Sarah Wiedeman was born on the corner of Seagate and Trades Lane, and is one of the few women who was already commemorated with a plaque when Dundee Women’s Trail was set up.  She was the daughter of the first manager of the sugar refinery which opened in the Seagate (on the site of her plaque) in 1770.

Her mother was Scottish but her father came from Hamburg; he is described variously as a draughtsman, a mariner and a manager. By the time she was in her teens she was living in London, attending the Congregational church. She married a mild, scholarly bank clerk called Robert Browning; Sarah was the boss of the household!

Her son Robert Browning, was the poet, born in London in May 1812. Sarah was a Sunday school teacher and very religious. Carlyle called her: “a true type of a Scottish gentlewoman.” She had a square head & forehead and “a beauty of nature”. Commentators disagree about whether she was intellectual and artistic; Robert Browning’s biographer Miller claimed she possessed only one book. But they agree on her sweet serenity and goodness. Robert Browning junior adored her and called her “a divine woman”. He stayed home till he married at 34; when he travelled he needed mother to pack his bags for him, and when he went to bed he needed a goodnight kiss.