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Margaret Kidd


(Dame Margaret MacDonald)

1900 - 1989

Pioneering female lawyer. Born in Carriden (Falkirk), her mother was a teacher and her father a respected solicitor, who was Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire. Kidd was educated at Linlithgow Academy and graduated in law from the University of Edinburgh, becoming the first woman member the Faculty of Advocates in 1923. The next woman followed only 25 years later. On the death of her father in 1928, she contested his seat in Parliament, but was defeated by the socialist Manny Shinwell (1884 - 1986). She was the first female advocate to appear before the House of Lords and became the first female King's Counsel in Britain in 1948. Kidd was appointed Sheriff Principal for Dumfries and Galloway in 1960 (again the first woman) and then Sheriff Principal of Perth and Angus (from 1966 until her retirement in 1975). She was awarded a DBE in 1975, and received honorary degrees from the University of Dundee (1982) and the University of Edinburgh (1984). She worked hard for several women's organisations and charities.

In 1930, she married another lawyer, Donald Somerled MacDonald and the couple spent much of their life in a flat in India Street in Edinburgh. Kidd died in Cambridge with a funeral held at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. She is remembered for her strength of character and integrity, and as a traditionalist who was quite capable of criticising legal and government institutions when required.


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