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Dress - Day dress

From the Collection of Brighton Historical Society First Floor Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

This c1849 silk blue grey window pane check dress features a high round neck and pleats on either shoulder extending over the natural shoulder line. The dress shows evidence of nine ornamental buttons down the centre front with only four blue silk buttons currently still attached. The dress fastens with thirteen concealed hook and eye closures to the waist. The Pagoda sleeves inset into the bodice in a small high armhole flaring out and finishing just below the elbow. A pale blue silk ribbon with a diagonal drawn stitch design decorates the front of the sleeve in a simple geometric design. The Pagoda sleeve is lined in a matching pale blue silk. The full skirt is pleated into the waistband and finishes just above the floor at the front. At the back the bodice features a squared off design to the princess panels shaping the dress into the body. The skirt is heavily pleated at the centre back into the waistline and finishes slightly longer at the back than the front. The skirt features two very small pockets on either side of the dress, just inside the hips.
Object Registration
reverend john hamilton mclachlan, st cuthberts presbyterian church brighton, elizabeth mclachlan, amherst cemetery
Historical information
This dress was made for and belonged to Mrs Elizabeth McLachlan (nee Duncan, 1820-1904), wife of Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan (1813-1908), who was the first Minister of St Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church in Brighton.

Elizabeth and John were married at the Free Church of Ayr at Lindsaystonn in the Parish of Kirkmickach, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15 October 1849. At this time his occupation was listed as "Minister of Presbyterian Church" and hers as "Governess". They left for Australia on the 1 November 1849 and arrived in Australia 6 months later. Apparently John's hair turned snow white during the journey due to his seasickness!

The McLachlans first went to Geelong upon their arrival in 1850, then to the Western District, then Brighton, then Talbot at the height of the gold mining era. The couple had seven children: John Campbell Duncan McLachlan (b. Geelong, October 1850), Mary McLachlan (b. Geelong, November 1851), Agnes McLachlan (b. Hopkins River near Wickliff, May 1853), twins Elizabeth and Walter McLachlan (b. June 1854), Elizabeth McLachlan (b. Hesham, June 1855), Margaret McLachlan (b. Brighton, 1857).

Elizabeth died in 1904. She and John are both buried in Amherst Cemetery. The dress was donated by one of her granddaughters.
When Made
Last updated
24 Jun 2019 at 11:14AM