Halkett, Anne (DNB00)
HALKETT, Lady ANNE or ANNA (1622–1699), royalist and writer on religious subjects, born in London 4 Jan. 1622, was the younger daughter of Thomas Murray, a cadet of the Tullibardine family, who had been appointed by James I tutor to his son Charles, and subsequently was provost of Eton College. Her mother was Jane Drummond, related to the noble family of Perth, who, after acting as sub-governess to the Duke of Gloucester and the Princess Elizabeth during the absence of the Countess of Roxburgh, succeeded on the death of the countess to her office. Anne lost her father when she was only three years old, and was carefully educated by her mother. She and her sister Jane were sent to masters to be instructed in French, dancing, and playing on the lute and virginals, and a gentlewoman was kept for instructing them in needlework. Special importance was also attached to her religious instruction, and in her early years she was seldom or never absent 'from divine service at five o'clock in the morning in summer, and six o'clock in the winter' (Autobiography p. 3). In order to help the poor she studied physic and surgery with such success that patients sought her from all parts of England and Scotland as well as from the continent. In 1644 her affections became engaged to Thomas Howard, eldest son of Edward, lord Howard. Her mother forbade the match on account of the small fortune of the lovers. She would not marry in defiance of her mother, but promised to marry no one else. She asked her relative, Sir Patrick Drummond, to procure her admission to a protestant nunnery in Holland, but he succeeded in reconciling her to her mother. In July 1646 Howard married Lady Elizabeth Mordaunt. Anne's mother died on 28 Aug. of the following year, and shortly afterwards, through her brother Will, she made the acquaintance of Joseph Bampfield [q. v.] He pleased her by his serious discourse, and she helped him in contriving the escape of the Duke of York by procuring from her tailor a female disguise for the duke. She herself dressed the duke in the disguise at the waterside—and provided him also with a Woodstreet cake—before he entered the barge that conveyed him to the ship at Greenwich. After the escape of the duke she had frequent interviews with Bampfield, who made use of her in the conveyance of letters between him and the king. He persuaded her that his wife was dead, and offered her his hand. In the autumn of 1649 she was on a visit to Anne, wife of Sir Charles Howard of Naworth Castle, when she heard of Bampfield's arrest, and was then informed that his wife was alive. This caused a serious illness, in which her life was despaired of. Her recovery was assisted by the happy news that—as she supposed in answer to her prayers—Bampfield had escaped from the Gatehouse. At the instance of Bampfield, in whose good faith she had still implicit trust, the Earl of Derwentwater promised that if she came to Scotland he would assist her in the recovery of part of her inheritance. Bampfield was himself then in Scotland. She reached Edinburgh on 6 June 1650, and was introduced to Charles II at Dunfermline. After the battle of Dunbar she left on 2 Sept. for the north, but was delayed two days at Kinross, attending the soldiers wounded in the battle. On Reaching Perth she received the special thanks of the king for the exercise of her skill, and he sent her from Aberdeen a reward of fifty pieces. Bampfield still protested his innocence, and she consented to an interview. She remained for about two years with the Countess of Dunfermline at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, where she was visited by a large number of sick and wounded persons. In June 1652 she returned to Edinburgh, where she began a law-suit for the recovery of the portion left her by her mother. She stayed there to assist Bampfield in royalist plots. In February 1652-3 he left to promote a rising in the north, when she was disquieted by the prediction of Jane Hambleton, supposed to be gifted with the second sight, that Bampfield should never be her husband, and shortly afterwards news reached her that Bampfield's wife was undoubtedly living in London (ib. p. 83). Sir James Halkett, who had already paid her his addresses, now induced her to undertake the charge of his two daughters, and to give him also a conditional promise of marriage. In 1654 she paid a visit to London, when Bampfield obtained an interview by surprise, and asked whether she was married to Sir James Halkett. She said 'I am' (out aloud), and secretly said 'not.' He immediately rose up and said, 'I wish you and him much happiness together' (ib. p. 99). She was married to Halkett 2 March 1656 at her sister's house at Charleton, and a few days afterwards returned to Scotland. While pregnant with her first child, and apprehensive that she might die in childbirth, she wrote a tract entitled 'The Mother's Will to her Unborn Child.' On the death of Charles I she had been deprived of her interest, amounting to 412l. annually, due upon an unexpired lease of Barhamstead, a house and park belonging to the king. She had also found that her 'malignancy' had rendered her efforts for the recovery of 2,000l. of her portion entirely fruitless. At the Restoration she applied for compensation, but received nothing more than 500l out of the exchequer, and 50l. from the Duke of York as a gift to one of her children. After her husband's death in 1676 she found it necessary to supplement her income by taking the charge, in her house at Dunfermline, of the education of the children of several persons of rank. James II, after his accession in 1685, rewarded her services to him in assisting his escape by a pension of 100l. a year. She died 22 April 1699.
Lady Halkett left twenty volumes in manuscript, chiefly on religious subjects. A list of the contents is given in her 'Life,' prefixed to the volume of her writings published in 1701. This volume contains: (1) 'Meditations on the Seventieth and Fifth Psalm;' (2) 'Meditations and Prayers upon the First Week; with Observations on each Days Creation; and Considerations on the Seven Capital Vices to be opposed; and their opposite vertues to be studied and practised;' and (3) 'Instructions for Youth.' Her autobiography was first printed at length by the Camden Society in 1875.[Life of Lady Halkett, 1701; Autobiography of Anne, Lady Halkett (Camden Society, 1875).]