• Ann's Places

    Ann Walker in Paris

    By Julie Gonnet During her 1834 honeymoon trip with Anne Lister, Ann Walker discovered Paris. Through her diary and her letters, we can follow in her footsteps and get her first impressions of a foreign capital. As she prepared to leave on her honeymoon trip with Anne Lister in June 1834, Ann Walker merely told her relatives she was “going to Paris for a few weeks”1. Her journey took her far beyond, across the whole of France and as far as Italy and Switzerland, but she did stay in the French capital from 17th to 23rd of June, and from 21st to 24th of August, on her way back to…

  • Ann’s People

    (Aunt) Mary Walker

    A look into the life of the lesser known of Ann Walker’s paternal unmarried aunts, Mary Walker. She spent her life living at Crownest and Cliff Hill. In this blog, we separate the two Ann Walker’s (niece and aunt) by using the names Ann Walker and Aunt Ann Walker. Family Mary was the oldest child of William & Elizabeth Walker, born in 1747. Her siblings were :1   Her brother, John, was Ann Walker’s father. She was baptized 17 September 1747 at St Matthew’s Church in Lightcliffe.2. The Walker family were wealthy wool merchants and owned a vast amount of property. Elizabeth, Mary’s mother, was born a Caygill. Her brother…

  • 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…

  • Ann’s People

    Eliza Ainsworth (née Bentley)

    Reproduced with permission from Lancashire Archives, Lancashire County CouncilWCW/Supra/C950/7 / Signature on Eliza Ainsworth’s Will The name Mrs Ainsworth will be familiar to those who have seen the television series “Gentleman Jack”, as the wife of Rev Thomas Ainsworth. This blog will fill in some of the blanks surrounding Eliza and her friendship with Ann Walker. Family Eliza was the fifth and youngest child of Michael and Sarah Bentley. She was baptised on 4 August 1786 in Manchester.1  Sarah’s father was a Justice of the Peace in the County of Lancaster. 24 July 1787 Manchester Mercury ©The British Library Board Listed in The Admission Register of the Manchester School Vol…

  • 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…

  • Ann’s People

    George Sackville Sutherland

    George Sackville Sutherland was Ann Walker’s eldest nephew and the second child of George Mackay Sutherland and Elizabeth Sutherland (née Walker). He was often known as Sackville, and to avoid confusion with his father, George Mackay Sutherland, I will refer to him as Sackville throughout this blog. Birth and Baptism Sackville was born on 11 March 1831 – the date is mentioned in a letter between Ann and her sister Elizabeth, and twice mentioned in Anne Lister’s journal.1 Sackville was likely born in Crow Nest, Lightcliffe, as the Sutherlands had returned there in January 1831.2 He was later baptised in St Matthew’s Church in Lightcliffe (Now Old St Matthew’s Churchyard)…

  • 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…

  • Ann’s People

    Mary Sutherland

    First Child George Mackay Sutherland and Elizabeth Walker welcomed their first born child, Mary, into the world on 27th September 1829.  Mary was born in Ardeer, in the parish of Stevenston, Ayrshire, on the south west coast of Scotland. (1) She was the first of Ann Walker’s nieces and nephews. Based on a letter from William Priestley, addressed to George Sutherland at Ardeer House, we know they had recently moved in. “It afforded to myself and to my wife much satisfaction to learn from your kind and Friendly letter, that, you and Elizabeth are comfort-ably settled in your new abode, and that, you both enjoy the greatest of all earthly…

  • Ann's Places

    A Short History of Heworth Grange

    Ann Walker famously stayed at Heworth Grange in 1834 while under Dr Belcombe’s care just before and after sealing her union with Anne Lister. Definitions of grange1: Early History The site of Heworth Grange house lies to the north of a road called Heworth Green, which itself lies to the west of the village of Heworth. Heworth village, now a suburb of York, is about a mile from York Minster: through Monk Bar and over the river Foss at Monk Bridge. Anne Lister could easily walk from the Belcombes’ or the Black Swan to Heworth Green in less than 25 minutes. The village was settled during the Roman period, and…