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Title: Christening Gown

Alternate title: Born to be Religious?

Garment: Christening gown

Materials: Paper and Thread

Size: Life-sized




During the length of this project Danny resident Joanna Bastin (nee Campion) first spoke of, and then bought out, a collection of child sized white dresses and an heirloom christening gown she had in her posseession. Whilst the box turned out to contain a dozen or more pieces, some seemed like they might be petticoats or parts of complete outfits (dresses), though it wasn't always easy to tell. The collection had been handed down through her family. Each dress dated back 100 years+ and they were in various states of repair; all intact but yellowing and spotted in some cases. In the end three were chosen and a textile restorer found. When Zenzie Tinker had cleaned them up and Orchard framing had suitably displayed them they were hung on the walls of the great hall in Danny House for the exhibition of the Maison de Papier collection and remain on permanent display

The heritage of the Campion Christening robe is recorded as follows:

1st  Generation 1870  ~1882

This baby gown and petticoat was made for Gertrude, the Hon. Mrs Henry Campion (wife to William Henry Campion) in 1870.  It was made for the christening of her eldest child, William Robert (Sir William Campion).  The robe was subsequently worn by all the rest of her children: Frederick Henry, Edward Charles, Bridget (died aged 6), Mary Gertrude, Alice (Elsie, married Charles Phillimore), Joan (married Reynolds Packe).


2nd  Generation 1895

It was then worn by at least two of Sir William`s children: William Simon, Dorothy (Dorrie, Countess of Northesk) and Frederick`s son, Jack



The robe was then passed into the keeping of Alice Phillimore and was worn by all her children: Violet Alice Valentine (Hill), Henry Josceline, Mary (Molly) Harriet, and Walter Augustus


3rd Generation 1937  ֊1946

The next generation to wear it were the children of Violet Hill: Carolyn Mary (Countess Fortescue) and Joanna Clementine (Bastin), and the children of her brother, Henry Josceline Phillimore: Sarah Susan (Lady Williams-Bulkeley) and Josceline (Hebblethwaite)


4th Generation 1968  ֊1971

The next generation were some of their children:

Louisa Lockwood (Bury), Richard Lockwood, Alexander Charles Bastin, Nicholas Rowland Bastin, Harry Williams-Bulkeley


5th Generation 2001  ֊2005

This was followed by the children of Louisa Bury: Harriet, Oswell, Freddie.

And of Nicholas Bastin: Islay, Iona


To read more about Joanna's family connection with Danny House please click here

Image of the three preserved dresses hung in the great hall. The christening gown is the longest of the three.

Christening gown above is not a direct copy but inspired by the idea of an images of historical christening gowns

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