Between 1869 and 1873, Edinburgh was the Scene of a Bitter Battle Between promoters of the education of women as doctors, and those – in the University and the city’s Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians – who successfully opposed them. But in 1890, Edinburgh boasted not one but two women’s medical schools. The supposed needs of Indian women for female medical practitioners have been represented, by Antoinette Burton and Maneesha Lal for example, as in some respects a smokescreen, with the real driving forces located in Britain or in Imperial interests. But the evidence from Edinburgh suggests that, while ‘the needs of India’s women’ was used by many who had no direct experience of India, there is more to be said on the subject. Sophia Jex-Blake was unsuccessful in her efforts to force the University of Edinburgh to admit her – and six other women who joined in her struggle – to its medical Faculty between 1869 and 1873.