RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/OBJ/14
Former ReferenceD3311/OBJ
TitlePincushion, with label attached identifying it as made by "Methinna", a Tasmanian girl
DescriptionPincushion made from wadding sandwiched between two circular disks of dark brown silk, with a thin (5mm) red cotton[?] band forming the circumference between the disks. There are pins inserted in the red fabric.
Dimensions: 5cm diameter and approx 1cm deep.
Extent1 item
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Archive CreatorGell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Administrative HistoryMathinna (1835-?1852) was born to the chief of the Lowreenne tribe, Towgerer, and his wife Wongerneep. In 1833, the tribe had been rounded up and settled on Flinders Island, following conflicts between settlers and the indigenous people. Originally named Mary, she was given the name of Mathinna at around the age of six and was adopted by the Franklins, who brought her up with Sir John Franklin's daughter by his first wife, Eleanor (born 1824).

Mathinna lived with the Franklins until Sir John was recalled to England in 1843. Having been advised that Mathinna would not survive the British climate, the Franklins left her at the Orphan School and she was later returned to Flinders Island. Abandoned to a life of poverty, she lived at Oyster Cove, south of Hobart and died at a young age, the precise date of which is unknown.

Little survives of Mathinna's life, so this pin cushion is a rare keepsake, kept by Lady Franklin.
Access ConditionsThis item is currently on loan. Please contact the Derbyshire Record Office for further information.
CopiesAn image of this item is available on Google Arts and Culture
TermIndigenous populations
Ethnic groups

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Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Mathinna (c 1835-1852); Tasmanian aboriginal girl "adopted" by the Franklins
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