Thursday, 6 May 2010

Sarah Harris is Coming - In Spite of a Tin of Tomatoes

I am still hoping to have this downloadable booklet ready for you by the end of this week - in spite of having sliced an index finger while opening a tin of tomatoes which has slowed me down just a little. We are also doing a little more for you than just a chart - the medallions are so pretty and special that we have decided to set them up and complete them as separate charts for you to use on individual small projects. I am even more bowled over by this sampler that I was at the beginning. There is even one medallion with a house and another with a milch cow which is certainly a first as far as Quaker samplers go. The plethora of crowns and heraldic ornaments is astonishing and if these were stitched, like Ackworth motifs, as a knitting pattern for pin balls, then we have a wealth of Loyalist sentiment on this sampler. And that is not all.
Papers relating to a secret marriage entered into by King George III whose initials appear on this sampler were sealed in 1866 and hidden away. Why? In 1759 he married Hannah Lightfoot a beautiful Quakeress and with her he had three children: two boys and a girl - Mary was born in 1767 and died three years later; George 'Rex' their first born of whom little is known other than that he died in South Africa; and William born 1757 was assassinated in 1797 but who had children.
Janice Spencer of Traditional Stitches will be putting together some kits for the charts as soon as she has the final thread list from me. Just click here to contact her about ordering a kit.


  1. Oh dear, I hate to be the spoilsport! I loved the links and connections... (How thrilling! How exciting! History meets up with secret marriages, hidden babies, and royal scandal. Just my cup of tea - so I promptly dove over to Wikipedia to check out the full story on George III...I will say I learned a bit more about porphyria too...)

    Under the resource section "^ George was falsely said to have married a Quakeress named Hannah Lightfoot on 17 April 1759, prior to his marriage to Charlotte, and to have had at least one child by her. However, Lightfoot had married Isaac Axford in 1753, and had died in or before 1759, so there could have been no legal marriage or children. The jury at the 1866 trial of Lavinia Ryves, the daughter of imposter Olivia Serres who pretended to be "Princess Olive of Cumberland", unanimously found that a supposed marriage certificate produced by Ryves was a forgery (Documents relating to the case. The National Archives. Accessed 14 October 2008)."


  2. How interesting - the dates we have for Hannah are 1740 - 1778. Yes, she did go through a form of marriage to Isaac previous to her 'marriage' with George, but this marriage was never consummated.....there is also mention of another Sarah who married James Dalton. I wonder what else will turn up...

  3. I should have typed 'another daughter, Sarah, who married James Dalton.' This finger of mine is a problem!

  4. Mystery, scandal! Hidden messages in embroidery. That's what makes history really interesting. (Better than a novel don't you think? Ooooo. What fun to think about the connections.)

    I love the relationship to the stitching. BTW, how on earth did you find out that the marriage was unconsummated? Wikipedia isn't that personal.


  5. I have to say I wasn't there, so I am only repeating the story - which is made even more convoluted because sometimes childen in the Foundling Hospital were told their parents were Hannah and George....
    Here is a little more background:

  6. "I have to say I wasn't there..." Tee hee hee!

    You're so funny! :)

  7. The question is - who was - and were they telling? How bizarre that this is in the historical record as a fact! You are absolutely right.