Sorry for my late Press Report on David Glover’s talk due to computer problems and I would like to express my kind thoughts to David Ball for his help. I wrote this Facebook site report before I went away but could not send it to David because of my computer problem. Friday 13th October was the second talk of the Society’s Winter programme of 2023 – 24 which ends and includes April 2024. Mr David Glover a regular speaker gave the illustrated talk and as usual was precise, articulate and fluent. His subject was Ann Walker but the title of his talk was “After Ann Lister’s death – the long journey home, Shibden Hall 1840 – 1854”
David started by stating that the story is very complicated and a bit sad and his more recent researches along with a few others which he acknowledged now reject some previously held views. For example, it was previously thought that Ann Walker accompanied the body back to Shibden Hall from where she died in the Georgia area from what is thought to have been a Tick bite that turned septic. Whilst this is true it is now known that she was conveyed by the Levant Shipping Line through the Mediterranean to Gravesend and then transported to Halifax. Meanwhile, Ann Walker travelled back through Central Europe via Warsaw.
Ann Lister had in her will stated that Ann Walker could live at Shibden Hall until her death when her Uncle could then claim possession of the Hall and its grounds and farmland. David then went on to discuss the evidence and controversy surrounding Ann Lister’s actual burial place in Halifax Minster and the latest evidence is that she is buried near the north porch.
Ann Walker as we know had a mental problem and Ann Lister tried to help her disturbed mind. She could not cope with the financial management of the estate and sought the help of her sister in northern Scotland. When she died her brother -in – law, a Captain Sutherland took over her affairs . However, Ann Walker’s mental state sadly led him in the end to declare she was not sane but rather than her going to a mental institution she went to live at Cliffe Hall, Lightcliffe where she died in 1874. Lightcliffe Church is now sadly demolished but the Church tower and graveyard remain and some evidence remains of Ann Walker.
Shibden Hall reverted back to Ann Lister’s Uncle John but he too, was to experience financial difficulties which led him to sell some farmland but luckily not the Hall or its immediate grounds as we see today which in the end were given in the 1920’s to Halifax Council.
Around 50 people attended and the vote of thanks was given by Rodney Collinge
The Society meets at St.Michael’s Church Hall, Church Street off New Road, Mytholmroyd ( adjacent to the Church ) at 7.30 pm the second Friday of each month during its Winter programme of lectures 2023-24 which lasts and includes April 2024.
All are welcome whether members or non – members. The cost of each visit for non- members is £5.00
The annual subscription to become a member is £15.00
Currently we no longer hold an annual day excursion but certain members now go on the monthly Heptonstall Village excursion so anyone interested please ask a member or Committee member for more details.
Mike Darke Press Officer