Skip to main content

Author: Webb, Jane


WEBB, Jane, later LOUDON (1800-58:

She was born on 19 Aug. 1800, the daughter of Thomas Webb (1752-1824), a Birmingham attorney, and his wife Jane Heydon (1762-1809). (Two children died in infancy in 1789 and 1793 which raises the possibility that she may have been the Jane Webb baptised 25 August 1794 and was therefore older than she claimed in her 1844 RLF application.) Her mother died 16 Dec. 1809, aged 47. Her father’s financial difficulties may have forced him abroad around 1818 and Jane, the only surviving child, accompanied him. In Jan. 1824 she published Prose and Verse, containing several poems written abroad. Her father died later that year at Kitwell House, which was left to her but later put up for sale. After his death she moved to London and was a frequent guest at the house of John Martin, the artist, at Allsop Terrace, New Road. She published The Mummy! (1827) which had some success but by 1829 she applied to the RLF for help and received £25. Martin’s son, Leopold Charles Martin, recalled that she was a favourite of his mother, Susan Martin, who probably introduced her to John Claudius Loudon, landscape gardener and horticultural writer. She married Loudon on 14 Sept. 1830 at St. Mary, Paddington, with John Martin and his daughter Isabella, a lifelong friend, as witnesses. A daughter, Agnes, was born in 1832. Thereafter the Loudons embarked on a distinguished, though financially perilous, career as horticultural writers albeit with her taking the junior role, specialising in flowers and ladies’ gardens. They toured extensively, visiting all the great gardens in England and abroad. Loudon died on 14 Dec. 1843, leaving Jane with over £3000 of debt from ambitious printing projects, and she again applied to the RLF, receiving £50. In subsequent years sales of her husband’s works declined so she continued to write, producing Rational Country Life (1845), British Wild Flowers (1846), Self-Instruction for Young Gardeners (with a memoir of her husband) (1847), My Own Garden (1855), and many other similar works. She also edited the important but short-lived periodical The Ladies’ Companion (1849-1850). She died on 13 July 1858 at her home, 3 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, from heart disease, aged 57, and was buried next to her husband at Kensal Green. ( 24 Aug. 2020; 24 Aug. 2020; ODNB 24 Aug. 2020; Orlando; Monumental Inscriptions, St. Paul’s Hockley, on 24 Aug. 2020; Oxford Journal 23 Dec. 1809; Aris’s Birmingham Gazette 20 Sept. 1824; New Monthly Magazine Nov. 1824; RLF 1/648,1/1101;  Leopold Charles Martin in Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 12 Jan. 1889 (Supplement); GM Oct. 1830, 365 and Sept. 1858, 313; Kensal Green Cemetery, Plot 4547/74/PS) AA


Other Names:

  • Miss Webb

Books written (3):

Birmingham/ London: R. Wrightson/ Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1824