a
more favorable account of M
Yours very truly | E Cresy
- f1 4940.f1Elizabeth Garrett received a licence to practise medicine from the Society of Apothecaries in September 1865, and began a private consultancy in London shortly after (Manton 1965, pp. 115--18). The Society of Apothecaries was the only medical organisation whose charter did not prohibit the admittance of women. Although Garrett was accepted as an apprentice by the society in 1861, she later threatened legal action when the society's Court of Examiners refused to let her sit for the licensing examination. Garrett had already experienced difficulties obtaining the clinical hours and lecture courses that were required for the medical certificate, because many universities and hospital schools refused to admit her as a student (ibid., pp. 112--68).
- f2 4940.f2CD's brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, had served as chairman of the council of the Ladies' College, Bedford Square (Bedford College) since it was founded in 1849. Emma's sister-in-law Frances Wedgwood was also a member of the council (Tuke 1939, pp. 36--42).
- f3 4940.f3Garrett had been advised to offer her services as lecturer in physiology by a trustee of Bedford College; however, on deliberation, the council considered the subject unsuitable for women students, and the position was not created until 1882 (Tuke 1939, p. 104).
- f4 4940.f4Mary Louis Cresy.
- f5 4940.f5See letter to Edward Cresy, 19 October .