Edith Brown: Medicine Woman

Part of Celebrating Women of Cumbria 2018

13 January – 25 March

This exhibition explores the life of an often forgotten hero in modern medicine; Whitehaven’s very own Dame Edith Mary Brown.

Edith Brown was born in Whitehaven in 1864. After the death of her father as a young girl, Edith’s life began to rapidly change as she moved to London and into further education. As a young adult she was recognized for her abilities and was one of the first women to be awarded a medical scholarship at Cambridge University.

Edith took up work in the Punjab, India through the Baptist Missionary Society in 1891, and It was here that Edith would live the rest of her life educating women to become nurses and midwives.

With support from Britain, Edith set up her own medical school in Ludhiana, and this grew to become one of the largest hospitals in modern day India. She directly and indirectly saved thousands if not millions of lives through her lifetime and was recognized in 1932 by being made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Edith died in 1956 in Kashmir, India.

In this exhibition you can see medical implements and medicines from Dame Edith’s era, as well as pictures and artefacts directly connected to her life’s work. You can also explore this exhibition as part of a wider trail around Cumbria, with 10 other sites holding events throughout 2018 to Celebrate the Women of Cumbria both from past and present. For more information, ask for a leaflet guide during your visit.

The exhibition is free for those using a Copeland Pass. Copeland residents can apply for free at the Beacon Museum reception.

For those who live outside Copeland, standard admission applies until Saturday 24 February. For the remainder of the exhibition the feature admission rate applies due to our Spring feature exhibition Pirate’s Pants and Wellyphants being at the Museum.


With thanks to our community partners and Sponsors

Girlguiding Cumbria                 The WI                 Cumbria Community Foundation

Guiding for Adults – Trefoil Guild                 Arts Council England

  SOAS Library- Archives and Special Collections

The Museum of Lakeland Life


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