Elizabeth Cellier

Standard Name: Cellier, Elizabeth
Birth Name: Elizabeth Dormer
Married Name: Elizabeth Cellier
The small but significant literary output of seventeenth-century midwife EC amounts to three pamphlets on topical religious, medical, and gender issues, notably including the attempt to establish midwifery as a profession parallel to the male medical professions.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Lucy Herbert
Lady Powis (as she was until 1689)
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
used her rank to help her fellow Catholics: for instance, she served as patron to the midwife Elizabeth Cellier , commissioning her for a kind of survey of...
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Lucy Herbert
This was the outcome of the Meal Tub Plot, so called after the container in Elizabeth Cellier 's kitchen where evidence was planted. Lady Powis was then granted bail, and the charges against her...
Family and Intimate relationships Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale
Lady Winifred's mother, Elizabeth Herbert, Baroness and eventually Duchess of Powis , came from an influential Catholic royalist family. One of her great-grand-mothers was the Renaissance translator Elizabeth Russell (one of the famous Cook sisters)...
politics Lady Rachel Russell
Always attentive to the undercurrents of political behaviour (she reported the demeanour of Elizabeth Cellier in the pillory in a tone that sounds sympathetic although they were on different sides of the party divide), LRR
Author summary Jane Sharp
JS , who published in 1671, stands in a line of militant midwife-writers, close to Elizabeth Cellier before her and followed after a longer lapse of time by Elizabeth Nihell . Like theirs, her text is proto-feminist.
Textual Features Aphra Behn
Maria, the beautiful, speechless protagonist of The Dumb Virgin, has an elder sister, Belvidera, who is visibly deformed in limb: both disabilities are due to their mother's emotional state at their birth, to a...
Textual Features Elizabeth Nihell
Like Elizabeth Cellier , Nihell claims authority for women from ancient history. It was probably Eve, she says, not Adam, who delivered the first human babies. The mother of Socrates was a midwife, and inoculation...
Textual Production Florence Nightingale
She dedicated this work to Phainarete , mother of Socrates , who was reputedly a midwife.
Dossey, Barbara Montgomery. Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer. Springhouse Corporation.
Without her knowing it, her proposal followed in the footsteps of that submitted by Elizabeth Cellier in 1687...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Sophia Jex-Blake
SJB here discusses the benefit of women doctors in the treatment of female patients. She takes the reader through a timeline of women in medicine, dating back as far as ancient Greece, and including...


1670: The Hôtel Dieu in Paris was given letters...

Building item


The Hôtel Dieu in Paris was given letters patent to operate as a sanctuary for abandoned babies; it also operated as a centre for training nurses, run by nuns.

1872: The Obstetrical Association of Midwives,...

Building item


The Obstetrical Association of Midwives , an autonomous body, precursor to the Royal College of Midwives , was developed to campaign for better standing for female midwives.

31 July 1902: The Midwives Act instigated the creation...

National or international item

31 July 1902

The Midwives Act instigated the creation of a Central Midwives' Board to formulate practice requirements and gave midwives a separate and limited sphere of influence (though not quite the professional standing that Elizabeth Cellier had...


Cellier, Elizabeth. A Letter To Dr ----. 1688.
Cellier, Elizabeth. A Scheme for a Corporation of Midwives. 1687.
Gardiner, Anne Barbeau, and Elizabeth Cellier. “Introduction”. Malice Defeated and The Matchless Rogue, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, 1988, p. iii - xiv.
Cellier, Elizabeth. Malice Defeated. Printed for Elizabeth Cellier, 1680.
Cellier, Elizabeth. Malice Defeated and The Matchless Rogue. Editor Gardiner, Anne Barbeau, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, 1988.
Cellier, Elizabeth. The Tryal and Sentence of Elizabeth Cellier. T. Collins, 1680.