Sampler by Frances Hagell, 1816.

Wool fabric, silk threads, 235mm x 240mm.

This sampler was worked by a 9-year-old girl and offers a relatively simple design, focussing on alphabet, numbers and simple border designs, plus the sewer’s name and year of completion.

Frances Hagell was born in London in 1807. Her father was a broker with the Hudson’s Bay Company, the massively successful company that held a monopoly over the fur trade of much of modern Canada. Frances would therefore have received the best education available to a girl of her class and is known to have been fluent in French and German and very musical. In 1835 she married the Reverend Charles Jefferies, a brilliant mathematician and tutor at St John’s College, Cambridge. Ordained to the Anglican ministry, Charles subsequently left the church over doctrinal issues and became an independent minister. In 1852 he and Frances decided to emigrate to Otago on the Maori with seven of their children. They were following Charles’s sister Caroline, who had come to the colony in 1849 with her husband Judge William Valpy. They settled at the Valpys’ Forbury estate in the house known as The Hermitage. Charles offered religious services to settlers who were outside the main Presbyterian and Anglican tradition. His congregation was the beginning of what would later become Knox Church. Sadly, Frances did not survive long in New Zealand. She died in Dunedin in 1854.
Frances Hagell
Production Date
Sampler 247x235mm (detached from mount)