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The Leighton drawing book belonging to Lily Knapton

Date: 1907
Overall: 180 x 179 mm, 4 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, pencil, iron
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gary McPherson
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00028045
Place Manufactured:Leeds

User Terms

    This drawing book was brought to Australia by eight-year-old British child migrant Lily Knapton on SS RUNIC in 1909.
    SignificanceThis book reveals fascinating details about social conditions and education in the British Empire at the turn of the century. 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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