R10683 Janet Templeton's pearl necklace and brooches, 1826



These are a pearl necklace and three matching brooches that belonged to Janet Templeton, an early sheep grazier in New South Wales and Victoria. The necklace has small pearls sewn onto a mother-of-pearl frame, six leaf shapes on the string and an ornate leaf-pattern centrepiece attached to a metal support. The brooches have individual ornate patterns and one is of a larger size than the other two.

Acknowledgements: Reproduced courtesy of National Museum of Australia.

Educational value
According to family tradition Janet Templeton's wealthy husband Andrew, a Glaswegian financier and banker, bought his wife the 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 Templeton decided to emigrate to Australia. She commissioned her brother John Forlonge to purchase two flocks of Saxon merino sheep and gave him one of the flocks. In 1831 she chartered the brig Czar, and the two families journeyed to Australia with their sheep, initially settling in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania). Forlonge died in 1834, and eventually his wife held thousands of acres of land in Vic and NSW.
The Saxon merino breed was a good choice as it had already strongly influenced the development of the fine wool industry in Australia. Templeton re-settled on a grant of land on the Mulwaree Plains near Goulburn, NSW, which she named Kelburn and which proved to be a successful venture. In 1837 she built Roseneath Cottage in Parramatta, NSW. In 1838 Templeton and her sons decided to expand their land holdings and drove sheep from Goulburn to Euroa (Vic) to take up a property at Seven Creeks.
Between 1838 and 1843 Templeton divided her time between her three properties. Unfortunately, the agricultural depression of the 1840s hit hard and Templeton declared bankruptcy. In 1843 she sold Seven Creeks and Roseneath and by 1845 she had lost Kelburn and most of her possessions. Fortunately she managed to keep her pearls, a personal treasure and reminder of her husband. She later settled in Melbourne with her daughter Agnes and died there in 1857.
In 1851 William Forlonge, Janet Templeton's nephew acquired the Seven Creeks run, returning the property and the rewards from its establishment to the family. Janet Templeton and William Forlonge are commemorated on a memorial at Euroa as the persons who imported the first fine-wool merino sheep to Vic.
Year level
5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12
Learning area
Studies of society and environment
Arts/Visual arts
History/Historical knowledge and understandings
Studies of society and environment/Time, continuity and change
© Education Services Australia Ltd and the National Museum of Australia, 2010, except where indicated under Acknowledgements