Wednesday 9 May 2012

Full Circle - An Elliptical Journey

It must be almost 10 years ago now, when we went to Haslemere Educational Museum to image the sampler collection, that I got so excited when I saw the sampler above stitched by Margaret Ellerby. It was the start of a long journey that seems to have come full circle today - but by a very elliptical route. Having seen the sampler and guessed it may be an Ackworth sampler, I contacted the archivist at Ackworth School - a wonderful gentleman called Fred Davies who is now dead. He could find no trace of Margaret Ellerby in the records, only of two Ellerby boys, who were conjectured to be close relatives of hers. It was through this link that we discovered more about Margaret's family - perhaps most importantly that she was descended from the famous Darlington Pease family through Mary Robson, her mother. It seemed more than a coincidence that three generations of Pease, Robson and Ellerby samplers were in Haslemere Museum - rather far from their northern home. It was largely because of Margaret's sampler and my subsequent meetings with the Bursar at Ackworth School, that I invited Carol Humphrey to write a book to go with the images we had taken at Ackworth. In spite of the book being written by Ms Humphrey, no publisher wanted to know, and that is how Needleprint started. In the intervening years Needleprint has gone from strength to strength. It has been a long journey, not always smooth, but certainly more exciting than ever I could have imagined. Today while checking the provenance of another Quaker sampler, I went through the archives of the Mount School in York and found.....Margaret Ellerby had been a scholar there! So, a mystery solved at last, and a nice sense of closure after all these years.


  1. How wonderful Jacqueline!! And to think if that first book had been accepted there might be no Needleprint!! It`s true what they say, everything is connected. You never know what small thing may effect everything else in your life.

  2. Amazing story! Good work! Who could imagine that history could also be written this way?

  3. Well done. How satisfying to close this circle...