Important Scotswomen that were not Mary the Queen of Scots.

Maddie Mackenna

Hello my amazing readers,

We all know Mary, the Queen of Scots. A wonderful, powerful woman, with an awful end. However, she is not the only important woman that Scotland has to offer of course. We are talking about a country derived from Vikings and Celts, with bold and brave Highlanders and lasses. Of course there would be so many women in Scottish History that we don’t know of, but should learn about.

Here are some of them!

Inveraray Castle, where Lady Agnes was born. Image Source

Lady Agnes Campbell

You might have heard of William Wallace, the Scottish knight who became one of the greatest leaders in the First War for Scottish Independence against the English. Well, forget about him (just kidding, he was an important figure, do not forget about him). 

Lady Agnes might have been a high-born woman, born in the 16th century, but she was not a weak one. Highly educated, she used this to her advantage later on. She spoke several languages and was raised on political intrigue and scheming. When her first husband died while a prisoner in Ireland, she married the successor of the Irish chief who captured her first husband. She brought with her 1,200 clansmen, and even went to the battlefield herself! She led her troops against the English — and she did it very well indeed, earning considerable respect from both her allies and her enemies.

The Edinburgh Seven

Mary Anderson, Emily Bovell, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Sophia Jex-Blake and Isabel Thorne. Remember these names, because these were the women that changed history in the 1870s. They were the first women to matriculate at a British University. 

So many people were against them, not only from the University itself, but from the rest of the city. It was hard enough studying medicine as it was, without having those male professors being hostile towards them. Tensions rose in 1870, when they tried to gain entry at an anatomy exam, only to find their way blocked by a jeering and abusive crowd who threw rubbish and mud at them. 

But they stood their ground, and even gained support from other students, the press and even Charles Darwin himself! But they were still told they could not graduate. Their strength and decency under pressure went on to inspire many others, right up to the present day. 


Flora MacDonald’s Statue in front of Inverness Castle. Image source.

Flora MacDonald

Do you ever wonder how Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped the battle of Culloden? Well, wonder no more! Flora MacDonald was the solution. 

After he fled the Scottish mainland in 1746, following the defeat at Culloden, MacDonald dressed the Prince as a maid, and the pair were rowed from the small island of Benbecula to Skye. Unfortunately, many talked of her tale, which resulted in her imprisonment in the Tower of London. After her release, she had further adventures in colonial America during the War of Independence and was also wounded by a privateer attack on board a boat sailing back home to Skye.

For those of you that have watched Outlander, do you recall the opening theme song? Well, this tune is from the Skye Boat Song, which tells the tale of Flora MacDonald. We might not have enough details on her elaborate plan to whisk Bonnie Prince Charlie away from his capture, but we do know that this was one ferocious lady!

Victoria Alexandria Drummond was Britain’s first woman marine engineer. Image source.

Victoria Drummond

The figures of the long past might have been exciting, but I think we need to pay our due respect to the women of our recent past. Victoria Drummond, who was named after her Godmother, Queen Victoria, became the first ever female marine engineer in the UK. She sailed to many different nations and constantly honed her craft. 

After a stint onshore, the Second World War broke out, and she tried to return to sea, finding it almost impossible simply because she was a woman. She began World War II as an air raid warden in London then joined the SS Bonita. After the ship was attacked in the mid-Atlantic, she was awarded an MBE and Lloyds War Medal for her bravery and leadership.

These wonderful women and many more that the history ‘forgot’ to mention are the reason we are here today, learning about them. Let’s celebrate them each day by fighting for our rights and continuing their legacy!

Which one did you like the most my dear?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Written by Maddie Mackenna

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