The little Listers
In Anne Lister’s generation, there are three siblings who died in infancy. They’re often mentioned in passing when researchers refer to Anne’s immediate family, but often without much detail beyond the dates of their birth and death. This collective profile aims at aggregating in one place what is known about these little Listers.
Table of Contents
John Lister (1789 - 1789)
John Lister was the first child of Captain Jeremy Lister and Rebecca Lister (née Battle). The boy was born in Welton on the 22nd of July 1789. John's birth is mentioned by Jeremy in a letter to his brother James:
In a previous letter, Jeremy had reported to James:
During a visit to Welton in the summer of 1789, Martha Lister of Shibden Hall wrote back to her brother James and said John is "like Nancy" (Anne Lister senior, SH:3/LL/273). Jeremy would then also give his brother an update about the state of John's health:
In a letter to her brother James from the 10th of September 1789, Aunt Anne mentions that she and Martha were "very sorry to hear so Indifferent an account of our little Nephew, but hope with care he may yet do well" (SH:7/LL/275). Unfortunately, John died in Ovenden, on the 11th of September 1789, whilst under the care of his wet nurse. He was buried in the Halifax Parish Church the next day.
Jeremy Lister (1801 - 1802)
Jeremy Lister was Anne Lister's youngest brother. He was born at Market Weighton on the 27th of September 1801 and baptized there two days later. Little Jeremy died in Beverley, in February of 1802, when he was under the care of his nurse. He was also buried at Beverley.
Basic information about Jeremy Lister
Birth: 27 September 1801, Market Weighton
Baptism: 29 September 1801, Market Weighton
Death: 7 February 1802, Beverley
Burial: 10 February 1802, Beverley
Eye color: Unknown
Hair color: Unknown
Infant Lister (1806 - 1806)
In 1806, Rebecca Lister gave birth to a stillborn child. Had she lived, the girl would've been Anne Lister's younger sister. James Lister made a note about her whilst building the pedigree of the family:
Almost nothing is known about her, but a burial record proves that she was indeed buried at the Halifax Parish Church.
Basic information about Infant Lister
Birth: 6 April 1806, Halifax
Death: 6 April 1806, Halifax
Burial place: 7 April 1806, Halifax Parish Church
Eye color: Unknown
Hair color: Unknown
The little Listers and their family
The little Listers belong to the Shibden Hall branch of the Lister family. Their father was Jeremy Lister of Shibden Hall, an army captain who fought in the American War of Independence. As a third son, Jeremy didn't stand to inherit the family estate. He married Rebecca Battle of Welton in August of 1788 and the two had seven children, among whom we count John, Jeremy, and Infant Lister. Of the Lister siblings of this generation, only Anne Lister (1791-1840) and Marian Lister (1797-1882) survived to adulthood. Brothers John (1795-1810) and Samuel (1793-1813) died before their twenty-first birthday, thus leaving this branch of the family in need of an heir. This succession issue was sparked in part due to the fact that James Lister of Shibden Hall never married or produced an heir. With the children of his brother Joseph of Northgate also deceased, Jeremy Lister's offspring retained the best chance to inherit the estate. Anne Lister ultimately inherited the Shibden Hall estate in 1826, after the death of her uncle James. She was the mistress of Shibden Hall until her death, during a tour of Russia and the Caucasus, in 1840. The estate then passed to the Listers of Wales and it stayed in their hands until the death of John Lister, MA, in 1933.
Shibden Hall. Photo by Marlene Oliveira.
The little Listers in the archives
There are several archival references that mention the little Listers:
Green, Muriel M. "A Spirited Yorkshire-Woman: the Letters of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax." Library Association Thesis (1939): 215.
Liddington, Jill. "Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries, 1833–36-Land, gender and authority." In Female Fortune. Manchester University Press, 2022.