Ibbetson, Agnes. [articles published in Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, Philosophical Magazine, and Annals of Philosophy, from 1809-1819

Agnes Thomson Ibbetson, 1757-1823, daughter of a London merchant, probably came to her interest in botany through the popular and recreational pursuit of it as a polite science. She had no children and her husband, a barrister, passed away in 1790 following a long illness leaving her a comfortable annuity. She went to live near Exeter in Devonshire with her sister, pursuing her reading, philanthropic work, interests in mineralogy and electricity, and in growing, collecting, drawing, and dissecting grasses. Early in the 19th century, she moved into study of plant physiology. When she was in her 50s, she began submitting her work in applied agricultural research, experiments on soil, compost, fermentation, seed formation, plant nutrition, and root structure to general science magazines. She published more than 50 essays like the one shown here, which bridge observational and experimental methods; some were translated and published in Europe. Likely self-taught, she worked without mentors, limited in her contact with other botanists to those who were members of the Bath and West England Society and to those with whom she corresponded. At the time of her death in 1823 her "Botanical Treatise," a 200 page work containing her research over the years, written in the form of letters, was unpublished. In 1810 a plant, the spotted flower Ibbetsonia, ibbetsonia genistoides was named for her. Agnes was a serious, committed botanist, neither deferential nor apologetic in setting out her ideas.

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Title page of A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812 Article I in A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812 Page 171 of A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812 Plate in A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812 Page 241 of A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812 Page 335 of A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, volume 33, 1812

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