Sepia Saturday #108: The Wings of a Dove
Mabel Wilson Fenwick, circa 1912.
My husband’s great-grandmother, Mabel was born in 1867, in Delgany, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. She was the daughter of a British-Army Colonel by the name of Augustus Wilson, and Adelaide Elizabeth Badham-Thornhill, descendant of Henry Badham Thornhill of Castle Kevin in Cork. (My husband’s obviously the one with the wealthy, Irish side; I come from the northern peasants!) (More on the Wilsons in the weeks to come.)
Some time between 1871 and 1891, Mabel came to Canada with her father and mother and seven siblings. There is no Census for 1881 with her name on it, that I can locate.
In 1898, she married Thomas Emery Fenwick, a well-to-do textiles-merchant, originally from Richmond, Yorkshire in England, It was her first marriage, and his third (he was twice widowed). They set up house in Hochelaga (now Montreal) and had two children of their own, along with two of Thomas’ from an earlier marriage.
The Fenwicks eventually moved to York, Ontario (now Toronto) where Thomas set up his business, and they had another child—a daughter, Edith Barbara “Betty"—my husband’s grandmother.
Mabel was always well turned out and I suppose this hat could be considered the height of fashion to some, but to me, it appears that she’s about to lift off!
I have taken the liberty of adding a couple of lines to an old children’s rhyme below:
Mabel, Mabel, if you’re able,
Take your elbows, off the table,
And when you’ve finished doing that,
Please remove that frightful hat!
I’m joking! Hats off to my husband’s great-grandmother, Mabel Wilson Fenwick, who had the panache to carry off such prominent headgear in the early 20th Century! Talk about your FASCINATORS!
Visit the Sepia Saturday blog where you’ll find tons more fascinating things to read and photos to peruse.
Me, in one of my many hats – literally!
I found a photo of a hat that has the winged element of Mabel’s hat. This one makes Mabel’s look good! I’m still looking for the actual one.
Photo borrowed from http://dorotheascloset.com