Historical information

This bonnet is part of a collection of clothing donated to the Brighton Historical Society by Dr William and Helen Wells. It is believed to have belonged to William's grandmother Winifred Marshall (nee Hayball, 1886-1971).

William's family has had a long association with Brighton, dating back to the town's earliest days in 1843 when his ancestors Robert and Eliza Hayball, who had emigrated to Melbourne two years prior, established a wattle-and-daub hut in what is now New Street, close to Tovell Street. Robert established a business as a timber merchant on the opposite side of New Street. His sons, Robert, William and Edwin took over the firm following his retirement, trading as the Hayball Bros. Hayball Court, which runs off New Street, is named after the family.

Robert's son William (1855-1926) married Jessie Robertson and had four children. Their eldest, Winifred Grace Hayball (1886-1971), married Andrew Hollingsworth Marshall at the Black Street Congregational Church in 1907. They subsequently lived in Hill Street, Hawthorn, before moving into a house designed by Andrew and Winifred's brother Robert at 39 Bay Street, Brighton in 1915.

Their daughter, Dorothy Marshall (1910-2000) married Robert George (Argie) Wells in 1937 at Wesley College Chapel. They lived in East Malvern until 1947, when they moved into a newly built home in Hawthorn Road, East Brighton, where they lived for the rest of their lives.

Their son, William Wells (b. 1939) married Helen Pickering in 1968 and the couple have lived together in Brighton ever since.

Physical description

Pale pink silk bonnet (sleeping or house cap) with cream lace edging. The bonnet is embellished with oval-shaped embroidered appliqué on either side, featuring floral design in white and pale yellow, blue and green. A cream silk ribbon and a row of pale blue and green rosettes run along the top edge between the two appliquéd segments. A length of elastic is sewn through the bottom edge.