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Title: Drawstring Purse
Identifier: 2003.2.152
Donor: Barbara Sayers Larson
Item Date: 1860-1880
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A drawstring purse made with a petit point design at the bottom. The pattern is in black, red, white, and khaki green, in small squares. The lining is a pale pink silk. The silk top part has a pink drawstring with pink tassels. History: The purse was made either by Margaret Harris Patton or Margaret Anne Patton. Margaret Harris Patton was Captain James Beveridge Harris's (1797-1884) sister who married James Murray Patton of Perthshire, Scotland. Margaret Anne Patton was James's first cousin and Margaret's sister-in-law. They often sent ‘Canada Boxes’ filled with gifts, clothing, books, and credit to the Harris family at Benares. The Harris's have had a long tradition with the Patton and Marshall families of Scotland. James Patton of Cairnies, James Murray’s father, was a prosperous Perth merchant and lawyer cousin to Thomas Hay Marshall, Lord Provost of Perth. After the death of Thomas Hay Marshall, Glenalmond Estate was bequeathed to James Patton, who bought the remaining land in 1808. James died in 1831, dividing his land up between his sons, James Murray, Thomas, and George. James Murray Patton inherited part of Glenalmond Estate with his brother, Thomas Patton. George inherited Cairnies. When Thomas died in 1869, the whole estate passed on to his brother George Patton, then Lord Chief Justice Clerk. The same year, George committed suicide due to political and personal pressure, and Glenalmond was given to his widow. After her death, the estate was passed on to George’s sister, Margaret Anne Patton (-1878) in 1873. She eventually willed her property to her nephews Thomas Marshall Harris Jr. (1828-ca.1900) and Henry William Harris (1849-1876), who had both distinguished British military careers. They were also Arthur Harris’s first cousins. Arthur was supposed to inherit Glenalmond but because he would inherit Benares, the aunts believed his cousins should acquire the estate since they had no property. The Harris family of Benares connection to the Marshall and Patton families extends even further with the marriage of James Beveridge’s father, Major General John Harris (ca. 1760-1833), to one of Thomas Hay Marshall’s daughters, Margaret Marshall. Her sister, Ann Marshall, married James Patton of Cairnies. Through these marriages, Margaret Anne Patton and her brothers was therefore first cousins to James B. Harris and his three brothers and two sisters, Matilda and Margaret. Margaret thus married her first cousin James Murray Patton, Sheriff Clerk. Barbara Sayers Larson owns a watercolour sketch of Glenalmond by her great-grandfather, Captain James B. Harris, ca. 1835. A copy of the image is located in Astrup Fearnley’s book ‘Glenalmond: The Life and Times of a Scottish Estate’(2002). For information on Thomas Hay Marshall, see: David Graham-Campbell ‘Thomas Hay Marshall and the Making of Georgian Perth’ (1985). For information on the history of Glenalmond, see:’’Glenalmond: The Life and Times of a Scottish Estate’ (Oslo, Norway: Astrup Fearnley, 2000). The Harris family letters, which are mostly written by the aunts from Scotland, are located in the Peel Archives.
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