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Anderson, Elizabeth

Born: 1836 AD
Died: 1917 AD

1836 – She was born on June 9th in Whitechapel (a poor area of East London), the second in a large family of children born to a pawnbroker.

1849 – Elizabeth was sent to a carefully chosen boarding school in Kent. The school was run by Robert Browning’s aunts, and seems to have introduced her to progressive ideas. It certainly took her nearer the city of her birth again.

1950 – It was in London, that Elizabeth met Emily Davies, the early feminist and future co-founder (with Barbara Bodichon) of Girton College, Cambridge. As members of the Langham Place Circle, Elizabeth and her new friends helped to promote employment for women, and organized a petition for women’s right to vote.

1859 – Elizabeth’s momentous meeting with Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, an English-born woman who had been brought up in America and had managed to qualify there as a doctor.

1865 – At length she was able to gain her first medical qualification from the Society of Apothecaries.

         – She and her younger sister Millicent (later Fawcett), together with Emily, Barbara and several other like-minded women, formed a highly influential discussion group called the Kensington Society.

1866 – She embarked on a philanthropic project, setting up St Mary’s Dispensary for Women and Children in Marylebone.

1869 – The first woman after Elizabeth Blackwell to have her name entered on the British medical register.

1870 – Elizabeth had garnered a great deal of support for her dispensary, and went on to win a landslide victory for a seat on the East London School Board. Women had never been eligible to take part in such an election before, so she was first one in the country to hold this kind of position. Browning himself had been amongst her most energetic campaigners.

1908 – She became the first female mayor of Aldeburgh.

1917 – Died on December 17th.