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Jessie Campbell of Tullichewan

Promoter of Higher Education for Women In Scotland
Born 26 March 1827, Cross-Arthurlie, Scotland.
Died 10 February 1907.

A philanthropist and education pioneer whose vision for women's education was realised by the creation of Queen Margaret College.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Honorary Graduate
GU Degree: LLD, 1901;

Discover more philanthropists on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievement is associated with Jessie Campbell of Tullichewan:

Pioneering the University education of women in Scotland
The Glasgow movement to establish the right of women to a university education and the establishment of a means to deliver it was led by Jessie Campbell, administered by Janet Galloway and financed by Isabella Elder.


The following honour is associated with this person:


Janet (known as Jessie) Campbell, née Black (1827-1907) was born in Cross-Arthurlie, Renfrewshire, the daughter of the owner of a bleaching business. In 1846 she married James Campbell (1823-1902) of Tulliechewan, a principal of the Glasgow wholesale drapery firm J & W Campbell. They had five children, three daughters and two sons.

Jessie Campbell and her husband involved themselves in various social and intellectual movements. However, her main interest was the promotion of higher education for women. In 1868 she proposed that lectures for women be given by professors of the University. The first to respond were John Young, Professor of Natural History, Edward Caird (Moral Philosophy), John Nichol (English Literature), and Robert Grant (Astronomy). These lectures, given in the University and the Corporation galleries were very successful and continued until 1877, when the Glasgow Association for the Higher Education of Women was formed to offer women opportunities to study at university level. Jessie Campbell became Vice-President of the new Association and Janet Galloway its Honorary Secretary.

In 1883 the Association was incorporated as Queen Margaret College and Jessie Campbell became its Vice-President and chaired its executive committee. She persuaded her friend Isabella Elder to purchase North Park House for the College and was the main fund-raiser of a £20,000 college endowment fund. Queen Margaret College, which was the only college for the higher education of women in Scotland, achieved its aim of amalgamation with the University in 1892.

Jessie Campbell retired from active involvement in the higher education of women in 1893. She contributed an article, "The rise of the higher education of women movement in Glasgow", to The Book of the Jubilee: in Commemoration of the Ninth Jubilee of the University of Glasgow, 1451-1901 (1901). The University awarded her an LLD in 1901 in recognition of her pioneering work.

The Campbell of Tullichewan Memorial can be found in the Vale of Leven cemetery. More information is available here.