• Ann’s People

    Elizabeth, Evan Charles and Annie Sutherland

    Author’s note: Sometimes, if you are very fortunate, you can glean a lot of information from old newspaper articles. The quality of the copy isn’t always great, as you will see, but they do help fill out a story. Here are some interesting bits about Ann Walker’s nieces and nephew, Elizabeth and George Sutherland’s surviving children – Elizabeth, Evan Charles and Annie. Elizabeth, Ann and brother John Walker shared the sad experience of losing their parents in 1823 at the ages of 22, 20 and 19 years respectively. They lived together, travelled together, and then with the death of John in 1830, Elizabeth and Ann became the last of their…

  • Ann's Places

    An Overview of Asylums in England to 1850 and the Connection with Ann Walker

    Contents Preface To better understand Ann Walker’s mental health journey in the first half of the 19thCentury, it is helpful to consider the era and societal attitudes to see what asylums andrelated systems were not and to avoid framing her experience by modern standards.This piece will provide an overview of the growth of asylums from the early 18th CenturyEnglish history until she died in 1854. It will also examine the role of the LunacyCommission in managing the care and property of mentally ill people. Because AnnWalker was a part of society’s upper class, and that will be the primary focus.Colloquially, the terms ‘mad’, ‘madhouse’, and ‘mad doctor’ were used interchangeablywith…

  • 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

    Elizabeth Sutherland’s Will

    Elizabeth Sunderland, née Walker wrote her will in 1842; it can be found in her son-in-law’s (Stansfeld) family archive in Wakefield.1 Elizabeth Sutherland died on December 28, 1844, leaving husband George Mackay Sutherland and four surviving children: Mary (who would die the following year), Elizabeth (1832-1872), Ann Walker “Annie” (1837-1917), and Evan Charles (1835-1913), the eventual heir to the Walker Estates.She was buried on January 5, 1845 in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church in Wimbledon, then in Surrey, now in the London Borough of Merton. The church at St Mary’s was completed in 1843, and is the fourth to stand on the site; there has been a church there…

  • 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 People

    Ann Walker Stansfeld (née Sutherland)

    (Updated 6/7/2023) Ann Walker Stansfeld (née Sutherland) was Ann Walker’s niece, Elizabeth & George’s youngest daughter. She signed her name as Annie in letters and was identified as such in some other documents. So, I will be referring to her as Annie in this blog. Early Years Ann Walker Sutherland was the 6th child of Capt. George M and Elizabeth Sutherland (née Walker), was born on 17 September 1837 and baptized the following month in Scotland.1 Anne Lister first mentioned her in her diary entry of 1 October 1837, when Ann Walker received a letter from her sister Elizabeth announcing her birth: “…dinner at 6 ¾ – coffee read the…

  • Ann’s People

    Robert Parker, Esq

    Robert Parker (1798-1856) had a long and successful law practice in Halifax. This is an overview of his life and some of the clients he worked for. Early Years Robert Parker was the second son born in 1798 to Alexander North and Margaret (née Butler) Parker at Houghton Park, Lancashire England.1 His brother Alexr North Parker was born in 17952 and died in 1807.3 On 9th June 1815, at 17 years of age, Robert Parker became an articled clerk (an apprentice) to attorney Richard Nicholson of Ripon for five years. The document reads in part: “And during the same term the said Richard Nicholson is to teach and instruct the…

  • Ann’s People

    Hannah Heap: not just a servant

    Hannah Heap – you may have never heard of her, but she was a beloved servant to the Walker family. Mentioned in Anne Lister’s diaries, we explore who Hannah was and where she is referred to in the archives. Birth and early life As with many people without money in the 1800s, her early life and birth are harder to track down. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know exactly when. We can estimate that it was between 1791 and 1796. This is because she is recorded in the 1841 census as 50 years old and in this census they rounded adults’ ages down to the nearest multiple of 5 (1). Working…

  • 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…