Sabrina Bicknell – the perfect wife?

Sabrina Bicknell – the perfect wife?

Sabrina, aged 75, engraving by Richard James Lane after Stephen Poyntz Denning

Sabrina Bicknell (1757 – 1843), better known as Sabrina Sidney, was a British woman abandoned at the Foundling Hospital in London as a baby, and taken in at the age of 12 by author Thomas Day, who tried to mould her into his perfect wife. She grew up to marry John Bicknell, one of Day’s friends, instead, and eventually became a school manager.

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Day’s efforts to socially engineer Sabrina’s character into what he thought was the perfect wife would be castigated today, but in the 19th century was probably considered characterful, or even an experiment to further science.

Marcus Bicknell, 212 February 2021

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