Sampler by Jane Scougal, c1825.

Linen fabric, wool threads, 415mm x 245mm.

This sampler is another early nineteenth-century Scottish example with the traditional simple colour scheme of red and green. It is dominated by the standard alphabet sequences interspersed with a row of numbers and each subdivided by a variety of simple border patterns. Below these is a sequence of initials – the conventional Scottish presentation of genealogical detail – framed by a somewhat more elaborate scrolling motif. The sewer’s signature and age follow, these details surmounted by three crown motifs. It incorporates double running stitch and square stitch as well as the ubiquitous cross stitch.

Jane Scougal was born in Scotland circa 1815 and worked this sampler as a 10-year-old, presumably at school. She married Alexander Wilson at St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh in 1841 and had eight children by the time they emigrated to New Zealand. The family arrived in Otago on the Strathallan in 1858. They settled first at Halfway Bush before moving to Kaikorai where Alexander established a butchery in 1859. Jane had two more children, the last born at the ‘McGlashan’s mill end’ of Maori Hill in June 1859. She then disappears from the historical record. Her death is not registered and she is not recorded in any Dunedin cemetery. She must have died, however, as her husband remarried in the middle of 1860. Jane’s sampler passed down through the family to her granddaughter Jane Heenan, née Shanks. It was donated to the Museum from Mrs Heenan’s estate in 1949 along with the sampler by Jane Heenan’s aunt, Harriet Shanks, which is also in this exhibition.
Jane Scougal
Sampler 325x205mm
Mount 450x300mm