Literary Treasures from the Pinhey Family Library

This exhibit was prepared by the Pinhey’s Point Foundation in collaboration with the City of Ottawa Archives to mark the 200th anniversary of Hamnett Pinhey’s arrival in Canada in 1820, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

When Pinhey went back to England for his family in 1821, he returned to Canada with a number of books from his family library, and a number of literary manuscripts  inherited from his mother‘s family, the Townleys, who had ancestral connections with the royal household.

This exhibit discusses the two oldest books in the collections: Pinhey’s ancestor Hamnett Kirkes’s Great Bible of 1681/2 (now in the collections of the City of Ottawa Archives) and Pomet’s Compleat History of Druggs of 1712, along with several literary manuscripts, held by the Foundation. The books include the signatures of some of Pinhey’s ancestors, and the exhibit provides portraits and brief biographies of several through whose hands the volumes passed.

The literary manuscripts include a meditation by Queen Anne on her late husband, George of Denmark, certified by the housekeeper at Windsor Castle to have been copied from the Queen’s own hand.  Another, on paper watermarked during the reign of Anne (1702-1714), is a manuscript of a poem attributed to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who introduced smallpox inoculation to England 300 years ago, in 1721.

Title panel for PPF Literary Treasures from the Pinhey Family library exhibitJune 2022

Collection Spotlight: Herbals, herbaria, and pressed-flower books

The PPF collection includes a printed herbal or pharmacopeia of 1712 illustrating the medicinal uses of plants and animals (on view in our Literary Treasures exhibit). Some educated Victorian women were amateur botanists who inventoried and mounted specimens of regional plants in herbarium scrapbooks. For many other women albums of pressed flowers were an artistic or nostalgic rather than a scientific pastime. Small books of pressed flowers also became popular as commercial souvenirs. In this small display we showcase three small volumes of pressed plants, perhaps presented to Dorothy Pinhey (1895-1991) by travelling family or friends.

Colour image of page from Jerusalem, a small volume of pressed flowers from Holy Land sites
This little volume includes artistic designs made of dried flowers from identified sites in the Holy Land. Learn more about their history at Horaceville. (PPF collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)

Horace Pinhey

Hamnett Pinhey named his estate and imposing residence Horaceville after his eldest son, who would inherit it following the British gentry tradition. Explore with us something of the life of this shy man often overshadowed by his father.

Black-and-white Topley Studio photo portrait (#18604) of elderly bearded Horace Pinhey in 1874, the year before his death, LAC collection
Horace Pinhey, eldest son of Hamnett Pinhey, for whom the “Horaceville” estate was named, 1874 (LAC Topley #18604)

Treasures of a Pinhey Childhood

This sampling of toys, games, books and other treasures of children from the Pinhey family should appeal to the young and young at heart.

A colour image of interior pages of "Schoenhut's Humpty Dumpty Circus" catalogue illustrating a group of Humpty Dumpty Circus Toys used with Schoenhut's Combination Circus Tent and Ring (PPF Collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)
Detail from “Schoenhut’s Humpty Dumpty Circus” catalogue (PPF Collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)

Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, …

Laundry and ironing not your favourite household chore? This display will take you back to a time when there was no electrical power at Horaceville and doing laundry was hard and often dangerous work.

A colour photo of a 19th Century miniature sad iron for ironing lace made with cast iron base and wood handle, metal trivet (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)
Miniature sad iron for ironing fancy lace work on women’s clothing, with its own trivet, 19th Century (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)

Mr Pinhey’s Gardens

Hamnett Pinhey’s farm accounts from 1821 to 1857 provide a unique insight into his gardening practices, and record the presence of several different gardens in which he grew a large variety of fruits and vegetables, intermixing them with flowers. The gardens were large and elaborate. Pinhey tested the limits of the local climate by attempting to grow exotic plants. The gardens are once again in bloom at Horaceville. Come and learn about their beginnings.

Colour bilingual poster for the Pinhey's Point Foundation 2019 / 2020 exhibit at Horaceville titled "Mr Pinhey's Garden's"

To view the Foundation’s current exhibits and events: Current

To view our other past exhibits and events: Exhibit/Event Archive