Scrapbooks of Miss L.F. Nettlefold

Scope and Content

Two scrapbooks consisting of presscuttings and printed ephemera documenting Miss Nettlefold's legal career and the campaigns relating to women's entry into the legal profession. It also includes legal documents relating to Bebb v. The Law Society, a ms paper [by Miss Nettlefold] entitled, 'Women and the Legal Profession'; and a ts paper entitled, 'History of the efforts to open the legal profession to women in England and Scotland', Mar 1920. Also included are articles on women lawyers in Britain and abroad and cuttings relating to the barrister Helena Normanton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lucy Frances Nettlefold (1891-1966), known as Nancy, was educated at Leinster House School, completed the University of London intermediate examination in Laws in 1910 and gained a first class pass in Part 1 of the Law Tripos at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1912. In 1912-1913 she and three other Oxbridge women, Misses Bebb, Costello, and Ingram mounted a legal challenge to the Law Society over its refusal to allow them to sit for its examinations. This case became known as Bebb v. The Law Society. In 1914 Nettlefold took a first class in Part 2 of the Cambridge Law Tripos and in 1915 entered the firm of Rider, Heaton and Co. of Lincoln's Inn as an articled clerk. During the First World War, she worked at the Ministry of Food and became Deputy Assistant Secretary. In 1919 she became Director and Company Secretary of her father's firm of Nettlefold and Sons, wholesale ironmongers and manufacturers. On the death of her father in 1924 Nancy and her brother, Hugh, became Joint Managing Directors of the firm from which she eventually retired in 1948.

Nancy was an early and active member of the British Federation of University Women and held posts including Treasurer and was also Director of Crosby Hall. Her other activities included serving on the Managing Committee of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital and on the Council of Bedford College and later as a Governor of Royal Holloway College. Nancy was also appointed to the Royal Commission on Equal Pay which reported in 1945, She was for many years a conservative member of St. Marylebone Borough Council, serving on a great variety of Council committees and becoming an Alderman in 1956. In 1956 she was elected to the London County Council from which she eventually retired in 1960 after serving on the Welfare and Education Committees. She was awarded the OBE in 1960 and retired to South Africa where she continued to be active in local political and social life.

Access Information

This collection is available for consultation. Intending readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.


Description prepared by Jennifer Haynes.

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds the papers of Helena Normanton (GB 106 7/HLN).

Corporate Names