Who was Elizabeth Foulger?
I am always thrilled when there is a bit of history to uncover when I chart reproduction samplers. This one is a favorite
Elizabeth Foulger (Foulger is a version of Fulcher) stitched this gorgeous sampler at age seven. It was the year 1875.
Elizabeth was born in 1868 in Bungay, Suffolk, England, in the latter part of the year. Her father, Robert Foulger, was 31 and her mother, Martha Anne Wright, was 29 when Elizabeth was born. She was the middle child of six children. She had two older sisters Harriet Maria (b. 1865) and Martha (b.1866). Her younger sister Emma was born in 1870. The first male “heir” Robert was born in 1872 and died that same year. I assume some sort of illness as he was baptized, so it was not a death at birth. Four years after that in 1876 her brother Joseph was born.
The family lived on Upper Olland St in Holy Trinity Bungay, Suffolk, England. In 1880 school attendance became mandatory for children ages five to ten. By that time Elizabeth was already 12 and had completed this beautiful sampler five years earlier.
Family and later life
Her father was a master carpenter employing two men and one boy. Her mother was from Denton, Norfolk, England, not too far from Bungay. According to Dale H. Porter, in the mid-1860s workers in London received the following wages for a 10-hour day and six-day week: bricklayers, carpenters, masons, smiths 6 shillings. I assumed her father in the country had a bit of a better wage as he was able to employ staff.
Her oldest sister Harriet married Frederick P Pegg from Starston, Norfolk, England. They were married in 1888 in Wangford, Suffolk, England. Neither Martha, Elizabeth nor Emma ever married.
As a young lady, she moved to Ipswich and boarded with Flora King Foulger as a Draper’s Assistant. Flora’s Father Alexander was a tailor. I’m sure they were related somehow, I just haven’t found the connection. At some point later that year it shows Elizabeth listed as a boarder with other boarders in the household of a widower, James W. Simmonds. (St Margaret, Ipswich, Suffolk, England) I guess this was common in those days if you didn’t own a home.
She died at age 62 on December 9th, 1930 in Wangford, Suffolk, England, however, she is buried in Bungay. Her mother and sister Emma are in the same cemetery on Hillside Road WestEast Suffolk, Suffolk, England.
Closeups of the Sampler
A few more close up images of Miss Foulger’s gorgeous sampler
|What I found interesting is that the entire sampler was stitched with the thinnest blue thread, and then in the middle of the pattern section, it changes to a normal thickness thread. It is almost as if she wanted to save as much as she could until then to where she knew she would have enough thread to finish.|
Who knows why she decided not to fix that row, maybe to save thread. She completed the double “P” but then in the next row where it should be double “Q” a “pq” was stitched.
This sampler brings so much joy, it would have been so lovely for her to know, (well I’m sure she does *wink*), how loved her work is. I never had daughters to share the love of embroidery with, so in some small way preserving their history helps me connect. I’m adding a lovely image of a stitched map of England, as so many of my samplers come from there.
Hugs, and enjoy stitching this piece!