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Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville was born in 1781 in the manse that stood in the grounds of Jedburgh abbey.

Mary Somerville was a celebrated astronomer, mathematician and science writer who blazed a trail for women in a field that was restricted to men at that time. She was also a staunch supporter of education for women and the right to vote.

She studied science and mathematics and made her mark as an astronomer with a paper entitled “The Mechanism of the Heavens”.

She was the first woman to be accepted as a member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835.

Somerville College in Oxford University is named after her. (

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