• 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…

  • 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

    William Priestley Letters

    Believe me to be   My dear Sir Your’s [sic] most truly W. Priestley . Reading someone’s letters cannot only bring them to life, but also shed light on their personality as well as their relationships with other people. We will look at some excerpts of letters, written by William Priestley, that span from 1823 to 1834. His letters are interesting to the reader because they are quite detailed, with a touch of gossip. William and his wife Eliza Priestley played a significant role in Gentleman Jack series one, which portrayed them as rushing to Scotland to rescue Ann Walker and bring her back to Halifax. That storyline was for drama…