Five honours for five first British women

Who was the first British woman to win a Nobel Prize?

DOROTHY HODGKIN 1910 – 1994

Dorothy Hodgkin was one of the pioneers in the study of X-ray crystallography.

In 1964 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the first and only British woman to be so honoured.

Who was the first British woman made an honorary freeman of the City of London?

ANGELA BURDETT COUTTS 1814 – 1906

Known as an heiress and philanthropist, Angela Burdett Coutts, was honoured by the City of London in 1872 when she became the first woman to be presented with the Freedom of the City.

Queen Victoria also recognised Angela’s philanthropic work which included social housing, schools and social reform.

She was a founder of the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children which evolved into the NSPCC and she was closely involved with the founding of the RSPCA.

Who was the first British woman awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University?

QUEEN MARY 1867 – 1953

On 11th March 1921, Queen Mary became the first British woman to be awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University when the degree of Doctor of Civil Law was conferred upon her.

Who was the first British woman elected Vice Chancellor of a university?

LILIAN PENSON 1896 – 1963

After graduation from Birkbeck College and University College, London, Lilian Penson was one of the first women to achieve a PhD.

She was a professor in the University by 1930 and was elected Vice Chancellor of the University of London in 1948.

Who was the first British woman BBC Sports Personality of the Year?

ANITA LONSBROUGH 1941

In 1960, Anita Londesborough won a swimming gold medal at the Rome Olympics.

She was the only British female swimmer to win Olympic gold until forty eight years later when Rebecca Adlington equaled her success.

Anita went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in 1962 and was the first female British flag bearer at the 1964 Olympics.

In 1962 she became the first British woman to win the British Sports Personality of the Year award.

Image credit: Dorothy Hodgkin By Unknown – http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1964/ via WikiCommons