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Diary of Anne Elizabeth Fisher, later Pike, vol XI, 1861-04-16 - 1874-02-22

Reference Code: GBR/0269/DCPP/AMO/11

Scope and Contents

Diary entries up to 3 September 1863. Includes, at back: list of books read, 1861-62. Also includes pressed flowers, newspaper cuttings [including ones relating to the death of William Bennett Pike, May 1873], letter from Sarah Davison to 'Annie' from Hartlepool, 31 Dec 1861, sending new year wishes and with news of her daughter, Ada, following the breaking off of her engagement, letter from J L Bereton to 'Mrs Pike' from Norwich House, 4 July 1863, relating to a book and dealing with grief and a scrap of paper from 'Anne' [surname unclear]. Notable entries include: (17 May-5 June) return to Downing, with (18 May) review of the Volunteer Corps, the Inns of Court and Boat Procession, followed by dinner in the Hall at Downing College, where Annie was joined by Mrs Mowbray Morris and two other ladies - unusual for ladies to dine in Hall; description of various outings with Mr Pike, to Milton Hall and Madingley Hall, and services and gatherings in Downing, before (4 June) Annie and Mr [William Bennett] Pike are engaged to be married; (2 Oct) brief description of a four month stay at Tower House, Sydenham Hill, including details of William's travels to Jersey, Guernsey, Exeter and Switzerland over the summer before returning to Downing as Dean and Tutor; at Brighton (10 Oct - 21 Nov 1861), heard Charles Dickens read 'David Copperfield' and saw the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Mary ('always among the plainest dressed and constantly on the Parade, but certainly not parading'); (23 Dec 1861) news of the death and funeral [detailed description of atmosphere and public response] of the Prince Consort; (8 Feb 1862) reference to a 'school treat' in Southward by James Amos and his wife for the benefit of 120 working class girls and their work in support of them; (11 Feb) news of subscriptions for a memorial for Prince Albert and for the families bereaved by the recent and 'frightful' [Hartley] colliery disaster; (22 Mar) visit to Charles Mathews' 'At Home' ('amusing entertainment... Mrs Mathews [his second wife, Lizzie Davenport] is vulgar and exaggerates her parts'); (7 June) 'there are grand doings next week' in Cambridge with the installation of the Duke of Devonshire as their new Chancellor; various visits to the [International] Exhibition; (16 Mar 1863) description of celebrations and decorations for the arrival of Princess Alexandra of Denmark and her wedding to the Prince of Wales, including disapproval of Annie and the general public at the Queen attending the wedding in his 'widow's weeds!'; (8 Apr) William [Bennett Pike] travels to London with the Cambridge Deputation to present the Address of Congratulation to the Prince and Princess of Wales at Marlborough House; (May) listens to Charles Dickens read Nicholas Nickleby, taking the part of Squeers; (22 June) to Royal Geographical Society to welcome home Captains Grant and [John Hanning] Speke' the discoverers of the source of the Nile; (3 July) meeting of the Society for the Employment of Women, with a description of Bessie Parkes (who they saw but were disappointed not to hear); (from 1 Aug) description of her travels through France, Switzerland and Germany, returning to York Place on 3 September; note that they visited Downing in both January and June 1864, the latter to attend the Fitzwilliam and Trinity Balls on 2nd and 3rd June in honour of the Prince and Princess of Wales, 'which were rather events [underlined] in their way'; description of their marriage on 6 August 1864 [followed by a long gap in journal entries]; historical notes about the history of her house (with William) at Paston House, in Cambridge, built partly with the addition of a section of Dungate, the former home of Downing's second Master, William Frere, by Philip Frere and his wife, (who lived briefly in Paston House before the Pikes), including reference to the 'Paston Letters'. The journal recommences in 1873, with a retrospective account of the last months of her husband's life. William Bennett Pike was thrown from a horse in March which resulted in an abscess causing a steady decline in health and his eventual death on 16 May 1873. Carriages of the Masters of Trinity, Trinity Hall, Sidney Sussex and Downing attended his funeral and their son, William Bennett Pike, was born on 12 July 1873, two months after his father's death. Annie's grief is reflected in entries recording frequent visits to his grave and she lists all his anniversary presents to her during their marriage.


  • Creation: 1861-04-16 - 1874-02-22


Biographical / Historical

Annie married William Bennett Pike in August 1864.


1 volume(s) (1 vol)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Denys Blakelock's transcript of the journals, DCHR/5/11, includes copies of three letters between Annie and William in the months (which appear to have been difficult ones) following their engagement. Later letters from William, 18 and 21 December 1861, describe the University's reaction to news of the Prince Consort's death and stepts to elect a replacement Chancellor.


Pike, Anne Elizabeth

Finding aid date

2013-02-13 16:53:19+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Downing College Repository

Downing College Archive
Downing College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ United Kingdom
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