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Embroidered pillow case with crochet border : Lily Knapton

Date: c 1909
Overall: 393 x 600 x 7 mm, 0.008 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gary McPherson
Object Name: Embroidery
Object No: 00028024

User Terms

    This pillow case belonged to Lily Knapton, who migrated from England to Australia on SS RUNIC in 1909. Lily was eight years old at the time and brought many treasured possessions with her, including toys, books and clothing.
    SignificanceThe pillow case is part of a collection of personal possessions brought to Australia by British child migrant Lily Knapton in 1909. It provides a rare insight into the nature of childhood and children's journeys from Britain in the early 1900s.
    HistoryThe Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was the first major piece of legislation passed by Australia's new federal parliament. The Act placed certain restrictions on immigration and reflected the government's desire to build a white Australia.

    The government's preference was for immigrants from Britain and it offered cheap fares to attract them to Australia. Many Britons saw emigration as a chance to find work and establish a new life.

    In 1909 eight-year-old Lily Knapton and her mother departed Liverpool on the White Star liner SS RUNIC. They were migrating to Australia to join Lily's father, who was working as a tailor in Melbourne, Victoria. From 1901 to 1930 RUNIC operated a regular migrant service from Liverpool to Sydney.

    Lily brought her favourite toys, clothes and school books with her. She kept them all her life as souvenirs of her former life in Britain and her childhood voyage on SS RUNIC.

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