1920s cartoon predicts that first women barristers would hilariously modify their wigs

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By Thomas Connelly on

Horsehair extensions and evening wear-style gowns yet to materialise


A cartoon dating back the 1920s has surfaced on Twitter that ridicules the idea of female barristers, suggesting that they would modify their wigs and gowns to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

The series of drawings (pictured below) — which were tweeted today by TV-producer Angela Holdsworth, whose other half is Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger — predicts “extensions” being made to wigs while also depicting a female member of the judiciary swamping male barristers with her lengthy horsehair headpiece.


Not content with suggesting a number of other “distortions” that female barristers may apply to their wigs, the cartoon even forecasts that women would adapt their robes to achieve a more dress-like look.

The cartoon, which Holdsworth reports is from 1921, roughly coincides with the first woman to qualify as a barrister. Ivy Williams — a member of Inner Temple — was called in 1922. The move marked the end of a lengthy campaign for women to be recognised by the legal profession.

Female barristers and solicitors entered the legal profession for the first time following the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 — a report about which was tweeted today by the Law Society Library’s Twitter account.

The first woman to be admitted to the solicitors’ roll was Cambridge graduate Carrie Morrison.

The images appeared following the launch of #First100Years, a history project supported by the Law Society and the Bar Council that charts the journey of women in law since 1919.