Elisabeth Low

Scottish Samplers

Elisabeth Low, age 9

1818

Forgandenny, Perth

Description:

Elisabeth was 9 years old when she stitched this colorful sampler and a fair bit of folksy appeal can be directly attributed to her youth. The top band of the sampler is a complete alphabet, numerals, a whimsical eyelet floral band, and a row of familial initials (AL, MG, ID, IL, EM, IOI, ML, FL). A wonderful band with floral motifs and three quirky peacocks is followed by two more partial alphabet bands, including a curlicue one.

Elisabeth next gives her version of the ten commandments; each commandment is stitched in a different colour and a flower separates the two medallions. The final band contains more floral motifs and two Scottish thistle medallions each with the motto 'I have Power to defend myself and to offend other'. Elisabeth completes the sampler with familial names and her signature. The entire sampler has a honeysuckle patterned border.

Size (W x H): 12 3/8 x 16 1/2 inches

Stitches: Cross, double running, alternating reverse back, eyelet, running, cross-over-one

Media: Wool on linen

Genealogy:

Elisabeth married farmer Andrew Halley 2 September 1841 at the ripe age of 32. Andrew had been married twice before, first to Anne Wilke and second to Janet Law. The 1841 Scotland census lists the family as Andrew (50), James (25), Ann (20), Jean (17), Janet (15), Mary (12) and Andrew (10), along with a domestic servant. Andrew and Elisabeth had four children: Elizabeth (1842), John James (1845), Isabella (1846) and Thomas (1852). The 1851 census records indicate that James, Mary and Andrew are still living at home with their younger siblings. By the 1861 census, John Ogilvie Low has also joined the family at Lochend, but son James has moved out. Andrew died of heart diseased in 1863 at the age of 78. Elisabeth died at the age of 71, after six months of paralysis, in 1880.

Beatrix Bruce was born 13 April 1788, the daughter of George Bruce, wright, and Margt Balmain, also in Forgandenny. We can find no records that Beatrix was employed at the school, so presume she was Elisabeth childhood friend. Never marrying, Beatrix died August 1868 of old age.

Verse:

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

And see that thou no
Murder do From
Whoredom Keep thee
chaste and clean And
steal not tho thy state
be mean of false report
bear not the blot What
Is thy NeiGhbours
covet not

Left and right medallions: I have Power to defend myself and to offend other

Elisabeth Low AGeD 9 ForGanDenny OcTober The 24 1818

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(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)

Additional Information

Forgandenny is a small village in Perth and Kinross, located four miles south of Perth. Perth is a 20 minute bus ride from Forgandenny, and there is a regular Stagecoach service. Forgandenny is 45 minutes from Edinburgh and one hour from Glasgow. The village is also close to the East coast mainline and there is a daily train service to London Kings Cross.

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