ENID ROSSER LOCKET

Enid Rosser Locket was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1927 and was a member of 5 Paper Buildings.  Her unpublished memoirs are available in the Women’s Library collection in the London School of Economics Library, London.

Megan Dunmall is the Archivist and Records Manager at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

Listen in browser to hear Megan read an extract from Enid’s memoirs in which Enid discusses the problem of press intrusion faced by the first women lawyers.

[Image: Women’s Library collection at London School of Economics Library, London]

Enid Rosser Locket (bubble speech)

 

Enid Rosser Locket’s memoirs reveal that then, as now, not all women had the same motivations and ambitions.  Not having been part of the struggle before 1919 to be admitted to the legal profession (she was only 14 years old when Gwyneth Bebb issued her claim against the Law Society), Enid’s outlook is, unsurprisingly different, to  Helena Normanton’s, who was much older, of a lower social class and for whom even admission to the Inns of Court was hard fought.  Yet while Enid appears to treat the opening of the profession as the end of the campaign for equality this is a campaign which for many women is still ongoing.

Enid describes Helena as, ‘a war horse from the Old Feminist days’ whereas she  was, ‘of the newer generation of women and was therefore not a fanatical feminist.’  

In 1933 when Helena suggested establishing an Association of Women Barristers she found no support among other women barristers.  It was not until 1991 that the Association of Women Barristers was founded, to monitor and represent the interests of women at the English Bar.  In 1923, the 1919 Club, which subsequently became the Association of Women Solicitors, was established.

Listen in browser to hear Megan read an extract from Enid’s memoirs in which Enid talks about Helena Normanton.  Despite the prejudice and hardships she faced at the Bar,  she like many of the of the early women lawyers, including Mary Sykes and Cornelia Sorabji, talks of having been treated with kindness by her male colleagues.

[Image: Women’s Library collection at London School of Economics Library, London]

Enid Rosser Locket (bubble speech 2).png