Seaton Sluice Sampler
Seaton Sluice, Northumberland
This is a simple and atypical wool on linen sampler. It is most unique because it was stitched by two girls, Diania & Margaret and dated April 8th 1824. No surnames so it is interesting to ponder if it was a shared school project or something sisters worked on. They depicted a ship because boats were such an important part of Seaton Sluice. Coal colliers in the area all came to make their deposits at Seaton Sluice, as well as an established a bottle works that in 1777 produced over a million bottles to be shipped out. Sadly, by the mid nineteenth century both ventures had failed and Seaton Sluice declined.
The assorted verses take up a significant amount of space on this sampler; locating the source was complex. It turns out to be rearranged sections of "The Conjugal Voyage", an original poem written by a clergyman on the marriage of his daughter that was published in "The Christian's Pocket Magazine" in 1823.
The girls' stitched a nicely rigged ship and the amount of detail on the ship is very precise and feels accurate. There is a dinghy being towed by the ship and out front is that all important anchor that needs to HOLD FAST! While we have not located the girls', we feel quite sure that they were from a family (or families) that were tied to the shipping industry.
Additionally the girls have scattered a few spot motifs around the lower part of the sampler including trees, fruit baskets, a bird, a rabbit and several hearts. The floral border around the outside of the sampler is unusual that it is stitched in four sections with a circular motif in each corner. The origins of the sampler will remain a mystery, but it is a fun and unusual sampler.
Size (W x H): 19 x 15 3/4 inches
Stitches: Cross, chain
Media: Wool on linen
Adieu my friends. Sail away
And reach the realms of endless day
The port of Glory fair and bright
Eerlong will glitter full in sight
There enter in on Joys high tide
Mongst Shouting Saints on either-side
May watchful fear sit at the helm
May no proud waves sit at the helm
Oerwhelm waves the deck
meet thy God
Diania & Margaret
O may the Ship ne'er Spring a leak
Nor founder nor become a wreck
In boistrous Storms be Sure to cast
The Anchor - Hope - to hold it fast
Which Joind to faith the Cable will
Preserve it safe in tempests Still
To clear the hold of dread despair
Stick to the pump of fervent prayer