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Celebrating Hampshire's Historians

Chapman, Annie Beatrice Wallis


Annie was born in Paddington and appears to have resided for most of her life in this part of London. Her death was recorded in Hampstead. She never married. Nothing has been discovered about her education or what stimulated her interest in history, beyond noting that at some point she was awarded a BSc. In 1907 an article by her, ‘The Commercial Relations of England and Portugal, 1487-1807’, was published in The Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. This had clearly involved a considerable amount of original research by Annie.

In her early life she was heavily involved in the campaign for women’s suffrage. With her younger sister, Mary, she published The Status of Women under the English Law 1066-1909 (The Women Citizen Publishing Society, 1909). She also wrote many articles on a variety of subjects for publication in the Free Church League’s The Coming Day. On the 1911 census form her personal occupation is shown as ‘historical research’. How she became involved with the Southampton Record Society is not known, but her contribution to its series of publication was greatly appreciated.


‘The “Black Book” of Southampton’, Hampshire Advertiser, 05.02.1916


Contribution to county’s history

In editing the three volumes of the Black Book of Southampton covering the period 1388 to 1620, Chapman assisted in ‘bringing to the light of day … more of the interesting series of ancient documents’, which were being cared for in the strong room of the corporation at Audit House (Hampshire Independent, 20.12.1913).

Relevant published works

  • Three publications of the Southampton Record Society:

    13. The Black Book* of Southampton Vol 1 1388 -1414 (Southampton: Cox and Sharland, 1912)

    14. The Black Book of Southampton Vol 2 1414-1503 (Southampton: Cox and Sharland, 1912)

    17. The Black Book of Southampton Vol 3 1497-1620 (Southampton: Cox and Sharland, 1915)

* The term ‘Black Book’ referred to its ‘black leather cover’ not its content.  (Hampshire Advertiser, 05.02.1916).

Critical Comments

One of the general editors of the Southampton Record Series, Harry Gidden, wrote of the Black Book vol 1 Mss: ‘I can congratulate the Society on a work the value of which, in my opinion, will be inestimable. It is really a history of land tenure, and the work will be invaluable’ (Hampshire Independent, 27.01.1912)

Other Comments

It is not clear what caused the delay in the publication of the third volume. However, when it appeared Miss Chapman, while being praised for her ‘scholarly and careful editorship’, made clear her appreciation of the help she had received from the general editors, Paul Studer and Harry Gidden, and from Miss Sims MA of Southampton and the Revd Clutterbuck ‘whose … (manuscript) was placed at her disposal’ (Hampshire Advertiser, 05.02.1916). Thus, it was, in many respects, a joint enterprise.


Roger Ottewill (25.02.2022)


Southampton, Southampton Record Society, Black Book of Southampton

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