Hamilton, Lillias Anna

  • Hamilton, Lillias Anna, 1858-1925
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Correspondence, writings and other papers from career including as personal physician to the Amir of Afghanistan, 1894-1896, Warden of Studley College, Warwickshire (training women for careers in agriculture and horticulture), and doctor in Serbia in 1915 with the Wounded Allies Relief Committee; photographs of Afghanistan.



Physical description

9 boxes o/s 1 (A.33)


These papers are archivally mixed and were discovered in a confused state. Some of them had undergone a preliminary sorting which consisted of placing individual items inside a folded sheet of paper which was marked with the date of the item. Certain items had been catalogued as library books or autograph letters: they have been restored to this collection in the interests of archival consistency.

It has been possible to deduce that this collection falls into four groups and it has been arranged as follows: the papers of Dr Hamilton herself, which are disappointingly scanty, though they include a fine set of photographs of Afghanistan in the 1890s [PP/HAM/A]; papers of her brother Col Claud L C Hamilton who assisted her with her business affairs and was her executor, and kept a considerable amount of more general letters from her, from 1906 [PP/HAM/B]; one file of letters kept by her Deputy at Studley College, Miss Ekins [PP/HAM/C]; and various items of biographical interest brought together by Mr Gaskell [PP/HAM/D].

There is little in this collection of specifically medical interest, but it gives some indication of the life, career and varied interests of an early woman doctor.

Acquisition note

This collection was originally brought together by the personal interest in Dr Hamilton of Mr E H Gaskell, formerly Librarian of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. He had acquired them from various sources: principally from her nephew Lt-Cdr J. Hamilton, and from Studley College.

Biographical note

In spite of an extremely varied and interesting career Dr Hamilton has been neglected by biographers and historians. The principal incidents of her life are as follows:

Born 7 February 1858 in New South Wales;

brought to the United Kingdom in 1860;

educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College under Dorothea Beale;

studied painting and music in Germany;

trained as nurse in Liverpool Infirmary;

studied medicine in London, Glasgow and Brussels;

LRCP & LRCS(Edinburgh); MD (Brux) 1890;

practiced in Calcutta for some years;

went to Afghanistan to recoup her health and became personal physician to the Amir;

visited England 1895 in the retinue of his son the Shahzada Nasrullah;

returned to England 1896 and did settlement work in Liverpool;

practiced medicine in England until her health broke down;

went to South Africa (where her brother Dundas became a farmer);

became Warden of Studley College, Warwickshire (established to train women for careers in horticulture and agriculture and allied professions);

was a member of the Women's Freedom League;

c.1915 went to Montenegro under the auspices of the Wounded Allies Relief Committee and ran a hospital there;

returned to Studley where her health became progressively poorer;

died at Nice in January 1925.

Related material

At Wellcome Collection:

Portrait of Dr Hamilton in Wellcome Library Iconographic Collection

Location of duplicates

A.28 is available on microfilm (AMS/MF/94)


The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 155