Steamboat ladies

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"Steamboat ladies" was a nickname given to a number of female students at the women's colleges of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge who were awarded ad eundem University of Dublin degrees at Trinity College, Dublin, between 1904 and 1907, at a time when their own universities refused to confer degrees upon women.[1]

Trinity opened its doors to female students in 1904. Anthony Traill, Provost of Trinity College, proposed that female Oxbridge graduates be granted Trinity degrees.[2] The policy lasted from June 1904 to December 1907.[2]

By 1907 Trinity had granted degrees to some 720 "Steamboat Ladies."[3] All had passed examinations at Oxbridge that would have earned them a degree if they were male.[3] The women were predominately graduates of Girton and Newnham Colleges, Cambridge and Sommerville College, Oxford.[2]

The name comes from the means of transport commonly used by these women to travel to Dublin, Ireland, for this purpose.[1]

Notable steamboat ladies[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A Timeline of the History of Women in Trinity". A Century of Women in Trinity College. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Rayner-Canham, Marelene F.; Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey (2008-01-01). Chemistry Was Their Life: Pioneering British Women Chemists, 1880-1949. Imperial College Press. ISBN 9781860949876. 
  3. ^ a b Weber, Thomas (2008-01-01). Our Friend "the Enemy": Elite Education in Britain and Germany Before World War I. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804700146. 
  4. ^ Harper, Peter S. (2008-10-24). A Short History of Medical Genetics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199720132. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Parkes, Susan M. "Steamboat ladies (act. 1904–1907)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5 January 2011.