Brief Biography of Jane Ogden

Jane Ogden (ca. 1845–1928), also known as Mrs. Jane Ogden Costeker

Jane Ogden painted flowers and other still-life subjects in oil and watercolor. She was born at Huntcliffe House, Hall Green Terrace, Dukinfield, Ashton-under-Lyne, Cheshire, in, or about, 1845, the daughter (probably the fourth of seven children) of John Ogden, cotton manufacturer and spindle maker (employing three hundred hands), and his wife, Jane. The 1861 Census describes her, and each of her younger siblings, as “scholar.”


Ogden studied at Manchester School of Art between 1865 and 1868. In 1865, she was rewarded for a “flower painting and a group in colour,” which she had submitted to the National Competition of the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington, in order to satisfy stages 4a and 15 of art instruction. In 1866, she was awarded a bronze medal and the prize of a book for a “flower painting” which she had submitted to the National Competition in order to satisfy stage 14a of art instruction. In 1868, she was awarded a silver medal for a “group in watercolour,” which she had submitted to the National Competition in order to satisfy stage 15a of art instruction. (This last was possibly ”a duck and curlew,” which she exhibited at the National Prizes, South Kensington, in the same year.)

As recorded in the 1871 Census, Ogden was living with her younger sister and her brother-in-law, Elizabeth and James Ireland (a cotton and cotton-waste merchant), in 4 Osborne Place, Great Cheetham Street West, Broughton, Salford, Lancashire. She is described as “artist.” In 1878, she won a further silver medal for work submitted to the National Competition of the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington.

1879–82: LONDON

In 1879, Ogden had moved to London and was boarding at 16 Harrington Square, St Pancras, with Mrs. Emma Jenkins. Mrs. Jenkins had five children living with her, three of whom were artists, including Anne, aged 29, who, like Ogden, was a flower painter. Ogden lived there until 1881 or 1882. During her years in London, she exhibited five works at the Royal Academy of Arts (including three in 1881), four works at the Dudley Gallery and two works at the Society of British Artists. All were of flowers or plants.


In 1882, Ogden returned to Lancashire and settled at Greenbank, Monton, Eccles. At some point between 1882 and 1885, she married John Costeker, who was born in Surrey about 1840. (It is possible that he was the John Costeker who was born in Southwark in 1839, the son of John Costeker, a woolen draper, living at 5, The Paragon, New Kent Road, Walworth.) They lived at Greenbank until at least 1891. She then exhibited—mainly oils of flowers—as Mrs. Jane Ogden Costeker (or Jane O Costeker), including at the Fourth and Eighth Autumn Exhibitions of the Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery at the Royal Institution, in 1886 and 1890, and at the Spring Exhibition of Modern Oils and Watercolours at the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, in 1887.


The 1891 Census records Jane Ogden Costeker and her husband at a house “near church” in Mill Lane, in the village of Ascott-under-Wychwood, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, though Mill Lane is not near the church. She is described as an “artist of still life painting” and he as “living on his own means.” It is uncertain whether they had moved to Ascott-under Wychwood or were merely staying there.


By 1899, Jane Ogden Costeker and her husband had moved to Crosslands House, Rusland, north of Colton, Ulverston, Lancashire (now in Cumbria). On  February 22, 1899, John Costeker died, as is recorded across the altar in St Pauls’ Church, Rusland. The 1901 Census records Jane as a widow “living on own means.” She lived in the area, and possibly that house, until her death in 1928.

The 1911 Census records that Jane Ogden Costeker had visited Dunclent, Hawthorn Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, in that year. It was the home of Charles Simpson, a forty-three-year-old cotton-cloth merchant, and his wife, Harriet, age thirty-six, who was probably a niece of the artist.

David Wootton is a researcher and writer working with the Chris Beetles Gallery, London, UK.