Beatrice Edgell: An appreciation


Requests for reprints should be addressed to Elizabeth Valentine, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK (e-mail:


Beatrice Edgell's contribution to the development of psychology is assessed. Edgell was Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Bedford College, London, from 1898 to 1933. She did much to develop the status of psychology within the College and the University, and established one of the first psychological laboratories in Britain. She was the first British woman to gain a doctorate in psychology, the first woman Professor of Psychology in Britain and the first woman President of the British Psychological Society (as also of the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association, and the Psychology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science). She made substantial contributions to research, both theoretical and empirical, including work on the Wheatstone-Hipp chronoscope and on memory, and trained a number of women who subsequently played a prominent role in the development of both academic and applied psychology in Britain.