Christina Henri met with Ann Ricketts yesterday and was presented with a beautiful bonnet tribute made in memory of Ann Levy to be part of the Roses from the Heart Memorial. Ann Levy is the great, great grandmother of Ann’s husband Chris.
Ann Levy has Irish connections as she was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Her trade was ‘housemaid’. She married Thomas Dunlevy and they were living in Manchester when Thomas died accidently in May 1843 leaving Ann, a widow with two young children. Ann was tried in December in 1843 in Manchester. She left Woolwich England on the convict ship Angelina with her two children in April 1844 and arrived in Hobart town, Van Diemen’s Land in August 1844 . A few days after arriving her children were placed in the St Johns Orphan School. It is hard to imagine how Ann would have felt being forcibly separated from her two children who had accompanied her to this land so far from home. No doubt Ann would have expected that at the very least she would have her two children with her but she was wrong.
It must have been very strange for Ann to eventually find herself working at the Orphan School in New Town where she was eventually granted permission to marry John Hill. Aged 32 Ann married John Hill at St Georges Church, Battery Point on 11 September 1848. St Georges Church remains - the church spire still dominates the Battery Point skyline today.
On the 20 July 1850 Ann’s son Thomas was discharged form the Queens Orphan School into her care. On the 28 April 1852 Ann’s daughter Margaret was discharged from the same institution (Queens Orphanage) into Ann’s care. One can only wonder if the scars of the Orphan School experience ever healed.
What we know about Ann’s life is that she was the mother of six children. Three children married and descendants of these children live on today and contribute to the Australian community.
In making the bonnet tribute Ann Ricketts included the names of the two children who travelled to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) with Ann in memory of their lives.
The stitching Ann used on the bonnet tribute for Ann Levy are as follows:
Rose Bullion Stitch: This stitching is used on the three roses above Ann Levy’s name, a rose each for Ann and her two young children Margaret and Thomas.
Stem Stitch: This stitch is used for the outline of the rose stems and leaves and for the name of the convict ship the Angelina and the date 1844. Stem stitch was used to highlight, using green thread, the shamrock pattern on the lace to represent Ireland, Ann’s homeland.
Chain Stitch: This stitch was used for the names of Ann Levy and her two children Margaret (aged 6) and Thomas (aged 2).
French Knots: This stitch was used to create the forget-me-nots on the back of the bonnet around the children’s names.
Back Stitch: This stitch was used in the hand sewing together of the bonnet and to attach the lace ribbons.
Herringbone Stitch: This stitching was used to hem the turned under edges of the bonnet.
Open Buttonhole Stitch: This stitching was used to hem the open edges of the bonnet.
The bonnet itself was made from a piece of 50 year old sheeting.
Thanks to Ann for this lovely symbolism of Ann Levy’s life.