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Webster, Mary

Webster, Mary
Webster, Mary
Webster, Mary
About the artist
Webster, Mary
Edinburgh Libraries have a large number of landscape paintings by the amateur artist, Mary Webster. The paintings are dated from 1824-1863, mostly of Scottish landscape scenes but there are also a few of Hythe in the south of England and of Ireland. It is thought she exhibited at the RA and the RSA but we have been unable to corroborate this.

The census records indicate that Mary was a lady of independent means, single, living in a household with her mother and grown-up siblings with servants. This would support the evidence that she was able to travel widely and pursue her painting pastime. She was described in her family as a woman who was talented, travelled widely, wrote and painted en plein air.

Mary was born in 1794 to John Webster, Minister of the Parish Church at Inverarity, the son of Baillie John Webster of Forfar and his wife Mary, the only daughter of the Rev. Patrick Bryce of Carmyllie Parish. They lived in Inverarity, a village seven miles north of Dundee.
Mary was the eldest of eleven children, with two sisters and eight brothers. One of her brothers, James, who had studied law but had taken time out to travel and wrote of his travels in Crimea, Syria and Turkey, died of a fever in Egypt aged 26.

When father John died in 1807, the family moved to live with the Bryce family at Carmyllie.

The family next appear in records in the 1841 census where mother Mary, now 75, is living with her grown-up children including Mary at 56 Grosvener Street, Hanover Square in London. Mary's brothers' occupations are given; John is a doctor and Charles a barrister. As well as the family there are also five servants in the house. By the 1851 census, the family had moved to Lower Brook Street, Hanover Square in London and John had become head of the household.
The next appearance by Mary in the census is in 1871 when she has moved north and is living with her sister Elizabeth at 9 Queen Street in St Andrews. They are both there in 1881 but only Elizabeth in 1891, Mary having died in 1883. Elizabeth died there in 1892.
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