Runningburn, Scottish Borders Area, Scotland, 1811
Signed, “Ann Hope 11 Yr / Year 1811 / Runningburn,” this is a beautifully made Scottish sampler. She lived or attended school in Runningburn which is near the village of Stichill, just north of Kelso.
Ann included a depiction of a charming and unusual stepped-roof cottage flanked by oversized potted flowers and a fine pair of roosters. Crowns, hearts and other pots of flowers are among the many other motifs that decorate the sampler – Ann filled just about all of her space.
The verse that she stitched is highly unusual and, with much assistance from the Scottish sampler scholars at antiquesmplers.org, we what we are certain that the verse that Ann intended, with some corrected spelling, is as follows;
When Boreas' storms and Neptune's wave have drove us to and fro In spite of both by God's good care we harbour here below And here we lay in anchor safe With many of our fleet In hope once more to set sail our Admiral Christ to meet.
A search for the source of this revealed a very similar version carved into a 1752 gravestone of a Scottish mariner and, again, we are grateful for the assistance on this.
Ann signed the sampler in pale silk floss inside the enclosure at the left, just below the many alphabets and sets of initials. The enclosure on the right reads, “Isabella Davidson 1811 Ann Hope 1811.” While it’s difficult to know with certainty, this might be the name of her teacher along with a repeat of her name. There is record of an Ann Hope who was born in nearby Kelso in 1801, the daughter of Robert and Jean Hope. Perhaps further research will provide more information.
The sampler was worked in silk on wool and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in its original mahogany frame.