Scottish Archive Network Exhibitions
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Helen Guthrie 1663
Jean Cuthbert 1680
Christian Speid 1760s
Margaret Scott 1770s
Anne Anderson 1770s
Anne Wyllie 1782
Margaret Speid 1840s
Jemima Hay 1873
Miss Dick 1873
Hannah MacEwen 1882
Isa Cunningham 1916
Betty Jamieson 1931
Business Woman 1948
  Anne Wyllie - Midwife in Montrose, 1782

Image of extract of town council minute book for Montrose

It is usually believed that 18th century women spent their time and energy in the home. Some pre-empted their 20th century descendants and pursued a career.

Midwifery was a profession followed by many women. It was usual for one woman to teach her skills and knowledge to another. It was not usual for a woman to want to train in Edinburgh at the newly established course on midwifery. Yet this is what one Montrosian woman, Ann Wyllie decided to do in 1782. The Town Council supported her in her innovative decision.

"There was given in to the Council a petition for Ann Wyllie spouse to George Sim Flaxdresser representing her intentions of studying midwifery at Edinburgh, but on account of the narrowness of her circumstances Craving some aid from the Council for defraying her expenses. Which petition being read and considered by the Council they recommend to the Magistrates to give her what aid out of the Hospital fund they shall think proper."

Angus Archives [Montrose Town Council Minute Book 3 July 1782.]