Samuel Hibbert-Ware FRSE FSA (21 April 1782 – 30 December 1848), born Samuel Hibbert in St Ann’s Square Manchester, was an English geologist and antiquarian. His major work was the three-volume set of The History of the Foundations in Manchester (1833–1834), but he is perhaps best remembered today for his discovery in Shetland of ferric chromate, used to colour ceramic glazes and as a paint pigment known as siderin yellow.

Early life

Hibbert was the eldest son of Samuel Hibbert (d. 1815), a linen yarn merchant, and his wife Sarah Ware, from Dublin. Following his early education in a private school he attended the Manchester Academy from about 1795. Displaying little interest in his father’s business, he turned his attention instead to literary pursuits: writing prologues for the Manchester theatres, a pamphlet on commercial credit, and some doggerelClumsy and awkward verse often employed for comic effect. verse. On 23 July 1803 he married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Crompton of Bridge Hall, Bury, Lancashire; they had three children before her death in 1822. Hibbert became a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society in 1805.[1]

Move to Edinburgh

After his father’s death in 1815 Hibbert studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, gaining his MD two years later, but he never practised. During a visit to Shetland in 1817 he discovered chromate of iron[a]The modern name is ferric chromate, Cr3Fe2O12.[2] It is used as a colouring for ceramic glazes and as a paint pigment[3] known as siderin yellow.[4] for which he was awarded the Iris gold medal by the Society of Arts in 1820. He also discovered in Shetland what he described as “native hydrate of magnesia”.[1]

Hibbert remained in Edinburgh until 1835, and was secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, from 1823 until 1827. His paper on “Spectral illusions”, read by him before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, led to his Sketches of the philosophy of apparitions, or, An attempt to trace such illusions to their physical causes (1824).[1]

Return to England

Hibbert died of bronchitis at his home in Hale Barns, Altrincham, then in Cheshire, on 30 December 1848; he is buried in Ardwick cemetery in Manchester.[1]

Selected works

  • A Description of the Shetland Islands: Comprising An Account of Their scenery, antiquities and Superstitions (1822) Reprinted 1891.
  • Illustration of the Customs of a Manor in the North of England During the Fifteenth Century (1822)
  • Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions; Or, An Attempt to Trace Such Illusions to Their Physical Causes (1825)
  • History of the Extinct Volcanos of the Basin of Neuwied, on the Lower Rhine (1832)
  • The History of the Foundations in Manchester, (1833–34)
  • On the Fresh-Water Limestone of Burdiehouse in the Neighbourhood of Edinburgh (1835)
  • Lancashire Memorials of the Rebellion, MDCCXV (1845)


a The modern name is ferric chromate, Cr3Fe2O12.[2] It is used as a colouring for ceramic glazes and as a paint pigment[3] known as siderin yellow.[4]



CAMEO. “Siderin Yellow.” Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online,
Lewis, Robert A. Hawley’s Condensed Chemical Dictionary. Edited by Michael D. Larrañaga and Richard J. Lewis, 16th ed., Wiley, 2016.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. “PubChem Compound Database; CID=21902690.” PubChem Open Chemistry Database,
Sutton, C. W., and Elizabeth (rev) Baigent. “Ware, Samuel Hibbert– (1782–1848).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Online, Oxford University Press, 2004,