The Lister and Walker Coats of Arms, and the Lister Proof of Pedigree 

Lynn Shouls

Published on 18 December, 2020  · Last updated on 9 July, 2022
Cover image:  Andreas Praefcke (CC BY 3.0

Anne Lister was acutely aware of her social status: many of her journal entries reveal her thoughts on both her own standing in society and the relative rank or class of her contemporaries. Where did this sense of her societal standing come from? What did Anne know about her pedigree? And what did the family coat of arms mean to her? 

When I visited Shibden Hall and Halifax in the autumn of 2019, I came across the Lister coat of arms in several places. It seemed that the coat of arms may have been important to Anne, but I was left wondering why that was so, and what the design of the coat of arms signified. Research on this narrow point inevitably led to the consideration of Anne’s pedigree, and, from there, some reflection on her status and her sense of self. 

Estimated reading time: 45 minutes.

This article describes active research and the facts and details included have and will continue to be updated as new information is uncovered.  A previous version of this article is available here. If you come across any other relevant information that can help clarify or expand the topics below, please get in touch
Content updates are noted at the end of this article.

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Anne’s Era and Society, Her “Difference” 

Much has been written about Anne Lister’s character. She is known to have been highly intelligent, and independent. She was a keen scholar, an astute and formidable businesswoman, and an intrepid traveller, as well, of course, as being a prolific diarist and a lesbian. 

Anne was sent to school at the age of seven, where she was said by a school friend (as recorded in Anne’s journal) to be “a singular child, and singularly dressed, … very quick and independent … [she] whistled very well; a great favourite of Mrs Chettle” (Green 1992, 19). From an early age, Anne was “different”. 

Anne was acutely aware of, in her own words, her “oddity”. In the Regency period¹ , upper-class women were expected to be genteel, passive, graceful, feminine, and decorous. By contrast, Anne Lister was distinctly unfeminine, in her appearance (“[Mariana] had just before observed that I was getting mustaches [sic]” (Whitbread 2010, 319); and she was tall, lean, and flat-chested), her “gentlemanly” manners, her attire (always predominantly black² , unless strict propriety or occasion dictated otherwise), her behaviour, and her outlook. Anne was voluble (“Mrs B Barlow looked so grave I asked if she was ill perhaps   I talked too much this overcame her spirits”) (Lister 1825 Jan. 15), flamboyant, charismatic, energetic. All in all, she was somewhat striking, and even years later, the Leeds Times (22 July 1882) noted, “Miss Lister's masculine singularities of character are still remembered”. 

Typically, even high-class women did not benefit from a good education - the prevailing view was that instruction in such subjects as religion, sewing, music, drawing, and dancing was sufficient. Some young women undertook instruction in heraldry, although at least one author felt it necessary to “exhibit the elements of the science in as simple a form as possible, to enable ladies who have any claim to heraldic distinction to pursue a tasteful … amusement, by applying the knowledge they may acquire in a way, which … will “greatly grace” the places wherein they are exhibited” (Brydon 1853, 3). Brydon’s book explains how coats of arms may best be embroidered (Brydon 1853, 27), and suggests a range of objects suitable for needlework.

Anne, on the other hand, was highly educated (this in an era when educated women often concealed their knowledge, and “bluestocking”³  was a term of abuse) - she was well versed, through school, private lessons, self-teaching and voracious reading, and, later, lectures in Paris, in classical and other languages, mathematics, medicine, anatomy, music, engineering, theology, law, and a wide range of other subjects. 

At a time when it was unusual for women to be involved in business, politics or the law, Anne was actively involved in a web of business and other interests, and related legal contracts: coal mining, quarrying, estate management, road building, and investment (for example, in canals). Particularly in the 1830s, Anne became proactively engaged in local politics. 

Inheritance practices during Anne’s lifetime meant that the majority of any family land passed to the eldest son, usually for his lifetime, and daughters inherited money, jewellery, and clothing. Upon marriage, a woman lost her legal personality, that is, she became legally incapable: her husband had complete control of both her personal and real (i.e. land) property (English and Saville 1983, 32), whether owned at the time of the marriage or inherited later; and, as a wife, a woman became unable to form a contract or make a will of her own (McDonagh 2018, 16). Although in practice many landed families negotiated a marriage settlement in order to ring-fence certain property for a wife’s control and ownership, there were ample reasons not to wish to marry, as well as those for which Anne is most well known. Unusually, Anne herself was proactive in her ambitions for an inheritance. She understood that her father was a natural heir to her unmarried Uncle James, yet she adroitly, though patiently and gently, demonstrated to her uncle why leaving Shibden to her was the most desirable of his options⁴ . Uncle James died in 1826, and, although under his will Anne’s father and her Aunt Anne received life interests, enabling them to live at the hall and to receive income, Anne had successfully ensured that the Shibden Hall estate fell to her (Choma 2019, XV).

Socially, Anne was highly capable, engaging and entertaining, and - usually - a popular and welcome visitor. Social visits in and around Halifax formed an important part of Anne’s daily life while she was at Shibden, and she called on the Rawsons of Stoney Royd, the Edwards of Pye Nest, the Walkers of Lightcliffe, and a tight circle of others. However, particularly after inheriting the Shibden Hall estate, Anne felt keenly that her landed gentry status and her long family lineage afforded her a significant social advantage over these more newly monied companions, who had acquired their wealth through industry and trade. She believed that she could “do better” in her choice of acquaintances.

Anne was highly attuned to her status in society, and, understanding the hierarchy of the day, sought to improve her connections and to move in aristocratic circles. Although her journals occasionally note some self-doubt about her manners and behaviour when mixing with such people⁵ , self-elevation mattered a great deal to her, and her shrewdness, energy, capabilities, and self-confidence equipped her to pursue such relationships with some considerable success, both in England and abroad.

Anne was conservative and religious, valuing social respectability, while at the same time rather unorthodox in her conduct and her lesbian attachments. She was entirely confident in her sexuality, and was determined never to marry⁶. 

Where did this sense of self, and Anne’s self-esteem, originate from?

1. Although the “official” Regency period was 1811 to 1820, many historians use the term to denote the period 1789 to 1830. (Mortimer 2020, Author’s Note) 2. “As soon as I was dressed went to drink tea with the Miss Walkers of Cliff-hill – went in black silk – the 1st time (to an evening visit) I have entered upon my plan of always wearing black” (Lister 1817 September 2) 3. Derogatorily, still today, “an intellectual or literary woman”. Anne herself had a reputation as a bluestocking (Whitbread 2010, 15). Anne’s journal of 23 March 1820 reveals the disdain with which such women could be held: “Someone … said … of me, “One must not speak to her. She is a bluestocking.”” (Whitbread 2010, 134) 4. “conversation after he went with my aunt about my uncles making a will he does not know how to entail his property   it seems there has been a question in his mind about letting it end with me or carrying on to the Listers in Wales   I said it was a delicate thing for me to say but I was for letting rest with me for if carried farther Marian could not be cut out and then let her do or marry whom she would …  the subject worries my uncle   yes said I it worries us all you aunt and me too for I often think of it and with much anxiety” (Lister 1819 Dec. 24); “My uncle was better last night, and is tolerable this morning, but still very bilious and unable to bear much attention to anything – in talking things over after breakfast he said again he meant to leave my father only a life income and me the estate with the power of disposing of it and authorized me to tell my father so when I saw him next – ” (Lister 1822 Mar. 22); “– gently urged my uncle to make his will and he took it well and seemed more likely to do it soon than he has ever appeared before –” (Lister 1822 Apr. 10). In July 1822, Anne told her uncle of her father’s ill-advised estate refurbishment plans, and asked her uncle to sign his will in order to “make all safe” for her (Choma 2019, XVI).5. “I felt myself in reality gauche and besides in a false position I have difficulty enough as to the usages of high society and feeling unknown but I have ten times more on account of money … I will eventually hide my head somewhere or other … the mortification of feeling my gaucherie is wholesome.” (Lister 1832 Apr. 29) 6. “Anne [Belcombe] sat by my bedside till 2 I talked about the feeling to which she gave rise. … said I should never marry could not like men ought not to like women … made out a pitiful story altogether and roused poor Anne’s sympathy to tears.” (Lister 1816 Aug. 15) 

Importance of Pedigree, and the College of Arms 

From an early age, Anne was fiercely proud of her family’s long-standing ownership of the Shibden Hall estate, and of her lineage. In July 1823, she was “spiriting up my uncle about the pride of the family about Shibden” (Lister 1823 Jul. 18), and in October 1824, Anne told Maria Barlow⁷ that she “Loved the little spot where my ancestors had lived for centuries” (Lister 1824 Oct. 29).

Even when very young, Anne was interested in her pedigree. In around 1803, she drafted a pedigree of ancestors reaching back to Roman emperors, a range of biblical figures, and all the way back to Adam!

the first lines of an old handwritten document
the last lines of an old handwritten document
The first and last lines of Anne’s childish pedigree. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale (SH:3/LF/28/10).

Anne’s landed gentry status, particularly after she inherited the Shibden Hall estate in 1826, and her pedigree, afforded her appreciable local importance, influence, and prestige. Wishing to formally prove the continuation of her family’s pedigree, and, later, to update it, Anne wrote to the College of Arms in 1816, and corresponded with one of its officers from then until 1825, and later, in 1834, 1835, and 1838. In contacting the College of Arms, Anne might also have been preparing to use and display her family’s coat of arms - a grant of arms conveys a certain nobility of birth, and, in order to establish a right to use an existing coat of arms, one must prove to the College of Arms one’s legitimate descent from the person to whom the arms were originally granted. 

The College of Arms is the heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and many Commonwealth countries. Founded in 1484 by King Richard III, to this day it grants coats of arms and maintains official registers of arms, family pedigrees, and genealogies. In some cases, pedigrees are recorded to prove an inherited right, such as a peerage. But in many cases, pedigrees are placed on record simply to confirm them as having been independently checked by the proper authority, and to preserve them in a central register for the benefit of future generations. The oldest of these registers dates back to the sixteenth century, and they are updated as new pedigrees are submitted for proof and registration. 

Between 1530 and 1687, heralds from the College of Arms visited each county roughly every generation, in order to record the pedigrees of aristocracy and gentry across the realm, and to supervise the use of coats of arms. At the visitation of Yorkshire in 1666, a pedigree of four generations of the Lister family was recorded, and it was headed by Samuel Lister of Shibden Hall. 

Anne was staying at Lawton Hall, shortly after Mariana Belcombe’s⁸ marriage, when she wrote to the College of Arms on 13 June 1816, “being anxious to have my pedigree properly proved”. To have a pedigree placed on official record at the College of Arms, one must engage the services of an officer of arms who will research and draft the pedigree in the required format and advise on the documentary evidence needed to support it. The officer, or herald, will then submit the documentary evidence to the Chapter of the College which will appoint two other officers of arms to examine it. The two examiners will each go through the pedigree in detail, calling for documentary proofs of each relationship that is to be recorded, and of each fact that is offered in support. If the officer believes that aspects of the evidence are not satisfactorily proven, he (for to date, no woman has ever been an officer of arms⁹) may call for additional research to be undertaken. Once the examination is complete, the pedigree is scrivened into the pedigree registers and becomes part of the official records of the College. 

Anne Lister went through precisely this process in 1816 and 1817. The College of Arms being extremely rigorous in requiring evidence of ancestral lines, Anne was obliged to produce a great many proofs of births, marriages, deaths, and familial lines, and extracts from parish records and local registers, to prove her lineage. Anne’s handwritten list (dated 25 January 1817) of “proofs wanting”, i.e. detailed documents and records needed to evidence her family descent, includes 22 items, all of which would have taken considerable time to compile. 

In March 1817, the herald with whom Anne had been corresponding, Rouge Croix Pursuivant, William Radcliffe, confirmed that he had “the pleasure to report that the Pedigree of Your Family has passed the Ordeal of Probation, and received the Order of Chapter for its entry upon the Record. It is now in the Custody of Registrar waiting its Turn for that Purpose”, but that an important link was missing: 

“The only material statement in the course of the Pedigree not yet proved, is that Joseph Lister of Lower Brea was the son of Samuel Lister by Susan Drake, and the examiner’s note standing under his description at present is in these words “not yet proved to have been the son of Samuel Lister of Shibden Hall”.

12 March 1817 - SH:7/ML/B/13

Anne was given guidance on how to complete the evidence, which she did, and in April 1817 the College wrote to Anne’s Uncle James, “I have the pleasure to transmit you herewith the Copy of the Pedigree of your Family from the record lately made thereof in this College and the hope it will meet your expectation…”. Anne’s journal entry of 26 April 1817 notes the family’s pleasure at receiving this official copy of their pedigree as recorded by the College.

In 1824 Anne wrote to Radcliffe, noting her understanding that he was working on an edition of “Dugdale’s Heraldic Visitation of Yorkshire, 1665-1666; together with considerable additions”, and offering to subscribe to it. It is clear from Anne’s communication that she wanted her pedigree to be publicly recorded in this work. In March 1825, Radcliffe confirmed the subscription of “James Lister, Esq. Shibden-hall” to this edition. In 1899, J.W. Clay¹⁰ edited and republished “Dugdale’s Visitation of Yorkshire”, and the Lister family is captured in this edition.

The College of Arms’ record confirms that the pedigree was completed in 1817, with additions made in 1838, and this record was signed as true in November 1838 by “A Lister”. The records also include a painting of the crest and arms, beneath which the motto scroll reads “PROPOSIT TENAX”. The College of Arms does not release copies of these records.

Anne’s interest in her pedigree continued throughout her life: from childhood, through 1816 when she wrote to the College of Arms; through April 1822 when she spent hours at the solicitor’s office in York reviewing old wills, hoping to find further information about her lineage; to August 1838, when she and Ann Walker met with a College of Arms herald regarding their respective pedigrees and coats of arms.

Letters written between Anne (and her Uncle James) and the College of Arms form part of the West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale’s collection of Shibden papers. The correspondence is listed and described, and transcriptions of the Listers’ letters are available, under the heading “Anne’s Correspondence with the College of Arms” immediately below. 

7. Anne Lister met Maria Barlow in Paris in 1824. They were on-off lovers, and took some extended trips in Europe together, between then and 1827. 8. Anne met Mariana in 1812. They were friends and lovers for over two decades, and one of Anne’s final letters was written to Mariana, in mid-1840.9. From the author’s private correspondence with the College of Arms. 10. John William Clay, F.S.A. was an antiquarian and a member of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and the Halifax Antiquarian Society. 

Anne’s Correspondence with the College of Arms 

The following paragraphs show Anne’s known correspondence with The College of Arms. William Radcliffe was one of the heralds of The College of Arms and bore the title Rouge Croix Pursuivant; George H. Rogers Harrison was also one of the heralds, with the title Bluemantle Pursuivant. Whilst transcriptions are available below for Anne and her uncle’s letters, unfortunately transcriptions of those written by Rouge Croix are potentially subject to copyright restrictions. 

13 June 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/2 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Lawton, 13 June 1816, to William Radcliffe, Rouge Croix, College of Arms, London. Referring to Radcliffe’s/The College of Arms’ advertisement in one of the York papers, and “being anxious to have my own pedigree properly proved”, Anne enquires about the cost of the work involved. She is aware of the heralds’ visitation to Shibden in 1666, and of the blazon of the family’s coat of arms, and wishes to know how her branch of Listers came to bear the “canton gules” on the arms.

15 June 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/3)

Letter from William Radcliffe dated London, 15 June 1816 to Anne Lister, at Lawton. The herald has mistaken Anne for a “Sir”. He estimates that the cost of proving and recording the continuation of Anne’s pedigree will be between seven and twelve pounds, and cautions that the precise figure will depend on how many wills and Parish registers will need to be assessed. He comments briefly on the probable origin of the canton gules. 

3 July 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/4 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Lawton, 3 July 1816  to William Radcliffe. Anne enquires what steps she needs to take for the herald to commence work, and briefly describes the lineage from Richard Lister in 1439 to Samuel Lister of Shibden Hall in 1666, and the descent of Anne’s branch of the family from Samuel’s second son, John.

30 July 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/5/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Lawton, 30 July 1816, to William Radcliffe. Anne chases the herald for a response, as she hasn’t received a reply in “so long a period” as four weeks. She is “anxious to communicate [Radcliffe’s] instructions” to her uncle.

1 August 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/6)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 1 August 1816, to Anne Lister, at Lawton. Radcliffe notifies Anne that he will need substantiated evidence of the existence of John Lister (son of Samuel Lister) and that he has therefore requested from York the necessary extract from Samuel Lister’s will. He asks that Anne collect evidence and dates of Lister births, marriages and burials, and any evidence of family settlements that may be available; and he suggests a visit to Shibden Hall in the autumn. 

12 August 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/7)

Letter from Jn. [John] Dawson, dated York, 12 August 1816, to William Radcliffe, with which he encloses extracts from the will of Samuel Lister. 

22 September 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/8 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 22 September 1816, to William Radcliffe, Darley Hall, Barnsley. Anne acknowledges receipt of Radcliffe’s letter of 1 August and states that her uncle will be glad to see him at Shibden. She asks Radcliffe to let them know when they can expect him.

6 October 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/9)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated Darley Hall, Barnsley, 6 October 1816, to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall, in which he says that he will be in the vicinity of Shibden Hall in about the next four days and that he will have pleasure in calling on Anne’s uncle or her (whom Radcliffe’s letters still address as “Sir”), “whichever may be in the way” (i.e. whichever of them will be available).

3 December 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/10)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 3 December 1816,  to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall. Having met Anne, Radcliffe finally addresses her as “my dear Miss Lister”! He asks Anne to “pardon poor Rouge Croix” for his delay whilst he has attended to longer outstanding matters. He has outlined the head of Anne’s pedigree; however, having found the evidence that Anne has provided (in order to support the statements in the pedigree) to be “very inadequate”, he requests a long list of “Proofs Wanting”, such as evidence of marriages, deaths and burials, and family connections. He promises to return submitted papers “perfectly safe”. Finally, Radcliffe asks Anne to present his “kind remembrance to your Uncle and Aunt”.

5 December 1816, and 7 January 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/11/1)

This document is a note of the “proofs wanting” - it may have been a working draft. At the beginning it bears the date 5 December 1816, and at the end are Anne’s initials and the date 7 January 1817.

25 January 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/11/2)

This is a long document listing the proofs wanting and detailing the evidence that Anne has collated, dated Shibden Hall, 25 January 1817.

27 January 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/12 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 27 January 1817, to William Radcliffe. In this letter, Anne explains that she hasn’t been able to get to Halifax to consult the registers because both she and Uncle James have been unwell, and confined to the house, for a few weeks. Although Anne fears that Radcliffe might be unable to do more than improve the “head” of the pedigree, she hopes to receive news of a favourable assessment.  

12 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/13)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 12 March 1817, to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe notifies Anne that two out of three stages that must be gone through in order for the pedigree to be entered in the College’s records have been completed: “the Pedigree of Your Family has passed the Ordeal of Probation, and received the Order of Chapter for its entry upon the Record. It is now in the Custody of the Registrar waiting its Turn for that Purpose”. He stipulates one material statement, and a handful of minor assertions, in the pedigree that remain to be proved. Radcliffe concludes with a request that his compliments be passed to Anne’s uncle and aunt and her sister Marian.

17 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/14/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 17 March 1817, to William Radcliffe. Anne explains that she can provide ample evidence of a Joseph Lister being the son of Samuel Lister who moved to Shibden Hall in 1612, and dismisses the “minor statements” required to be proved as “of too little importance to be worth the trouble of further investigation”.

21 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/15)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 21 March 1817, to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe informs Anne that her last letter was quite satisfactory and that the pedigree is in the process of being recorded. He encloses a bundle of papers, which he believes “may afford you some little amusement”.

25 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/16/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 25 March 1817, to William Radcliffe of the College of Arms, London. Anne confirms receipt of Radcliffe’s letter and the bundle of papers, and looks forward to the news that the record of the pedigree is completed. She would like to receive a copy of what is entered on the records, “officially drawn out with the arms emblazoned”. She mentions that the heralds’ visitation in 1666 noted the arms without a motto, and tells Radcliffe “we have taken Propositi Tenax” and that she would like to have it added. Finally, she asks how much her uncle (!) owes for the work done.

23 April 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/17)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 23 April 1817, to James Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe sends the family’s pedigree, copied from the record recently made at the College, and encloses a note of his fees.

29 April 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/18/2 - transcription)

Letter from James Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 29 April 1817, to William Radcliffe. Uncle James confirms receipt of the pedigree, but lists a number of inaccuracies: as document SH:7/ML/B/18/3 is a draft of this letter in Anne’s handwriting, it was likely she who identified the errors. Uncle James ends by inviting Radcliffe to stay at Shibden Hall when he is in the area and mentions “the place as one of the most ancient in this neighbourhood”.

2 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/19/1)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 2 May 1817, to James Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe apologises for the errors and requests the return of the paperwork and the provision of some further documentary evidence. He ends by saying that he had intended to write “a few words to my fair original Correspondant [sic] A Lister Esq.”, and begging his “best regards to the Ladies”. 

6 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/20/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 6 May 1817 to William Radcliffe. Anne asks about the use of the terms “Esq.” and “Gent.”, and gives some family examples of each; about Dr Whitaker’s Yorkshire; and about the importance of the family’s “first Richard’s” lands in Hipperholm being “in the graveship of Hipperholm, but the township of Northowram”.

6 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/21 - transcription)

Letter from James Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 6 May 1817, to William Radcliffe. Uncle James encloses extracts from the Halifax register, and other documentary evidence, which are required to correct the errors identified, likely by Anne, in the pedigree produced in April; and requests that a copy of the record (pedigree) be contributed to Dr Whitaker’s Yorkshire. 

15 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/22)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 15 May 1817 to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe is unable to explain the “jumble” in the use of “Esquire and Gents”, other than that Anne’s father, Jeremy, is an Esquire due to his military commission. He agrees to remove the minor errors when he next visits Shibden when he will also try to help Anne with pursuing the pedigree further back in time.

20 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/23/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 20 May 1817, to William Radcliffe. Anne’s uncle has asked her to confirm receipt of the roll of papers, that errors have been corrected, and that all is now as he wished. 

8 June 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/24/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 8 June 1817, to William Radcliffe. Anne apologises for missing a letter enclosed by Radcliffe with the papers he’d sent. She says that they will be happy to see him at Shibden over the summer and that she would dearly like to prove the family’s descent from the Craven family.

13 August 1824 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/25/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 13 Aug 1824 to William Radcliffe, at Barnsley. Anne notes her uncle’s wish to subscribe to Radcliffe’s proposed edition of “Dugdale’s Heraldic Visitation of Yorkshire, 1665-1666; together with considerable additions”; reminds Radcliffe that whilst he is researching Yorkshire genealogies in general, information on Anne’s family line might occur to him; and tells him of the deaths of her mother, her uncle Joseph and his widow since 1817.

24 March 1825 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/26)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated London, 24 March 1825, to Anne Lister at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe sends Anne a list of subscribers to his proposed edition of Dugdale.

13 April 1825 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/27/1)

This is a list of subscribers to Radcliffe’s proposed edition of Dugdale’s Heraldic Visitation of Yorkshire, and a printed page includes an entry for “James Lister, Esq. Shibden-hall”.

12 November 1825 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/28/1 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 12 November 1825, to William Radcliffe. This is a friendly letter. It includes a request that the deaths of Anne’s uncle Joseph, his widow, and Anne’s mother be inserted in the pedigree, and advises that Anne has so far gained no further information on the family’s descent from the Craven family.

1 December 1825 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/B/29)

Letter from William Radcliffe, dated Wakefield, 1 December 1825, to Anne Lister, at Shibden Hall. Radcliffe is optimistic that information on the early part of Anne’s pedigree will arise during his work in Yorkshire and promises to impart it if so.

30 December 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/C/3 - transcription)

Letter from Anne Lister, dated Shibden Hall, 30 December 1835, to George H. Rogers Harrison. Anne explains that she had kept hold of the pedigree roll, as she had expected to be in London again soon, to hand it to Harrison, Bluemantle Pursuivant, herself. However, her trip to London might be put off for some months, given the poor health of her aunt and her father, whose deaths she expected to be added to the pedigree roll in the near months. 

Anne touched on the topic of her pedigree, her correspondence with the College of Arms, and her efforts to establish her familial lineage, in her journals from time to time from 1817 to 1838. She also noted Ann Walker’s research efforts. Journal entries which are so far known to the author, are shown under the heading Appendix: Timeline of Journal Entries below. It is interesting, although perhaps not surprising, given Anne’s known tendency to rigour and accuracy in her record-keeping, to see how some of the correspondence and the journal entries directly correspond.

As a footnote to this history, the last Lister to own the Shibden Hall estate, John Lister, M.A., (1847 - 1933) pursued his own interest in the family pedigree, and in or before 1910, proved, to the satisfaction of the College of Arms, his own direct descent from Samuel Lister, for whom the arms were officially recorded in 1666 (Bretton 1929, 73).

The Right of Women to Bear Arms 

Typically, the bearers of coats of arms were men, being the landed and the leaders of a nation, who were responsible for leading other men into battle (Franklin 1973, 98). It was necessary for those commanding others to be distinguishable by their followers, and thus the right to bear arms arose and was confined to the upper classes - there was no need for anyone other than leaders to be identifiable by coats of arms.

Except for very rare cases, a woman cannot, according to heraldic rules, have her own coat of arms - almost without exception, a woman’s arms are derived from those of a man, be that her father or husband (Franklin 1973, 68).

The rules, which were formalised in the 1560s following the Act of Elizabeth in 1561, about how a woman may bear arms depend on her marital status, and, if married, whether she brings to the union her own family’s right to bear arms (Franklin 1973, 70 et seq). 

According to the rules relating to unmarried women, Anne Lister had the right to bear her father’s arms (importantly, “arms” does not include the crest part of the full coat of arms) on a “lozenge” (or diamond) shape, or an oval or cartouche¹¹, or indeed any other shape that could not be mistaken for a shield (Franklin 1973, 5). Regardless of their marital status, women must not bear crests: the rules were formulated at a time when it was considered unsuitable for women to go to war, and so they would need neither a shield nor a helmet (on top of which a crest is designed to sit¹²). However, the rules were rarely policed, let alone enforced, and if Anne used or displayed the full coat of arms, including the crest, she could reasonably have argued that she was displaying her family’s coat of arms. 

Known depictions of the Lister coat of arms do not include the motto, “Propositi Tenax”, which Anne, in 1817, notified the College of Arms she would like to have added.  Indeed, according to the heraldic rules, no woman (other than a sovereign) may use a motto (Franklin 1973, 68).

A number of the known images (see Anne’s Pride in the Lister Coat of Arms) of Anne’s arms appear on a “shield” shape, whilst others are of a more indeterminate, amorphous form. Whether Anne intended to comply with, or ignore, the ancient rules, or whether she merely required a simple and pleasing design, we do not know - she was familiar with heraldry, and may have been aware of what was expected of women who wished to bear arms. Anne led her life largely according to her own rules, so it would not be entirely uncharacteristic if she chose not to be constrained by the medieval conventions. 

Anne’s Pride in the Lister Coat of Arms 

A coat of arms is rather a status symbol, traditionally used to communicate the bearer’s wealth, standing, and prowess. 

When Anne started work on completing her family pedigree in 1816, she was already familiar with her family having proved their “right to arms” in 1666, and with the imagery and arcane terminology of heraldry.  In her letter to the College of Arms, she wrote:

“I am not aware that any entries of my family have been made in your College since the last visitation in 1666, when the arms of Lister of Shibden Hall, near Halifax / Ermine, 3 mullets or on a fess sable, and a canton gules / were duly acknowledged and registered –”. 

13th June 1816 - SH:7/ML/B/2

It is clear that the Lister coat of arms was of considerable interest and importance to Anne. Her work with the College of Arms necessitated proving her ancestry since 1666, and she was knowledgeable about the topic. An image of the arms appears in several places at Shibden Hall. Anne refers to the arms periodically in her journals, and the design was used on several of her possessions. There are also examples of the coat of arms at Halifax Minster, although these pre-date Anne’s time. 

Coat of Arms - Shibden Hall Estate

The precise date of the building of Shibden Hall is unknown, but the deeds to the property date back to 1420 (Green 1992, 23). The estate came into the Lister family by marriage in 1619 (Clare 2019, 9). Anne Lister made many changes to the Hall and the estate, including improvement of the housebody (main hall) with a grand staircase, oak panelling, and carved figures, and adding her carved initials and the Lister motto, chosen by Anne, “justus propositi tenax” (“just and true of purpose”). 

The Lister Lion

The newel post at the foot of the staircase, which was designed for Anne by the architect John Harper and carved from Norwegian oak by John Wolstenholme of York (Clare 2019, 17), is the Lister lion holding a shield. A similar lion, holding the same shield, and carved in stone (also commissioned by Anne, in 1837  (Clare 2019, 25)), stands outside, by the gateway into the terraced gardens surrounding the house. 

lion-shaped wooden column placed at the end of a wooden banister
stone sculpture in the shape of a standing lion holding a shield with three starts on a grassy background
The Lister lion can be seen in the housebody and, outside, by the gateway to the terraced gardens. Photos by Lynn Shouls. 

The Red Room Mantelpiece

The shield, one of the two key components of the full coat of arms, is also painted onto the stone mantelpiece of the fireplace in the Red Room (this was done during the Lister family ownership, but the date of the work is unknown¹³), and the shield’s design forms the centrepiece of the funerary hatchment displayed in the corridor leading to Anne’s bedroom. 

drawing of white shield with black banner showing three yellow stars
photo of a rumbus shaped dark wood frame containing a funerary hatchment with same pattern as previous shield
Lister arms as seen in the mantelpiece in the Red Room at Shibden Hall and in the funerary hatchment currently displayed in the corridor near Anne Lister's room and study. Photos by Lynn Shouls. 

The Gatehouse

A close look at the estate’s gatehouse, which was designed by Anne’s architect, John Harper of York (whom Anne asked to draw designs in 1835 (Lister 1835 May 12)), and which was first used from the new driveway in 1837 (Clare 2019, 28), reveals the Lister arms in stonework, inlaid into the brickwork just above the arch above the gate. It was common for arms to be set in stone on lodges belonging to large estates (Franklin 1973, 102).

a stone gatehouse and an iron gate
a black stone carving of a shield with banner showing three stars
Lister arms in the Shibden Hall estate gatehouse. Photos by Lynn Shouls and Marlene Oliveira. 

The Stump Cross Inn

The Stump Cross Inn, a public house, stood on what was, in Anne’s time, the Shibden Hall estate. In 1838, Anne, writing in the third person, tasked a Mr Hoyland with “paint[ing] her family arms, with the motto, Justus propositi tenax, so as to form a neat sign for her tenant,”. (Lister 1838 Jun. 11) (Transcription

Coat of Arms - Halifax Minster

The full coat of arms appears, alongside others, in the ceiling of Halifax Minster. It is thought that it was placed there in memory of James Lister, who died in November 1729 (Bretton 1936, 5)¹⁴, and there is a monument bearing his name and arms at the south-west corner of the church.

close up of yellow, red and black coat of arms painted on dark wood
distant shot of 4 different colorful coats of arms painted on dark wood
The Lister coat of arms painted on the ceiling of the Halifax Minster. Photos by Lynn Shouls.

Coat of Arms - Anne's Possessions

Muriel M. Green’s¹⁵ “Miss Lister of Shibden Hall, Selected Letters 1800 to 1840” shows a picture of a bookplate that Anne commissioned. The design of this bookplate is again based on the Lister family arms.  One of Anne’s bookplates is preserved in the West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale collection of Anne Lister papers. 

image of ink-drawn emblem with 3 stars in a banner inset on a flourished border
old image of ink-drawn emblem with 3 stars in a banner inset on a flourished border
Anne Lister’s bookplate, as seen in Muriel M. Green’s book, and an actual bookplate from the collection of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale (SH:7/ML/1120 ).

On close inspection of the bookplate, we can see that the golden mullets and the red canton are depicted in black and white hatchings, which are, respectively, as follows:

digital pattern of equally spaced rows of dots with alternating offset
black and white pattern of equally spaced vertical lines

These formal heraldic monochrome hatchings were devised in the 17th century (Brydon 1853, 6) to denote colours which were expensive to print. Given her knowledge of heraldry, Anne might well have known about this formal system of colour representation but, if she did not, the designer and/or printer commissioned to prepare the bookplate clearly did. This technique was commonly used for bookplates (Franklin 1973, 36).

For a silver trowel to be given to Ann Walker on the occasion of Ann laying the first stone of the casino to be built at the Northgate Hotel in September 1835, Anne devised an inscription which included “an impression of my arms”:

ink drawing of squished circle with dotted decorations
Doodle in Anne Lister's journal entry of the 26th of September 1835. Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service Calderdale (SH:7/ML/E/18/0104). 

Anne had her carriage doors painted with the elements of the coat of arms in 1834. During the Regency period, anyone wanting to display their coat of arms was obliged to pay a tax, or duty, of between one and two guineas per annum, depending on how they wanted to use the image, for example on the side of their carriage (Mortimer 2020, 171). 

close-up of drawing of brown stag's head
close-up of drawing of white shield with black banner showing three yellow stars
Elements of the Lister coat of arms painted on the Lister chaise. Photos by Marlene Oliveira. 

Wax seals were commonly used on letters (literally, to seal the letter) and important documents, and a seal designed with arms was another indicator of rank. Anne commissioned a seal stamp bearing the Lister arms, probably in the mid-1820s - we know that she met seal cutters in London in 1824, and that she enquired about the costs of engraving a seal stamp bearing arms¹⁶.  Anne carried a seal stamp bearing her arms on her final journey¹⁷. 

close-up of impression of wax seal on red wax, showing a coat of arms
Impression left by a wax seal adorned with the Lister coat of arms, on one of Anne Lister's letters. Photo by Marlene Oliveira.

In June 1834, Anne ordered a livery suit with crested buttons for one of the servants¹⁸: 

a black and white drawing of a stag's head inside a black circle
close up of brown brass buttons adorned with a stag's head
A drawing of a crested livery button, showing the Lister crest. Photo by Lynn Shouls, from “Shibden Hall - West Yorkshire Folk Museum” guidebook, fourth edition, 1961. Crested livery buttons from Calderdale Libraries, Museums and Arts collection (image licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA).

Another object bearing Anne’s coat of arms was an embroidered image created by Anne’s lover, Madame de Rosny in 1828¹⁹. Anne also had cutlery engraved in 1826 and in 1834, the latter for use at the Northgate hotel in Halifax²⁰. 

The following drawings have also been discovered amongst the Lister papers held by West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale. The artist and the date are unknown, as is the purpose of the drawings, although they are reminiscent of Anne’s bookplate.

drawing of shield with banner showing three stars. all surrounded by plant leaves.
drawing of shield with banner showing three stars. all surrounded by smaller plant leaves
Drawing of Lister coats of arms. Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale (SH:2/M/1/3/13).

Anne’s pride in her coat of arms is revealed by these objects which bear (or bore) the image, and which she took the trouble to commission; by her many journal references to the family coat of arms (see Appendix: Timeline of Journal Entries); and by the coat of arms being prominent at Anne’s funeral (see Anne’s Life, and Its End). 

11. A carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends. 12. From the author’s private correspondence with the College of Arms. 13. From the author’s private correspondence with the Collections Officer, Shibden Hall. 14. Rowland Bretton (1891-1973) lived in Lightcliffe, was a prominent member of The Halifax Antiquarian Society, and was something of an expert on heraldry.15. Muriel Green was an experienced librarian and archivist. When Shibden Hall came into the ownership of Halifax borough council in 1923, Ms Green was given the task of sorting through and cataloguing enormous quantities of manuscripts, letters, and other papers, and she undertook extensive research on Anne Lister's letters and other materials found at Shibden Hall. 16. See Appendix; Timeline of Journal Entries, 28 August, 1824. 17. See Appendix; Timeline of Journal Entries, 16 September 1839. 18. See Appendix; Timeline of Journal Entries, 2 June 1834. 19. See Appendix; Timeline of Journal Entries, 19 November, 1828. 20. See Appendix; Timeline of Journal Entries, 23 December 1826 and 20 May 1834.

The Lister Coat of Arms - Composition

A coat of arms comprises the crest and the arms (or shield). According to the records of the College of Arms, the (Anne) Lister family coat of arms is formally blazoned thus:

The Crest: Upon a Wreath of the Colours a Stag’s Head erased proper charged with a Trefoil Gules

The Arms: Ermine on a Fess  Sable three Mullets Or a Canton Gules

The heraldic terms used here in bold text are described below. Here is a reminder of the coat of arms, and a stylised version, clearer to decipher, created by Biljana Popovic.

close up of yellow, red and black coat of arms painted on dark wood
a colorful drawing of a coat of arms
The Lister coat of arms painted on a ceiling panel of Halifax Minster (photo by Lynn Shouls) and an artistic depiction of this coat of arms created by Biljana Popovic. 
a pencil drawing of a stag's head with a three-leaved plant

The College of Arms' sketch of the Crest.

a black and white drawing of a three-leaved plant
A trefoil.

The Crest

The Wreath is the twisted band, typically of two colours, just underneath the stag’s head

The Colours are the principal colours of the arms

The Stag is thought to represent wisdom and long life

The Stag’s Head erased means that the stag’s neck is depicted with a ragged edge, as if torn from the body

The term proper refers to the natural, or lifelike, colour of the thing depicted. Here, the stag’s head is coloured brown, the typical colouration of a stag

Charges are emblems added (or charged) to a shield or background

A Trefoil is a three-leaved plant. Gules means the colour red. This emblem is not visible on the photograph taken from the ceiling of Halifax Minster, and it may not have been included on the painted panel, but it might have looked like the small example we've added.

drawing of shield with banner showing three stars.

The College of Arms' sketch of the Arms.

The Arms

Ermine is the winter fur, white with black tips, of a stoat

Fess is the horizontal band across the centre of the shield

Sable is the colour black

Mullet is a five-pointed star

Or is the colour gold  

Canton Gules: Canton means a square shape, and Gules means the colour red, so Canton Gules is the red square at the top left of the shield. This symbol is used to distinguish Anne’s branch of the Lister family from the arms of other Lister families. Anne was interested in this “canton gules” – her letter of 13 June 1816 to the College of Arms asked: 

“Perhaps you may have some record, shewing how and when we came to bear the canton – We certainly did not bear it originally, nor for many years after we branched off from the Listers of Gisburne, and settled near Halifax at Ovendeyne, now Ovenden, near Halifax, about the year 1399; but might possibly become entitled to it, as a mark of difference, when Samuel Lister, who is mentioned in Dugdale, first settled at Shibden Hall in 1612, and became the immediate ancestor of the present possessor”.

13 June 1816 - SH:7/ML/B/2

According to a note of The Halifax Antiquarian Society (Bretton 1929, 73), the canton (and the trefoil) were added to indicate that the Listers of Shibden Hall were not direct descendants of the Lister to whom the crest and arms were originally allowed.

Symbols used in Anne’s Coat of Arms - Meaning?

My initial curiosity, on finding Anne’s family’s coat of arms around the Shibden Hall estate and in Halifax, was about the meaning or significance of its design and components (“charges”). As it turned out, the College of Arms advised me that the meaning behind the designs of armorial bearings is rarely recorded, if there was ever any meaning at all. The earliest and simplest coats of arms were devised purely for visual recognition, for example on the battlefield or in sporting tournaments, and usually bore no more meaning than a jockey's colours or a football player’s shirt do today. This does not necessarily mean that there was no rationale behind the choice of design and the component parts, but only that it has not been recorded, at least not by the College of Arms. 

Ann Walker's Coat of Arms

Anne Lister’s courtship of Ann Walker, and the course of their life together, are well documented elsewhere²¹. 

Over time, Ann became interested in heraldry and applied to the College of Arms for registration of her coat of arms. Although it is not known whether Anne Lister fostered Ann’s interest, we do know that Anne and Ann attended the College of Arms together in 1835, and Anne’s journals note Ann working on her pedigree in 1835, 1836, and 1838. Ann contacted the College of Arms in 1838, and met with the herald Bluemantle Pursuivant in London in May of that year. See Appendix: Timeline of Journal Entries.

Given Anne’s class consciousness, and her awareness that Ann was “not a welcome part of the high society circle” (Euler 1995, 370), it is possible that she encouraged Ann to elevate her social standing by establishing and recording a pedigree and confirming her use of a coat of arms. The records of The Halifax Antiquarian Society (Bretton 1929, 100) note that the coat of arms pictured below (and rendered artistically by Biljana Popovic) was granted to “Miss Ann Walker, of Cliffe Hill and Crow Nest, Lightcliffe”, in about 1842. In fact, the College of Arms holds a copy of Letters Patent dated 9 December 1842, declaring the grant of arms and crest to Ann Walker of Cliffe Hill in the parish of Halifax, a spinster, youngest daughter of the late John Walker and sister and coheir of his son, also John, of Crow Nest. 

The College of Arms records the (Ann) Walker pedigree going back seven generations. These records also note that Ann had petitioned for the authorised arms and crest to be granted, in order to properly use them on a monument to her late father, and for the coat of arms to be borne by his descendants. Although there is no evidence that Ann arranged a dedication to her father bearing the coat of arms, the design was used on a brass memorial plaque (a portion of which is shown below), which was dedicated by Ann’s nephew, Evan Charles Sutherland Walker, in 1864 to a number of Walker ancestors who died between 1676 and 1809. Memorial brasses quite commonly bore coats of arms (Franklin 1973, 101), and the Walker plaque is to be found beneath a window in the Halifax Minster. 

close up of elaborate coat of arms etched in golden metal
a drawing of of elaborate coat of arms with black banner, black moons, and yellow stars
The Walker coat of arms as depicted in a memorial plaque at the Halifax Minster and the artistic render of the same arms by Biljana Popovic. Photo of coat of arms in brass plaque by Marlene Oliveira. 

However, although the Halifax Minster’s ceiling is adorned with several panels painted with coats of arms, most of these were painted in the 17th and 18th centuries (that is, before a coat of arms was granted to Ann’s family); and although some were painted in the 19th century, Ann Walker’s coat of arms is not one of them. 

In April 1834, Anne Lister records perusing William Berry’s Encyclopaedia Heraldica, and finding arms mentioned “the same as those now borne by the Walkers of Crownest”. It is clear from Anne’s journal, therefore, that in 1834 the Walkers were using some coat of arms that they were not entitled to use. The 1842 text of the College of Arms which accompanied the grant of arms to Ann Walker stated that the arms and crest previously used by her family had not been registered with the College as belonging to them. It appears that Ann’s family had borne the coat of arms of another Walker family from whom they could not prove their descent, or that they had used the coat of arms of a Walker family with which they had no connection at all. 

According to the records of the College of Arms, Ann Walker’s coat of arms is formally blazoned thus:

The Crest: On a wreath of the colours a greyhound passant argent semy of mullets and gorged with a collar gemel sable

The Arms: Argent on a chevron nebuly between three crescents sable as many mullets or 

The Motto is “Per ardua virtus”, meaning “virtue through difficulties”

> black and white illustration of a white greyhound with a striped collar facing left with starts all-over its body walking over a trail of alternating black and white circles
The College of Arms' sketch of the Crest

The Crest

The Wreath is the twisted band, typically of two colours, just underneath the greyhound

The Colours are the principal colours of the arms, here argent and sable

The Greyhound is said to denote courage, swiftness and loyalty, and was representative of nobility. More generally, a dog is said to represent fidelity and reliability

Passant describes the stance of a beast walking past, usually with the right forepaw raised, and typically facing to dexter 

Argent is the colour silver

Semy means strewn over with several images

Mullet is a five-pointed star

Gorged means “having a collar”

Collar Gemel means two narrow collars

Sable is the colour black

black and white illustration of a shield with 3 halfmoons with concave ends facing up and a wiggly banner across the middle
The College of Arms' sketch of the Arms 

The Arms

Argent is the colour silver

Chevron is an inverted V-shaped band

Nebuly refers to wavy or undulating edges

Crescent is a half-moon shape with the points uppermost

Sable is the colour black

Mullet is a five-pointed star

Or is the colour gold 

Following Ann Walker’s death in 1854, her nephew, Evan Charles Sutherland, inherited the Walker estate. As a condition to the inheritance, as stipulated by Ann Walker’s will, and in order to be authorised to use the Walker coat of arms, Sutherland added “Walker” to his name. 

"Provided also that every person having a surname or arms different from the surname or arms hereinafter required to be used who shall become entitled as beneficial tenant for life (...) shall as to every such tenant within eighteen calendar months after he or she shall become entitled in possession (...) endeavour to obtain an Act of Parliament or License from the Crown authorizing such person to assume and use my surname either alone or in addition to his or her usual surname (but so that the name of Walker shall be the last and principal name) and the arms of Walker quartered with his or her Family Arms and shall on obtaining such Act or License assume and thenceforth use the same Surname and Arms accordingly And that as well every such person or persons as every person excluded from the aforesaid requisitions by reason of his or her already bearing the surname and arms aforesaid shall continue the use of such Surname and Arms And that in case of neglect or refusal to comply with all or any of the requisitions of this proviso the estate or estates hereby limited for the life of the person (...) shall cease (...)"

Extract fom Ann Walker's will (PROB 11/2192/68)

By royal licence in 1856, Evan Charles was granted the right to use the name Walker, and to bear the arms of Walker “quarterly in the first quarter”. The arms were required to be first exemplified and recorded in the Herald’s Office, and the licence was recorded in The London Gazette.

a black and white newspaper clipping
From The London Gazette, December 23, 1856 © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. 

In 1883, Evan Charles Sutherland and his son, William Tudor, gave formal notice that they wished to discontinue use of the name Walker, and presumably, as a consequence, they lost the right to use the Walker coat of arms. 

a black and white newspaper clipping
From John O’Groat Journal, October 18, 1883 © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. 
21. Anne Lister’s courtship of Ann Walker can be read both in Anne Lister’s journals and in published works, for example Anne Choma’s book “Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister”, and Jill Liddington’s “Nature’s Domain” and “Female Fortune - Land, Gender and Authority”. 

The Arms of Miss Lister and Miss Walker upon their Union 

Anne Lister noted in her journal on 12 February 1834 that she and Ann Walker were to exchange rings as a  symbol of their union, and they did so on 27 February 1834. Anne knew that she and Ann could not legally marry, but she was firm in her belief that she could stand before God and, before a clergyman, solemnise her union with another woman (Choma 2019, xvii - xviii). Anne and Ann took communion together at Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, York on Easter Sunday, 30 March 1834, to seal their union and to solemnise their commitment to one another. 

In 1834, there was no recognition, by church, state, or law, of same-sex marriage. Accordingly, the College of Arms had no rules regarding treatment of coats of arms upon such a union, and I have seen nothing to suggest that Anne and Ann sought to combine their coats of arms

Today, the College of Arms rules specify how coats of arms following a same-sex marriage may be conjoined. The Kings of Arms ruling of 29 March 2014 states: “A woman who contracts a same-sex marriage may bear arms on a shield or banner, impaling the arms of her wife with her own or (in cases where the other party is an heraldic heiress) placing the arms of her wife in pretence [in the centre]. The coat of arms of each party to the marriage will be distinguishable by the arms of the individual concerned being placed on the dexter side of the shield or banner (or displayed as the principal arms in cases where the other party is an heraldic heiress whose arms are borne in pretence)”²². (Author’s emphasis.)

An heraldic heiress is a woman whose father rightfully bore arms, and who is either an only child or who has no surviving brothers or any surviving nephews by deceased brothers (Franklin 1973, 64). In 1834, following a male-female marriage, the arms of an heraldic heiress would be placed on a smaller shield which would sit in the centre of her husband's arms. 

Anne Lister’s last surviving brother, Samuel, died childless in 1813 (Liddington 2019, 5 and 10), and, as her other three brothers died in childhood (Liddington 2019, 5), and were therefore also without issue, Anne was an heraldic heiress. By the time that Ann Walker was granted arms in 1842, her only brother who survived to adulthood, John, had died (1830), and his only child died in childbirth (also 1830); and although the Walker family had used a coat of arms incorrectly, when the College of Arms recorded Ann’s pedigree in (or shortly after) 1843, it went back seven generations. Thus, it is evident that Ann, too, was an heraldic heiress.  

The College of Arms has confirmed that, today, where both parties are heraldic heiresses, each woman may, upon marriage, impale her own arms with her wife’s in pretence. Thus, if both Anne Lister and Ann Walker were living today, and if they were both heraldic heiresses, and if they contracted a same-sex marriage under modern legal terms, they would respectively have the right to bear arms which could look like this: 


a black and white coat of arms with black banner and yellow stars placed over a colorful coat of arms with a red corner, black banner, and yellow stars


a colorful coat of arms with a red corner, black banner, and yellow stars placed over a black and white coat of arms with black banner and yellow stars
Artwork by Biljana Popovic.

In 1834, the absence of legal recognition of a same-sex marriage could have been viewed as an opportunity to ignore existing conventions, and Anne and Ann, both interested in heraldry, and Ann, interested in art and sketching, could, in theory, have combined and reinterpreted their arms as they wished (although, again, in no respect would the result have been formally recognised). The artwork (below) of Biljana Popovic imagines one style in which Anne and Ann, in the absence of any such constraining rules, could have chosen to do this (“quartering” is an heraldic term for dividing a shield into four): 

a colorful coat of arms designed with quartered sections of either yellow background with black dots and a black banner with yellow stars or a grey background with blue moons and a blue banner with white stars. all this topped by a brown stag, a greyhound, and a helmet crowned with a yellow, a white, and a blue plume
Artwork by Biljana Popovic.
22. From the author’s private correspondence with the College of Arms. 

Anne’s Life, and its End 

Anne Lister’s life was – to us, today – extraordinary, and remarkable for its unconventionality. At the same time, despite her unorthodox manners and behaviours, she wanted, somehow, to fit in, to be socially accepted, both locally and amongst the aristocratic circles that she sought to enter, and to be recognised for who she was. One way in which Anne established a sense of herself, at least, involved going down the highly traditional and rarefied route of proving her pedigree through the College of Arms. And yet, even in doing this, she pushed the boundaries: it is probable that the College of Arms did not, at the time, typically receive enquiries from women.

Displaying a coat of arms was a rather traditional visual means of seeking to influence how others should perceive her. For all of Anne’s pride in her heritage and her apparent self-confidence, she still had something to prove, both to herself and to others.

Anne and Ann left Shibden Hall in 1839 for an extended tour of northern Europe and Russia. Anne died in Koutais (or Kutaisi), in what is now Georgia, on 22 September 1840. Ann arranged for Anne’s body to be returned to England, a journey which took about six months, and it reached Shibden Hall on 24 April 1841; it was interred in Halifax Parish Church, now Halifax Minster, on 29 April 1841. Although little is known about Anne’s funeral ceremony (for example, who attended), from newspaper archives we do know that the coffin was “most splendid”, and that it bore the family’s coat of arms. Even after her death, Anne’s prestige was evident to the many who reportedly bore witness.

a black and white newspaper clipping
From The Leeds Times - Saturday 01 May 1841 © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. 

Appendix: Timeline of Journal Entries

28 December 1816 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0014

“My uncle and I went to Mr. Wilmot’s (in the square) to consult the registers - Got there a little after 11 and staid till near 3.” 

3 January 1817 (index entry) (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024

“Went to consult registers.”

7 January 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0015)

“My uncle and I got to Mr. Wilmot’s soon after 11, and staid looking over the registers till after 4 in the afternoon.”

8 January 1817 (index entry) (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“My uncle paid Mr. Wilmot*.”

[Note: Mr Wilmot was the curate at Halifax Parish Church, now Halifax Minster. ]

13 January 1817 (index entry) (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“Writing an answer to R.C-’s [Rouge Croix’s] 22 queries.”

20 January 1817 (index entry) (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)  

“Finished my answer to R.C-’s 22 queries.”

27 January 1817 (index entry) (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“Sent the letter to R.C- answering his 22 queries.”

15 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“but wrote the rough draft of a letter to Rouge Croix.”

16 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“In the afternoon wrote my letter to Rouge Croix.”

17 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/26/3/0024)

“My aunt … took my letters to the post - one to R.C. Herald’s College and one to M-”

24 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0003

“Wrote the copy of a letter to Rouge Croix Herald’s College in answer to one from him this morning - to say the court rolls were sent by the mail - they arrived safe this afternoon.” 

25 March 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0003

“My uncle took to the post my letter to the R.C. Herald’s College   Chose Propositi tenax for the family motto.”

26 April 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0007)

“Got back to tea, and brought home with me the tin case (just arrived by the Manchester coach from London) containing the official copy of the record of our pedigree as it is entered in the college. We are all much pleased with it and the whole expense is but 27-18-0 - all which Rouge Croix seems to have paid in fees and other expenses, except 5-5-0, his own fee for his trouble of compilation etc”

29 April 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0007)

“spent the rest of the morning in looking over the pedigree sent by Rouge Croix and in copying out a letter for my uncle to write to Rouge Croix acknowledging the receipt of the thing on Saturday and enclosing a draught for 28 pounds. There are 7 trifling inaccuracies in the roll, otherwise it is perfectly well done and well worth the draft for £28. In the afternoon took my uncle’s letter to Rouge Croix, College of Arms, London, and after seeing it marked in the office, gave it to the boy who was just setting off on horseback with the London post” 

4 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0009)

“Mrs Bagnold sent up a letter from Rouge Croix (London) in a frank directed to me, but he, being in a hurry, had only time to write to my uncle to acknowledge the receipt of his letter and draft sent on Tuesday - to say he had got the errors mentioned corrected in the college records (except that of Thomas Lister and Mary Ramsden being children of Thomas Lister by his 2nd wife Phoebe (Wood) instead of Sibill (Hemingway) which having been wrong entered by Edward Hanson at the visitation of 1666 would require extracts from the registers and any other evidence we might have, to prove the error before it could be corrected) and to desire the roll might be sent back, the mistakes might be amended as handsomely as possible”

6 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0009)

“Wrote a letter for my uncle to write to Rouge Croix - After breakfast wrote a longish note to Rouge Croix and kept a copy - as also a copy of the letter my uncle wrote - My uncle sent off the roll, and our 2 letters enclosed, to Rouge Croix College of Arms, London, this morning by the mail -”

19 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0012)

Received from London the pedigree roll, corrected by Rouge Croix - no letter inclosed - Everything done right, except in the instance of our 1st Richard - where it is said that ‘Hipperholm is a graveship in the township of Northowram.’ It ought to have been, as I expressly mentioned in my note to Rouge Croix, Northowram a township in the graveship of Hipperholm - Spent the afternoon in look[in]g over the pedigree and making notes - Some from Volume 2, Leland’s life of Philip, dated Shibden Hall, Monday 12 May 1817’.”

20 May 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0012)

“Wrote a few lines to Rouge Croix to acknowledge the receipt of the roll yesterday - … Sent my letter to Rouge Croix in the afternoon in time for today’s post -”

5 June 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0016)

“My uncle Lister in shewing him the pedigree and entirely unrolling it, discovered a letter to me from Rouge Croix, dated 15 May, but which we did not find before in consequence of its being enclosed in the 1st fold of the parchment - of course Rouge Croix would think my very brief acknowledgement of the receipt of the parcel and my making no mention of his letter somewhat odd I shall therefore write tomorrow or Sunday and explain the thing”

8 June 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0016)

“Before breakfast wrote a letter (and took a copy of it) to Rouge Croix” 

9 June 1817 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/1/0016)

“My uncle took my letter to Rouge Croix to the post in the morning”

24 September 1821 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/5/0066)

“Mr Watkinson called” “- and brought the old papers nineteen of them which Rouge Croix had for the drawing out of our pedigree”

26 April 1822 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/5/0123)

“At 12 1/4 went to Mr. Buckle’s office in the minster yard wanting to look at some old wills in hope of finding old Richard’s, and others that might throw some light upon our pedigree – …  nearly two hours there, and after reading over 11 wills, found nothing satisfactory” 

[Note: Minster Yard is in York]

12 August 1824 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/8/0030)

“Then wrote the copy of a letter to Mr Radclyffe late Rouge Croix”

13 August 1824 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/8/0031)

“Wrote about one page to Mr Radclyffe, late Rouge Croix, to say my uncle desired to give his compliments and he beg he would take an early opportunity of inserting his (my uncle’s) name on his list of subscribers to his proposed work “Dugdale’s Heraldic Visitation of Yorkshire 1665 - 1666””

28 August 1824 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/8/0036 to WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/9/0037)

“From 8 10/60 to 9 10/60 took a stroll along Coventry Street, Halfhide and Co., No. 7. Will cut me a seal with a motto e.g. a violet under a hedge with the motto il faut me chercher, for a guinea. Cutting my arms would be 3 guineas – … Regent Street and the toute ensemble Portland Place, etc. magnificent – met with a seal cutter no. 260 who would cut a fancy seal (a violet and il faut me chercher) for about 12 /., ladies’ arms 1 1/2 guineas, gentlemans 2 guineas without a motto, and 2 1/2 with one – Silvester no. 27 Strand would charge 18 /. for the fancy seal, 2 guineas for a lady’s arms, and 2 1/2 for a gentlemans – cheaper than Halfhide – ” 

23 December 1826 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/10/0035)

“a little before 2 Mellorio’s man brought the plate - 6 grands couverts, i.e. 6 tables spoons and 6 forks weighing 4[?] 1oz. [ounce] 1 1/2 gram 228/. façon 24/. engraving the arms 12/. = 264/. 2 salt spoons 9/. ‘1 Pince à sucre’ 1 pair sugar nippers 14/. engraving the arms on the 3 last articles 3/. - ” 

19 November 1828 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/11/0094)

“Madame de Rosny called some weeks ago and then sent a parcel ‘which to my great surprise I found on opening contained our family coat of arms embroidered’”

[Note: Anne is quoting from a letter to her Aunt Anne.]

14 March 1834 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0007)

“wrote and sent note to 'Mr. or Mrs. Waterhouse Wellhead’ compliments - ask if they can let me have the catalogue of Rouge Croix’s letters and if Mr. W- [Waterhouse] ordered one for me at Whitleys – ”

16 March 1834 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0008 to WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0009)

“civil note from Mr Waterhouse with the catalogue of Mr. Radcliffe’s (quondam Rouge Croix) catalogue of MSS [manuscripts] and letters etc. now selling at the ‘prices affixed by Thomas Thorpe, no. [number] 38, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London’ 1834. The widow is in a madhouse and her scamp of a son (said Mr. Parker yesterday) takes this means of raising money – … and wrote to 'Mr. Thomas Thorpe’ to desire him to send me no. [number] 467, Lister pedigree, £2.2.0, of the catalogue if still unsold; if not, to inform me who is the purchaser - on receipt of the papers will immediately an order on Messrs Hammerleys for the money - 'I am, sir, &c. &c. &c.’ - … 'no. [number] 467 Lister pedigree. - Abstract of the will of Samuel Lister, of Shipden [sic]  hall, parish of H[alifa]x, York, 1632 - Letter of John Pate Neville, Esquire Doncaster, 1812, relative to recording the Genealogy of the Listers in the College of arms. - Ten letters of Miss A. Lister, 1816-17, relative to the pedigrees of Lister of Shibden hall, replete with very interesting notices of the early descent of the family, from their branching off from the Listers of Gisburne and settling at Ovendeyne, now Ovenden, near H[alifa]x, about the year 1399. - very copious notices, from registers, of the births, baptisms, marriages, and burials of the Listers of Shibden hall, 1554-1771 - Lists of proofs wanting, 1817, relating to the completion of the pedigree - Two letters of Miss A. Lister 1824-25, announcing the decease of several of the family who had died since the completion of the pedigree - Letter of E.C. Lister, Esquire of Manningham, as a subscriber to Radcliffe’s Yorkshire pedigrees, 1827. Pedigree of the Cunliffes of Ickley, in Wharfdale, connected by marriage with the Listers. 2£ 2s. shillings’ - ”

29 April 1834   (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0023)

“Miss Walker and I out at 1 1/4 – … ordered at Cattle and Barbers tea-kettle cresting with Dr Belcombe’s crest, and looked at Berrys Encyclopaedia Heraldica 2 volumes 4to [quarto] cost 8 guineas and Edmonstones heraldry, and a small 4to [quarto] manuscript book of crests – Walker’s arms mentioned in the two 1st works the same as those now borne by the Walkers of Crownest – Listers of Shibden not mentioned – ”

2 May 1834   (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0025)

“Filled up tax paper entering Thomas Beech footman, chaise i.e. 1 4-wheeled carriage, and armorial bearings blazoned on the carriage – ”

16 May 1834 (Female Fortune - Land, Gender and Authority, The Anne Lister Diaries and Other Writings, 1833 - 1836, by Jill Liddington)

In a letter to Mariana Lawton: 

“[Shibden is] my own place where my family had lived between 2 & 3 centuries, I being the 15th possessor of my family and name”

20 May 1834   (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0034 to  WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0035)

“Stopt 5 minutes at Barber & Whitwell’s – got the seal (Foi est tout on a scroll) a birthday present to Miss W- [Walker] and left to be crested the Northgate plate that was uncrested 2 gravy spoons 18 Dessert ditto 2 sauce ladles 12 dinner forks (and one crested for a pattern) and 1 fish knife - ” 

22 May 1834 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0035 to WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0036)

“read a little of Clarkson's history of Richmond 1 volume 4to [quarto] (1st. 6 pages wanting) - Bearing of arms, originally a military institution, not established before the year 1147, the beginning of the 2nd holy war, to avoid confusion among the number of illustrious persons, and worn on the shield - not upon the great seals of our Kings before Richard 1st who at 1st bore 2 lions rampant guardant, the arms of Normandy; he afterwards added another lion from his being the son of Eleanor, daughter and heiress of William duke of Aqitain [Aquitaine] and Guyenne, and bore then all 3 passant prendant, the present blazon for England - Arms not fixed to families or hereditary, immediately after the commencement of the fashion - sometimes changed by the same person - sometimes by their posterity - Fuller says hereditary arms were not fixed to families before the reign of Henry 3. Seals commence about the end of the 12th century but most of them only represented a Knight on horseback, armed cap-a-pie with a drawn sword in his hand, but without any device upon his shield - 'about the year 1366, the great seals of subjects went out of use, when smaller ones of arms came into fashion among people of the 1st distinction those of prelates were of an oval shape, to which some mystical signification was attached, those of temporal lords a perfect circle. See Gale, Preface, page 115. Edmondson's heraldry volume 1 page 183' (taken from note to page 28/446 (+ appendix pages 132) Clarkson's history of Richmond)”

2 June 1834 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0040)

“wrote (and sent) note to Lowe the tailor as from my father ordering 1/2 gross large crested buttons … and an undress suit of livery … - sent at the same time my uncle’s crest die for the buttons”

19 January 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/17/0148)

“Then looking at the pedigree and setting Ann to copy the arms till 11 5/..”

11 May 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0033)

“then with A- [Ann] till 4 helping her to make out words in her old wills she was copying”

13 May 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0033)

“about an hour with A- [Ann] till 4 trying to help her to make out papers of 1630 or 40 or thereabouts”

6 August 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0075)

“then drove to the Herald’s college … 2 officers of the college there ready to answer inquiries … the one who was chief speaker who gave his address and to whom we are to write (gave my own address) was “Mr. G. H. Rogers HarrisonHerald’s College … ” - began by asking to see my own pedigree hoped that Mr. Radcliffe, then rouge croix had done all right … yes! all right but the deaths should be entered - I must write and give the dates, and sign in verification of the same - … asked Mr. Harrison to make out the connection with the Ribblesdales and any other connection he could - then asked about the arms of Walker, and set A- to work - the arms borne by the W-s [Walkers] of Walterclough argent a chevron sable charged with 3 garbs or not be found under the name of W- [Walker] but the Crownest W- [Walker] arms evidently the original arms of W- [Walker] varied in many ways - A- to make out what she can, and send it to Mr Harrison - thought she can connect herself with a Thomas W- [Walker] registered in the college as having purchased arms being of Bow near Stratford Middlesex in 1714 - arms granted 28 January that year - ”

26 September 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0104

“Said I would send him the trowel tonight with the copy of the inscription and an impression of my arms … I wrote out the following inscription for the trowel

ink drawing of squished circle with dotted decorations

To Miss Ann Walker the younger,

of Cliff Hill, Yorkshire 

For laying the first stone of the Casino, to be annexed to the Northgate Hotel, 

at Halifax …”

19 December 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0147)

“Letter tonight from the Herald’s college from Mr George H Rogers Harrison fearing that, as I had said in August last when at the college I would in a month send the family pedigree to have some additions made - either there was some mistake or if the roll had been sent it might be lost”

30 December 1835 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0152)

“then by 3 40/.. had written sealed and directed and copied into my business letter book Letter to “George H Rogers Harrison Esquire Blue Mantle Herald’s College London post paid Wednesday 30 December” … - my letter to Bluemantle thanks for his of the 18th instant - on my return in August last, my being in London soon again seemed probable so kept the pedigree roll to put it into his hands myself - Still hoped to do this but my leaving home might yet be delayed some months – in daily expectation of the death of my aunt and the age of my father so advanced and his health so precarious th[e]re would probably be 2 more deaths to register than I thought of in August - ”

13 January 1836 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/18/0160)

“then sat with Ann reading the 1st 45 pages of Brydons Heraldry that came this afternoon from the library by George - ”

26 April 1836 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/19/0033)

“A-[Ann] sat copying out of Robson’s British Herald the different coats of arms borne by the different families of Walker -”

2 May 1838 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/21/0089)  

“… then began to pack. Ann had done hers and now sat working at, and finishing her pedigree for Mr Harrison, Blue Mantle, which took her till near 3 on Wednesday morning … then at 4 looked into my journals for the deaths to be entered into my pedigree by Mr Harrison”

5 May 1838 (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/21/0090)

“… Mr Harrison Bluemantle came at 11 and waited: ten minutes or more - then staid 1/2 hour - took away with him Ann’s sketch of pedigree which she had done very neatly, and took my pedigree to enter the deaths”

16 September 1839   (WYAS - SH:7/ML/E/TR/14/0011)

“– our books I believe were all taken out of the carriage and looked at; but, as desired, I copied the list I have and the Stockholm date dated it Stockholm as really dated there, and signed it ‘Anne Lister de Shibden hall’ and then enclosed it in an envelope and as desired sealed it with my own seal my arms, wrote on the back ‘List of the books belonging to Mrs. Lister’ and sent this by Gross to the Douane to be forwarded to St. Peterburg, I engaging to go within six weeks to the Committee of censorship to claim the list – ” 

Glossary of terms


See also the author's talk about the Lister's Coat of Arms at the Anne Lister Research Summit from 27 September, 2020:


The completion of this article involved significant contributions by others, and I am enormously grateful to the following:

Marlene Oliveira, who has most generously shared a range of articles, photos, transcriptions, research materials, and her wide knowledge, and has patiently given of her time and technical expertise.

Dr Helen M. Parkins for her review of the composition of the original version of this article.

Jude Dobson, for sharing some of her research on local coats of arms.

The College of Arms, for being so interested in my enquiries, and so fulsomely answering them.

Biljana Popovic, for permitting me to use her stunning visual interpretations of coats of arms.

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, for giving their permission to include transcriptions of letters written by Anne and Jeremy Lister, and a range of items from the Lister collection.

Jennifer Briasco, for transcribing correspondence between Anne Lister, and James Lister, and Rouge Croix Pursuivant of the College of Arms, and for sharing the transcripts and permitting me to use them.

Lynne Miller, for sharing interesting and amusing findings on heraldry.

Tiffany April, Kathryn Williams, and Leila Straub, for sharing transcriptions and/or directing me to journal entries. 

You can see the Twitter thread from @PackedWith for further commentary:

You can see the Twitter thread from @PackedWith for further commentary:


On September 17, 2021

Expansion of background on the era and society in which Anne lived.

Addition of evidence of Anne’s interest in her pedigree when she was a child. 

New section on the right of women to bear arms. 

Enhanced discussion of coats of arms following a marriage - Anne and Ann as heraldic heiresses. 

Addition of further journal entries.

Addition of photos, drawings, West Yorkshire Archive Service papers, newspaper articles.

Short additions about Anne’s death and funeral.


On July 9, 2022

Correction of the livery buttons image caption.

On November 30, 2021

Correction of information on use of Walker coat of arms on brass memorial plaque in Halifax Minster.

On September 17, 2021

Minor adjustments to Lister and Walker coats of arms artworks. 

How to cite this article

If you'd like to cite this article in your works, please do so in a manner similar to this:

Shouls, Lynn. 2021. “The Lister and Walker Coats of Arms, and the Lister Proof of Pedigree” Packed with Potential. (accessed MONTH DAY, YEAR). 

Note: Don't forget to replace "MONTH", "DAY", and "YEAR" with the corresponding date in which you accessed this article.