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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

Square M10

Quilt square M10


E. C. / Newlands.


'Newlands' was the name of a house in Hawdon Street, Heidelberg, at the corner of Banksia Street. It was the home of the Chambers family at the time the quilt was made. It is likely that the 'EC' who contributed this square was Mrs Emma Chambers (née Whitechurch, c.1833-1906), the second wife of John Stoup Chambers. Alternatively, the contributor could have been Miss Emma Louisa Chambers (1856-1949), daughter of John Stoup Chambers and the step-daughter of Mrs Emma. It is also possible that the two women contributed the square jointly.

Further information

Both Mrs Emma Chambers and her step-daughter Miss Emma were living at Newlands when the quilt was made. The family had moved from Brighton to Heidelberg in 1891.

Both Mrs and Miss Chambers were involved with the Heidelberg community. They attended the opening of the Austin Hospital Nurses Home by Lady Brassey on 25 March 1897 and the anniversary of the Scots Church on 7 October 1897.

For many years Miss Emma worked in her father’s ironmongery business in the city of Melbourne. She did not marry. She cared for her step-mother and her father until their deaths in 1906 and 1921, respectively.

Miss Emma lived at Newlands until her own death. She was a keen gardener and planted a lemon-scented gum that still stands at the corner of Banksia and Hawdon Streets. She was active with St John’s Church of England in Heidelberg and played the organ there for 30 years. She taught others to play the instrument and is reported to have had a fine singing voice. For a time, she was a member of the Eaglemont Golf Club and, with Mr L Price, won a silver trophy in 1906.

A photograph of Newlands in approximately 1900 can be viewed in the collections of State Library Victoria.


Articles by Judith Lesley in Heidelberg Historian, numbers 154 (February 1993), 260 (October 2010) and 261 (December 2010).

Second marriage of John Stoup Chambers to Emma Whitechurch: BDMV 989/1861.

Sands & Macdougall, Directory, 1895, p. 293. This Directory lists JS Chambers as living on Banksia Street, but later references to the house give its address as 49 Hawdon Street.

‘Lady Brassey at Heidelberg’, Mercury and Weekly Courier, 2 April 1897, p. 3.

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

‘Deaths’, The Argus, 4 August 1949, p. 12.

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