Queer Places:
Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LS, UK

Carol "Carrie" Morrison (3 February 1888 – 20 February 1950) was the first woman Solicitor in England in 1922.[1][2][3] [4]

Morrison was born in Richmond, Surrey to Thomas Morrison (1834–1901), son of a Scottish innkeeper [3] who worked as a copper and metal broker in Spain and elsewhere, a wealthy company director,[2] and Judith Wakefield Morrison (1856 – 1924), from Lincolnshire, from an illiterate labourer's family.[2][5] Due to her father's work involving travel, Morrison's early education to the age of 15 was in four different countries, at five schools[2] before she studied at Manchester High School for Girls from 1904 to 1907,[3] and awarded an exhibition. Morrison went on to graduate in 1910, again with an exhibition, from Girton College, Cambridge with First Class Honours in Modern and Medieval Languages Tripos,[2] but she was not allowed a degree because she was a woman.[4] Morrison languages career was then trying teaching at schools in Penarth, Wales and East Putney, London, then working for MI5 eventually in Constantinople, attached to the Army of the Black Sea, in 1919.[2] Through a contact there, Alfred Baker, Morrison was taken on as clerk and then after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, permitted women to train as solicitors, after the First World War, when attitudes to women and work began to change, and there were 3000 fewer (all male) solicitors than when the war began. Baker sponsored her to take her articles.[2] In 1922 she and Mary Pickup, Mary Sykes, and Maud Crofts became the first women in England to qualify as solicitors; Morrison was the first of them to finish her articles, and was the first woman admitted to the role of solicitor,[4] at the Supreme Court of England.[2] Morrison worked as a 'Poor Man's Lawyer', providing pro bono or low fee services to people in London's East End, at Toynbee Hall.[2] In 1927, she married fellow solicitor Ambrose Appelbe, who was 15 years her junior, but shared her socialist views. Their non-conformist views led them to be 'watched' by MI5, during the 1930s.[2] Her husband went on to found a firm in London that is still active. Morrison refused to use her married name and petitioned court officials to be refer in court records, to her profession not her marital status. On an official form question about 'suffering from any physical disability?' Morrison put 'No, except being a woman'.[2] They later divorced, but Morrison, unconventionally, continued to work with him professionally, and worked until her death in Hertford, age 62.[6] She was also a Soroptimist.[7]


My published books:

See my published books

BACK TO HOME PAGE