About Ann

Research all about Ann Walker and her life

  • A photo of Anne Lister's funerary hatchment which is located in Shibden Hall.
    About Ann

    Ann’s Mourning of Anne

    This blog seeks to show the ways in which Ann Walker explicitly and implicitly mourned her wife after her death in 1840. She would not have been able to grieve in the way we would expect a widow to do so due to the lack of acknowledgment and acceptance of the true nature of their relationship within wider society. These facts are based on primary resources found in the archives. Anne’s Death and Ann’s Return Anne Lister died in September 1840 while travelling with Ann Walker in Kutaisi, Georgia, then part of the Russian Empire. Although it is not known exactly what Anne Lister died of, letters found by a…

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    Myth Buster: Ann Walker’s Drinking Habits

    Was Ann Walker prone to drinking? Short answer: no. There is very little evidence to substantiate this myth. But what do we actually know about Ann Walker’s drinking habits? In her own diary, Ann only sporadically mentions alcohol, mostly when she was travelling in France with Anne Lister. Ann, for example, comments on the good wine they had for dinner: “dinner at 5. excellent red Vin d’Asti – but a very poor dinner” (08 July 1834)1 or the encouraging sip of Noyau she took when they first set off on horseback over the alpine mountain passes: “sat down and cried, got a little Noyau – then mounted and went to…

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    Ann Walker’s Humour

    The discovery of Ann Walker’s humour is one of the reasons I have enjoyed transcribing her letters and diary so much. Even in Anne Lister’s diary, which purpose was not necessarily to record all the funny things her wife said, there are a few instances described that either made Ann Walker laugh or elicited a snarky comment from her. Humour, of course, is subjective. Even when we are face to face with someone, it can be difficult to know if they are being intentionally funny or not. In written text it is even harder to know for sure, as probably most of us have experienced one time or another in…

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    The Inquisition of Ann Walker

    By Ian Philp (Friends of St Matthew’s Churchyard) It is well known that Ann Walker was found to be of unsound mind in 1843. This short article looks only at who were the jurors at the hearing, and then what we know of how much it cost to look after her. The hearings were called “Inquisitions” meaning an enquiry, rather than an imitation of an earlier religious institution. The process began with a petition to the Lord High Chancellor. When this was granted, a jury would be required, and solicitors briefed. From records in West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, we do know Ann Walker attended the hearing , along with…

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    Sussex House and Ann Walker

    It is common knowledge that in September 1843, Ann Walker was admitted to Terrace House in Osbaldwick under the care of Dr. Belcombe and whilst there was found to be of unsound mind. Documents show that Dr. Belcombe was paid for her maintenance until 13th April 1844. We believe that Ann was living with the Sutherlands in London from about early May 1844 onwards. Elizabeth became ill and died on 28th December 1844 at Abbey Lodge, Merton, Surrey. Read the timeline here. New documentation has been found revealing that Ann was in another private asylum called Sussex House, owned and operated by Dr Forbes Winslow in April 1845. Dr. Forbes…

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    “My dearest Elizabeth”

    A workshop presented by Leila Straub, ALBW, Apr 4, 2022 Content 1. What letters do we have and what is Ann writing about? 2. What do the letters look like? 3. Ann’s style of writing 4. The process behind transcribing 5. Reading Ann’s handwriting 6. DIY Transcription   1. What letters do we have and what is Ann writing about? Ann Walker’s letters to her sister Elizabeth can be found in the Crow Nest papers, folder CN:103/4, in the West Yorkshire Archive. The collection contains letters written between 1832 and 1835. Most of the letters were written between Ann Walker and Elizabeth Sutherland but the folder also contains letters to/from…

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    Ann’s Artwork

    By Ivana Nika and Diane Halford There is much talk in both Ann Walker’s and Anne Lister’s diaries about Ann sketching, painting and having drawing lessons (usually with Mr Browne or Mr Horner). There are no sketchbooks belonging to Ann known to have survived, although the hunt for one continues. There has also been no discovery of any proven images of Ann Walker herself yet. There are, however, several sketches, doodles and drawings known to have been completed by Ann Walker that still exist. This short blog will show you those images and the context in which they were created. Family History In the 1830s and 1840s Ann took a…

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    Ann’s Return

    By Dorjana Širola and Diane Halford (Updated 14/5/2023) The Last Trip In the early morning of 20th June 1839, Ann Walker and Anne Lister left Shibden Hall together for the last time. The women loaded up their carriage and set off for a tour of Scandinavia and the Russian Empire. They first travelled to London, where they hired a married couple as servants, then crossed the Channel, continuing their overland journey to Hamburg, then sailed across to Copenhagen. They spent some time exploring Denmark, before sailing to Helsingborg and travelling around Sweden and Norway, with stays in Oslo, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Uppsala, as well as visiting Swedish copper, silver and…

  • Google Map of some addresses Ann Walker visited in London
    About Ann

    Ann Walker’s 5 Days In London

    By Diane Halford (Updated 18 July 2021 – Acre Lane relatives) This blog follows the footsteps of Ann Walker’s 5 days in London from 8th – 12th June 1834, finding out more about the places she visited, and what the buildings (if they still stand) look like in July 2021. You can read Ann’s entire diary entries at the Diary Comparison Portal 8th June 1834 “left at 1.10 [gap] arrived at 26 Dover St. ½ past 6 oclock could not be taken in –  rooms bespoken by Mrs. Hawkins at 13 Albemarle St. rooms up 3 flights of stairs at the rate of 7 guineas per week …” West Yorkshire…

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    Where was Ann Walker after Anne Lister’s death?

    By Diane Halford (Updated 20 May 2023) Ever wonder where Ann Walker lived in the years after the death of her wife? This short blog will tell you what we know about where she lived until her death. Back to Shibden Hall, Halifax from Russia Ann Walker returned from Russia at some point in February 1841. We know that a letter in The National Archives (located in C 106/60) dated 19th February 1841 by Reverend Gratrix to Robert Parker states that she has recently returned to Halifax. We know she received and answered another letter from Robert Parker (also in C 106/60) while at Shibden Hall on 20th February 1841…