Ann Henrietta Boyd

Ann Henrietta Boyd (afterwards Hayes, 1811–1901)

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 2, 339.

The only child of Hugh Stuart and Ann Lowry Boyd, she was about the same age as EBB. She became a frequent visitor at Hope End, and family correspondence contains many references to her. In letters to Boyd, EBB always mentions her lovingly, but comments in EBB’s diary tell a somewhat different story: “If she were not Mr Boyd’s daughter, should I love her as I do still? In that case, my answer to that question wd be again, ‘No! I cannot’” (Diary, p. 2). EBB’s comments also make clear Henrietta’s dislike of Annie, and that Arabella tolerated her for EBB’s sake. In mid-1831, there was friction because EBB was trying to prevent Boyd from leaving the Malvern area, while Annie and her mother, on the other hand, wanted to move to some gayer social location such as Cheltenham or Bath, and objected to EBB’s “vexatious interference.” EBB temporarily prevailed, with the Boyds not leaving Malvern until May 1832, shortly before the Moulton-Barretts left Hope End. There are various indications in the correspondence that Annie had an unstable personality. On 1 August 1837, she married Henry William Hayes at St. Marylebone Church, the site of EBB’s later marriage. All three Moulton-Barrett sisters attended. On 2 August 1837, EBB wrote to Boyd as follows: “The bride looked very lovely, & behaved very well—I mean, without demonstrating in any unbecoming manner, the agitation which was within her evidently.” Not much further information about Annie is available, except that in late 1842 she was living at Taunton Castle, Taunton.

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