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Hexagon Coverlet

(The Quilters’ Guild Collection)
Exact maker unknown: Bewley or Ardill family of Dublin.
Date: 1800–1820

The printed cottons in this hexagons coverlet date from c.1790–1820. They have been pieced over paper templates and hand sewn together. The hexagons have been fussy cut so that the printed motifs feature in the centre of the shape. The top edge is double sided, which allowed it to be turned back, but the remainder of the coverlet is not backed.

The fine cotton prints used in the coverlet were high status and expensive in the early nineteenth century. According to the family history, it is likely to have been made by the mother or family of either William Henry Bewley, or his wife Elizabeth Mary Ardill. William was a merchant and sugar refiner, and owned a small country house called Rockville outside Dublin.

William’s parents, Thomas and Rebecca Bewley (née Hogg), came from near Dublin and had a strong Quaker tradition. Thomas was born c.1810, meaning the coverlet could have been made by Rebecca when she was young before her marriage, perhaps using fabrics which were in a family fabric stash. Elizabeth’s parents, Rev'd Richard Ardill and Louisa, were born in 1801 and 1804, making them slightly older, which fits more with the coverlet’s fabric dates.