Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 H72/EGA

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1883-1903

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 1 box

Name of creator(s): Anderson | Elizabeth | Garrett | 1836-1917 x Garrett Anderson


Administrative/Biographical history:

A pioneer of women's rights in medicine and of the suffrage movement, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson achieved an impressive list of 'firsts'. She was the first woman to obtain a medical qualification in Britain, founder of the first hospital staffed by women doctors, the first woman Dean of a medical school and Britain's first woman Mayor. Elizabeth became the first woman doctor to qualify in Britain when she passed the examination of the Society of Apothecaries in 1865. The Society tried to prevent her admission to the examination, but found it could not legally exclude her. Embarrassed at having to pass a woman, the examiners conferred after the examination and agreed it was a mercy they did not have to arrange the pass list in order of merit, as Elizabeth would have been first, and as soon as Elizabeth had qualified, the Society amended its charter to exclude women. In 1866, Elizabeth began medical work among the poor women and children of Marylebone, London, and this led to the founding of the New Hospital for Women. The hospital was renamed the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital after the death of its founder in 1917.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was Dean of the London School of Medicine for Women for twenty years (1883-1903) and, during this time, the School was rebuilt and became recognised as part of the University of London. Elizabeth also consolidated the association between the School and the Royal Free Hospital and in 1896, the School was renamed the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was Mayor of her home town of Aldeburgh for two years. During her term in office she carried out many social improvements, including the introduction of a water supply and paving the streets. However, she was not re-elected in 1910 because of her prominence in women's suffrage. Her prominence was such that when Mrs Pankhurst presented a deputation to the Prime Minister, she chose Elizabeth Garrett Anderson to accompany her. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson died in 1917, almost unnoticed by a world caught up in war.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson including papers, photographs and published material relating to her.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

The records were transferred along with the Royal Free Hospital and associated collections from the Royal Free Hospital Archives Centre to London Metropolitan Archives in 2013.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 2013.


DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Added May 2014.

Women | Sex | Sex distribution
Medical sciences

Personal names
Anderson | Elizabeth | 1836-1917 | née Garrett | physician x Garrett | Elizabeth

Corporate names