Partner Emma Jane Gay

Queer Places:
University College London, Gower St, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT, UK
1 Byng Pl, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7LE, UK
96 Sloane St, London SW1X, UK
Kamiah, Bridgwater Rd, Sidcot, Winscombe, BS25 1NA

Caroline Sturge (born in Bristol 1861 - died 1922) of Bristol attended University College of London from 1883 to 1887; mentioned in the UCL Professors’ Fees Books in 1883/4. She matriculated 1885, aged 24; Prel Sci 1887; MB 1892; MD 1900.

She passed the University of Cambridge Higher Local Examination in 1882. She entered College Hall in January 1884, taking the course for matriculation in order to enter the London School of Medicine for Women, and gave 1 Byng Place, London, as her address on enrolment at UCL in the same month, aged 22, to study English, Physics and Chemistry.

She came from a well-off liberal Quaker family with a history of campaigning for progressive causes, and was sister of Emily Sturge, suffragist, founder of Bristol University. Her father, William Sturge, was born in 1820 and died on 26 March 1905 in Redland, Bristol, Gloucestershire aged 85. He worked as a Surveyor & Land Agent of Bristol in 1836. He worked as a Partner in Y & J P Sturge in 1842. William married Charlotte Allen, daughter of Charles Allen and Elizabeth Harris, in 1846 in FMH Stoke Newington. Charlotte was born in 1817 in Olveston, Gloucestershire and died on 12 March 1891 in Nice, France, aged 74. They had 11 children:

In 1881 Caroline Sturge is at Westbury on Trym with father William S, land agent. In 1897 the College Hall fourteenth Annual Report records that she was Senior Medical Officer at the Clapham Maternity Hospital. In the 1901 census she is doctor of medicine at 96 Sloane St., London. Dr. Sturge was examiner in operative midwifery at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School and a practicing midwife in London.

Sturge was friend of Emma Jane Gay's physician in Washington, Dr. Anne Wilson. To make ends meet, Dr. Sturge had for a time run a boarding house in London, but when Jane Gay met her, she was living alone and was lonely. A warm friendship grew between the two women, and in 1907 Jane Gay decided to make her home in England with Dr. Sturge, a woman who valued her friends above all else. They lived in London until 1909, when "the fog and darkness of a London winter" began to tell on Jane Gay's health. Then Dr. Sturge used an inheritance she had received to retire from her midwifery practice and move to the country, to Congresbury, a village near Bristol, with Jane Gay and Emma Gay. There Jane Gay tended a large flower garden, and they welcomed many visitors, including Alice Fletcher. During WWI, when the women had difficulty getting household help, Dr. Sturge built a smaller cottage at Winscombe, which they named "Kamiah" for the peaceful place in Idaho that Jane Gay had loved. Jane Gay died at Kamiah in 1919.

Sturge's brother Dr. William Sturge married Dr. Emily Bovell (1840-1885), one of the ‘Edinburgh Seven’ who campaigned for medical education for women; after her death he founded the Bovell-Sturge laboratory at Queen’s College Harley Street.


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  1. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bloomsbury-project/articles/events/conference2008/mitchell.pdf