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Agnes Lister (Syme)

Birthplace: Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Death: April 12, 1893 (58)
Place of Burial: 69 Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead, London, NW6 1DR, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Professor James Syme and Anne Syme
Wife of Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister
Sister of Elizabeth Spottiswoode Syme and Lucy Maria Ande Syme
Half sister of Jemima Syme and James Syme

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Immediate Family

About Agnes Lister

From Scotland's People Old Parish Registers - Births and Baptisms

  • 23/11/1834 birth or baptism of Agnes Syme, daughter of James Syme and Anne Willis [1st child], in the parish of Edinburgh

From Scotland's People - Census 1851

1851 census: 7 people living in St Cuthbert's, Midlothian

  • James Syme, male, aged 51 [born about 1800]
  • Jemima Syme, female, aged 40 [born about 1811] [step-mother]
  • Agnes Syme, female, aged 16 [born about 1835]
  • 2 siblings, 2 step-siblings

From Astley Ainsley Community Trust

James Syme’s daughter by his first wife, Anne Willis, was Agnes Syme (1834-1893). She was evidently well-educated, and probably gained painful experience of nursing within her own family. Her mother died in 1841, after bearing ten children, seven of whom died young. In 1856, Agnes married the young surgeon, Joseph Lister (1827-1912), in the drawing room at Millbank. Lister had been particularly encouraged in his career by James Syme, and maintained a great admiration for him. It might be thought that Lister, in marrying the boss’s daughter had an eye to his professional future, but he wrote lyrically of her as his ‘precious Agnes’, and said ‘There is in her countenance an ever varying expression that artlessly displays a peculiarly guileless, honest, unaffected and modest spirit’, and he added that she had no lack of sound and independent intelligence’ with ‘a very warm heart’. Through her marriage, Agnes Lister became a leading figure in the improvement in medical knowledge in her time. After her death, it was said of her that she was ‘one, who throughout her life, awarded [Lister] unwearied help in the pursuit of his investigations and experiments. Indeed, of them it might be truly said they “walked this world yoked in all exercise of noble ends.”’ Having worked with James Syme and having both respected and loved him, Lister would often be found at Millbank with his wife’s family.

From findagrave

From casemine

From Scotland's People Old Parish Registers - Marriages

1856: Marriage of Joseph Lister to Agnes Syme in district of Newington And Grange

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Agnes Lister's Timeline

November 23, 1834
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
April 12, 1893
Age 58
April 20, 1893
Age 58
London, England