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Quaker bonnet with hat box

Object Name

Quaker Bonnet


Cooper London Hat Emporium (Primary maker)
Cooper London Hat Emporium (maker)

Date Made



Silk petrol blue/grey bonnet in quaker style. Perfect condition. The note on this hat box reads: “The last of Aunt Eliza Jane’s Quaker bonnets, Received the P(rince) & P(rincess) of Wales 1885 in one” The lower adhesive label reads: “ Jan 20th 1890, Joseph Richardson Esq, 30 Donegal Place. (Belfast) Coopers London Hat emporium, 19 Cornmarket Belfast, and 40 West Moreland St, Dublin.” The upper adhesive label reads: “ Mrs Richardson, Springfield (Lisburn, Co Antrim) to 30 Donegal places 19.6.90” “James Lindsay & Co. The Ulster Arcade- by special appointment to her majesty the Queen established over sixty years.” Owner was the great-grandmother of Gabrielle McCracken, Eliza Jane Richardson, née Fennell, 7th September 1828 – 18th December 1916, (the Fennells were a Quaker family from Cottage, Cahir, Co. Tipperary). From donor letter “The original hatbox, is rapidly disintegrating and I copied any writing and printing on its labels some years ago ,it is now even more indecipherable . The Richardson family home was Springfield, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, and I imagine the Donegall Place address to which the hatbox was directed was the offices of her husband Joseph’s linen and shipping business. They were a wealthy and influential family, but as you no doubt know it was the tradition of Quaker ladies to dress very simply and I think Eliza’s usual bonnet may have been plain black (I also have a less well preserved black bonnet of Eliza’s that is to go to my granddaughter), but that to receive the Prince and Princess of Wales she launched out into blue/grey. Eliza and Joseph were the parents of a large family of which my grandmother, Josephine, was the 9th and last, and a considerable amount of material about the Richardson’s has be collected by the present archivist of the Irish Quaker Records (Dr Christopher Moriarty, Woodtown Park, Stocking Ln, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16). In her later years Eliza was the leading member of the Quaker women of Ireland and renowned for her kindness and wisdom. I have her portrait (as a young woman), photographs, several letters (advising my grandmother about getting married to a young English and Anglican doctor!) and her obituary. (the Richardson linen firm was called “Richlin”, and a lion was woven into the border of their products)”



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