Water-Cresses Without Sewage


This is Shirley Hibberd – or James Shirley Hibberd to give his full name – a Victorian writer and horticulturalist (1825-1890). I draw him to your attention apropos of nothing in particular. By all accounts he was a prolific author, churning out books and articles on many subjects apart from his specialist field. He wrote beautifully. Consider this, from “The Instincts And Habits Of Bees”, published in The Intellectual Observer : Review Of Natural History, Microscopic Research And Recreative Science, Volume VI (1865).

“If a man has but one stock of bees and is of the right temper to make pets of them, his attachment to them will grow so surely that it will be strange if he does not, in a very short time, renounce many a commonplace pleasure in order to make room in his heart for a strong affection for these happy confectioners, and perhaps appropriate a portion of his head to an investigation of their instincts and habits, so as to prove for himself all the written records of bee history, and live in hope of adding to them the results of personal observation.”

I appropriated a portion of my head to wondering who this reminded me of. I appropriated another portion of my head to discovering the titles of some of the books of this proto-Dobson. They include:

The Seaweed Collector: A Handy Guide To The Marine Botanist Suggesting What To Look For, And Where To Go In The Study Of The British Algae And The British Sponges (1872)

Clever Dogs, Horses, Etc (1868)

The Golden Gate And Silver Steps, With Bits Of Tinsel Round About (1886)

Water-Cresses Without Sewage (1878)

And, in 1856, this:


The photograph of Shirley Hibberd, by an unknown snappist, is copyright The Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography.

One thought on “Water-Cresses Without Sewage

  1. Thanks for this, I needed an image to check for a “snap” in two 19c family albums. it is though he visited Castle Ward.

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