Her Story in the Archives

The history of Mariana Percy Lawton (née  Belcombe)

Mariana Percy Lawton

On Tuesday, February 5th, 1788, Mariana Percy Belcombe entered the world in Vienne, Isère, France, to Dr. William Belcombe and Mrs. Mariana (Mary Anne) Belcombe (née Mountford). She died in Belsize Park, London, on Saturday, October 31, 1868, at the age of 80. 

Mariana is most well known as the second wife of diarist Anne Lister. Mariana and Anne Lister maintained a relationship from 1812 until 1834, when Anne married Ann Walker. They remained friends until Anne's death in 1840. Anne Lister documented this relationship in her journal, providing insight into Mariana's life and the people around her. 

Her Story in the Archives aims to uncover Mariana Lawton's life as an LGBTQIA+ woman living in the 19th century and those of her family and friends. By uncovering the stories of unknown women from the past, we can piece together our own history and make room for all the stories in the future. 

Portrait of Mariana Lawton, black dress, red shawl

Image courtesy of John Lawton

Portrait, bust painting of a young woman with white ruffly top.

Family, friends, pets, & enemies in Mariana's life. 

Picture of the east side of Lawton Hall, facing the pond.

Homes, graves, & other locations connected to Mariana.

Picture of a street sign with York Minster in the background

Research into various topics related to Mariana and the people in her life. 

Digital recreation of Mariana's handwriting, purple background white text

Transcriptions of Mariana's surviving letters in the archives. 

Picture of bullfinch with text overlay

Explainer videos, talks, and interviews about Mariana & the Belcombes. 

Cover art for podcast episode, black and white picture of St Michael le Belfrey, purple overlay above and below

A podcast diving into various aspects of Mariana's life.

Picture of the front of York Archive in York

Research & resources related to Mariana and her friends & family.

Sketch of Witney Cottage and picture of plaque below

Why I'm fascinated with Mariana & want to share her story. 

Recent Updates

Note: This site will continue to be updated as I organize my research and transform it into shareable content. 

Note: This site shares active research, and the facts and details included will continue to be updated as new information is uncovered. Please get in touch if you find an error or come across any other relevant information that can help clarify or expand on the topics.