Dame Rose Heilbron
Dame Rose Heilbron
by Elliott & Fry
bromide print, 1949
overall: 158 mm x 112 mm
Artistback to top
- Elliott & Fry (active 1863-1962), Photographers. Artist associated with 10997 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Pioneering Women, p. 108 Read entry
Dame Rose Heilbron (1914–2005), lawyer and barrister, was the first woman to win a scholarship to Gray’s Inn (1936); to be appointed silk (1939); one of the first two women (the other was Helena Normanton) to be king’s counsel in England (1949); the first to lead in a murder case (1949-50); first woman recorder (1956), for Burnley; first woman judge at the Old Bailey (1972) and first woman treasurer of Gray’s Inn (1985). She was also the second woman to be appointed High Court judge (1974). Jewish and from modest beginnings (her father managed an immigrant-refugee lodging house), she graduated in law from Liverpool University with first-class honours in 1935. Once called ‘the greatest lawyer in history’ by the bookie Jack ‘Spot’ Comer, for whom she secured a not-guilty verdict in 1955, she belonged to Soroptimist International, a global volunteer movement for human rights and gender equality that still aims to help women and girls realise their potential, as she had done.
Events of 1949back to top
Current affairsFollowing the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, the Irish Free State becomes the Republic of Ireland and leaves the Commonwealth. The functions previously given to the King were handed to the President of Ireland.
The Second Parliament Act diminishes the power of the House of Lords, reducing their authority to delay bills from two years to one.
Art and scienceGeorge Orwell publishes his dystopian novel, 1984. The book imagines a future where totalitarian governments rule; their power based on continual war abroad, and overwhelming propaganda and surveillance at home. With 'Big Brother' keeping a constant check on the citizens' actions and thoughts, the individual loses the faculties of free will and independent thought.
InternationalThe People's Republic of China is created after the Communist Party wins the Civil War. China became a communist country under Mao Zedong.
Cold War tensions increase as Germany is split into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany in the west (a union of the post-war British, French and American sectors), and the communist German Democratic Republic, in the east.
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