Newnham College, Cambridge

  • Adrian Thomas
  • Francis Duck
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)


Edith was offered a Winkworth Scholarship to study at Newnham College, Cambridge. She went up in 1890 and stayed for 5 years, under the Newnham presidents Anne Clough and then Eleanor Sidgwick. She lived in Sidgwick Hall, with its resident Vice-Principal Helen Gladstone, the prime minister’s daughter. Edith studied for the Maths Tripos, coached by Ernest Hobson of Christ’s College, and attended lectures by Philippa Fawcett, who had gained the highest marks in the 1890 Maths Tripos. To great acclaim she gained a first in Part I, equalling the mark of the 17th Wrangler. The following year she passed the Part II examinations, being awarded a certificate for both examinations, but no degree. Edith excelled at sports, playing in the college hockey team and winning both singles and doubles tennis tournaments. During her final student year, she was President of the Debating Society. In her last year, Edith became the Newnham College Astronomer, taking charge of the 6 inch equatorial refracting telescope in the College observatory. At this time, her father purchased his own heliostat and developed a new siderostat to track stellar objects. Edith became a life member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.


Eleanor Sidgwick Philippa Fawcett Ada Johnson Mathematics Tripos Newnham College Astronomy Heliostat Wrangler Tennis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Thomas
    • 1
  • Francis Duck
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, School of Allied and Public Health ProfessionsCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Formerly University of BathBathUK

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