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A trailblazing woman pharmacist has been honoured with the unveiling of a special Green Plaque in the Leicestershire village where she lived and worked.

Fanny Deacon was the first woman in Britain to qualify to register as a pharmacist.

Now, her pioneering work has recognised with a Leicestershire County Council green plaque in Wolsey Lane, Fleckney, where she lived and ran her own business.

Picture: Leicestershire County Council

Fanny was born in 1837 and her father worked as a chemist in nearby Kibworth.

When she was a young woman, she saw a syllabus of the Pharmaceutical Society’s examinations in his dispensary and decided she could pass the exam.

That set her on her extraordinary career path and helped to break barriers facing women in medicine and science.                                                                                                                                                             

She applied to sit the Pharmaceutical Society’s examination which she took at its headquarters in London – and duly passed.

Fanny then registered as a chemist and druggist with the Pharmaceutical Society in 1869, but as a woman she was not allowed to become a member until 1879.

She worked alongside her father, later opening her own pharmacy in Fleckney. 

When she died in 1930, at the age of 92, she was the oldest registered chemist in England.

The Green Plaque in Fanny’s honour was unveiled last Thursday on the house where she lived and worked from 1875 until her death.

Picture: Leicestershire County Council

Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Councillor Dr Kevin Feltham, said: “Fanny Deacon was a true pioneer and trailblazer. 

“By qualifying as a pharmacist at a time when the profession was dominated by men and female chemists were few and far between, she helped to break down the traditional barriers and pave the way for other women in the medical and scientific field.

“She also continued to work and provide a vital service to her community right up until her death at the age of 92.

“I am very proud and honoured unveil a Green Plaque in tribute to her.”

More information on the Green Plaque scheme can be found at:

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