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Amos: Diaries and photographs of Anne Elizabeth Fisher (later Pike and Amos)

Reference Code: GBR/0269/DCPP/AMO

Scope and Contents

Handwritten diaries and photograph album, with some loose enclosures. The diaries provide a detailed description of the daily social life of a wealthy young lady during the Victorian era, in London and on visits around the country, including dinners, dances and parties, concerts, galleries, theatre and academic lectures. Many include lists of 'books recommended' or read. From 1864, Anne gave detailed accounts of sermons she had heard and exhibitions in London, also describing first-hand significant national events such as the funeral of Lord Wellington and the visit of Emperor Napoleon III, Royal weddings and celebrations and the start of the Crimean War.


  • Creation: 1852 - 1900


Biographical / Historical

Anne Elizabeth Fisher was born in 1836, the daughter of Dr. Anthony Lax Fisher (c.1798-c.1867) and Jane [daughter and heiress of William Tyler of Cavendish Square], living her early years in France, where her father was a medical adviser to the British Embassy in Paris. He was a close friend of the Downing College Professor of Medicine, William Webster Fisher, and Anne was fond of him, staying in Downing College at the start of this series, shortly after the death of her mother. William Tyler's will left a large inheritance to his daughter, Jane, which, after her death, was inherited by her daughter when she reached the age of twenty one. After Jane Fisher's death, £300 a year was provided for her daughter's education, a significant amount at the time. Anne received regular tuition, including languages, music, singing and dancing, to prepare her for Victorian society. In 1854, she and her father moved into 14 York Place in London, where they lived until her marriage to William Bennett Pike (Downing College chaplain, 1855-73) on 6 August 1864. They had at least six children together. In February 1871 they moved into Paston House in Bateman Street, Cambridge. [This was rebuilt by Philip Frere using materials from the 'Dungate' home of William Frere (2nd Master of Downing College), completed shortly before Philip Frere's death in 1868.] After William's death in May 1873, Anne married James Amos, a family friend and possibly second cousin, on 1 November 1875. He was the son of Andrew Amos, Downing Professor of the Laws of England (1848-1960), and Margaret Lax. Annie, as she was known by her family, died in 1908 in Cambridge and is buried in Mill Road Cemetery with her first husband and son.


13 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Conserved 2021. One original key (to one diary) and two new keys made to unlock six locked volumes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of P and M Berry. Mrs Berry was Annie's great-granddaughter.

Related Materials

DCHR/5/11 - DVD of typescript (unpublished) book, 'A Very Superior Lady', by Annie's grandson Denys Blakelock, including exact transcripts of the majority of journal entries (minus some of the extended gallery descriptions and sermon accounts) with historical and biographical contextual notes. Additional chapters on Annie 'The wife' include transcripts of letters between Annie and William which are especially important as diary entries cease during their marriage. This section also includes a note on the history of Paston House and its connection to the Frere family and the 'Paston letters'. The introduction and postscript by Blakelock include his own memories of visiting his grandmother at Paston House in her old age and how he came to understand the hidden meanings (mainly in relation to her relationship with James Amos before and after their marriage) in her journal entries.

More detailed biographical information about Annie and her family is available on the Mill Road Cemetery website:


Previous ref. DCHR/2/21

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Downing College Repository

Downing College Archive
Downing College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 762905