Wednesday 14 March 2012

Museum of London Samplers On-Line - Elizabeth Meadow's Judith Hayle Sampler

it is always worth going back and checking museum on-line collections as more items are added. The Museum of London now has its sampler collection on line and the images include some nice details of Elizabeth Meadows sampelr which was taught by Judith Hayle in 1791. Above, you can see the typical brightly coloured bands from the head of the sampler, including polychrome alphabets that were in vogue at the time.
The real marker for a Judith Hayle taught sampler are the two cartouches, usually at the foot or near the foot of the sampler. Here you can see, on the left, EM - Elizabeth's initials, and on the right IH for Judith Hayle (there being no alphabetical J in use at this time). Of all the families whose daughters Judith Hayle taught, Elizabeth Meadow's is perhaps the best documented. The family home was Witnesham Hall - a lath and plaster house with 12 hearths.
And just to clinch the atrribution, you can read hear from Elizabeth's own hand that Iuda (Judith) Hayle was my dame. (She is sometimes named Iuda on the samplers, though on documents bearing her signature, she signs herself quite clearly as Judith.) Click here to see the Museum of London samplers on line. There are just a few remaining copies of Edwina Ehrman's book The Judith Hayle Samplers in which she records the work and lives of the girls who stitcher under her tuition and also those taught by Judith's daughter Rebecca Thomson.
Limited stocks. Authored by leading textile expert Edwina Ehrman of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this exceptionally well-researched book brings to life the 17th century needlework teacher Judith Hayle and her students. Price includes postage.


  1. Best of luck to your niece! I hope my donation finally went through. This is great work. My daughter and I actually had the chance to work with a similar group, helping the disabled ride when she was into her hunter/jumper stage and it was so special. Such a great thing. Animals are such wonderful therapy in all sizes.

  2. Dear Becky, you are the kindest of hearts - yes your sponsorship has hit the target and Kirsty is very grateful.