Dixon, Susannah Dorothy née Forster, 1757—1822
by Benjamin Colbert
Susannah Dorothy Dixon was born at Bishopsgate in 1757, the daughter of Edward Forster (1730-1812; ODNB), Russia merchant, and Susanna Forster, née Furney (d. 1823). She was the eldest of five, and her four surviving brothers, Thomas Furly Forster (1761-1825; ODNB), Benjamin Meggot Forster (1764-1829; ODNB), and Edward Forster (1765-1849; ODNB) (all later botanists) spent their early years in Bond Court, Walbrook, in the City of London.
Her father brought the family to Walthamstow in 1763, from which base he enjoyed increasing prosperity and influence in business, as well as his leisure pursuits: antiquarianism, sketching, and poetry. He formed lasting friendships with eminent men such as Thomas Gray (1716-1771), William Gilpin (1724-1804), and Richard Gough (1735-1809) (Gough later bequeathed £100 each to Susannah Dorothy Dixon and her brothers). In these circles, Susannah Dorothy Dixon undertook her project of translating Uno von Troil’s Letters on Iceland from the German, but little else is currently known of her life during this period.
On 15 October 1798, she married the Reverend Francis Dixon (d. 1801) at Walthamstow, thereafter relocating with her husband to Vicarage House, at Henham, Essex, where he was curate. After her husband died three years later, she appears to have returned to Walthamstow, but continued her charity work at Henham, ministering to the poor, to whom she bequeathed £100 in trust, the interest of which was to be distributed in food at Christmas. She died at Walthamstow on 9 October 1822, aged 65.
McConnell, Anita. 'Forster, Edward, the elder (1730–1812), merchant and antiquary'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 3 Jan. 2008. Oxford University Press. Web. 23 July 2019. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/9904
‘Marriages’. Gentleman's Mag. 84 (Oct. 1798): 903. Print.
‘Obituary’. Gentleman's Mag. 92 (Dec. 1822): 573. Print.
|Letters on Iceland||1780||Translator|