Can you help me to date th­ese sketches of my an­ces­tors Ben­jamin and Lucy Den­ing?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - READER STORY -

QBen­jamin Den­ing was born in around 1809 in Chard­stock, Dorset, and died in De­cem­ber 1888 in Robe, South Aus­tralia. Lucy Anne Den­ing (née Davy) was born in Septem­ber 1816 in Broad­win­sor, Dorset, and died around 1908 in Kingston SE, South Aus­tralia. They mar­ried in Lyme Regis, Dorset, in 1838. They left Eng­land in 1849, bound for Aus­tralia with six chil­dren, and to my knowl­edge dis­em­barked in South Aus­tralia. Can you help me date th­ese sketches of them? Glen­nis McDon­ald, by email

Ae­noughATh­ese are very in­ter­est­ing com­pan­ion sketches. There are de­tails vis­i­ble on Lucy Anne’s dress to in­di­cate a date of around 1836-8. As the cou­ple mar­ried in 1838, I would sug­gest that the por­traits might be con­nected to this event, the be­trothal per­haps if not the ac­tual mar­riage. This date was be­fore the era of the white wed­ding dress be­ing com­monly worn so it can be dif­fi­cult to be ab­so­lutely cer­tain.

How­ever, I would say that Lucy Anne’s elab­o­rate bon­net and lace-like peler­ine (the cape-like col­lar) cer­tainly sug­gest a dress for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Ben­jamin’s out­fit, al­though more dif­fi­cult to pin­point specif­i­cally, also fits with the date. The high col­lar of the coat and the mid-length hair was typ­i­cal of the decade. Ali­son To­plis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.