Chrystal Macmillan
A passionate pacifist and Scottish Suffragist

Born the only girl of nine to a wealthy Edinburgh family on 13 June
1872 was one focused individual who grew to make great contributions to the efforts of the Scottish Suffrage Movement - Jessie
Chrystal Macmillan.

Following an esteemed education in St.Andrews, Chrystal became one of the first women to matriculate at the University of Edinburgh. Her extensive educational career involved mathematics, natural philosophy, moral philosophy and logic. In April 1896 she reaped the benefits and gained a first class honours Bachelor of Science degree, becoming the first women ever to do so within such a male-dominated domain.

In the early 1900’s Macmillan turned her efforts towards the assistance of the Scottish Suffrage campaign, becoming a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and the Edinburgh National Society for Women’s Suffrage. Given her academic accolade she quickly gained esteem from within the movement and was made honorary secretary and treasurer of a committee of women graduates from Scottish Universities. She gained further regard when in 1908 she became the first woman to plead before the House of Lords, advocating the entitlement of female graduates to the vote. Unfortunately her case was rejected though she did gain worldwide publicity for the cause. Shortly after, she moved to London where she exercised her political understanding further, publishing pamphlets and periodicals documenting the Struggle of the Emancipation of Women.