Diary of Maria Shirley (fl 1811-1848) of Derby, 1846-1848

Scope and Content

Maria's diary is a hardback volume containing plain pages. Her entries cover the period 13 April1846-1 May 1848 during which time she lived in Derbyshire and the Isle of Man. The entries recorddetails about visitors to her home, the health and subsequent death of her husband, sermons andchurch activities that she witnessed, and her day to day pastimes, which included teachingchildren.

The diary provides a detailed account of the life of a vicar and bishop's wife during themid-19th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Maria Shirley was the daughter of William Waddington. She married Reverend Walter AugustusShirley (1797-1847) in Paris in 1827 and they had one son, Walter Waddington Shirley (1828-1866).Nothing is known of Maria's life other than what is revealed in her diary or what is known of herhusband. Fortunately the diary is a detailed account of two years of her life, and the career of herhusband, being a prominent churchman, is well documented. Maria appears to have taken an active roleas the wife of a vicar and bishop, attending church services and running classes for schoolchildren. Her diary begins after she had just moved from Brailsford, Derbyshire to Derby. She movedto the Isle of Man for a short time in 1847, and then returned to Derby in May of that year afterthe death of her husband.

Walter Augustus Shirley was born in Ireland, educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, andwas ordained in 1820. His career as a churchman began in Derbyshire but Shirley moved to Rome wherehe acted as a chaplain from 1826 to 1827. Following his marriage to Maria, he returned to Derbyshireto take his father's living as vicar at Shirley. He had the living of Whiston, near Rotherhamconjointly with Shirley in the mid-1830s before becoming parson of Brailsford, the neighbouringparish to Shirley. He was made archdeacon of Derby in 1840, and Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1846,moving to the Bishop's Court, Isle of Man a year later to take up the post. He died there in April1847.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Separated Material

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk). TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.

Custodial History

Nothing is known of the history of the ownership of the diary prior to its acquisition by TheUniversity of Nottingham's Library.

Related Material

  • Record Office for Leicestershire Leicester and Rutland: Papers of the Shirley (Ferrers) familyof Staunton Harold including correspondence of Maria Shirley to her son, William Waddington Shirley.