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Umbrella owned by James Breaks, HMVS CERBERUS engineer

Date: 1870-1900
Overall: (Closed) 900 x 250 mm
Medium: Timber, fabric, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Umbrella
Object No: 00025982
Place Manufactured:England
Related Place:Victoria,

User Terms

    Black silk umbrella with metal ferrule, metal ribs and frames, top and bottom spring, and a timber tube which finishes in a carved knob handle. The decorated silver mount near the handle is inscribed J.L. Breaks / HMVS CERBERUS indicating the umbrella may have been a presentation piece.

    James Lenox (also Lennox) Breaks sailed from England as one of three junior engineers on board the breastwork monitor HMVS CERBERUS during its delivery voyage in 1870 / 1871 to the Colony of Victoria. Breaks remained in Victoria, serving on board CERBERUS until his retirement from the Victorian Colonial Navy 34 years later.

    SignificanceThis personal effect is connected to the early colonial navy of Victoria; and one man who had a life-long association with HMVS CERBERUS.
    HistoryJames Lenox (also Lennox) Breaks was born in Portsea, Portsmouth, England on 2 April 1848 to James and Elizabeth Breaks; he had two sisters - Elizabeth and Amelia, and a brother John. Breaks senior was a joiner, then Inspector of joiners at HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.

    James Lenox was employed as a junior engineer for the delivery voyage of the monitor CERBERUS from Chatham Dockyard, England to Victoria, Australia in 1870, settling in Williamstown in Victoria, raising a family and spending another 34 years working with the ship.

    The CERBERUS was ordered in 1868 by the Colony of Victoria in pre-Federation Australia to provide naval protection for Port Phillip. It was the first major warship to rely on steam propulsion alone and was referred as a breastwork monitor - the turrets being raised on an armoured breastwork to improve sea-keeping ability.

    The vessel arrived in Port Phillip in 1871 and never left. Sold for scrap in 1925, it was subsequently sunk as a breakwater in the bay in 1926. Various efforts have been made to raise and preserve her.

    HMVS CERBERUS was included in the National Heritage List on 8 November 2005, pursuant to section 324J of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Parasol and riding crop

    Web title: Umbrella owned by James Breaks, HMVS CERBERUS engineer

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