This Scottish sampler combines unusual formatting with some very traditional elements. The top section has very different floral elements, in particular the use of a black thread done in a running stitch to represent wood or soil. This is a technique we have not seen before. The center section is not symmetrically balanced but instead has a lengthy verse on the left side and and a large castle under a tree on the right side. The peacock sitting in the topmost branch of the tree is quite fun. Jennet has included a number of other birds as well. The bottom of the sampler has a plethora of familial initials (IW, HA, II, AW, WW, IW, IW, IW, IW, IW, IA, BA, IH, IH, II, AW, II, CS, II, HB, II, BI, II, V, WI, II, MI, CI, GD, HI, ID, RD, IT, IP, V AO) balanced to either side of a colorfully-hulled barge with two men aboard. Overall this sampler is very neatly stitched and we are glad the colors of the threads are so strong.
Size (W x H): 13 x 12 3/4 inches
Stitches: Cross, satin, back, seed, eyelet, cross-over-one
Media: Silk on fine linen
All of the initials match a family in Hawick by the last name of "Wilson", so we present this history with the presumption that Jennet (spelled Janet in the records) could not spell.
John Wilson, a baker, and his wife Helen Amos of Hawick christened their only daughter Janet 29 November 1783. Her christening was witnessed by James Wilson, a surgeon, and James Inglis, the Postmaster. Siblings were Andrew (1781), William (1785) and James (1787).
Jennet/Janet married Thomas Davidson 10 January 1797, also in Hawick. The couple had five children: John (1799), Elizabeth (1801), Janet (1804), Thomas (1806), Janet #2 (1809). She died in January 1855.
And now another day is gone
I'll sing my Maker's praises
My comforts every hour make known
His Providence and grace
But how my childhood runs to waste
My sins how great their sum
Lord give me Pardon for the Past
And strength for days to come
I lay my body down to sleep
Let angels guard my head
And through the hours of darkness keep
Their watch around my bed
With cheerful heart I close my eyes
Since thou wilt not remove
And in the morning let me rise
Reloicing in thy love
Jennet Willson 1795
(This sampler was added to the site on July 18, 2013)