December 3, 2022


Ashburnham House

Ashburnham House

Originally an inn, during the early 20th century this pair of houses, located at 163/165 Brunswick Street in Fredericton, with a connecting porte–cochère was the home of Lord and Lady Ashburnham

Ashburnham house

Thomas Ashburnham was a “remittance man” and retired soldier sent to live in Canada by his father, the Earl of a prominent British family. 

He took up residence in a Fredericton hotel and became acquainted with Maria Anderson, the night switchboard operator at the New Brunswick Telephone Company, after making regular telephone calls from local taverns to the livery stable for a horse and carriage to take him home at the end of the evening. Infatuated by her pleasant voice and friendly manner, he asked to meet her in person, and in early 1903 they were engaged to be married. Their marriage took place on 10 June 1903 at St. Anne’s Parish Church in Fredericton.

Thomas Ashburnham bought two large houses on Brunswick Street, one of which had been his wife’s family home, and the other an inn, and had them connected by a second floor conservatory over a porte-cochere leading to a garden. Their home had beautiful gardens and a greenhouse, and was the centre of an elite Fredericton social life.

The resulting residence was called Ashburnham House. The couple, who lived comfortably on a large allowance from the Ashburnham family, had no children.

Lady Ashburnham is still recalled for her popular mustard preserve that bears her name: “Lady Ashburnham Pickles”.

Lady Ashburnham Pickles – A classic Maritime relish!

  • 6 large cucumbers (peeled with seeds removed and chopped into a ¼ to ½ inch dice)
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 4 cups onions, chopped fine
  • 2½ cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsps. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. tumeric
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  1. Cut your cucumbers and onions into small pieces and mix together in a large pot; I use a food processor for the onions but cut the cucumber by hand. {I find the cucumbers are much too delicate to chop in a processor and they may very quickly turn to mush}.
  2. Add salt to cucumbers and onions, and let sit overnight.
  3. Next day, drain and rinse salt. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat for 45 mins, making sure to stir the pickles often. Carefully pack into hot sterilized jars. Wait for the “pop”, store and enjoy!
  4. Refrigerate any open jars.


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11 thoughts on “Ashburnham House

  1. M Campbell,
    I’ve been making them for close to 30 years. My mom who is from Frederickton, started adding 1 med red pepper for colour back in the 70’s. Her mom followed her addition. I always called them Nanny’s Pickles. Thanks Lady A. Your relish lives on.

    ANN the recipe makes about 5 to 6 500 ml jars.

  2. The recipe on your post….please tell me how many jars it makes and the size of jars…i.e……250 ml….and/or 500 ml….
    Thank you.
    I am referring to the Lady Ashburnham relish

  3. Hi there.. love Lady Ashburnham pickles. Would anyone have a good recipe for pickled beets?

  4. I heard great reviews about your pickles. Do you know if they are sold I. Edmonton, Alberta?

  5. My mom made great Lady A pickle; she put a little sweet red pepper in hers which added a nice colour. It turned out a bit different each time. This year I made a batch and am giving to friends in memory of my NB roots and my mother who died a year ago. I am also remembering my grandmother who, when passing a dish, said, ‘any other lady wish a pickle?” I have never heard that saying anywhere else and wonder if the lady is Lady Ashburnham!

    PS: the recipes on internet for the relish re remarkably similar in method and ingedients. But the narratives are unique!

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