Who was Nellie Payne?

Dower chest for Gweneth Wisewould. Date carved unknown.

No images available.


No image exists of this dower chest as it was burnt in a fire. If you have any information regarding this item please use the contact page to inform The Westbury and Districts Historical Society.

Gweneth Wisewould (1884-1972), medical practitioner, was born on 30 August 1884 at Brighton, Melbourne, only child of Australian-born parents Francis Wisewould, solicitor, and his wifeIsabel Alice, née Field.

Gweneth was one of Nellie’s nieces (Nellie’s older sister Isabella Alice Field married Frank Wisewould).

The chest carved for her by Nellie Payne was probably burnt in a fire in one of her homes where she lost everything.

Unconventional, artistic and mildly bohemian in outlook, in 1938 she set up at Trentham, 95 km north-west of Melbourne. She proceeded ‘to make the little town my home and its people my heritage’, serving as its doctor until the day of her death, 20 January 1972 at the age of 87.

Monuments Australia.