Historical information

Alice Frances (Henty) Hindson's grey silk bodice is believed to be part of her 'going-away' outfit after her wedding to John Hindson on 15 April 1875. The bodice must have been a family favourite as it was used and amended over the years. Alice was the youngest daughter of Francis Henty and Mary Ann (Lawrence) Henty. Alice's father, Francis Henty, was the youngest son of Thomas Henty, who with his family, their retainers and property moved to the Australian colonies between 1829 and 1832. In 1834, Francis’ older brother, Edward, sailed from Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land to what was to become Portland in the western part of Port Phillip District [Victoria]. Francis, together with the first flock of Merino sheep [in Victoria], followed some months later. The first and second generations of the Henty family established vast pastoral properties in the Western part of the Port Phillip District. Francis Henty managed ‘Merino Downs’ near Casterton, while also living in his retirement at ‘Field Place' in Kew.


The Henty Collection of nineteenth and twentieth century clothing, including outerwear and underwear, was collected, stored and exhibited over time by female family members descended from Francis and Mary Ann Henty. During the twentieth century, items from the collection were modelled in two fashion parades by various descendants [1937, 1959]. The items in the collection are historically and aesthetically significant, with provenance provided by oral and written tradition within or held by the family. A number of the items in the collection are very rare survivors, and provide researchers with the evidence needed to reconstruct the lives of notable women in the Port Phillip District [later Victoria] during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Physical description

The yoke is a bustier bodice, made of silk and silk organza with an insert of hand-tatted lace. The bodice is carefully boned and has a little padding in the bust line. It includes the name of the maker of the bodice as ‘Madame Jay, Brighton, 38 London Road’. The silk organza sleeves have hand shirring, trim, and frilled cuffs. The bodice is finished with a large, frilled bow at the back. Believed by the Henty family to be part of the ‘going away’ outfit worn by Alice Henty in 1875.

Measurements (mm):
Girth - Neck 304.8, Chest 762, Waist 571.5, Cuff 127
Vertical - From neck to hem 381, Front waist to hem 152.4, Back neck to hem 419.1, Back waist to hem 228.6, Sleeve length 254.
Horizontal - Neck to sleeve head 165.1, Cross back 457.2, Underarm to underarm 431.8.

Inscriptions & markings

Mme Jay, Brighton Road, London [dressmaker]