On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Dress - Child's, Mary Ann Fleming, White Cotton, 1842-1845 Object Reg. No: SH 991001

White cotton dress with extensive broderie anglaise. Believed to have been made in Victoria for Mary Ann Fleming, daughter of Scottish migrants Janet Robertson and Robert Fleming, who arrived in Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania) in 1830. The undergarment was made by Annette Soumilas for exhibition purposes in 2010.

In 1836 Janet and Robert crossed Bass Strait to Port Phillip (later Victoria) with their two sons and two ex-convict servants. They bought land in Collins Street in Melbourne's first land sale on 1 June 1837. Less than one week later, Janet gave birth to another son. She gave birth to six more children, of whom four died before the age of three. Janet herself died at the age of 48, in 1856. Robert Fleming grazed sheep on the land that is now Flemington Racecourse.

Janet and Robert's daughters were Janet Cleghorn (1830-pre1836), Janet (1839-1910), Mary Ann (1840-1913) and Elizabeth (1843-1844). The child's dress was made in Australia following traditions brought from Scotland. It was passed down through the family.
White cotton with extensive broderie anglaise on bodice, belt and skirt. Skirt gathered to waist; scallopped hem. Short sleeves, gathered to cuff and shoulder; boat neckline. V-line bodice.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Gerald Brown, 1999
Discipline: History
Dimension Comment: Waist to hem 39; shoulder to hem 64; waist diam. 26; shoulder to shoulder 29

More information

Tagged with: handcrafts, needlework, settlement, children s clothing, racecourses, scottish immigration, migration settlement, british immigration
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Migration Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: CLOTHING
Secondary Classification: Child
Tertiary Classification: outerwear
Place & Date Made: Victoria, Australia, 1842-1845

Date based on family history provided in catalogue entry.
Place & Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 1845-1850s

Date based on family history provided in catalogue entry.
Past Owner: Robert Fleming
Past Owner: Janet Fleming
References: Information on the dress's provenance supplied by the donor.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No