Frances Hoggan

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Dr. Frances Elizabeth Hoggan

Frances Elizabeth Hoggan (née Morgan; 20 December 1843 – 5 February 1927)[1] was a Welsh doctor and the first British woman to receive a doctorate in medicine from any university in Europe. She was also a pioneering medical practitioner, researcher and social reformer – and the first female doctor to be registered in Wales.[2] She and her husband opened the first husband-and-wife medical practice in Britain.


Frances Hoggan was born in Brecon, Wales, where her father, Richard Morgan, was a curate. She was brought up and educated at Cowbridge in Glamorgan and later at Windsor. During her teens, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, who was brought up with her mother and passed off as Frances' sister.[3] She went on to study at Paris and Düsseldorf.

She obtained her medical doctorate from the University of Zurich in March 1870, completing the six-year course in three years, becoming the first British woman to obtain a European MD degree.[4] In 1874 she married Dr George Hoggan. She later practised in London as a specialist in women's and children's diseases, including a period at North London Collegiate School. Together with her husband, she opened the first husband-and-wife general medical practice in the UK.

In 1882, she called for a publicly funded women's medical service for female patients in India. This helped pave the way for the Dufferin Fund.[5]

Hoggan became a campaigner and social reformer, and toured the United States lecturing. She had a particular interest in racial issues, and was a speaker at the Universal Race Congress in London in 1911.

Her cremated remains are buried, with her husband's, in Woking cemetery.


Upon the exclusion of women by the Council of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries from its professional exams in 1867, Frances Elizabeth Morgan sought her medical education at the University of Zurich, whence Nadezhda Suslova, Russia's first woman physician, had received her degree in December 1867. There, Morgan completed the medical course in three years rather than the expected five, and in March 1870 became only the second woman to gain an MD (with a thesis on progressive muscular atrophy) at Zürich University.[6] Afterwards, at a clinic in Vienna she undertook study on operative midwifery and became a pupil of surgeon Gustav Braun.[7]


  • Education for Girls in Wales (1882)
  • American Negro Women During Their First Fifty Years of Freedom (1913)


The Learned Society of Wales awards the Frances Hoggan Medal to outstanding women connected with Wales in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, technology or mathematics.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. The Society. 2003. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-9541626-0-3.
  2. ^ "Dr Frances Hoggan". Learned Society of Wales. Archived from the original on 2017-10-25. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  3. ^ BBC – Wales History – Mothers of Industry
  4. ^ Elston
  5. ^ Hoggan, Frances (1882). Medical Women for India. Bristol: J.W. Arrowsmith.
  6. ^ Elston
  7. ^ Thomas, Onfel. Frances Elizabeth Hoggan. Newport: R. H. Johns Limited.
  8. ^ Frances Hoggan Medal,, Retrieved 26 June 2017


External links[edit]