Reported in the News Letter on April 4, 1936: Photograph of woman in trousers sparks libel action

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A settlement was announced to Mr Justice Swift in the King’s Bench Division, London, yesterday of a libel action brought by Mrs Hilton-Green, of West Wratting Hall, Cambridge, against the Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd.

Mrs Hilton-Green, who is the wife of Mr C Hilton-Green, Master of the Cottesmore Foxhounds, complained that an issue of the “Sketch” last month identified her with a photograph they published of a woman wearing trousers in the hunting field.

Mr Gerald Gardiner, for Mrs Hilton-Green, said that she would never have thought of appearing in the hunting field or at a meet in that attire, and she took strong exception to it.

As soon as the matter was brought to the attention of the defendants they expressed their extreme regret, explaining that they had received the photograph from a reputable agency. They had agreed to indemnify her against the costs of this action, and would repeat an apology they had already made to her.

Mrs Hilton-Green did not desire to make money out of the case and was prepared to accept the indemnity and apology in settlement of a matter which had caused her extreme annoyance.

Mr Justice Swift said: “It is not for me to criticise ladies’ costumes either as they exist today or may be in the future, but I can well understand Mrs Hilton-Green feeling rather annoyed at anybody suggesting that she was attired in such a costume as this in public.”