This embroidered silk dress is made in the Regency or Empire style that was popular from the end of the eighteenth century through the first two decades of the nineteenth century. This is the oldest garment in the Queen’s University Collection of Canadian Dress. Given that this dress was found in Agnes Etherington’s home, which is now the site of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, it was likley worn by one of her female ancestors. Research suggest that the garment’s silk was manufactured in China sometime in the 1770s, and purchased in New York by Barnabus Day (b. 1745) and Polly Burdette Day (b. 1745) before they fled to Canada as United Empire Loyalists in the 1780s. The dress may have been made for Mary Hill (b. 1781) , who married Barnabus and Polly’s youngest son, Lewis Day (b. 1772), in Kingston in 1795. It was probably Mary’s wedding dress, and would have been styled as a round gown at the time. The dress was altered some twenty years later (c. 1815). The alterations would have been made by Mary or one of her daughters. Mary and Lewis were Agnes Etherington’s great-great grandparents.