Hibberd, Shirley (DNB00)

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HIBBERD, SHIRLEY (1825–1890), journalist and horticultural writer, the son of a retired sea-captain, was born in the parish of St. Dunstan, Stepney, in 1825. The early death of his father necessitated his following some trade instead of, as had been intended, entering the medical profession, and he was apprenticed to a Stepney bookseller. He soon, however, began to write, and engaged in journalistic work. In 1858 he became the first editor of the newly established ‘Floral World,’ managing that journal until 1875 with considerable success. Meanwhile he had become connected in 1861 with the ‘Gardener's Magazine,’ of which he was editor at the time of his death. Hibberd was a man of many schemes. He was a temperance advocate and a vegetarian. But he is chiefly known as a practical writer on horticulture. He made various experiments on fruit-trees and vegetables, notably potatoes, and kept moving further into the suburbs in order to have better opportunities of pursuing his gardening operations. Hibberd died at the Hermitage, near Muswell Hill, on 16 Nov. 1890, and was buried in Abney Park cemetery at Stoke Newington. His portrait appears in the ‘Gardener's Magazine’ of 22 Nov. 1890. He was twice married, and left one daughter by his second wife. Among many other works, Hibberd published: 1. ‘Brambles and Bay Leaves: Essays on the Homely and the Beautiful,’ 1855, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1873. 2. ‘Profitable Gardening … ,’ 1863, 8vo. 3. ‘Familiar Garden Flowers …,’ 1879–87, 8vo.

[Gardeners' Chronicle, 22 Nov. 1890; Times, 17 Nov. 1890; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. A. J. A.