Black bonnet of 'calash' style, with rattan loops over crown that enable it to be folded back. Believed to have belonged to Mrs Elizabeth Cook nee Batts, widow of Captain James Cook. English. Elizabeth outlived her husband and all of her children; she had no descendants.
The bonnet is thought to have been passed by Elizabeth on her death to her cousin Captain John Smith R.N. and his wife, who were her first cousins. (She also left 1,000 pounds each to her cousins, of which there were several, and to their mother she left household furniture, charts, nautical instruments, native weapons and many other possessions.)
The bonnet may have been subsequently passed on to two of Captain John Smith's granddaughters. One of these married a Mr J.J. Fenton, whose family eventually donated cutlery said to have been used by Captain James Cook to Museum Victoria in 1977. A knife and fork believed to be from the same set (ST 21275-76) were sold by another granddaughter, Mrs Alice H. Mitten, to the National Gallery of Victoria in 1906. (Mrs Mitten is the source of provenance of the cutlery.) They were transferred to Museum Victoria in 1940.
Calash made of black cloth. Four hooped sections of rattan form frame of bonnet. Black velvetine bow at base of back with ties each side. Second bow in centre of back panel.
Donation from John W. Fenton and Family, 01 Jul 1977
Past Owner (Probable)
Other Association (See Comments)
Captain James Cook RN
Husband of probable wearer.
Type of item
410 mm (Width), 480 mm (Height)
Measurement From Conservation. dimensions are slightly irregular, and taken when object is flat, not extended into wearing shape.