• 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…

  • Ann's Places

    Adney Bridge, Shibden Park

    Adney Bridge, a small bridge that leads from Shibden Hall to the Gatehouse in Shibden Park, was so named by Anne Lister. Anne had this bridge built in 1835 as she renovated her home, Shibden Hall, employing the services of John Harper, an architect from York. Adney was the nickname that Anne gave her wife, Ann Walker and mentioned this name throughout her diary entries which cover their relationship. It is sometimes spelled with an ”e” (Adney) and sometimes without (Adny). Anne and Ann took the sacrament together on Easter day in 1834 at Holy Trinity Goodramgate, York and considered themselves married. Their union is widely considered to be the…

  • Ann’s People

    William Walker, Junior

    By Ashleigh Kobevko and Deb Woolson Birth & Family William Walker was born in Halifax in 1748 to William Walker and Elizabeth Caygill. He was baptised in Lightcliffe on 3rd March 1748.1 Elizabeth Caygill was William’s father’s second wife, as his father’s first wife, Mary Wainhouse of Pye Nest, died after 7 or 8 weeks of marriage.2 Elizabeth Caygill was the sister of John Caygill, who donated the land where the Piece Hall was built. William Walker Junior had siblings; Mary born 1747, Elizabeth born 1750, John born 1753 and Ann born 1757. He was Ann Walker’s uncle. His father William Walker Sr (1713 – 1786) was a wealthy merchant…

  • Guest Blogs

    Ann Walker’s Coat of Arms – A Quest for Social Standing?

    By Lynn Shouls 25 February 2022 In 1832, when Ann Walker made a chance reacquaintance with neighbouring landowner Anne Lister, she was a single woman of considerable means. By that time, Anne had mingled with the aristocracy for several years, but had come to realise that she could not aspire to the riches or the status necessary to be fully accepted into their world (Whitbread 2020, 301). She decided that Ann Walker could fulfil her desires and financial aspirations, and began to court her that year. On Easter Sunday in March 1834, Ann and Anne took communion together in church to solemnise their commitment to one another.  In 1842, Ann…

  • Ann’s People

    Samuel Washington

    By Deb Woolson Early Years Samuel was born and baptized in 1797, the youngest of the five children of Esther (née Mann) and James Washington. The Washington family were tenants in a home owned by Ann’s grandfather William Walker, which would have then passed on to Ann’s uncle, and James was the bookkeeper for the Walker business per his death notice in 1839. Sam’s mother, Esther, died in 1842. In 1822, prior to his marriage, Sam was mentioned in the History, Directory & Gazetteer of County of York with his occupation being listed as schoolmaster & land surveyor.1 Where he was schoolmaster is unknown to date. Marriage Sam married Hannah…

  • Diary Comparison

    Wednesday 4th June 1834

    dearest very poorly. bad bilious headache. gave up lodgings left Mrs. Bewley’s 3.10 called at Dr. Belcombe’s, he, out of town. received sketching case from Mr. Browne, & proposal for 5 or 6 weeks sketching excursion by giving up convent – I declined it as not feasible this year  Left Kettle & stand at Cattle & Barber’s to be cleaned by them & sent to Dr. & Mrs. H[enry] Belcombe the following day. called at Mr. Duffin’s. Mrs. D[uffin] not at home. Left York 3.30 o’clock. At Tadcaster 4.30 forwarded by coach to Leeds a parcel to Miss Atkinson containing heads in wax of celebrated Personages. Ferrybridge 6.30   at…

  • About Ann

    Ann’s Education

    By Ivana Nika Twitter: @Ivana_Nika Blog: https://sex-lies-and-boiled-milk.tumblr.com/ Ann’s and Elizabeth’s Education Nothing is known of Ann Walker’s early education. By the time Ann and her siblings were born, their parents could have afforded to provide them with decent schooling opportunities. In 1809, when Ann was 6, her father John inherited a substantial sum of money from his older brother which improved his children’s prospects for life. The family moved to Crow Nest where Elizabeth, Ann and John (and their sister Mary born in 1799, died in 1815) spent their childhood. It is not known (yet) if Elizabeth and Ann attended any kind of school that existed in Halifax or surrounding areas…

  • Ann’s People

    John Snaith Rymer

    A short biography of Ann Walker’s solicitor, John Snaith Rymer. By Ashleigh KobevkoTwitter: @adneydrt Early life and career John Snaith Rymer was born on 5th December 1806 in Wolsingham, Durham to Christopher Rymer and Jane Watson. The family moved 270 miles to London when Rymer was a boy.1 Rymer became a prominent Solicitor and on July 23rd 1853 was appointed to be a London Commissioner to administer oaths in the high court of Chancery by the Lord Chancellor. During his career, Rymer was a partner at the well-established firm Murray, Rymer & Murray and later Rymer, Murray, Rymer & Jackson. He married Sally ‘Emma’ Underhill in Kent on 2nd September…

  • About Ann

    Ann, Family and Shibden Hall

    Extracts from Ann Walker’s journal June 1834 – February 1835 describing Ann, family and her life at Shibden Hall By Ivana Nikahttps://twitter.com/Ivana_Nikahttps://sex-lies-and-boiled-milk.tumblr.com/ We can enjoy reading Ann Walker’s journal covering the year when her relationship with Anne Lister took a serious turn. They took the sacrament together at Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate in York on 30th March 1834 to seal their union. In the summer of the same year they travelled through France and Switzerland as part of their honeymoon trip. Ann Walker recorded this trip in her journal; she noted down many small moments of happiness and personal excitement in seeing the ancient sights of Europe, and experiencing adventures…

  • About Ann

    Ann Walker’s Return to Shibden

    By Steve Crabtree, March 2020 Following the death of Anne Lister on 22nd September, 1840, Ann Walker had the arduous and unenviable job of returning to England, bereft of her wife’s confidence, experience, and support. She also had a choice to make – was Anne Lister of Shibden Hall to be buried in a foreign land, or was her body to be repatriated to England, to join her kindred in the Lister vault at Halifax Minster? The decision is well known, and was taken almost immediately after Anne’s passing. An article in the Halifax Guardian carrying news of Anne Lister’s death also states that Miss Walker would return Anne Lister’s remains…