• Reference
      GB 133 MMC/2/HibbertS
  • Physical Description
      1 file

Administrative / Biographical History

Samuel Hibbert-Ware, antiquary and geologist, is probably the best-known member of the Hibbert-Ware family. He was the eldest son of Samuel Hibbert, a Manchester linen yarn merchant. Hibbert-Ware was born Samuel Hibbert at St Ann's Square, Manchester on 21 April 1782 and was educated at Manchester Academy. From a early age he was interested in pursuing a literary career, writing verses for the European and Monthly magazines, prologues for the Manchester theatre and election squibs for a friend, Colonel Hanson. His first independent publication was an anonymous pamphlet, Remarks on the Facility of Obtaining Commercial Credit, published in 1806.

From 1809-1813 he served with the Royal Lancashire Militia before going to Edinburgh to study medicine in 1815. Hibbert-Ware took the degree of MD but never practised. In Scotland, he pursued an interest in geology, visiting the Shetlands in 1817, where he discovered iron chromate, and later making a second visit to the Islands to complete a geological survey; the Society of Arts awarded him the Iris gold medal for these endeavours. In 1822 he published A Description of the Shetland Islands, comprising an Account of their Geology, Scenery, Antiquities and Superstitions. He also delivered lectures on geology to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and Manchester Royal Institution. Hibbert-Ware made many geological trips to the Continent, in particular to the volcanic parts of France and Italy and northern Germany, and published numerous papers on his findings.

Hibbert-Ware was also an enthusiastic antiquary, serving as secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland from 1823-27. He conducted important research on the history of Lancashire, including History of the Collegiate Church of Manchester (1830), which formed a major part of the History of the Foundations of Manchester (3 vols. 1833-4). Hibbert-Ware was a member of the first council of the Chetham Society, and edited one of its early volumes, Lancashire Memorials of the Rebellion in 1715. His last work was The Ancient Parish Church of Manchester and Why it was Collegiated (1848).

After leaving Edinburgh in 1835, Hibbert-Ware eventually settled on a small paternal estate at Hale Barns, near Altrincham. In 1837 he assumed the surname Hibbert-Ware, as the representative of Sir James Ware, the historian of Ireland. He died in 1848 and was buried at Ardwick cemetery, Manchester. Hibbert-Ware was married three times and had six children; his second son, William Hibbert, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 1839.

Related Material

The Hibbert-Ware papers are in the custody of JRUL (Eng.Mss 989-1038).