Mary Low

Scottish Samplers

Mary Low, age 12

1825

Forgandenny, Perthshire

Description:

Mary was 12 when she made her sampler in a format nearly identical to her sister Elisabeth's. Mary has omitted the numerals but has included the row of familial initials (AL, MG, JM, ID, JG, EM, JOL, EL, IL) and two partial alphabets. The curlicue one is very petite is comparison to Elisabeth's. Mary presents a heightened symmetry and put in four peacocks before going straight to the Ten Commandments. In another variation, Mary has only stitched one Scottish thistle medallion with the motto 'I have Power to defend myself and to offend other'. Completing that final band are three different large floral motifs. Mary places her signature across the bottom of the sampler but did not include her parent's names.

Size (W x H): 12 x 17 1/4 inches

Stitches: Cross, eyelet, double running, cross-over-one

Media: Wool and silk on linen

Genealogy:

Mary married David Gloag in 1838; he was a gardener from North Black Ruthven in Perthshire, which is part of the parish of Tibbermore. They lived here to start their family, then moved to Auchtermuchty, Fifeshire and then on to Crammond, Midlothian. The couple christened six children: David (1840), James (1842), Elizabeth (1844), John Brown (1846), Mary (1851) and George (1857). The 1861 Scotland census lists the family living in the "Drylaw Gardener's House": David (48), Mary (47), James (bank clerk, 19), Elizabeth (16), John B. (scholar, 14), Mary (9) and George (4). (Drylaw House still exists to the day on the outskirts of Edinburgh, but is in private ownership.)

David died in 1877 of heart disease, as witnessed by son George. After her husband's death, Mary is living in Crammond with son George and daughter Mary in the 1881 census; his occupation is listed as assurance clerk. There is no record of Mary's death, but she is not in the 1891 census either, leading us to believe she did die before 1891.

Verse:

Left side:
Have thou no other
GODS but me Unto no
Image bow thy knee
take not the name of 
GOD In vain Do Not the
Sabbath Day Profane
Honour thy father and
Mother too

Left emblem:
I have Pow
er to defend my
self and to
offend others 

Right side:
And see that thou
no murder do From
Whoredom keep thee
chaset and clean And
Steal not tho thy stat
be mean Of false report
bear not the blot What
Is thy NeiGhbours
covet not

MARY LOW AGED 12 ForGanDenY JAnuary the 22  1825

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(This sampler was added to the site on June 16, 2014)

Additional Information

The metered 10 commandments are from "The Mother's Catechism for the Young Child" by Rev. John Willison (of Dundee), published in Edinburgh, 1731.

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