IHBC’s ‘Heritage on the doorstep’: York Civic Trust on ‘the first modern lesbian’

websiteA rainbow plaque has been installed in York to mark one of Yorkshire’s earliest LGBTQQIP2SAA representatives, which has also been critiqued for its wording.

York Civic Trust writes:

To commemorate a woman described as the first modern lesbian, YCT have partnered with York LGBT History Month, York LGBT Forum, and The Churches Conservation Trust to unveil a Rainbow Plaque for one of Yorkshire’s earliest LGBT representatives, Anne Lister. Born in Halifax, 1791, Anne inherited Shibden Hall upon the death of her last brother, Samuel, providing Anne with the wealth and means to pursue her passion for travelling and to live her unconventionally masculine lifestyle.

The unveiling took place on Tuesday 24th July 2018 at the Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, York.

Anne’s fame extends primarily from her work as a diarist during her travels, whereby she wrote coded entries and thousands of letters that took historians years to finally decode. They were revealed to be love letters to a woman named Eliza Raine, whom she shared a bedroom with at The Manor boarding-school in York.  On March 30th 1834, Anne received the blessing of the Holy Trinity Church in York to privately contract a marriage to Ann Walker. The couple happily lived together until Lister’s death 6 years later.

The plaque consultation group as a whole are listening to the positives and negatives expressed about this plaque’s wording and we have released a statement.  Our response to critique of the Anne Lister memorial plaque at York Holy Trinity – If you would like to be involved in the future consultation on the wording of the plaque, please consider joining the email list at http://eepurl.com/dCzwyP  or follow @yorklgbthistory for updates.

View the news release

View York Press article on wording controversy

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