Tag Archives: students

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Prize

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859 and attended Edinburgh University as a medical student from 1876 to 1881. A recent enquiry threw light on the establishment of this prize at his request.

From information located in the minutes of the Senatus Academicus.

4th July 1902

A letter was read from the University Court enclosing a letter from Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle in which he proposed to found a “Conan Doyle Scholarship” in the University, to be competed for by students of South African birth; and requesting the Senatus to state how, in their opinion, this can best be done. The Senatus remitted Dr. Conan Doyle’s letter to the Principal & Dean’s Committee, with powers to communicate their opinion direct to University Court.

Senatus Minutes 25 July 1902

A letter was read from the University Court, stating that the Court approved of the reccomendations made by the Principal & Deans Committee on behalf of the Senatus, that the proposed Conan Doyle Scholarship should be attached to the Faculty of Medicine, and requesting the Senatus to frame Draft Regulations for the approval of Court. A letter was also enclosed from Sir Conan Doyle stating that he had no conditions to attach to the Scholarship, except that it should be called the “Conan Doyle Scholarship”, and be awarded to South Africans. The Senartus remitted to the Faculty of Medicine to frame Regulations for the Scholarship.

1st November 2002

The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine reported that the Faculty had drafted Regulations for the Conan Doyle Scholarship, but that since doing so a letter from Sir Conan Doyle had been transmitted to them by the University Court, which imposed a further condition from which it was not clear whether a Bursary or Scholarship was contemplated. The Senatus remitted to the Faculty to communicate with Sir Conan Doyle, and ascertain his wishes on the subject.

6th December 1902

The Faculty of Medicine submitted the following Regulations which they had drawn up for the Conan Doyle Prize:-

1. That the Prize be awarded each year on the Graduation Day to the most distinguished graduate (M.B.Ch.B.) from South Africa, as determined by the marks received at the various rofessional Examinations.
2. That the Conan Doyle Prizeman should be free to receive any other Prize, Scholarship, or Fellowship, which the Senatus, on the recommendation of the Faculty, see fit to award him.

The Senatus approved.


Women students 1870s-1890s

Women were only allowed to graduate from the University following measures put in place following the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889. The first female undergraduates at Edinburgh were admitted in 1892 and eight graduated in 1893, all of them having previously studied at classes given by the Edinburgh Association for the University Education for Women. By 1914 a thousand women had degrees from Edinburgh University.

Women were not totally excluded prior to this and over 140 awards of Certificate in Arts were made 1876-1894. We have added details of these students to our growing online database of students at http://www.archives.lib.ed.ac.uk/students/