The format of English samplers in the 18th century became further squared in shape with the emergence of four sided borders. Samplers of this era began reflecting a changing perception and more decorative art, something that could be displayed like a painting or print.
Mary Tinley shows how effectively a little creativity could personalize a sampler, evolving and moving away from long narrow pieces or bands of repeated patterns and alphabets, and embellishing the border art.
Mary Tinley was born in 1776 in Leicestershire England. Her parents were Mary Ann and John Tinley. In 1771 the Royal Infirmary opened in the city. During the 18th century Leicester was transformed by the Industrial Revolution and the shirt trade in 1796.
It is interesting to note that the symbol of the Leicester Cricket Club and City Council is the fox, and the city is considered to be the birthplace of fox hunting and Cricket tradition. The crossed emblem on Mary's sampler is intriguing, perhaps influenced by the historical cricket game the city is remembered for.
From my beginning may the Almighty powers.
Blessings bestown in never ceasing showers.
Oh may I happy be and always bless of every joy
Of every wish possessed.
May plenty drown'd all worldly cares and
Smiling peace bless my revolving years.
This sampler was stitched on 25ct lambswool and is 16 X 17.5 closely resembling the size of the original. This sampler is worked entirely in cross stitch, and is recommended for any skill level.
A special thank you to Linda Prout who stitched this pretty reproduction and brought Mary Tinley into the 21st century.
The original sampler is in the collection of Historic Handworkes.