About Ann

Research all about Ann Walker and her life

  • About Ann

    Ann Walker’s Giving

    While Ann Walker was away in the Russian Empire over the winters of 1839 and 1840 she wrote back three times to England to David Booth to give instructions on what to give to her tenants/people she knew. This blog looks at Ann Walker’s giving in these letters and discusses what they contain. Note the bolded names in the letters have been done so by the author to emphasise that there is more information in the blog about these individuals. Ann Walker (St Petersburg) to David Booth (Halifax) 7 October 1839 Ann wrote to David Booth to explain her wishes for her tenants and people she knew. Booth was described…

  • About Ann

    Young Ann’s Note

    Ann Walker knew Anne Lister from long before they reconnected and began a relationship in 1832. The Lister and Walker families had known each other for many years even before Ann or Anne were born. A Lister family history notebook states that one of the Listers (John) had died while riding his horse alongside William Walker of Crownest in 1759, suggesting the families had been known to each other for over 50 years before Anne Lister mentions the Walkers in her diaries. (1) Fast forward several years to August 1820, when Ann Walker was 17 years old and living with her parents and siblings at Crownest on the family estate.…

  • 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…

  • About Ann

    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…

  • About Ann

    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…

  • About Ann

    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…

  • About Ann

    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…

  • About Ann,  Ann’s People

    “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…

  • About Ann

    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…

  • About Ann

    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…