Mary Pavy

English Samplers

Mary Pavy


Bruton, Somerset


This delicate silk and linen sampler is an excellent example of a "transitional" work, bridging the styles from long and narrow samplers to more square/rectangular configurations. It has the band patterns of the early samplers and is still a horizontally shaped sampler, but is shorter and wider than the earlier samplers.

Mary stitched a number of moral verses each separated by the beautiful dividing bands. A particularly pretty band is the one with the alternating red and blue berries. The verse beneath it is stitched in a satin stitch alphabet that was popular on early samplers. Beneath this is an interesting three part band. The left and right sections have additional verses. The center panel has a pair of lions standing upon individual hillocks with the initials AR under a large crown. These initials stand for Anne Regina, Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland. Beneath the initials Mary stitched a heart that includes her initials and the date. Continuing down the sampler are two wonderful large bands. The first is a complicated undulating floral band. While this particular design is unique, the effect is reminiscent of similar bands on early samplers. Mary stitched a more contemporary version with geometric flowers, Gordian knots and hearts. The other large band is done completely in rice stitch and yet has the feel of a Florentine band. There are three different patterns within this section.

Mary completes the sampler with her name and her birthdate. This, along with including familial initials (AR, WP, WP, MP, WP, MP, RPW, WR), is quite unusual. The combination of colours, patterns and flawless execution marks Mary as an accomplished needleworker.

Size (W x H): 10 1/8 x 18 inches

Stitches: Cross, satin, hem, four-sided, eyelet, alternating reverse cross, chain, double running, button hole, long-arm cross, rice

Media: Silk on linen


There was indeed a Mary Pavy born 4 August, christened 9 August 1699 the daughter of William Pavy and Mary Kidle of Bruton, Somerset. The Pavy surname is alternately spelled Pavey, as seen in the marriage records of Mary to Thomas Smart in December 1725. Mary's wedding was just after the death of her father in October 1725. This death record specifically named William Pavy, Senior, indicating to us that Mary had a sibling, a boy who had been named William Pavy, Junior. Our Mary died in 1761 and that there is an inscription on the floor slab at St. Mary's Church in Bruton. 

There was another Mary Pavy, who born in 1690 in Devon and should not to be confused with our samplermaker. This Mary married William Raddon in about 1713 in Feniton, Devonshire and who also died in 1761 and was buried in Cotleigh.


THe LAw Is Good ANd Propper IN HIS PLACE SC
OOL MAster To TeACH US CHrist ANd GrAce
Moses BeLOVed OF HIS PAreNts DeAr WAS HId IN
Egypt IN A RIVer CLeAr Love God & HATe SIN
I LOVe TheM ThAt Love Me ANd
Those ThAT Seek Me eArLy ShALL

Left verse:
FeAr God ANd HONOur The
Queen ChILdreN OBeY Your P
arent IN The Lord For ThIs

Right verse:
Is rIght IN The O Lord Do I p
ut My TrusT Let Me Never Be

IF God Be For us Who CAN BE AgAINST US
Come Ye ChILdreN HeArkeN UNto Me I WILL TEAch You The FeAr of The Lord

MArY PAvY WAs Born In The YeAr OF Our Lord 1699
August The 4

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Additional Information

We have been able to pinpoint sources of three of Mary's verses:
◊ Psalm 8:17 - I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
◊ Psalm 25:2 - In thee I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
◊ Psalm 34:11 - Come, ye children, harken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
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(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)