Wednesday, 4 January 2012

365 Reasons To Be Proud To Be British: Rose Heilbron

January 4th: Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey.

What surprises me more about Rose Heilbron is not what she achieved but how I've never heard of her before. Especially when I'm in Liverpool. Heilbron was born and educated in the city and went on to be a trailblazing female barrister; the first woman to

- lead an English murder trial
- plead a case in the House of Lords,
- act as Recorder.
- preside as judge at the Old Bailey,
- lead the Northern Circuit

Given these achievements, I would have imagined there would be a statue. Or a plaque. Or something. Maybe there is. Maybe I've missed it. Maybe there isn't. In which case, there really ought to be.

And one other thing - Dame Heilbron has another first attributed to her. One that I can't find any corroborating evidence for.

That she was the first woman in Liverpool to wear a calf-length evening dress.

It smacks of urban myth. But, given Heilbron's history, I'd love it to be true.

By Simon Johnson with No comments


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