Dame Ann Marian Ebsworth, DBE (19 May 1937 - April 2002) was a British barrister and judge. In 1992, she became the sixth female High Court judge, and the first to be assigned to the Queen's Bench Division.
Ebsworth's father, Arthur Ebsworth, was an officer in the Royal Marines. She was raised as a Roman Catholic and educated at Notre Dame Convent, Worth, West Sussex and at Portsmouth High School, and read history at the University of London. She was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1962, where she was later a bencher. She practised mainly in Liverpool, concentrating on criminal work. She became head of her chambers, but did not become a QC.
She became a Recorder in the Crown Court in 1978, and a circuit judge in 1983. She served on the Mental Health Review Tribunal from 1975 to 1983, and on the Parole Board from 1989 to 1992.
She was appointed a High Court judge in 1992, becoming the sixth female High Court judge after Elizabeth Lane, Rose Heilbron, Margaret Booth, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Joyanne Bracewell. All previous female High Court judges were appointed to the Family Division, although many were more experienced in non-family matters.
Ebsworth was the first to be assigned to the Queen's Bench Division, and, the following year, Mary Arden was the first (and only) female High Court judge to be assigned to the Chancery Division. Upon her appointment, as is conventional, Ebsworth was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In later life, she was involved in teaching advocacy in Gray's Inn and for the South Eastern Circuit, particularly at an annual course atKeble College, Oxford.
She retired in 2001 due to mesothelioma,and died in 2002, aged 64. She never married.
Obituary of Dame Ann Ebsworth
2008 Ebsworth Lecture poster advert.