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Pearl necklace given to Janet Templeton in Edinburgh by her husband on their wedding anniversary in 1826

1998.0020.0001

Pearl necklace given to Janet Templeton in Edinburgh by her husband on their wedding anniversary in 1826

Object information

Physical description

Pearl necklace with small pearls sewn onto a mother of pearl frame and an ornate leaf pattern centrepiece, attached to a metal support.

Educational significance

This is a pearl necklace which belonged to Janet Templeton. It has small pearls sewn onto a mother of pearl frame and an ornate leaf pattern centrepiece, attached to a metal support.

According to family legend, Janet Templeton's wealthy husband Andrew, a Glaswegian financier and banker, bought his wife this pearl necklace and matching brooches for their wedding anniversary in 1826. Three years later Andrew died, leaving Janet with nine children to raise.

Using proceeds from her husband's estate, Janet commissioned her brother John Forlong to purchase two flocks of Saxon sheep. She gave one of these flocks to John. In 1831, Janet chartered the brig Czar and the two families emigrated to Australia with their sheep. It was a good choice of breed - Saxon sheep had a strong influence in the development of a fine wool industry in Australia. The Forlongs initially based themselves in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania). Eventually John's wife Eliza, widowed in 1834, held thousands of acres of land in Victoria and New South Wales.

Janet too enjoyed the benefits of her flock. She settled on a grant of land at Kelburn, near Goulburn. Kelburn proved a successful venture and in 1837 Janet built Roseneath in Parramatta. Both of Janet's first two houses were listed on the National Estate. In 1838, Janet and her sons decided to expand their land holdings and travelled from Goulburn to Euroa to take up Seven Creeks. At the height of their financial success the Templetons managed all three of these properties.

For a few years Janet divided her time between her three properties. Unfortunately, the agricultural depression of the 1840s hit hard and Janet declared bankruptcy. In 1843 she sold Seven Creeks and Roseneath and in 1845 she lost Kelburn and most of her possessions. Fortunately, she managed to keep her pearls, a personal treasure and reminder of her husband. Later, Janet settled in Melbourne with daughter Agnes, and she died there in 1857.

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