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Lady Theresa Anna Marie (Fox-Strangways) Digby riddle book

 Collection — Box: BW 33, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16510

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a handmade riddle book created and used for the children of Lady Digby.

This book contains 124 riddles and answers each within decorative borders and frames. Many are typical word play riddles; others include topical and racist riddles on the anti-slavery movement. There is Uncle Tom's Cabin and other enslavement-related content. There are questions such as "Who is Uncle Tom's Aunt?"


  • Creation: 1862


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is minimally processed and open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Lady Theresa Anna Maria Fox-Strangways Digby (1814-1874) was born in Melbury, Sampford, Dorset, England and was the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ilchester, Henry Stephen Fox-Strangways. In 1837 she married Baron Edward St. Vincent Digby (1898-1899) who was commissioned a captain in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry on 12 November 1848. He succeeded on 12 May 1856 as ninth Baron Digby (in the Peerage of Ireland) and third Baron Digby (in the Peerage of Great Britain).

The riddle book was probably first used by her children and then given away. It is inscribed to Lotty, Nelly & Issy from Lady Digby who are unidentified but may have been direct descendants of of the Ilchesters. The riddles found their way back to the Honorable John Fox-Strangway (1908-1961) who was the second son of 5th Earl of Ilchester.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter sized folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a purchase from Pickering & Chatto by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on April 29, 2021.

Content Warning

This material contains offensive and racist language. Specifically there are racist riddles including riddles 4, 34, and 39. The purpose of this note is to give users the opportunity to decide whether they need or want to view these materials, or at least, to mentally or emotionally prepare themselves to view the materials.

Guide to the Lady Theresa Anna Marie (Fox-Strangways) Digby riddle book
Rose Oliveira
7 June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States