Harborough district trailblazer Frances Elizabeth Deacon - the first woman in the country to qualify as a pharmacist - is to be honoured with a coveted Green Plaque award

She’s been chosen along with six other recipients by popular vote

Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:38 am
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:40 am
Born on September 17, 1837 in Kibworth Beauchamp, Frances Deacon dramatically broke new ground when she became the first woman to pass tough qualifying tests to become a pharmacist.

The first woman in the country to qualify as a pharmacist is to be honoured with a coveted Green Plaque award.

Brilliant 19th century Harborough district female trailblazer Frances Elizabeth Deacon is to be saluted by Leicestershire County Council after the public voted for her to be recognised.

She’s been chosen along with six other recipients by popular vote.

Born on September 17, 1837 in Kibworth Beauchamp, Frances Deacon dramatically broke new ground when she became the first woman to pass tough qualifying tests to become a pharmacist.

The people of Harborough and Leicestershire have decided where the next Green Plaques should be awarded - with over 3,700 votes cast.

A total of 32 nominations were received after a call went out to nominate individuals and places key to Leicestershire’s past.

The candidates were cut down to a shortlist of 12 by a panel of judges – and voting was open for six weeks.

Born on September 17, 1837 in Kibworth Beauchamp, Frances Deacon dramatically broke new ground when she became the first woman to pass tough qualifying tests to become a pharmacist.

Popularly known as Fanny, she registered as a Chemist and Druggist on February 5, 1869 after passing the Pharmaceutical Society’s exam with flying colours.

Despite paying her subscription and complying with all the Society’s rules and regulations, as a woman Frances was not allowed to become a member of the Pharmaceutical Society until a decade later in 1879.

The mother-of-one worked alongside her father William at his chemist’s on Leicester Road, Kibworth, before going on to open her own highly-successful pharmacy in Fleckney.

When Frances, who also had three stepdaughters, died on January 15, 1930 at the age of 92, she was the oldest-registered chemist in England at that time.

Frances was put forward for the honour by Fleckney Parish Council.

The other five people who will receive a Green Plaque are:

- Lt Col Philip Eric Bent VC DSO, attended school in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. He was killed at the battle of Passchendaele in the First World War while leading a charge and was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for ‘conspicuous bravery'

- Sgt Herbert Ernest Black RAFVR, Second World War fighter pilot from Measham. His plane was hit in a dogfight during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Sgt Black managed to escape from his burning plane, but was seriously injured his injuries

- George Fox from Fenny Drayton who founded the Quaker Movement. His ideas influenced at US Constitution and Bill of Rights in the USA and the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity used in the French Revolution. The Quakers were also among the first to oppose slavery

- Military Stables at the Defence Animal Training Unit, Melton Mowbray. The Defence Animal Training Regiment has been training and caring for animals used in military defence since 1905. It was originally responsible for the purchase and training of horses for the British Army between 1887 and 1942 and now trains mainly dogs for the Ministry of Defence. It is also the home of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and has cared for some famous animals in the past, including the Household Cavalry horse Sefton, who was injured in the Hyde Park bombings of 1982

- Theodora Salusbury, Arts & Crafts stained glass artist who designed stained glass windows in nearly 30 churches across England and Wales, including Narborough, Newtown Linford, Queniborough, Kimcote, Woodhouse Eaves and Birstall. Most of her work bears her signature, a peacock.

Cllr Dan Harrison, the county council’s chairman, said: "I'm delighted to see that members of the public have again cast their votes to pay tribute to people and places who have made a mark on the history of their communities.

“The response has once again been fantastic, with more than 3,700 votes cast.

“There were so many worthy winners to choose from, all of whom have made a great and lasting contribution to their communities and the wider world.”

He added: “I would like to thank everyone who nominated a person or place - and all those people who voted to decide where the latest round of Green Plaques should be awarded.”

To find out more information about the Green Plaque Awards, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/greenplaques