Ann’s People

Ann’s Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

By Martin Walker

[This page will be continuously updated as more is discovered about this family]

Ann Walker’s family tree

Ann had numerous aunts, uncles and cousins and many are mentioned in her own diary, Anne Lister’s diaries and archive documents. This blog seeks to briefly introduce these family members so that the documents we are finding can be placed in Ann’s life more accurately.

Ann’s parents were John Walker (1753-1823) and Mary Edwards (1763-1823); they were married on 18 June 1795 at Halifax Minster. Ann’s father had four brothers and sisters: Mary, William, Elizabeth and Ann (Aunt Ann of Cliff Hill). Only Elizabeth married – a Priestley – and had children. Of Ann’s maternal aunts and uncles – Elizabeth, Henry Lees, Harriet, Thomas Grove and Lucy – only Thomas did not marry. Elizabeth married into the Atkinson family, Henry married another Priestley, Harriet became a Dyson and Lucy married a Plowes.

John died on 22 April 1823, Mary on 3 November of the same year – Ann lost both her parents before she was 21. They were both buried at St Matthew’s Old Churchyard, which is on the Wakefield Road in Lightcliffe, less than a mile from Crow Nest.

From “The history of Brighouse, Rastrick, and Hipperholme”, by Joseph Horsfall Turner, 1893. Public Domain

The Walker Side (Paternal)

Mary Walker – Aunt

Mary (1747-1822) was the eldest child of William Walker and Elizabeth Caygill (Ann Walker’s grandparents). She was born at Crow Nest and baptised at St Matthew’s on 17 September 1747. She lived at Crow Nest until the death of her elder brother William when she was given a life interest in the Cliff Hill mansion at Lightcliffe. She died there in 1822 and is buried in the same vault as her niece, Ann Walker and her sister, Ann, at St Matthew’s Old Churchyard, Lightcliffe.

William Walker – Uncle

William (1749-1809) was the oldest son and hence heir to a large part of the Walker family estate. He was born at Crow Nest and was in a business partnership with his brother John. He never married or had issue. William died in 1809 and was buried at Halifax Minster.

In his will he made ample provision for his two sisters, leaving them significant annuities and a life interest in Cliff Hill. His brother John, Ann’s father, became the heir of the entire Walker estate and moved his family into Crow Nest after his death.

For more information on Uncle William see this blog entry

Ann Walker – Aunt

Ann (1757-1847) was born at Crow Nest and was the second daughter of William Walker and Elizabeth Caygill. She lived at Crow Nest until the death of her elder brother William when, along with her sister Mary, she was given a life interest in Cliff Hill. She is mentioned frequently in Anne Lister’s and Ann Walker’s diaries; Anne Lister often referred to her as “Miss Cliff hill”1.

The 1841 census places her at Cliff Hill with six servants, but apparently otherwise on her own.

She died in 1847 and was buried with her sister Mary in the vault at St Matthew’s Old Churchyard, where Ann Walker would also be laid to rest.

For more information on Aunt Ann see this blog entry

Elizabeth Walker & John Priestley – Aunt & Uncle

Elizabeth Walker (1750-1829) married John Priestley (1754-1801) in 1776 at Halifax Minster. They lived in Thorpe, near Triangle, Sowerby Bridge. They had seven children – Ann’s first cousins.

This marriage joined the Walkers and the Priestleys, and subsequently bound the Priestleys to the Rawsons.

There is a memorial to Elizabeth and John in Saint Peter’s Church in Sowerby (also known as the Sowerby Chapelry), inscribed as follows:

Erected to the memory of John Priestley of Thorpe, the
youngest son of John Priestley of Whitewindows, in Sowerby.
He died January 21st, 1801, aged 46 years. Also of Elizabeth,
his wife, the second daughter of William Walker of Crownest,
in Hipperholme ; she died July 27th 1829, aged 78 years. And
also of their children, William, Ann and Edward. William died
March 19th 1778, aged 16 days. Ann died April 20th 1793, aged
7 weeks. Edward died May 27th 1824, aged 33 years. Walker
died May 1st 1853, aged 66 years. John died July 21st 1858,
aged 74 years. William died April 1st 1860, aged 80 years.

William Priestley – Cousin

William Priestley was born in 1779 at The Lodge, Triangle, Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax. The Priestleys were an influential family who had lived in the Halifax area since at least the 15th century.

William was described as being “eminent as an amateur musician, antiquary and literary gentleman”2 and is famously credited with founding the Halifax Choral Society in 1818.

He married Elizabeth (Eliza) Paley at St Mary’s Church, Carlisle (demolished 1954) on 1 December 1808. Eliza was born on 5 April 1871 to the Rev. William Paley3, later Archdeacon of Carlisle (1782). (Paley was was an avid anti-slaver and a prominent religious philosopher; he proposed the “watchmaker argument” for the existence of an intelligent creator.)

William and Eliza lived at New House (now demolished), on the Walkers’ Lightcliffe estate. (Incidentally, the Priestleys’ house seen in Gentleman Jack was actually New Haugh End, owned by William’s aunt Lydia Priestley, née Lea.) William was an executor of Ann’s father’s will and a trustee of the Walker estate.

William and Eliza appear many times in the Lister diaries.

By 1841 they were living at Clifford-cum-Boston, now part of Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. The area is also also known as Thorp Arch.

William and Eliza both died at Thorp Arch, Eliza in 1856 and William in 1860; they were both buried at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Boston Spa.

Mary Rawson (née Priestley) – Cousin

Priestley/Rawson marriages

Mary Priestley was born in 1780 at Thorpe House, near Triangle, Sowerby Bridge.

She married William Henry Rawson, third son of John and Nelly Rawson of Stoney Royd and brother to Christopher Rawson, on 29 October 1806 at Halifax Minster. William also lived in Triangle, at Mill House Lodge (which still exists).

William was involved with the Rawsons’ woollen mills at Triangle, and became chairman of the Halifax & Huddersfield Union Banking Co. Ltd. – formerly Rawsons Bank.

Mary and William had ten children and in 1841 the family was living at Mill House, Triangle.

Photograph of Mary (Priestley) Rawson and her entire family, 1856.

1 row. W.H. Jun [junior]. Mary. W.H. Ellen. Frederick. Arthur Emily.
2nd row. Anne Caroline. Mrs W.H. Henrietta.
On ground. John.
Golden wedding of W.H. & Mrs. Rawson
Mill House. Oct 30 1856.

West Yorkshire Archive Service – Rawson Family Collection (WYC:1525).
Image accessed through

William and Mary’s eldest child, Mary Elizabeth, went to live with Ann Walker’s aunt Ann at Cliff Hill after Ann moved into Shibden Hall – Anne Lister referred to her as “Miss Mill-house Rawson”1. Mary Elizabeth and her sister Henrietta died two weeks apart in 1882.

Sons John and Frederick married their cousins, sisters Elizabeth and Harriet Priestley. This John Rawson was Ann Walker’s final Committee of Estate.

For more information on John Rawson see this blog entry

By 1861 they had moved to New Haugh End – William died there in 1865 and Mary in 1870. They were both buried at the Sowerby Chapelry.

John Priestley – Cousin

John Priestley was born around 1783 in Sowerby. In 1815 he married Marianne Lloyd (born 1784) at Saint Michael-Le-Belfry, York (where Mariana Belcombe married Charles Lawton). Marianne was the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lloyd, who commanded the Leeds Volunteer Infantry.

They lived at Thorpe House; John owned Thorpe Mill.

John and Marianne had three children: Elizabeth Marianne, John, and Harriet Susannah. John died as an infant, as Anne Lister recorded in her diary on 30 January 1822: “Mr John Priestly of Thorpe had just lost his first and only boy, an infant – dead in the house”4.

Marianne died on 24 December 1823, shortly after the birth of daughter Harriet. She was buried at the Sowerby Chapelry on 31 December.

Elizabeth and Harriet would go on to marry their cousins, brothers John and Frederick Rawson, sons of their aunt Mary (Priestley) Rawson.

John died on 21 July 1858 at Thorpe and three days later was buried with his wife and brothers at the Sowerby Chapelry.

Walker Priestley – Cousin

Walker Priestley was born in 1787 at The Lodge in Triangle.

He was a merchant and woollen manufacturer: he owned Thorpe Mill with his brother John.

He lived at Kebroyde, Ripponden, near Halifax. In 1841 and 1851 he was there, apparently unmarried, with the same three servants.

He died at Kebroyde in 1853 and was buried on 6 May at the Sowerby Chapelry.

Edward Priestley – Cousin

Edward Priestley was born in Sowerby and baptised there on 16 February 1790.

He lived at Cliff Hill and socialised with Anne Lister and Isabella Norcliffe. In 1822 it was rumoured that he was to marry Ann’s sister Elizabeth5. He never married.

He died at Kebroyde on 27 May 1824, and was buried at the Sowerby Chapelry.

The Edwards Side (Maternal)

Elizabeth Edwards & Law Atkinson – Aunt & Uncle

Elizabeth Edwards (1764-1834) married Law Atkinson (1759-1835) in 1795 at Halifax. Law Atkinson had previously (1788) been married to his cousin Susannah Atkinson – Susannah died in 1794. The Atkinsons were an influential family of mill owners from the Kirkheaton area of Huddersfield, although they originated from Sowerby Bridge just outside Halifax6.

Elizabeth was the “Mrs Atkinson” of the Lister diaries; her death at Highfields in Huddersfield on 1 March 1834 happened while Anne & Ann were in York cementing their union, and is recorded by Anne.

Elizabeth and Law are buried at St John the Baptist in Kirkheaton.

Elizabeth and Law had five children (Ann’s first cousins), two sons and three daughters. One of the sons was the “cousin Atkinson” who received “a well-worded letter” in series 1 of Gentleman Jack.

Edwards Atkinson – Cousin

Edwards Atkinson (1797-1861) first married Agnes Elizabeth Harrison (1819-1850), daughter of Richard Harrison, of Bank Field, Little Singleton, Lancashire, on 22 February 1849. Agnes died just a year later on March 26 1850, and in 1854 57-year-old Edwards married 20-year-old Ann Clark, daughter of Lancaster solicitor Christopher Thornton Clark, at St Mary’s Church in Lancaster. Edwards and Ann lived at Grange Hall in Singleton, where two of their children were born.

By 1861 Edwards and Ann were living at Lockington Rectory, near Beverley, Yorkshire, and in the census of that year Edwards is described as a “Magistrate and Landed Proprietor of Lancashire”.

They had three children, Ann Elizabeth Inocencia (born 1856, and perhaps named after Edwards’ sister-in-law), Charles Edwards Dyson (born 1858) and John Henry Gladstone (born 1860).

Edwards died at Lockington on 24 August 1861, leaving Ann a life interest in Grange Hall; his body was returned to Singleton to be buried at the newly-built St Anne’s Church, which replaced Singleton Chapel – where he had married his first wife.

In 1891 Ann (“Annie”) was living with now-married daughter Ann and son-in-law John James Wilson at 36 Queen’s Road, St Johns Wood, London – very close to where her sisters-in-law Elizabeth, Charlotte & Lucy Atkinson had lived. In 1901 she was back at Grange Hall in Singleton. We don’t know when or where she died.

Charles Atkinson – Cousin

Charles Atkinson (1799-1857) emigrated to Argentina some time before 1833, and was in business in Buenos Aires with his cousin Frederick, under the name Plowes & Atkinson & Co.

Various contemporary accounts suggest that Charles & Frederick were well known on the local music scene. Santiago Calzadilla (1806-1896), in his book “Las beldades de mi tiempo” (The truths of my time), writes that the salons of Atkinson and Plowes were at that time “a kind of club, where the lions met, and Mr. Don Juan Pedro Esnaola, our great pianist and classical composer, made his inspired waltzes and applauded minuets heard.” He adds that “Englishman Atkinson” married “the eminent amateur singer Inocencia García.”

Charles married Inocencia in 18527; he died in 1857 and was buried at the Victoria Cemetery, of St John’s Cathedral, Buenos Aires8.

Elizabeth, Charlotte & Lucy Atkinson – Cousins

The “Miss Atkinsons” of the Lister diaries, Elizabeth Atkinson (1800-1875), Charlotte Atkinson (1803-1862) and Lucy Atkinson (1805-1889) never married. In 1861 all three were living at Clyde Villa, Queen’s Road, St. John’s Wood9, and the 1871 census (after Charlotte’s death) places Elizabeth and Lucy at 40 Queens Road, St Johns Wood, London; in 1881 (after Elizabeth’s death) Lucy was at the same address.

They all died at Clyde Villa and were buried in Highgate Cemetery.

Queens Road is now known as Queens Grove, and the current no. 40 is a modern house.

Henry Lees Edwards & Lea Priestley – Uncle & Aunt

Henry Lees Edwards (1775-1848) was born at Pye Nest, in Skircoat near Halifax; he married Lea (or Leah) Priestley (1781-1852) in 1804 at Halifax. Lea was the daughter of Ann’s aunt Elizabeth’s brother-in-law Joseph Priestley and was born at the Priestley family mansion, White Windows, in Sowerby, near Halifax.

Henry Lees was a director of the Halifax & Huddersfield Union Banking Company (formerly Rawson’s Bank), and a partner in his father’s cotton business, John Edwards & Sons.

Henry was the co-trustee with William Priestley of John Walker’s (Ann’s father) will.

Both Henry Lees and Lea were buried at Holy Trinity, Halifax.

They lived at Pye Nest and had at least ten children: five sons and five daughters.

John Lea Edwards – Cousin

John Lea Edwards (1804-1835) married Anne Elizabeth Waterhouse of Well Head (1810-1848) at Halifax Minster on 17 October 1833. Christopher Rawson was a witness to their marriage.

John and Anne had one child, Catherine Frances, who was born on 26 August 1834. Catherine married the Rev. Philip Raulin Robin, had five children, and died in 1919.

John died on 27 December 1836 during a visit to Torquay, Devon, and is buried there in the Torre Churchyard at St Andrew’s Church. Anne subsequently married Joseph Hegan in 1838, and died at Bankfield, West Derby, Lancashire, in 1848. Her effects were valued at less than £200.

Delia Priestley Clarke (née Edwards) – Cousin

Delia Priestley Edwards (1807-1892) grew up, and was probably born, at Pye Nest. In 1844 she married Courtney Kenny Clarke – whose first wife was Frances Esther “Fanny” Penfold, who had married Ann’s brother John, who famously “died in Naples”.

For more information on Delia Priestley Edwards see this blog entry

For more information on Fanny see this blog entry

Courtney was the nephew of Dr Mason Stanhope Kenny – the “Dr Kenny” of Gentleman Jack. The Kennys were landed gentry in Ireland. Incidentally, Courtney’s sister, Elizabeth Sarah, married Edward Rawson, son of Christopher Rawson’s brother John. Their eldest daughter was named Frances Esther10. In the 1841 census, Courtney and Fanny’s daughter, Maria, was living with Elizabeth and Edward.

Delia and Courtney lived at Haugh End and had three children: Delia Lea, born 1845, John Henry Courtney, born 1847, and Frances Esther Anne, born 1848.

The family moved to Dublin, Ireland in the 1860s where Courtney died on 2 December 1873, and by 1881 Delia was living at Old Well Head in Skircoat, near Halifax. She died there on 21 April 1892 and was buried with her brother Henry at All Saints Church, Skircoat Green. Her estate was valued at £902, about £75,000 today.

For more information on Delia see this blog entry

Charles Edwards – Cousin

Charles Edwards (born 1809) married Catharine Waterhouse (born 1814), the younger sister of his brother John’s wife Anne. Anne & Catharine were daughters of John Waterhouse and Grace Elizabeth Rawson, Christopher Rawson’s sister. In 1841 Charles and Catherine were living at Darcey Hey, Skircoat.

They both died after three days’ illness while on a visit to Strathpeffer in Scotland in 1842, Catharine on September 17 and Charles two days later. They were buried near Strathpeffer at the parish church on Contin Island:

sacred to the memory
and her husband
of darcey hey near halifax
in the county of york
who died each after three days illness
at strathpeffer
the former sept. 17th. 1842
aged 28
the latter sept. 19th. 1842
aged 33

“lovely and pleasant in
their lives, in their deaths
they were not divided”

Eliza Lees Edwards – Cousin

Eliza Lees was born at Pye Nest on 8 October 1810 and died at Crofton Hall, near Wakefield, on 3 September 1820, aged 9. She was buried at All Saints Church in Crofton.

Eliza may have been a student at Crofton Hall School, which was adjacent to Crofton Hall. The Brontës’ older sister Maria, and possibly Elizabeth, briefly attended Crofton Hall School around this time.

Sir Henry Edwards – Cousin

Sir Henry Edwards (1812-1886) was MP for Halifax between 1847 and 1852, the High Sheriff of Yorkshire, and was created 1st Baronet Edwards of Pye Nest in 1866. In 1838 he married Maria Churchill Coster (1819-1906), daughter of wealthy London silk merchant Thomas Coster.

He re-raised the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry (‘the Blue Jackets’) in 1842, and became its Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant in 1863 and Honorary Colonel in 1864.

His son, Charles Grove Edwards (1843-1904), also served in the Blue Jackets, and succeeded his father as Honorary Colonel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Grove Edwards, 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, at the head of his regiment marching into Crown Street, Halifax, 1884
By John Wright Oakes, oil on canvas, 1887
National Army Museum (London), Public Domain

Edwards is outside “Whitley & Booth Booksellers” – “Whitley’s” was frequented by Anne Lister, and appeared in Gentleman Jack, but Mr Whitley himself was long dead by 1884.

In 1851 Henry and Maria were living at 65 Portland Place, London with five (of seven) children, including Emily Gertrude (1845-1919) who married her cousin, Lea Priestley Edwards, son of Joseph Priestley Edwards. In 1855 Henry inherited Darcey Hey in Skircoat from his uncle Thomas Grove Edwards, and by 1861 the family was living at Pye Nest, where Henry stayed until his death in 1886. He left a personal estate of £135,920 – over 11 million pounds today.

Sir Henry was buried at All Saints Church, Skircoat Green.

Thomas Rawson Edwards – Cousin

Thomas Rawson Edwards was born on 23 November 1814 at Pye Nest where he died, aged 8, in 1823. He was buried at Holy Trinity, Halifax.

Lucy Ann Edwards – Cousin

Lucy Ann Edwards was born on 20 August 1816 and died unmarried aged just 19 in Torquay, Devon on 8 December 1835. Her death was announced in the Halifax Guardian on 12 December 1835 – Anne Lister recorded the announcement in her diary11.

Joseph Priestley Edwards – Cousin

Joseph Priestley Edwards was born in 1818.

In 1844 he married Margaret Jane Norris, who was born on 11 June 1822 to Halifax solicitor James Edward Norris. They lived at Darcey Hey, Skircoat (1841) and Fixby Hall, Skircoat (1861) with their three sons, Priestley August, Lea Priestley and Alfred. In the 1861 census he was described as a magistrate and South American merchant.

He served in the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, along with his brother Henry.

He commissioned the mock medieval Castle Carr at Luddenden, north of Halifax, but was killed (along with his son Priestley August) in the Abergele rail disaster of 20 August 1868, before Castle Carr was completed. He was buried at St. Michael’s Church in Abergele, Wales.

His will, proved by his brother Sir Henry, records effects valued between £120,00 and £140,000 – over eight million pounds today.

It seems that at the time of his death Joseph had deserted Margaret, and they were in the process of getting divorced, as this article from the York Herald** suggests:

York Herald, Saturday 25 January 1868 – via The British Newspaper Archive**

Margaret died on 17 June 1902 at 15 Old Cavendish Street, London, leaving effects valued at £5,341.

Charlotte Lydia Waterhouse (née Edwards) – Cousin

Charlotte Lydia Edwards (1820-1901) married Samuel Waterhouse (1815-1881) on 25 August 1840 at Halifax Minster.

Samuel’s sister, Ellen Frances, married the Rev Charles Musgrave, who was vicar of Halifax and presided at Anne Lister’s funeral.

Samuel was the brother of Charlotte’s two sisters-in-law, Anne Elizabeth and Catherine. In 1841 Charlotte and Samuel were living at Green Hayes, Savile Terrace, Halifax, where daughter Catherine Grace was born in 1842. By 1861 they were living with 18-year-old Catherine and six servants at Hope Hall, the former home of Samuel’s uncle, Christopher Rawson.

Samuel Waterhouse by George B. Black, lithograph, 1869
© National Portrait Gallery, London (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Samuel was a major in the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the MP for Pontefract from 1863 to 1880, and director of the Great Northern Railway. He died on 4 March 1881 at the Waterhouse family mansion, Well Head.

In 1891 Charlotte and Catherine were living at 6 Esplanade, Scarborough, Yorkshire, where Charlotte died, aged 80, on 17 January 1901.

Catherine had married Daniel Doherty (who changed his name to Doherty Waterhouse) in 1873, but was back at Well Head by 1881. She died in 1916, and was buried with her parents in the Waterhouse family vault at Halifax Minster. Catherine had had no children and was the last of her branch of the Waterhouse family. Her estate, which she inherited from her mother, would be worth about £1.5M today.

Harriet Mary Edwards – Cousin

Harriet Mary Edwards was born at Pye Nest on 4 October 1823.

From at least 1851 she was living at Old Well Head in Skircoat, near Halifax, with a lady’s maid, housekeeper and cook.

She died unmarried in Oxford on 2 November 1871, aged 48, and was buried at Holy Trinity, Halifax.

Harriet’s will was proved by her brother, Sir Henry Edwards; she left between £6,000 and £7,000 – about £400,000 today.

Harriet Edwards & John Dyson – Aunt & Uncle

Harriet Edwards was born in 1778. In 1804 she married John Dyson (1777-1818) at Halifax Minster. The Dysons were a family of cloth merchants in Halifax. Harriet and John lived at Willow Field, Skircoat, near Halifax, and John died there “after a long and painful illness” (York Herald, 2 May 1818**) on 22 April 1818.

Harriet appears many times in the Lister diaries as “Mrs Dyson”. She died at Willow Field on 3 May 1865 and was buried with her husband at Holy Trinity, Halifax.

Harriet and John had four children, Ann’s first cousins.

Thomas Edwards Dyson – Cousin

Thomas Edwards Dyson was born in 1805. In 1835 he was living at Willow Field12; he died there on 15 February 1841, aged 35, and was buried at Holy Trinity.

Thomas doesn’t seem to have ever married.

Jeremiah Dyson – Cousin

Jeremiah Dyson was born on 8 December 1806 at Willow Field. In 1835 he was recorded as still living there with his brother Thomas12, and probably their mother. It doesn’t appear that he ever married.

In 1846 Jeremiah was living at Willow Edge, Skircoat, which he eventually inherited from his maiden aunt Maria (Dyson) in 1857, and he died there on 12 August 1858. He was buried at Holy Trinity, Halifax. At his death his estate was valued at between £25,000 and £30,000 – about two million pounds today.

Colonel John Daniel Dyson – Cousin

John Daniel Dyson was born on 18 May 1808 at Willow Field. He joined the army in 1831, serving with the 3rd Dragoon Guards. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1833, captain in 1836, major in 1846, lieutenant-colonel in 1853 and finally brevet colonel in 185813. He retired from the army in 1859. In 1861 he was listed as “Colonel late 3rd Dragoon G[ua]rds” in the list of members of the Army and Navy Club.

John never married: according to the 1861 census he was unmarried and living with his brother Edwards’ family in Rothley, Leicestershire. In 1871 he was “single” and living at 20 King Street, Westminster, London. He died there on 27 December 1875 and was buried at St Mary’s Church in Wimbledon, London – near to where his brother Edwards was then living. His will was proved by his brother, Major Edward Dyson, and the estate was valued at between £100,000 and £120,000, somewhere in the region of £7.5M today.

Major Edwards Dyson – Cousin

Edwards Dyson (1814-1886) was also born at Willow Field, and followed his brother John into the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1833. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1833, captain in 1843 and finally major in 1853 [Army Lists]. He, too, was retired by 1861 when he was “Major late 3rd Dragoon G[ua]rds” in the Army and Navy Club member list.

On 7 July 1857 he married Caroline Agnes Jerdan, daughter of John Stuart Jerdan of Chiswick, at Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, London.

In 1861 he was living in Rothley Temple, Leicestershire with Agnes and their two children, Caroline (4) and Edwards Hopton (3), along with his brother John. Wife Caroline died aged 36 in Wimbledon on 9 Jan 1870; she was buried there at St Mary’s Church. The 1871 census puts Edwards at Cecil House, Wimbledon, with sons Richard Godfrey (7) and Francis Julian (6) – this is presumably where Caroline died.

Edwards’ son, 20 year-old 2nd Lieutenant Edwards Hopton Dyson, 24th Regiment of Foot, was killed during the Zulu Wars at the battle of Isandhlwana, on 22 January 187914.

Edwards Dyson senior died on 30 March 1886 at Denne Hill, Kent, and was buried with his wife Caroline and brother John at St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon. One of the executors of his will was Ann Walker’s nephew Evan Charles Sutherland; Edwards’ personal estate was worth £219,089 – a staggering £14M today.

Thomas Grove Edwards – Uncle

Thomas Grove Edwards (1783-1855) was born at Pye Nest; he was Ann’s “Uncle Thomas”.

He was a partner in Halifax firm John Edwards & Sons with his father John and brother Henry Lees.

He was in business with brother Henry Lees Edwards, brother-in-law John Plowes and nephew Charles Atkinson under the firms of Plowes, Noble and Co. and Plowes, Atkinson and Co., which were based in Buenos Aires.

Sometime between 1829 and 1834 he moved to 8 York Terrace, Regents Park, London, where he remained until his death. Ann mentions Uncle Thomas and this address in her diary15.

Thomas died on 4 March 1855 at York Terrace, and was buried at Holy Trinity, Halifax. He left the bulk of his estate to nephews Henry and Joseph Priestley, sons of Ann’s uncle Henry Lees Edwards.

Lucy Edwards & John Plowes – Aunt & Uncle

Lucy Edwards was born at Pye Nest in 1786. She married Leeds-born John Plowes (1779-1853) in Clerkenwell, London, on 14 June 1810.

Lucy and John emigrated to South America: sons John Henry and Frederick were born in Rio de Janeiro in 1811 and 1812 respectively. The family later moved to Buenos Aires, where John formed Plowes, Roscoe and Co. and John Plowes and Co. Frederick went into partnership there with his cousin, Charles Atkinson, forming Plowes & Atkinson & Co. The London side of the business was handled by Lucy’s brothers Henry Lees and Thomas Grove.

London Gazette, Issue 18926,
Friday, April 13, 1832. Open Government License

The family returned to London between 1812 and 1815, where Lucy had nine more children. They lived in Acre Lane, Lambeth and later at 5 Endsleigh Street (then in Middlesex, now in London).

John died at St. Leonards, just outside Hastings in Sussex, on 20 November 1853 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.

Lucy died on 7 April 1868 at 39 York Terrace, Regents Park, and was buried with her husband at Kensal Green. Her estate was valued at between £50,00 and £60,000 – £55,000 would be worth well over £3M today.

John Henry Plowes – Cousin

John Henry Plowes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1811. He moved to England with his parents some time between 1812 and 1815, and in 1851 he was living with them in Endsleigh Street, when he was listed as a “General Merchant”.

In 1837 a partnership between John Plowes, John Henry Plowes and Charles Kirkby, merchants’ agents, Rio de Janeiro, was dissolved16, so it appears that the family was still trading with South America.

In the censuses of 1871 and 1881 he was living at 39 York Terrace with his sister Eliza. He was listed as unmarried and a “Retired Merchant”.

John died at 39 York Terrace on 2 March 1893 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. Probate was granted to his nephew, Arthur William Walker (son of sister Louisa); his effects were valued at £22,229, or about two million pounds today.

Frederick Plowes – Cousin

Frederick, or Federico, Plowes was born in 1812 or 1813 in Rio de Janeiro16. The 1841 census places him in Endsleigh Street, London, living with his parents, five sisters and younger brother.

Frederick returned to Buenos Aires around 1842, where he married Angela Oteysa. In 1855 they had five children who were all born in Buenos Aires and had Argentinian nationality – the oldest, Lucia Anita, was 818.

The family lived at “Quinta de Plowes”, a large house/estate in Belgrano, Buenos Aires*.

In 1881 he and four children were living at 20 Park Crescent, Marylebone, London. Angela is not listed at the address: it may be that Frederick had returned to England after her death.

He died at 22 Park Crescent, London on 26 February 1895 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. His estate was valued at £44,999, more than 3.5 million pounds today.

In 1901 three of Frederick’s children, Maria, Alexander and Angela, were all unmarried and living in Knightsbridge, London. Alexander died unmarried in 1925. Angela married Colonel (later Major-General, Sir, KCB) William Thompson Adair in 1905, when she was 55 and he 60. She died “Dame Angela Eliza Adair” in 1933, at 35 Iverna Gardens, Kensington, where Maria had died earlier the same year.

Two of the children, Lucia Anita and Federico, remained in Argentina. Lucia Anita, or Lucy Ann, married John Peter White of Barbados and died at Quinta de Plowes in 1890*; Federico, or Frederick, died at Mercedes, Buenos Aires, on 13 March 1885*.

Another son, William John, emigrated to Australia in 187919 where he married Lilla Trembath. They had two children, Frederick, born in 1882, and Lillian Pearl, born in 1888. Frederick died aged 6 two months after his father, who died on 4 January 188820 – they were both buried at Melbourne General Cemetery.

Lilla remarried the following year, to John McNaughton.

Ann Magrath (née Plowes) – Cousin

Ann Plowes was born in 1816 in Lambeth, then in Surrey, now in London.

In 1841and 1851 she was living with her parents in Endsleigh Street. The 1861 census records her visiting her cousin Harriet (Edwards) at Old Well Head, Halifax.

On 3 October 1871 Ann married 39-year-old James Magrath, at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth, Yorkshire, where her sister Maria was living with her family – Maria’s husband was Rector of Ackworth at the time, and James was curate. James was born in Ireland and was graduate of Trinity College, Dublin; he was already a widower with one son when he married Ann.

Her death aged 70 at Selborne, Bournemouth, on 19 May was announced in the Illustrated London News on 4 June 1887**.

Eliza Plowes – Cousin

Eliza Plowes was born in Kennington (probably in Acre Lane: Kennington is now in the London Borough of Lambeth) in 1818.

She lived with her mother and brother John at 39 York Terrace, Regents Park, where she remained until her death.

Eliza never married and died aged 94 on 3 May 1912; her will was proved by her sister Louisa’s son, Arthur William Walker. Her personal estate was worth £15,287 – well over a million pounds today.

George Plowes – Cousin

George Plowes was born on 27 January 1820, in Acre Lane, Lambeth.

He emigrated to South Africa. The “G Plowes” who arrived at Natal on the ship “John Line” in May 185121 may be George.

In South Africa George married 19-year-old Annie Sophia Merrick at Christ Church, Addington, Durban, on 3 August 1865*. Annie was born in London to Arnold Merrick and Anne Wilson – who appear to have married twice, in 1845 and 1846. Arnold seems to have married again in 1848, while still married to Anne. Perhaps wishing to escape, Anne and Annie emigrated to South Africa around 1860.

George and Annie had four children and lived at Thornwood, Verulam, near Durban*.

George later named his house in Berea, Durban, “Pye Nest”, after his mother’s birth place. He died at Berea aged 84 on 28 October 1904, and was buried at the Church of England Cemetery in Durban*.

George Plowes’ signature. From “The Visitation of England”* Public Domain

Maria Kenworthy (née Plowes) – Cousin

Maria Plowes was born in 1822, in Acre Lane, Lambeth.

On 9 January 1855 she married Halifax-born Joseph Kenworthy, Rector of Ackworth in Yorkshire, at St Pancras Church in London. She was his third wife. They lived in Ackworth and had at least six children, including Ethel who was born there on 17 May 1861.

Joseph died in 1875 at Ackworth Rectory and was buried at Ackworth, having served as rector there for 31 years.

In 1891 Maria was living with siblings John and Eliza at 39 York Terrace in London, and by 1901 she was living in Worthing, West Sussex, with daughter Ethel and granddaughter Frances Vivian Mary. In 1886 Ethel had married Theodore Mavrogordato in Cyprus, where Frances was born. Ethel and Frances later moved to Johannesburg with Theodore, where Frances married London-born barrister Charles Gray Davison in 190922. She married twice more: to Eric William Eller (1918, London) and Guy Carleton Jones (1929, London).

Ethel and Theodore returned to England, where Theodore died in 1913. Ethel then had to (re)apply for British nationality, as she had become a Greek national on her marriage. This was granted on 22 October 1915. She died on 19 June 1919 in Kensington, London. Her widowed daughter Frances died in Guernsey, Channel Islands, on 17 December 197023, leaving less than £1,000.

Maria died aged 86 at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, on 23 July 1908.

Louisa Walker (née Plowes) – Cousin

Louisa Plowes was born in Acre Lane, Lambeth, in 1824. In 1841 she was living with her parents in Endsleigh Street.

On 16 December 1845 Louisa married Australian-born James Sydney Walker at St Pancras Church. James was the son of William Walker, a wealthy Australian businessman and director of the London Chartered Bank of Australia, who had business interests in Australia and London, including Walker Brothers and Co., merchants and ship owners at 19 Bishopsgate, in the City of London24,25. James was involved with his father’s businesses both in London and back in New South Wales.

In 1861 Louisa and James were living in Hunsdon, Hertfordshire with four children, two of whom, Lucy (12) and Frederick (8), were born in Australia. They were still there in 1871 with the two younger children, Arthur (16) and Louisa (14).

James was appointed High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 187526. He died in Bologne, France, on 24 May 188127, when his personal estate was valued at £132,889 – around nine million pounds today.

Louisa died on 4 March 1896 at 20 Chester Square, London, leaving £31,923 – perhaps three million today – to her son Arthur.

Henrietta Oldfield (née Plowes) – Cousin

Henrietta Plowes, Ann’s god-daughter28, was born in 1827, in Acre Lane, Lambeth. In 1841 and 1851 she was living with her parents in Endsleigh Street.

She married York-born Lieutenant Joseph Oldfield of the Bengal Artillery, East India Company, at St Pancras Church on 11 May 1852.

By 1861 Joseph was retired (on half pay) from the East India Company and working as a wine merchant; he and Henrietta were living in Shrewsbury with five children. The two older children (aged 7 and 5) had been born in India, the third in Nottinghamshire, the fourth in Hampshire, and the fifth, an infant, in Shrewsbury. The 1881 census records the family in Harrogate where Joseph was still a wine merchant.

In 1891 Henrietta is living with her three unmarried daughters at 29 Ladbroke Gardens, London. Joseph is not mentioned in the census listing; he died “suddenly” at Ladbroke Square on 7 July 1897 (London Evening Standard, 9 July 1897**), leaving £51,694 (over four million pounds today) to Henrietta.

Henrietta died at 3 Phillimore Gardens, London, on 11 October 1916. She and Joseph were buried at Highgate Cemetery.

William Plowes – Cousin

William Plowes was born in 1831 in Lambeth.

He emigrated to Argentina around 1854: in 1855 he was living with his brother Frederick & family in Buenos Aires; the census shows he had been in the country for one year.

In 1860 he married 18-year-old Agnes Anne Appleyard, at the Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist28 in Buenos Aires. Agnes’ father Benjamin was born in Halifax, and was part of the wealthy Appleyard family. Benjamin’s brother Joshua was a director of the Halifax Joint Stock Banking Company, along with Marian Lister’s would-be fiancé, John Abbott.

At the time of his marriage William’s profession was listed as “estanciero” (rancher). He and Agnes had one child, Agnes Louisa, who was born and died in 1863*.

William died aged 36 on 22 August 1867* of “inflammation of the lungs”. He was buried in Buenos Aires with his daughter Agnes and his cousin, Charles Atkinson, at the Victoria Cemetery at St John’s29. The remains of all three were later transferred to the British Cemetery at Chacarita, Buenos Aires30.

Agnes remarried aged 29 in 1871, to estanciero Henry Wesley at Fray Bentos31.


The information we have found on Ann Walker’s aunts and uncles and their descendants, although still sparse in places, shows them to be people who went out and engaged with the world. If they married at all they tended to marry well. Intermarrying with the Priestleys and Rawsons, the families’ power and influence grew, both in West Yorkshire and elsewhere. They were very often successful in trade and commerce, and they spread across the world to Greece, South America, India, Australia and South Africa – and no doubt beyond. Some rose to high office: mayors, members of parliament and even the nobility. Like most families in the 19th century they experienced tragedy: early death by disease, childbirth and accident, but many lived to their seventies, eighties, and even nineties. Some became poor, but mostly they stayed or became rich – sometimes very, very rich.

Many of the individual backstories are intriguing: Why did 55-year-old Ann Plowes marry a lowly curate 16 years her junior? What was the connection to Torquay, where two young Edwards cousins died just a year apart in the 1830s? Was Ann’s sister Elizabeth really planning on marrying Edward Priestley in 1822? What did the families think when Edwards Atkinson married a girl 37 years younger than him?

We’ll probably never know the answers to these questions, but one thing is sure: there’s lots more to discover about Ann Walker and her fascinating family.


  1. Anne Lister’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: SH:7/ML/E/17/0090
  2. The history of Brighouse, Rastrick, and Hipperholme; with monorial notes on Coley, Lightcliffe, Northowram, Shelf, Fixby, Clifton and Kirklees, by J. Horsfall Turner, 1893:
  3. The Parish Registers of Dalston, Cumberland, Volume 2, edited by James Wilson, 1893
  4. Anne Lister’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: SH:7/ML/E/5/0097
  5. Anne Lister’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: SH:7/ML/E/6/0015
  6. The ATKINSON SAGA, The Story of the Atkinson Family of Cumberland, England, and their Descendants. 17th – 20th Century, by F.G.Atkinson, 1976
  7. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:
  8. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:
  9. Names and Addresses of the Stockholders of the South Eastern Railway Company, registered in the company’s book, 28th February 1861
  10. Burke’s Family Records, by Ashworth P. Burke, 1897
  11. Anne Lister’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: SH:7/ML/E/18/0144
  12. The Yorkshire West Riding Poll Book, 1835
  13. Hart’s Army Lists, 1840-1915, compiled by Lieutenant-General George Hart et al.
  14. Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana, by Ian F. W. Beckett, 2019. ISBN 978-0198794127
  15. Ann Walker’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/3 (transcription here)
  16. – South American Genealogy Database:
  17. The London Gazette, issue 19486, 21 April 1837
  18. 1855 & 1869 Argentina Census, accessed via – accessed via FamilySearch (free/paid subscription)
  19. Public Record Office Victoria, Unassisted passenger lists (1852-1923):
  20. Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria:
  21. Natal Witness, 9 May 1851
  22. Parish registers of the Church of the Province of South Africa, accessed via FamilySearch (free/paid subscription)
  23. Jersey Heritage: Copy from the Ecclesiastical Court of the Bailiwick of Guernsey of the Will and Testament of Frances Vivian Mary Mavrogordato, widow of Guy Carleton Jones, of Kotagiri, Rue Maze, St Martin, Guernsey. Dated 16/05/1970:
  24. Early Merchant Families of Sydney: Speculation and Risk Management on the Fringes of Empire, by Janette Holcomb, 2014. ISBN 978-1783081257
  25. Strakers’ annual mercantile, ship & insurance register, by Samuel Straker (and sons), 1862
  26. Wikipedia:
  27. National Index of Wills and Administrations, England and Wales, 1858-1957 – accessed via FamilySearch (free/paid subscription)
  28. Anne Lister’s diary, West Yorkshire Archive Service ref: SH:7/ML/E/15/0165. (Thanks to @natyxg for the reference.)
  29. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:
  30. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:
  31. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:
  32. – British Settlers in Argentina and Uruguay:

Additional Resources:

* Plowes family tree: The Visitation of England, volume 21, edited by Frederick Arthur Crisp, 1921
** The British Newspaper Archive: (paid subscription)
A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire. Containing the Names of All the Towns, Villages, Hamlets, Gentlemen’s Seats, &c. in the County of York, by Thomas Langdale, 1822
Ancestry – UK census, baptism, marriage, burial and probate records: (paid subscription)
FreeBMD – UK birth, marriage and death records (1837-1997):
Find a Grave:

(Aunt) Ann Walker, by Deb Woolson:
John Rawson Jr of Brockwell, by Bri Praslicka:
Frances Penfold Walker Clarke (1803-1838) A Consequential Life, by Caroline Maillard:
Delia Priestley Edwards of Pye Nest, by Caroline Maillard:
William Rawson & Co. and the Birth of Rawson’s Bank, by Martin Walker:

Currency converter at the National Archives:
Spanish translations by Google Translate
Anne Lister diary transcriptions by Martin Walker

With thanks to:
Bri Praslicka
Caroline Maillard
Deb Woolson
Diane Halford

How to cite this article:
Martin Walker (2022) “Ann’s Aunts, Uncles and Cousins”: In Search of Ann Walker [Accessed “add date”]

Martin Walker

#AnneListerCodeBreaker, cyclist, Japanophile, former Tokyo resident (that's a while since) now back in the UK & living in Oxford. Before Gentleman Jack I never imagined I'd be interested in genealogy, historical research, or the lives of two remarkable women. Just happy to be here, really.