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Blue Plaques for Influential Women in Law



9 June 2021

Some belated good news! Congratulations are due as Helena Normanton has been awarded a Blue Plaque by English Heritage after being brought back to public attention by Judith Bourne's book Helena Normanton and the Opening of the Bar to Women.

English Heritage: "The first woman to practise at the Bar, appear in High Court and at the Old Bailey, Helena Normanton KC was a fierce campaigner against male exclusivity in the legal profession and for women’s rights, working tirelessly to improve divorce law. Her plaque will mark the address where she lived for the early part of her legal career."

Waterside Press are also proud to announce that of just six influential women awarded Blue Plaques this year (including Diana Princess of Wales) Caroline Norton, who is featured in Judge John Wroath’s book Until They Are Seven: The Origins of Women's Legal Rights, is one of the others.

English Heritage: "Caroline Norton’s abusive marriage and separation was one of the most highly publicised cases in 19th century Britain. Her determination to fight for custody of her children and the rights to her own property had far-reaching ramifications, with the first ever pieces of feminist legislation arising as a direct result of her campaigning. Norton’s plaque will mark her former central London home where she lived for over 30 years."

We await news of the installation of Helena Normanton's plaque, but Caroline Norton's has now been installed at her former home in Mayfair. For full details see this page and for more on the six women chosen see the news as reported on the English Heritage website.

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