available onlinePart of this collection [the diaries of Anne Lister] has been chosen as one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service 'Treasures' to find out more about this and how you can vote for your favourite treasure please visit the website [link below]
Catalogue Finding NumberSH
Office record is held atCalderdale, West Yorkshire Archive Service
DescriptionThe Shibden Hall manuscripts are divided into 7 main classes comprising:

SH:1 - Estate records relating to individual Lister properties: Broadgates and Bairstow in Skircoat; Butterworth End in Norland; Dove House, Little Ireland Farm, Sougholme and Upper and Lower Place in Southowram; Highroyd, Lower Brea, Over Brea, Scout Hall, Shibden Mill and Will Royd in Northowram; Hill Top, Mytholm, Southedges and Roydlands, Spouthouse, Sutcliffe Wood, Wood Top and Yew Trees in Hipperholme cum Brighouse; Northgate House in Halifax; and Shibden Hall (including accounts), 1362-1925

SH:2 - Records relating to the whole estate, including Shibden Hall estate accounts, rentals, leases, valuations and bonds for properties in Halifax, Crow Nest, Hipperholme, Lightcliffe, Northowram and Southowram; estate maps, plans of proposed alterations to Shibden Hall, photographs and drawings of the family and estate; coal mining agreements, leases and accounts of coal mined and sold from the Shibden Hall and Listerwick Collieries; accounts of clay and brick works, accounts and agreements relating to stone quarries, 1629-1933

SH:3 - Family papers, including personal papers, legal papers, funeral notes, sermons, accounts, household, bills, notebooks and receipts, and plans relating to the Calder and Hebble Navigation, 1366-1933

SH:4 - Local deeds relating to non-Lister properties in Hipperholme, Halifax (including election cartoons) Lightcliffe, Northowram, Ovenden, Skircoat, Southowram, Sowerby, Bradford, Embsay and Warley c1318-1892

SH:5 - Non Yorkshire deeds relating to properties acquired by the Listers through marriage in Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, London, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Surrey, 1473-1880

SH:6 - Abstracts and transcripts from local deeds, rentals and surveys, Wakefield manor court rolls, papers of the Pilgrimage of Grace, pleadings and depositions in the Duchy of Lancaster, Star Chamber and Exchequer Court, records relating to the woollen trade, ulnagers' subsidies, wills and inventories, [1250-c1800] 19th century

SH:7 - Correspondence, including letters relating to the Wakefield and Halifax turnpike road; letters of the Reverend John Lister, 1717-1759; General Sir William Fawcett, 1725-1806; Dr David Hartley, 1735-1756; Francis Fawkes, 1738-1759; Joah Aked, 1757-1812; Captain Jeremy Lister, 1770-1828; Anne Lister (correspondence with friends and family, account books, journals partly in a letter by letter code, travel notes and passport), 1800-1840; Dr John Lister, 1827-1884; John Lister MA 1860-1933

In all cases papers relating to the same subject are arranged together. For example, wills are not placed together as one class but are classified with the property to which they refer; accounts relating to coal mines are not with the other accounts but constitute a sub-section of the Coal Mining section.
Date13th century-1933
Extent6.6/264 boxes
Access ConditionsSome records under 100 years old are subject to legal restrictions on access. You will be informed of any restrictions which apply when you contact Calderdale Archives. For further information please see the West Yorkshire Archive Service Policy on Access to Records, which is available on our web site
AdminHistoryThe first person associated with Shibden was a cloth merchant, William Otes, in the late 14th century. His grandson inherited and had a daughter Joan and late in life a son, Gilbert. There was a contest between them as to which would inherit Shibden, and finally the court awarded a lifetime interest to Joan, married into the powerful Savile of Elland family through her husband, Robert Savile. Their daughter, Joan, married Robert Waterhouse, part of another important local family and in 1522 they inherited Shibden. Their son, John purchased the Manor of Halifax-cum-Heptonstall and became Lord of the Manor. Shibden remained in the Waterhouse family until 1612 when Edward Waterhouse sold it to Widow Crowther on behalf of her nephew John Hemingway. His uncle, Samuel Lister (1570-1632), a cloth merchant was the tenant at Shibden and the guardian of John Hemingway (who was to die young) and his 4 sisters after the death of their aunt and father. Samuel Lister had 5 children and in 1619 his eldest son, Thomas (1599-1677) married his cousin, Sybil Hemingway, followed in 1625 by another son, John, marrying Phoebe Hemingway. The girls brought to their marriages the ownership of Shibden Hall.

Later Lister owners included James Lister (1673-1729), an apothecary with over 600 clients and the Reverend John Lister (1703-1759), Headmaster of Bury Grammar School (see SH:7/RL). The Lister papers also contain correspondence and other records relating to General Sir William Fawcett (1727-1804), nephew of the Reverend John Lister (see SH:7/FAW). James Lister (1748-1826) lived at Shibden with his sister, Ann. His younger brother, Jeremy (1752-1836) saw active service in the American War of Independence (see SH:7/JL) and was the father of Anne Lister (1791-1840) by his wife Rebecca Battle.

In 2011, the diaries of Anne Lister (1806-1840) received a prestigious award from UNESCO when they were added to the UK Memory of the World Register. Anne was born on 3 April 1791 in Halifax. She lived at Market Weighton in the East Riding for most of her childhood, but paid frequent visits to Shibden. She attended the Manor School in York from the age of 14 and in 1815, she went to live permanently with her uncle and aunt at Shibden Hall, and from 1826 she was the co-owner and took over the management of the estate. From the age of 15, Anne began to keep a diary, and this habit grew into what could be called an obsession in adulthood. The diaries consist of 27 volumes, 6600 pages or almost 4 million words. In comparison the more famous diaries of Samuel Pepys run to just 1.25 million. These diaries, together with over a 1000 letters, are held in the Calderdale Office of the West Yorkshire Archive Service (see SH:7/ML), and together they are a wealth of information about politics, business, religion, education, science, travel, local and national events, medicine and health. Anne also devised an esoteric code in order to conceal her unorthodox sexuality and to record in detail her diverse affairs with women.

In 1836 when she became the sole owner, she employed the architect John Harper of York to draw up extravagant improvement plans for Shibden, beyond Anne's budget. For 4 years Shibden was given over to builders. Anne, however, had always been a great traveller and in June 1839 she persuaded her partner, Ann Walker, to undertake her most adventurous arduous journey - a trip through Russia and over the Caucasian mountains into Persia. She died on the 22 Sep 1840 in Georgia having contracted a fatal fever. Her body was brought back to Halifax on a journey that lasted 7 months, to be buried in Halifax Parish Church.

Ann Walker inherited a lifetime interest in Shibden, but in 1843 her family had her forcibly removed to an asylum in York. For the next 12 years Shibden was home to various families. Anne Lister's library was sold but the family papers were stacked away. When Ann Walker died in 1854, Shibden was inherited by John Lister (1802-1867), a doctor of Swansea (see SH:7/DRL), and descendent of Thomas Lister of Virginia (1708-1740). He married Louisa Anne Grant and had 3 children - John (1847-1933), the last Lister owner of Shibden; Charles, a botanist who died in Bolivia (1848-1889) and Anne (1852-1929).

John Lister (see SH:7/JN-JN/B) stood as a Liberal Councillor in Yorkshire and was a founder member and treasurer of the Independent Labour Party. In 1893, he stood as the first Labour candidate for Halifax in the parliamentary by-election, polling over 3000 votes. He was keen historian, founder President of the Halifax Antiquarian Society and cracked the code of Anne Lister's journals. He was a founder of the Industrial School for errant children (SH:7/JN/B/46-47, etc), and was a governor of Hipperholme Grammar School for 47 years (SH:7/JN/B/48). He converted to Catholicism midway through life and there are many letters relating to this amongst his papers (SH:7/JN).

By 1923, John was in a desperate financial position and the bank called in his mortgages. Most of his money had been spent in charitable works and in the upkeep of Shibden. Mr A S McCrea, Lister's friend and a Halifax Councillor, came to his rescue by purchasing 90 acres of parkland, which he presented to the people of Halifax as a public park. The Prince of Wales opened this in 1926. McCrea also bought the reversion of Shibden Hall, which allowed John and his sister to live out their lives there. Anne died in 1929 and John in 1933. Shibden Hall was handed over to Halifax Borough and it was opened as a museum in June 1934.
Related MaterialRelated material, FW 120, HAS/B 13/36, HAS/B 22/32, HP 24, MAC 89, MISC 257, MISC 294 and MISC 650.
Also Ann Walker's journal 1834-1835 WYC:1525/7/1/5/1
Records held at the National Archives, including;

C 106/60, Chancery Masters Exhibits: case of WALKER v GRAY;
These Chancery documents appear to emerge from the complicated sorting out of the Lister properties after Anne's death in Russia. Records were often submitted to the court as potentially constituting evidence, without much discrimination, and can therefore be wide ranging, such as diaries, notebooks and letters. Catalogue details are as follows:-

Epitome of title of Jane Lister to estates in Halifax, North and Southowram etc, conveyances etc. Probate and will of Thomas Rigge of Halifax. Mechanic's Almanac for 1837. Sketch and particulars of a `light horse power low pressure steam engine', 1838. Account and memo book, 1833. Mortgage of Turnpike Shares (Wakefield to Halifax): Yorks.

Tickets and receipts for hotel and other expenses in Scandinavia and Russia. Notes d'un voyageur. Trajet de Tiflis Ó Erivan. Erivan en 1839. Le convent d'Etchmiadzin, translated by Catherine de Latchinoff (1837): Transcaucasia, 1839-40.

Map of Finland, 1834.

C 211/28/W249, Court of Chancery: Petty Bag Office - Commissions and Inquisitions of Lunacy;
Ann Walker, spinster of Shibden Hall, Halifax in the West Riding, Yorkshire: commission and inquisition of lunacy, into her state of mind and her property. Female lunatic. 1843 Nov 2nd.

See also the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record reference WYHER/2680



ReprodnNoteIn July 2019 WYAS launched the Anne Lister Diary Transcription Project to create full transcripts of every page of the diaries of Anne Lister (SH:7/ML/E) to be made available on our online catalogue. For more details on the Transcription Project please see Anne Lister Diary catalogue entry at SH:7/ML/E.
ReprodnRightsNoteIMAGE USE AND LICENSING - Requests for use of images should be directed to the West Yorkshire Archive Service for approval. Licensing or publication fees may apply.
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