Albert Ernest Naish had taken his medical degree from Cambridge. Born in 1871, he was the youngest son of a large, well-to-do Bristol family. "They were Quakers, not hard up in the way my mother's family was, but not rich," recalls Alice. "Father's family had made money in cotton, but his father had sold the business and devoted himself to civic life."
Ernest had become interested in pediatrics while at Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the first children's hospitals in England. There he met Dr. George Frederic Still, a pioneer in the field. (It was said in London medical circles that the only thing doctors knew about children's diseases in those days was Dr. Still's telephone number. Infantile rheumatoid arthritis was named Still's Disease after him.)
Ernest and Lucy were drawn together through their work. She assisted him in operations and surgical procedures. They were married in July 1902, six weeks after her final exams. She was twenty-six and he was thirty-one.
The young couple had the revolutionary idea of practicing medicine together, and Ernest made arrangements with senior partners in Harrogate, a fashionable town in Yorkshire. Ernest put his nameplate on his door, and Lucy, who had been given, as a wedding present, a nameplate engraved Dr. Lucy Naish, put hers on the same door. Two days later, the senior member of the practice stormed in and began railing that he was not having his practice tainted by the presence of a female doctor.
The next day both nameplates came down and the Naishes left town. They moved to Sheffield, an industrial city with a large working-class population in the northwest midlands, where they bought a practice of their own in the not very fashionable east end of the town.
Naish, Albert Ernest.
Adm. pens.at TRINITY, Oct. 4, 1890.
S. of Henry, of Holdenhurst, Ashley Downe, Bristol.
B. [Oct. 15, 1871], at Bristol.
School, Monkton Combe.
Matric. Michs. 1890; B.A. 1893; M.B., B.Chir. and M.A. 1901; M.D. 1931.