Photograph, Laetitia Menzies; Unknown photographer; 1900-1910; WY.1989.375
Photograph, Laetitia MenziesAbout this object
This is a photograph of Laetitia Menzies, wife of Dr J. A. R. Menzies', sitting doing handiwork, possibly tatting or crochet. However, this domestic scene, probably taken in a studio setting, does not reveal the life of politics that was a constant in Laetitia's life.
Laetitia Ann Featherston was born in 1846. Her father, Dr Isaac Featherston became the first Provincial Superintendent of the Wellington settlers, his home being a social centre for visiting politicians from all over New Zealand.This is probably how she met her future husband, Dr James Alexander Robertson Menzies of Wyndham, whom she married in 1865. Their's was a spectacular wedding, with ten bridesmaids, attended by all the fashionable society of Wellington, and the day was declared a holiday for provincial government officials.
The couple started their married life in Invercargill, moving permanently to Wyndham two years later, where their large wooden homestead, Dunalister, was considered quite a mansion. However, by this time her husband was increasingly involved in local politics, and as a new and often lonely mother, Laetitia was happy to visit her father and siblings in Wellington. Tragically, her first born son died there at only 4 months old, recorded as having been smothered.
The Menzies went on to have 4 more children, although their daughter Eliza died aged 16 of TB. The household was devoutly Presbyterian, with daily family prayers and Bible readings. Laetitia was a constant supporter of her husband's political life, as well as remaining always available to help the sick and needy of the Wyndham district.
Laetitia died in 1929, aged 84 having been widowed for 41 years.
1900-1910Inscription and Marks
Back of photograph upper left hand corner: '4' in circle
Yellow sticker: '5'
Upper middle : 'Dr Menzies Wife'
Upper right hand corner: 'WY 89 375'
Upper left in large yellow sticker: '701'
Lower right hand corner: 'WY.1989.375 C'
h 246 mm x w 298 mmPeriod
Organic, processed material, vegetal, paper, photographic paper
processed material, organic, vegetal, paper, card
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