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Meet our women historians!

Jane Dawson

Jane Dawson arrived at the University of St Andrews in 1977, and she remembers that her arrival caused something of a stir.  Not only was she the first Glenfiddich Fellow in Scottish History, set up through money…

Lorna Walker in pink jacket

Lorna Walker

Lorna Walker studied History at St Andrews in the late 1940s, and returned in the 1960s as a lecturer in Medieval History and Warden of University Hall. She retired in 1991, and still lives in St Andrews. The following…

Printed list with details of Janet Low's appointment as substitute lecturer

Janet Low (d.1962)

As far as we know, the first woman to teach History formally within the University was Janet Low. She was one of several people, men and women, appointed during the First World War as ‘Temporary Lecturers and…

Drawing of Anne Wright

Anne Wright (c.1925-1981)

Anne Wright had a life-long connection to St Andrews. She was born here, the daughter of an academic; was educated here; and spent the last 15 years of her life as Warden of Hamilton Hall and lecturer in Modern…

Elizabeth Hutton MA 1903

Elizabeth Peddie Steele Hutton (d.1906) was one of the first two women to graduate M.A. with Honours in History from St Andrews. She graduated in 1903. In contrast to the youthful image of women students, Elizabeth…

B&W photo of Doris Ketelbey, about 1940

Doris Ketelbey, 1896-1990

(Caroline) Doris Ketelbey was the first woman to hold a long-term position as member of staff in History at St Andrews [read about other early women staff]. She was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in 1935; and…

Edith Johnston, MA 1951 PhD 1956

As far as we know, Edith Mary Johnston (1930-2008) was the first female St. Andrews PhD student to go on to an academic career.  Born in Belfast, in 1930 to John Worthington-Johnston and Mary Isobel Giraud. She was…

Elizabeth Menzies, PhD 1954

Elizabeth Alexandra Menzies, MA 1949, PhD 1954 Elizabeth Menzies appears to have been the third woman to have been awarded a Ph.D. in History from St Andrews, receiving it in 1954 – a quarter of a century after the…

Edith Thomson, PhD 1928

Edith Elizabeth Bruce Thomson, MA St Andrews 1923; PhD St Andrews 1928  Edith Thomson was the second woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in History at St Andrews for a thesis entitled ‘Scotland under Lauderdale‘. She was…

Edith MacQueen, PhD 1927

Edith Edgar MacQueen (1900-1977) appears to have been the first woman historian to be awarded a Ph.D. in History by the University of St Andrews. She submitted her thesis in 1927, on the topic ‘The General Assembly of…