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At first glance one would be forgiven for thinking that Ann’s sampler was stitched by a Quaker child. However, from our research, we have found that Ann was raised in the Anglican faith. She was one of seven children born to Joseph Campion and Eleanor, née Brodrick. Ann was baptised on September 15, 1834 at St Mary the Virgin in Whitby. It was in this church that she was confirmed in 1852 and married on October 13, 1857 to William Nicholson-Clarkson. The Campion and Nicholson-Clarkson families were prosperous and influential members of Whitby society. Joseph was a landowner who left an estate in 1877 that was valued in excess of £2,000,000 in today’s money.
Ann and William lived at 13 St Hilda’s Terrace. Their six-bedroomed Regency house was in Whitby’s most desirable area which had a strong connection to the sea and views looking out over the moors. The houses were built for gentlemen, and most had appendages at the back that owner’s would use as their offices from which to run businesses.
William was a surgeon and apothecary. It is probable that he ran his medical practice from number 13. Ann and William had six children over the course of nine years, five girls and one boy. William died on March 27, 1869. Ann can be found in census records living off private means and with the assistance of servants raising her children. The last census return Ann appears in is 1911 when she was living at 2 Canton Villas in the seaside town of Bridlington, about an hour’s drive from Whitby. She shared her home with her unmarried daughter Margaret and a servant.
Ann died on January 2, 1913. How I wish we could ask her how she came to stitch a sampler that so closely resembles the needlework of schoolgirl Quakers in Yorkshire.
The sampler is worked with cross stitches over one and two threads of linen and some satin stitches. It has been rated suitable for all levels of abilities.
Ann’s elegant sampler was stitched with a palette of just 3 colours from Au Ver à Soie’s range of Soie 100.3. We have provided conversions for Soie d’Alger (SDA) and DMC.
With grateful thanks to The Contented Stitcher who lovingly stitched the model. The two bees stitched on the sampler are the mark (signature) of the model stitcher and are not part of the reproduction.