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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

Square A5

Quilt square A5


J. Mackinnon


It is possible that this individual is John Mackinnon of 'Drumfin', in High Street, Northcote. (There do not appear to be any Mackinnons living closer to Heidelberg at this time.)

Further information

John Mackinnon (working for H.M. Customs, Melbourne) married Margaret Elizabeth Mary Ann Hart (youngest daughter of the late John Hart) on 18 August 1886, at Clifton Hill. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. M. Graham Hart, brother of the bride, assisted by the Rev. Duncan Fraser [Central].

Margaret Mackinnon may also be on the quilt, as M Mackinnon [B4]. The style of the script, decorative underline and embroidery on this square and [B4] are similar, suggesting that the two squares have been worked by the same hand.

‘Mr and Mrs McKinnon’ are listed as guests at an “At Home” hosted in the Northcote Town Hall on Friday 14 February 1896 by the Mayor and Mayoress of the Northcote Borough Council, Cr and Mrs TH McLean [A1]. Other guests at this social event included Rev. Duncan Fraser, Busy Bees Mrs AE Fraser and Mrs McCracken [Central], Mr Littlejohn [K11] and his wife, and Mr Alec Donaldson (likely to be the person represented by his initials, A.R.T.D., at [B15]).

A Mrs John Mackinnon is listed as attending the Scots Church anniversary in 1897, ‘with her little son in Highland dress’.

John and Margaret’s son, John Hart Mackinnon, was born at Drumfin in High Street, Northcote, on 25 November 1889. He would therefore have been almost eight years old at the time of the Scots Church anniversary in October 1897.


‘Marriages’, Argus, Saturday 28 August 1886, p. 1.

‘Births’, Argus, Saturday 30 November 1889, p. 1.

Sands and McDougall’s Directory, 1895.

‘Social’, Table Talk, 21 February 1896, p. 11.

‘Anniversary of Scots Church, Heidelberg’, Mercury and Weekly Courier, Wednesday 13 October 1897, p. 3.

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