The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing

Living Edition
| Editors: Lesa Scholl (Editor-in-Chief)

Pechey, Edith

Living reference work entry


(Mary) Edith Pechey-Phipson (1845–1908) was born on 7 October 1845 in the village of Langham, near Colchester, Essex, England, the sixth child and third daughter of the Reverend William Pechey (d. 1888), Baptist minister at Langham Chapel, and his wife, Sarah Rotton Pechey (d. 1879). Named Mary Edith by her parents, she took the name Edith Pechey-Phipson after her marriage to a Bombay-based wine merchant, Herbert Musgrave Phipson (1849–1936) in March 1889. Edith’s parents were well-educated, her mother was competent in Greek, and Edith inherited this love of learning as she began her career as a teacher.

In 1869, aged 24, Edith Pechey joined in the struggle for women’s right to study and practice medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Sophia Jex-Blake was her fiery, famous companion, among others, and together they first won the right to take the preliminary examination in arts and eventually the right to attend classes with male students, which was a...


India London School Medicine Women’s rights Suffrage 
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  1. Anon. 1908. Edith Pechey-Phipson, M.D.Bern, L.R.C.P.I. The British Medical Journal 1 (2469): 1025.Google Scholar
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  6. Lutzker, Edythe. 1973. Edith Pechey-Phipson, M.D.: The story of England’s foremost pioneering woman doctor. New York: Exposition Press.Google Scholar
  7. Pechey, Edith Mary. 1877. Upon the constitutional causes of uterine catarrh with notes of personal observations. A Graduation thesis presented to the medical faculty of the University of Berne, 31 January 1877.Google Scholar
  8. Pechey, Edith. 1878. Inaugural address delivered by Edith Pechey, M.D., on 1 October 1878 at London School of Medicine for Women. London: McGowan’s Steam Printing Company Limited.Google Scholar
  9. Pechey, Edith M.D. 1880. Egypt as a winter residence for invalids. The Sanitary Record: A monthly Journal of Public Health and the Progress of Sanitary Science 12: 1–2.Google Scholar
  10. Pechey-Phipson, Edith. 1890. Address to the Hindoos of Bombay on the subject of child-marriage. Bombay: Times Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ramanna, Mridula. 2002. Western medicine and public health in colonial Bombay. Delhi: Orient Longman.Google Scholar


  1. Letters of Mrs Mary Edith Pechey-Phipson M.D., 1884–1892, Edinburgh University Library (Special collections).Google Scholar
  2. Wellcome Library papers.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.S.N.D.T. College of Arts and S.C.B. College of Commerce and Science for WomenMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of HistoryUniversity of YorkYorkUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More CollegeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada