Ruth’s sampler is presented to you in two different formats ~ an instant PDF download and as a printed booklet. Details of the printed booklet can be found HERE.
Those familiar with the Hands Across the Sea Samplers’ portfolio will recognise the names of the sisters Ann and Isabella Uffindell. It was whilst we were reproducing the sisters that Ruth Bates found us.
A sampler, badly in need of cleaning and repair that was stitched by a Ruth Bates when she was just eight years old, came up for auction. Ruth’s sampler had so many similarities to Isabella’s that there had to be a connection. We were able to make contact with one of Ruth’s descendants, a medieval archivist who had some information on the family’s history. Ruth was born in Plaistow, London, on August 16, 1815 to Joseph Bates and Esther Bates, née Cartwright.
The most interesting rabbit hole that Ruth’s sampler took us down was how Isabella and Ruth came to stitch two similar samplers six years apart at a time when children were educated in many different ways, or not at all, depending on their parents’ financial situation, social class, religion, and values?
We believe the connection is the governess Elizabeth Bates, Ruth’s unmarried paternal aunt. Whilst Ruth’s father was alive it would have been natural for his unmarried sister to live with the family and assist with the care and education of his young daughters. Elizabeth probably taught Ruth to stitch using her own childhood sampler to work from.
Ruth’s father died whilst she was still a young girl. Her mother, in reduced circumstances and living off an annuity, moved the family from Plaistow into a smaller house in St Leonard’s, Shoreditch. An area popular with nonconformist families and a very short distance from Finsbury and the Uffindells.
It is possible that there was not enough space for Elizabeth to continue to live with the family and without her brother’s financial support, she had to seek work as a governess. On the 1841 census Elizabeth was recorded as lodging with the Uffindells.
The Uffindells were not in the financial position or class to employ a governess but it is possible that when Elizabeth was not teaching her charges, she spent some of her leisure time teaching Isabella and Ann needlework, either through kindness or as part payment towards her rent. This would explain why Ruth and Isabella’s samplers have so many similarities.
There are 4 versions of the pdf. You will be able to download any or all of the following versions of the pdf and the graph:
Version 1 ~ A pdf with a twenty-five-page colour chart.
Version 2 ~ A pdf with a one-page colour chart (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, laptop, or computer).
Version 3 ~ A pdf with a twenty-five-page black and white symbol chart.
Version 4 ~ A pdf with a one-page black and white symbol chart (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, laptop, or computer).
The design is suitable for intermediate and advanced needleworkers but is not beyond a determined beginner. The stitches used are cross stitch over 1 and 2 threads and satin stitch.
With our grateful thanks to Lisa Brown who lovingly stitched the model of Ruth’s sampler. At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.
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