I READ that the courtyard of Edinburgh’s Old Medical School is to be named after Dr Elsie Inglis, to mark the centenary of her death (Medical school honours Inglis, The National, November 30).

Not to detract from recognition of her life-saving achievements in battlefield hospitals during the First World War – but is this really appropriate?

A memorial maternity pavilion was built in her memory a few years after her death – intended to be a “permanent memorial of lasting significance”.

It closed in 1988. And there are various other plaques.

A more deserving candidate for this honour would be Dr Sophia Jex-Blake, who fought for 25 years – mostly in Edinburgh, sometimes enduring vile abuse – to enable women to study medicine.

It would also be long overdue amends for unfair treatment.

Elsie Inglis, one of the first students at the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women, founded by Jex-Blake in 1887, allied herself with some students rebelling against what they regarded as Jex-Blake’s petty rules and autocratic ways.

Elsie became a driving force behind the setting up of the rival Medical College for Women in Edinburgh’s Chambers Street.

Disregard for university court rules about mixed classes (and laxity by the university court in enforcing them) enabled the rival college to offer cheaper classes, a major factor in Jex-Blake finally having to close her school. Correspondence on this issue between Jex-Blake, the school’s dean, and its chairman Dr George W Balfour (Robert Louis Stevenson’s uncle) and the university, reprinted in the British Medical Journal of August 27, 1898, has a bitter tone.

Sophia Jex-Blake had grown to loathe Elsie Inglis – to the extent that when in 1905 a medical post became vacant at “the Bruntsfield”, the women’s hospital that had grown up around Jex-Blake’s Edinburgh home, Sophia, now retired and living in England, threatened to resign from the board should “that woman” appointed.

Elsie got the position. Jex-Blake did indeed resign – severing her last connection with Edinburgh and all she had built up in the city.

C Wilson

THE Declaration of Independence, 1776, the key words from Jefferson’s preamble, was quoted by Charles Moore in The Telegraph on December 1, in an article headed: “Theresa May’s fearful Brexit is leading us toward a Declaration of Independence”.

Moore aligns his thoughts with the USA in 1776.

Sadly out of context, yet risibly ironic. The USA declared independence to be freed from the Westminster of its day, from the stultifying centrism of Westminster, the colonists claiming to take the Glorious Revolution of 1688/89 a stage further and who were inspired also by the Scots Declaration of Arbroath of 1320.

Moore’s reasoning is that the majority voted to leave the European Union. But which majority? Now from the down south, inverted viewpoint in nether England’s Tory backwoods, one would expect his justification where England speaks for the UK. However, there were majorities for remaining in the European Union from Scotland, Northern Ireland and even Gibraltar.

So, following Moore’s arguing, the Remain nations need to declare independence from Theresa May’s fearful Brexit, and by extension, the Parliament at Westminster and the incorporating Union, as did the American colonists in 1776.

In reality, the Union was and is simply a “greater England”, not a true union of equals.

For a true union of different nations, in fact, one has to look at the EU, where all member states and nations are represented in the Council of Ministers, the EU “cabinet” and have a veto. One state in particular had bespoke opt-outs and rebates, namely the UK-Brenglish state.

Its Welsh and English nations within voted to leave the EU.

One often dismisses many of Charles Moore’s points out of hand, but a declaration of independence by the English legislature for the English and Welsh only, as only they voted for Brexit, is to be welcomed.

Independence-seeking separatists exist within the ranks of the quintessentially “Atlanticist” English Telegraph trying to equate Brexit with 1776!

John Edgar