Ibbetson, Agnes (DNB00)

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IBBETSON, Mrs. AGNES (1757–1823), vegetable physiologist, daughter of Andrew Thomson, was born in London in 1757. She married a barrister named Ibbetson, who died before her. She herself died in February 1823 at Exmouth, where she had resided some years.

Between 1809 and 1822 Mrs. Ibbetson contributed more than fifty papers to 'Nicholson's Journal' and the 'Philosophical Magazine' on the microscopic structure and physiology of plants, including such subjects as air-vessels, pollen, perspiration, sleep, winter-buds, grafting, impregnation, germination, and the Jussieuean method. In the botanical department of the British Museum are preserved some specimens of woods and microscopic slides prepared by her, with a manuscript description stating that they represent twenty-four years' work, and illustrating her erroneous belief that buds originate endogenously and force their way outward. The leguminous genus Ibbetsonia was dedicated to her by Sims, but is now considered identical with the Cyclopia of Ventenat.

[Gent. Mag. 1823, i. 474; Rees's Cyclopædia.]

G. S. B.