The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004

The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004

The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004

The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004


This single-volume dictionary presents the lives of individual Scottish women from earliest times to the present. Drawing on new scholarship and a wide network of professional and amateur historians, it will throw light on the experience of women from every class and category in Scotland and among the worldwide Scottish diaspora. The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women is written for the general reading public and for students of Scottish history and society. It is scholarly in its approach to evidence and engaging in the manner of its presentation. Each entry seeks to make sense of its subject in narrative terms, telling a story rather than simply offering information. The editors aim to make the book as enjoyable to read as it will be easy and valuable to consult. It will be a unique and important contribution to the history of women and Scotland. The publisher acknowledges support from the Scottish Arts Council and the Scottish Executive Equalities Unit towards the publication of this title.


CADELL, Grace Ross, born Carriden 25 Oct. 1855, died Mosspark 19 Feb. 1918. Physician and suffragist. Daughter of Martha Fleming, and George Philip Cadell, coalwork superintendent.

Grace Cadell was one of *Sophia Jex-Blake's first students in the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women in 1887, but in 1888 was dismissed, along with her younger sister, Georgina, for challenging Jex-Blake's authority. (They brought a pardy successful action for damages, heard in 1889.) *Elsie Inglis joined the rebels, and set up an alternative Medical College for Women, in which the Cadell sisters enrolled. When Dr Inglis founded the Medical Women's Club in 1899, Grace Cadell was appointed to the Medical Committee, and in 1904 she also joined the staff of Elsie Inglis's High Street centre, the Hospice, specialising in gynaecology. She was running it in 1911.

An active suffragette, Grace Cadell was president of the Leith Branch of the WSPU in 1907, before aligning herself with the WFL. In 1912, in protest against the withholding of the franchise, she refused to pay taxes, and her furniture was seized and sold under warrant at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh. Renowned for her tenacity and commitment, her response was to rally her friends and turn the occasion into a suffrage meeting. During the Scottish campaign of attacks on buildings (1913–14) she was one of the medical advisers to women hunger strikers in prison, who were frequently released to her care under the Cat and Mouse Act. Another such was Mabel Jones (c. 1865–1923), a Glasgow-based doctor, who wrote damning reports of their condition. Grace Cadell notably treated *Ethel Moorhead after forcible feeding had led to double pneumonia. Her house was known as a place of refuge for suffragettes. She apparently adopted four children, probably on the outbreak of war (AGC, p. 256), but died in 1918. RD

AGC; HHGW; Lawrence, M. (1971) Shadow of Swords; The Times, 12 Oct. 1912.

CAIRO, Alice Mona, n. Alison, [G. Noel Hatton], born Ryde, Isle of Wight, 24 May 1854, died London 4 Feb. 1932. Novelist, essayist and campaigner. Daughter of Matilda Ann Jane Hector, and John Alison, engineer.

Mona Caird, whose father was a Scot, said that her conventional upbringing led her to grow up rebelling against traditional attitudes and that she was discouraged as a young writer (Women's Penny Paper 1890, p. 421). At 23, she married James Alexander Henryson Caird (1847–1921), son of agriculturalist and MP, Sir James Caird. Although she spent much of her adult life either in London or on the continent, she frequently stayed at Cassencary the Caird family estate in Galloway, using the area as settings for some of her fiction. She had one son, Alister James Caird.

Mona Caird's first two novels, Whom Nature Leadeth (1883) and One That Wins (1887), were published under the pseudonym 'G. Noel Hatton'; both express unformed yet powerful views on women's rights as individuals. (It has been claimed that Lady Hetty (1875) is her work [Sutherland 1988, p. 99] but that is unlikely.) She acquired notoriety following an 1888 Westminster Review essay, 'Marriage', in which she argued that marriage made . . .

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