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Scottish Court of Session Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> Scottish Court of Session Decisions >> Grigor Medical Bursary Fund Trs  ScotCS CSIH_1 (15 July 1903)
Cite as: (1903) 5 F 1143,  ScotCS CSIH_1, (1903) 11 SLT 245
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15 July 1903
|Grigor Medical Bursary Fund Trustees.|
In 1893, owing to the difficulty experienced by the trustees in getting “natives” of the county of Nairn to come forward as applicants for the bursary, the benefits of the bequest were extended by this Court so as to include residents in, as well as natives of, the county. The proposal now is, that the benefits should be further extended, so as to include young women, either, I suppose, natives of or residents in, the county of Nairn, to assist them in pursuing their medical studies in Edinburgh. That is a very great change, for if Dr Grigor had intended that the benefit of his bequest should be extended to young women, he had the opportunity of saying so before his death, and we find that he did not do so. I cannot think that the difficulty of getting young men to come forward as candidates is a sufficient reason to justify us in authorising so great a change as is here proposed.
The trustees only state that they experience difficulty in getting suitable male candidates; there is no allegation that male candidates cannot be obtained, or that no more young men from the county of Nairn contemplate entering the medical profession.
I suppose that if this petition is refused, and if in consequence of the dearth of male candidates the bursary remains vacant for a time, the result will be that the income of the trust fund will be accumulated and added to the capital, and that thereby the value of the bequest, when an eligible male candidate appears, will he increased. It is not as if our refusal of the prayer of the petition would cause the scheme to become nugatory or inept. On the whole matter, I do not think that any sufficient reasons have been laid before us to induce us to sanction the drastic change which is here proposed.
The present case does not, however, fall under either of these categories. What is proposed is not merely an administrative variation. It is proposed to admit women to the benefit of an endowment expressly given to men, and given by a member of a profession not very friendly to the admission of women within its ranks. Nor can it be said that the admission of women is necessary for administration, because the only result of refusing the application would be to accumulate the funds and to add to the capital, until a candidate comes forward falling within the class benefited by the trust as it stands. That would not be in any way inconsistent with the testator's object. For these reasons I think the application should be refused.
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