National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Marie Stopes (1880-1958)

Marie Stopes (1880-1958)

Scientist and advocate of birth control

Marie Stopes and her family moved from Scotland to Hampstead in 1894. She graduated with a double first in the sciences from University College, London in 1902 and completed her PhD at the Botanical Institute in Munich two years later. She became the first female lecturer in botany at the University of Manchester. She specialised in the study of fossil plants and undertook research for the British Museum, the Royal Society (in Japan) and the Canadian Government. She also analysed the composition of coal. Marie Stopes supported women's suffrage and published 'Married love' in 1918 which became a best-seller. She set up a professionally-staffed birth control clinic in 1921. It is for this pioneering work that she is best known today. She died on 2 October 1958 at Norbury Park.

Birth in 1880

Marie-Charlotte Carmichael Stopes was born on 15 October 1880, the daughter of Henry Stopes and Charlotte Carmichael. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of St Andrew in Edinburgh gives the place of birth as 3 Abercromby Place.

Birth entry for Marie Stopes

Birth entry for Marie Stopes (32 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1880/685-2/1116