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Edith Hesling was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn on June 13, 1923. She owns the distinction of being the first woman to be declared an utter barrister by the Inn. A woman of firsts, Edith also went on to become the first woman to preside over a County Court as a Deputy Judge.

During her spare time, Edith was very much involved in helping with the advancement of women’s rights. She was president of the Women’s Citizen Association in 1932 and vice president of the Manchester branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1936.

Later, in 1951, Edith’s daughter, Anne, was also Called to the Bar at the age of 22, the first mother and daughter to be Members together at the English Bar.

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Bertha Cave

The first woman to attempt to join Gray’s Inn was Bertha Cave in 1903

Agnes Metcalfe

Her application was rejected in 1904 because she, like Bertha Cave, was a woman

Frances Claudia Wright

Frances Claudia Wright became the first Sierra Leonean woman to be called to the Bar in 1941

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