Wolverhampton BTW

Sarah Hoding

Hoding, Sarah, c.1798—?

by Benjamin Colbert

Sarah Hoding was born around 1798 (1851 census), the daughter of Thomas Hoding (d. 1847), a landscape painter. Nothing is known of her mother, whom she does not mention in Land Log-Book, despite scattered references to her father and a brother. She also mentions a 'dear aunt in England' (261) who resided at Boston, Lincolnshire, where her ancestors originated.

With her father and brother, Hoding travelled to the United States, residing principally in Philadelphia from around 1819 to 1825, during which time the Philadelphia Directory gives Thomas Hoding’s address as 26 N. Ninth. While in Philadelphia, Sarah visited extensively with a local family on the outskirts of the city along the Schuylkill River where she met fashionable people and enjoyed visits to museums, gardens, and artists, including the miniature painter Edward Miles (1752-1828; ODNB). The Princeton University Art Museum contains a watercolour, 'Bough Apple', signed by Sarah Hoding and dated August 1819, which shows that she herself had drawing talent, while her travel book underscores her interest in botany and natural history.

Hoding returned to England sometime after 1825 and took up her residence in Boston, from which place she signs a poem, 'A Fairy's Song', appearing in The Pocket Magazine (1828). The Land Log-Book also was printed in Boston, suggesting her enduring connection with that place. The reason for her revising and publishing the journal of her earlier travels are given cryptically in the preface to the Log-Book, which refers to an impending law suit to win back 'rights . . . withheld from her, year after year' ([i]). What those rights entailed and whether Hoding had recourse to the law are at present unknown. What we do know is that she continued to reside in Boston, appearing on the census of 1841 and 1851, her household including her father, until his death in 1847, and a sister, Harriet.


Hoding, Sarah. ‘A Fairy’s Song’. The Pocket Magazine 1 (1828): 188. Print.

---. The Land Log-Book. London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co. 1836. Print.

The Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1821. Philadelphia: McCarty & Davis, 1821. Print.


Title Published
The Land Log-Book 1836

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