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Anna Margaretta Brereton

Brereton Bed Hangings

In 1782 Anna Marageretta Lloyd (daughter of David Lloyd of Llanvaughan, Cardiganshire and Mary nee Brereton) married her cousin John Brereton of Brinton. After three infant deaths a son John was born in 1786 but he survived only to die age 14 in 1800. This tragedy sent Anna Margaretta into a depressed mood and she retired to her bedroom at Brinton for several years.

Anna Margaretta Brereton

In her bedroom she started sewing a patchwork quilt and curtains for her 4-poster bed. She used decorated cloth which was then used for upholstery coverings etc., and pieced together thousands of hexagonal patches to constuct the magnificent paterns you see in the picture below. There is a story that visitors used to bring her the latest samples. Over several years as she mourned the loss of her eldest son she worked in seclusion, and then, when her labour was complete, she recovered and joined normal society again.

A sermon written as a tribute after her death, reveals that the loss of her son changed Anna's life, causing her to abandon the material world and become involved in the Church.

In 2004 her bed hangings were on display Strangers' Hall, Norwich and are a testament to her skill and dedication to the task. They can be viewed in the Carrow House Costume & Textile study centre - see catalogue entry.

John Brereton was the third of that name and the fourth generation of Breretons at Brinton Hall. He continued the various country businesses operated by his father. His stage wagon conveyed goods around Norfolk and before Christmas he advertised for the conveyance of game and gifts to London.

On 6 July 1813, John and Anna Maragaretta had their potraits captured as a minature painted silhouette. As well as their ages in manuscript, 61 and 57 years respectively, the following is printed on the back of each portrait,

opposite Exeter Change.

Excellent likeness in profile in a style of excellence with unequalled accuracy which convey
the most fordable expression & animated character
the very right size for Kings Broaches lockets etc

Time of sitting 3 minutes
M … Miers preserves all the original sketches in which he can at any time supply copies without the trouble of sitting again

NB Miniature frame and Convex glasses Wholesale & Retail

According to Alan Darbyshire of the V&A, these minatures are a rare survivng example of a novel technique introduced by this artist.

Two of John and Anna Margaretta's sons were ordained, Charles David settling at Little Massingham, and Shovell at Briningham. The eldest inherited the Brinton Estate, and another became a merchant in Blakeney.

Brereton Bed Hangings

Photo by Tony Jewers of bed hangings displayed in Stangers' Hall in 2004.

The great great great great and great great great great great grand daughters of Anna Margaretta displayed a genealogical patchwork quilt made in 2007 by Val Sandford as a result of the inspiration of the Brereton Bedhangings