Baby's bonnet

White lawn with Ayrshire embroidery and needlework insertions. Stated to have been made on board the Charlotte Jane as a gift for the first child from that ship to be born in Canterbury. That child was Dr and Emma Barker's daughter, Sarah Elizabeth. Lent for Canterbury Centennial Exhibition 1950 (Catalogue number CEN 93).
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Dimensions (h x w): 150 x 140mm
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Your description of the baby’s bonnet in your collection states that it was made on board the Charlotte Jane as a gift for the first child from that ship to be born in Canterbury. Further that :that child was Dr and Emma Barker’s daughter, Sarah Elizabeth. Handed down through our family, I was told that my g-g- grandmother Elizabeth Jeffs was actually the first child born of the Charlotte Jane (the first to arrive of the First Four ships). Her mother Mary Jeffs (nee Button) and partner of my g-g grandfather Charles Jeffs later of Templeton, was apparently rowed around the Heathcote to give birth on dry land after the ship arrived in December 1850. I wonder whether the fact that our Charles and Mary, as Agricultural Labourers had gone “steerage” probably unlike Dr and Mrs Barker, may reflect the class consciousness of the times and have led to the apparently erroneous conclusion?

- John Hansen-Beadle

Posted on 10-12-2020 22:14:04

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