Ann, Lady Fanshawe


Ann, Lady Fanshawe, the royalist, well-travelled wife of the diplomat and writer Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608-66), wrote her Memoirs a decade after his death, largely as a posthumous memorial to him, addressed to her ‘most dear and only’ surviving son, Richard. Not published until 1829, the Memoirs survive in two recorded manuscript (FaA 1-2). Since the principle manuscript is written by an amanuensis, with her occasional additions, it may be based on an earlier draft by her (especially since she herself describes it as ‘Transcrib'd’), but its incompleteness (it ends with the words ‘...the King shut up the...’) might just as well signify that this was the only ‘full’ text produced by her and remained unfinished. Otherwise only later transcripts of this manuscript have been recorded (not given entries here) including one written in 1766 by Lady Ann's great granddaughter Charlotte Colman; a copy of that transcript made in 1786 and used for Nicolas's edition in 1829; and a transcript apparently made in 1876 which was item 27 in the catalogue for an exhibition of the manuscripts of Harry A. Walton at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, from 23 June to 15 September 1973.

One other manuscript associated with Lady Ann is her household recipe book (*FaA 3). Begun as early as 1651, after her temporary return to London from her travels on the continent, the recipes were largely entered, probably under her auspices, by one Joseph Averie, and the collection was continued for many years by herself and no doubt other members of her household. In 1678, two years before her death, Lady Ann gave the book to her daughter Katherine, who made her own additions to it at least up to 1707.

Other miscellaneous documents associated with Lady Ann survive in the National Archives, Kew, and elsewhere. Facsimiles of one signed by her in 1666 and of an autograph letter signed by her in 1668 appear in the 1907 edition of the Memoirs, facing pp. 576 and 584.

Peter Beal