Historical Sociolinguistics and Sociohistorical Linguistics

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Ann Fisher (1719-1778)

baptised 9 December 1719

biography (Ann Fisher and her network of friends and relatives)

  • Barnes, Margaret, and Michael Cook. 1961. Deposited Papers: James Hodgson, Newcastle upon Tyne City Archives. City Archives Office.
  • Hodgson, James. 1920. “Thomas Slack of Newcastle, Printer, 1723-1784, founder of the 'Newcastle Chronicle'” in Robert Blair. Archaeologia Aeliana. 3rd series. vol. XVII. Kendal: printed for the Society [of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne] by Titus Wilson, 179-82. 
  • Hodgson, James. 1921a. “John Cunningham, pastoral poet, 1729-1773: Recollections and some original letters”, in Robert Blair (ed.). Archaelogia Aeliana. 3rd series. vol. XVIII. Newcastle upon Tyne: printed for the Society [of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne] by Titus Wilson, 83-100.
  • Hodgson, James. 1921b. “Thomas Slack, Newcastle Printer”. in Robert BLAIR (ed.). Proceedings of the society of Antiquities of Newcastle upon Tyne. 3rd series. Vol. IX. Kendal: Titus Wilson & son, 179-182.
  • Horsley, P.M.. 1971. Eighteenth Century Newcastle. Newcastle upon Tyne: Oriel Press.
  • Isaac, Peter. 1999. “The Earliest Proprietors of the Newcastle Chronicle”, in P. Isaac (ed.). Newspapers in the Northeast; the Fourth Estate, at work in Northumberland & Durham. Newcastle: printed for the Contributors, 153-62.
  • Lexicon Grammaticorum, s.v. “Ann Fisher”.


  • Fisher, Ann. 17502 (1745?). A New Grammar with Exercises of Bad English: or, and easy Guide to Speaking and Writing the English Language Properly and Correctly. Newcastle upon Tyne: printed for I. Thompson and Co. by J. Gooding.
  • Fisher, Ann. 1756. The Pleasing Instructor: or, Entertaining Moralist. Consisting of Select Essays, Relations, Visions and Allegories, collected from the most Eminent English Authors. To which are prefixed, New Thoughts on Education. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Thomas Slack.
  • Fisher, Ann. 1770. A New English Exercise Book, calculated to render the Construction of the English Tongue, Easy and Familiar, independent of any other Language. Laid down after the Manner of Clarke’s Examples for the Latin, and adapted to the Rules of Fisher’s Grammar.  Newcastle: Thomas Slack.
  • Fisher, Ann. 17743 (1763?). The New English Tutor: or, Modern Preceptor. Consisting of Orthography […] also, a practical Abstract of English Grammar. Newcastle upon Tyne: printed for the author.
  • Fisher, Ann. 17886 (1773). An Accurate New Spelling Dictionary, and Expositor of the English Language. Containing a much larger Collection of Modern Words than any Book of the Kind and Price extant […] to which is added, an entire new Dictionary of all the heathen gods and Goddesses […] to the whole is prefixed, a compendious, practical Grammar of the English Language. London: printed for the Author.
  • Fisher, Ann. 18025 (?). The Young Scholar’s Delight; or, Familiar Companion. Being an Easy Introduction to the most useful Sciences. Newcastle: S. Hodgson.


Ann Fisher and her grammar

The first edition of the grammar has not come down to us. The only evidence we have of it is the following advertisement in the Newcastle Journal of 29 June 1745, which is here published for the first time:


of related interest

  • Jones, Charles. 1997. “An Early 18th Century Scottish Spelling book for Ladies”. English Studies 78. 430-450.
  • Michael, Ian. 1985 (1970). English Grammatical Categories and the Tradition to 1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Michael, Ian. 1987. The Teaching of English from the sixteenth century to 1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Michael. Ian. 1999. Literature in School; a guide to the early sources, 1700 to 1830. Swansea: the Textbook Colloquium.
  • Percy, Carol. 1994. “Paradigms for Their Sex? Women’s Grammars in Late Eighteenth Century England”. Histoire Epistémologie Langage 16/II. 121-141.
  • Tieken-Boon van Ostade. 1992. “John Kirkby and The Practice of Speaking and Writing English: identification of a manuscript”. Leeds Studies in English 23. 157-179.
  • Wallis, P.J. 1969. “Piracies, true and dirty”. In: David Ramage (ed.). The Durham Philobiblon. 2 vols. (1955-69). Vol. 2, parts 9-10. Durham: George Bailes. 74-76.

For additions, contact María Rodríguez-Gil.