Friday 1 May 2009

A Lakeland Resting Place

There is no need to place flowers on the grave of Grace Spence since it nestles deep upon a bank of bluebells. This is the graveyard sometimes visited by Beatrix Potter. Though not a Quaker herself, she took consolation in sometimes attending meetings in the small but dignified Friends' Meeting House which overlooks the high fells and is surrounded by her beloved Herdwick sheep - the sheep that roam far and wide but always know their way home. At this time of year it is surrounded by bouncing lambs. Here is a download for you, so you can see for yourself. Richard had to rescue one caught in a tumbled wire fence while I ran to and fro trying to find someone who knew the farmer. Even at this young age they are sturdy and Richard had a struggle on his hands, for all his kind words.

Grace was the sister of Rachel and Sarah Spence and all stitched samplers at Ackworth School. To stitch their sampler is in someway to spend time with the girls, tracing a map of their early life when they had no idea what lay ahead. Though similar in their repertoire of motifs, each sampler is distinctly individual - just as the girls must have been. You can discover more about the stunning Spence sisters on Sarah Spence's 1806 Ackworth Sampler.

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