State Library of Victoria \ Dig: the Burke & Wills research gateway
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» 'Love glove'

'Love glove'

Australian Manuscripts Collection, MS 13359
Single glove, supposedly a gift from Julia Mathews to William Wills

In 1999 the State Library of Victoria purchased a small collection of objects, photographs and documents from descendants of the Wills family, which included a 19th century lady's leather glove, said to have been one of a pair given by Julia Mathews to the two departing explorers. This story raises several questions -  if Julia was sweet on Burke, why would she give an equivalent keepsake to Wills? When the expedition left Melbourne, Wills was merely a humble navigator, not the second-in-command, which he only became after Landells' resignation at Menindie.