Top Left Edge Main Banner Top Right Edge

Villages & Entrepreneurs (1840-1860)

David Fairfield's Vest

The Fairfield Vest

David Fairfield's Wedding Vest, 1843

The embroidered vest displayed in a shadow box in the morning room of the Fairfield-Gutzeit House was worn by David Fairfield on his wedding day, November 8, 1843. DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

David Lockwood Fairfield was born in the House, son of a prominent local citizen, Benjamin Fairfield and his wife, Nabby (Agatha) Lockwood Fairfield. Both parents belonged to United Empire Loyalist Families. David's bride was Emily Spencer Shields, daughter of James Shields of Picton in Prince Edward County. The couple were married at St. Paul's Church in Brownsville, New York State. A sister of Benjamin Fairfield, Clary, had married Benjamin Brown of Brownsville and it is possible that David visited his aunt at that place. Benjamin Brown was a general in the American Army during the War of 1812.

David Fairfield spent his youth and early adult years in what later became the Village of Bath, U.C. He joined the 1st Addington Militia Regiment and became a lieutenant by the time he was twenty. Fairfield became a barrister-at-law in 1828 and five years later received the rank of captain in the militia. In 1834 Fairfield was employed as the Clerk of Peace in neighbouring Prince Edward County and the Immigration Agent for Hallowell. Two years later, he was also named Customs Commissioner and four years after his marriage, David L. Fairfield was appointed a Judge of the Prince Edward District.

The wedding vest or waistcoat, which male fashion of the time decreed should be white or cream coloured, was a treasured heirloom of Mabel Fairfield Gutzeit. It is not known how she obtained the article, but her mother was born in Prince Edward County and may have received it through family connections. One statement regarding English fashions of the 1840's described a wedding suit as being light blue with a velvet collar and waistcoat of embroidered satin. Fairfield's vest is white, embroidered with dark green flowers and red foliage. With its five button closure, two slit pockets and wide lapels, it is clear that David Fairfield was in touch with the latest fashions and as one commentary said- "the waistcoat is considered the true touch of a man's taste."

Submitted courtesy of The Fairfield-Gutzeit Society, the Fairfield-Gutzeit House, Bath

Back ArrowHIDE

Back in Timeline 1784-1799 : 1800-1820 : 1820-1840 : 1840-1860 : 1860-1880 : 1880-1900 : 1900-1920 : 1920-1940 : 1940-- Forward on Timeline
Bottom Left Edge Bottom Edge Bottom Right