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Regency Period: Circa 1795-1825

'Barbara Spooner' Dress - $39.95

This outfit includes a Round Gown and a Robe. It features:

  • A cream calico round gown with a gathered bodice and straight short sleeves.
  • A robe made of deep red calico with a floral design. The robe and sleeves are trimmed with black braid.
  • The bodice of the robe is trimmed with tiny black satin piping and the robe closes with a satin-covered button.

Find out what a 'Round Gown' is on the 'Fashion' tab!

Who was Barbara Spooner?

Barbara Spooner was the wife of the great abolitionist and Member of Parliament William Wilberforce. In 1797, she met her husband at Bath, and they were engaged two weeks later. They married on May 30th, Barbara being 20 and William 38. She bore 6 children to William before his death in 1833.

Barbara was known to have supported William in his efforts to abolish slavery in Great Britain. After twenty-six years of campaigning against slavery, he succeeded in passing the Slave Trade Act of 1807.

This style of robe was worn during the early Regency period, and by 1803 it was mostly worn for evening wear. A gown of similar style was worn by Empress Josephine of France at her coronation in 1804.

What is a ‘round gown’?

A round gown was a basic garment of a woman’s wardrobe during the Regency period. A round gown, so called because of the deep round neckline, often fastened with drawstrings or buttons. A plain round gown was often used for layering underneath robes or jackets.

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