Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sarah Chandler Bingham's Sampler - Portobello Road - George Washington's Mount Vernon

A few days ago, I noticed this sampler coming up for auction at Canterbury Auction Galleries on 10 July (Lot 391 estimate £200-£250)and couldn't help but be charmed by it. It is an interesting historical document, praising Prave (sic) Vernon England's Glory. But why, I ask myself is this sampler praising a man who engaged in a decisive action that took place nearly 100 years before this sampler was stitched? Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon attacked and took Porto Bello in Panama in 1739 during the War of the Spanish Succession, in the early stages which are affectionately remembered here as the War of Jenkin's Ear. It was such a daring and devasting blow against the Spaniards, that the victory was responsible for the naming of what is now one of our most popular antique market venues as Portobello Road. And it so impressed George Washington, he named his estate for the promoted Admiral Vernon. The sampler was most probably stitched by Sarah Chandler Bingham, daughter of Thomas Bingham and Mary Ann Harris, who was baptized 9 January 1825 in Ringwould, Kent.  She was married on 30 September 1850 to Joseph Ralph Turner. Their children were: Caroline Elizabeth, Elizabeth Mary Ralph, Ellen Sophia, Thomas James Henry and Ralph George. She died in 1866 in Kent.  For more details about the auction, click here.

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