Sophia Crow

Sion House, Hatfield,
Peverell, Essex, England, 1829

sampler size: 12½ x 11¾" • framed size: 16” x 15” • price: $2700

This samplermaker provided us with much information in the inscription on her excellent sampler, “Sophia Crow Aged 10 Years Sion House Hatfield Peverell Essex Anno 1829.” She was well-skilled in the needle arts as the sampler indicates. She presents a fine pictorial scene with two little cottages with vines growing up the sides, trees, birds, butterflies, central leafy tree with a squirrel perched atop, and, notably, two white pattern-darned squares above the cottages. Rather than a lawn, this scene is grounded with a graphic, diamond band which adds much to the composition. Fruit baskets, flowers and birds embellish the area above the verse, which, along with her inscription, is worked in a letter-perfect, Quaker style font. This verse was published in a book entitled, Vyse’s New London Spelling Book or the Young Gentlemen and Ladies’ Guide to the English Tongue, printed in Derby, England in 1823. 

Sophia was born in 1819 in Chelmsford, in central England. She was the daughter of William and Sophia Crow and her baptism on April 30 of that year was recorded at St. Mary the Virgin Church. She attended school in Hatfield Peverel, a village 6 miles away from Chelmsford and the family may have lived there then.

The 1851 census recorded Sophia living in London and working as a milliner, not surprisingly given her skills. In 1858, she married James Chapman and they removed to Scotland with their son. After the death of her husband, she married Thomas Abel Kent and they lived in London. She died in 1916 in Surrey. 

The sampler was worked in silk on wool and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a period maple frame with a gold liner.


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