Dame Lois Marie Browne-Evans was a prominent lawyer and political figure in Bermuda who first gained recognition in 1953 as Bermuda’s first female barrister. She led the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) in opposition before being appointed Bermuda’s first female Attorney-General.
Browne-Evans was born on June 1, 1927. She was one of four children of James Browne, a contractor and owner of the Clayhouse Inn, and his wife Emmeline. Browne-Evans was educated at King’s College London and became Bermuda’s first female barrister in 1953 after being called to the bar at Middle Temple in June 1953. She was the first black woman to be elected to the House of Assembly of Bermuda, defeating the long-serving incumbent Sir Bayard Dill, becoming the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Devonshire North constituency in 1963.
She was appointed Minister of Legislative Affairs and became the country’s first female Attorney-General in 1999. That year, she overcame a party ban on accepting British honors when she accepted the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II, forcing the PLP to abandon its boycott. Browne-Evans died on May 29, 2007.