Ann Hurst

Ann Hurst was a woman of great tenacity who ran numerous businesses across Wakefield. In 1823, after the death of her husband Rowland, she inherited the printing press and publishing house that produced The Wakefield and Halifax Journal.

She soon set to work using the press to educate the public on the horrors and evils of slavery. She quickly gained a reputation in the north of England as a radical. With fellow Unitarian editors, Johnstone & Naylor, she raised an anti-slavery petition which was sent to parliament. She also published articles and editorials urging the public to rise up against the suffering caused by slavery, and she helped galvanise a political movement that saw the election of Wakefield’s first Liberal MP Daniel Gaskell, who had campaigned on the Abolitionist platform.

Ann Hurst is Blue Plaque Number 16 in our quest for #BluePlaqueParity.

We unveiled Ann’s blue plaque in a ceremony as part of the Heritage Action Zone project to commemorate International Women’s Day, 2021.

Ann Hurst Broadsheets

Find out all about Ann Hurst and her incredible life with our broadsheets below. Just click on broadsheet page you wish to read and then double click to zoom in and read at your leisure. Please contact us if you require the text in a different format.

Below, DTC’s Shannon S. Wishon envisions a version of Ann’s Wakefield & Halifax Journal:

Zainab Jode Artist Response

As part of this project we are delighted to have worked with Zainab Jode, a BAME artist who has brought a welcome and unique perspective to the experience.

Please click on each image to view Zainab’s work in full. You can view Zainab’s other work outside the FWW project on Instagram at @ZainabJode.

Artist Response: The Abolitionists Film Series

Written and directed by Emma Wise as part of Dream Time Creative’s Forgotten Women of Wakefield campaign for #blueplaqueparity, and funded by The Arts Council as part of the ‘Am I not a Woman & A Sister’ strand of the Visionary Women of Wakefield Heritage Action Zone project, this first film of a trilogy introduces Ann Hurst as one of the leading facilitators of the abolitionist movement within Wakefield.

Ann Hurst Blue Plaque Unveiling

Ann Hurst’s plaque was unveileld on International Women’s Day, 2021. See the online unveiling below. 

And below is Ann Hurst’s plaque in situ with project leader Sarah Cobham and theatrical director Emma Wise in attendence:

The British Library

Ann Hurst is featured in this British Library film as part of their Breaking the News Project 2022 and released for #iwd2022. Watch it below!

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