An Irish Sampler

Mary Ann Drought

This is a very unusual Irish sampler. The upper third could pass as Scottish with the illuminated alphabets and beautiful, delicate double running stitch motifs. An unusual band of ten lozenges is stitched beneath the alphabets, each with a different floral petit point motif within. The lower half of the sampler is dominated by a large monument with a basket on top of it, from which spring flowers and vines. The verse stitched at the front of the monument is as follows:

Remember thy Creator
In all thy ways acknowledge Him

The monument is flanked by elaborately worked baskets sprouting more vines and flowers. It is signed "Mary Ann Drought Droughtville Forest 1807".

Droughtville is in Ireland, and from research into her genealogy, Mary Anne was born in Droughtville, Lettybrook, Heath, then King's County, Ireland, to Thomas Drought (1755-1833) and Naomi Fraser (likely a Scots woman judging by her name and her influence on the design of her daughter Mary Anne's sampler). Mary Anne married William Delany in Ballinacarrig, King's County, Ireland.

In the sixteenth century, King's County was named as such for Henry VIII but has since been renamed County Offaly, in the province of Leinster, and the town of Ballinacarrig is now known as Ballinagar.

Stitches used to execute the sampler include double running, half cross, counted satin, petit point, tent, outline and cross. The attention to detail is extraordinary, The framer's label on the back of the original sampler, formerly in the collection of The Scarlet Letter, indicates that it was framed in Pawtucket, Rhode Island at the Pohlson Galleries, established in 1895. On 35 count linen the finished reproduction sampler will measure approximately 14-1/2" x 18-1/2". The project is recommended for intermediate level needle workers.

I wish to thank Kathleen Grigg for her excellent execution of the stitched model.

View the original antique sampler.

Kit with cotton floss: $101.00
Kit with silk floss: $160.00
Graph only: $29.00