Foundation of Edinburgh Ladies Education Association, 1868
On 15 October 1868, the Edinburgh Ladies Education Association was founded at 1 Inverleith Terrace, Edinburgh.
The 1860s saw a vigorous nationwide campaign in favour of university education for women. In Edinburgh, Sophia Jex-Blake (1840-1912) fought for the right for women to attend medical classes in the Extra-Mural School, achieving victory in 1869. The Edinburgh Ladies Education Association took a different tack. The guiding force behind its establishment was Mary Crudelius (1839-1877) who sought to keep the organization separate from the controversy over women becoming doctors and to build up support among male academics. Under her leaderhip, the stress was on the cultivation and improvement of female minds through its lectures. She attracted the influential support of David Mather Masson (1822-1907), Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, a prominent supporter of the women's cause. By 1873, women were enrolled in Association classes as diverse as Mathematics, Moral Philosophy, Chemistry, Physiology, Botany and Bible Criticism. In 1874 a University Certificate in Arts was introduced, and by 1877 the Rules and Calendar of the Association were being printed in the University Calendar thus forging the link between the University of Edinburgh and the cause of women's education. With a change in name to the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women, the organization continued to attract students to its classes, and to campaign to obtain a university education for women. In the end, the debate produced the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889 which led to the drawing up of Regulations for the Graduation of Women and for their instruction in the Universities in 1892.