Embroidery Sampler - Elizabeth Mansfield, Quorndon, 1796
This delicate sampler measuring 16 inches by 16 inches, was embroidered by Elizabeth Mansfield aged 11 years old, in 1796 in Quorn. It is not in the best condition, but considering it is over 200 years old and was created during the reign of George III, this is perhaps not surprising. The verse seems very gloomy to us today, especially so for an 11 year old. It reads:
"Unthinking mortals ye must die, behold the King of dread,
Prepared to let the arrow fly, that ranks you with the Dead!
Your youth and strength will nought avail, to guard you in that Day;
Your wealth and honour then will fail; your beauty fade away.
The firmest nerves will be unstrung, and every motion die:
Silent the captivating Tongue, and dim the sparkling Eye.
The soul dismissed from the clay, receives its final doom,
In realms of everlasting day, or hell's eternal gloom.
Celestial guards convey the saints to their divine abode;
Now they forget their long complaints, and see their Father GOD.
O could we realize the theme, and view this change as near!
This world would die in our esteem, the next employ our care.
May we in waiting posture stand, prepared to take our flight;
When gentle death with friendly hand, shall change our faith to fight."
Elizabeth was born on 11th Feb 1785 in Quorn to Alice and William Mansfield, and lived a comfortable life with her parents and elder brother William. The family were staunch Baptists and it is likely that this led to the choice of the religious tract on the sampler.
Elizabeth’s parents lived in to their seventies, which was unusual for those times. They are buried in the Baptist Churchyard.
On the 1841 census, Elizabeth’s brother William is living with her and her husband in the Station Road/Stoop Lane area and is described as being of ‘independent means’. This means he had enough money to live on without working, which implies inherited wealth in the form of property, land or investments, which would produce an income. It is probable that the Mansfield family owned land in the Station Road area, eventually giving their name to Mansfield Street.
On 19th July 1807, Elizabeth married Thomas Chapman who belonged to a well established Quorn farming family. They had at least three children, Ann born in 1808, William born in 1817 and Ann born in 1828. The firstborn Ann died aged 13 and her younger sister was later given the same name. This was not unusual in the 19th century.
Ann went on to marry William Shirtcliffe from Nottingham. They had several children and Ann lived there until she died in 1906.
William went on to marry and on the 1861 census on Stoop Lane is described as a ‘Land Proprietor’. He and his wife did not have children.
Elizabeth and Thomas lived into their seventies and eighties and were finally buried with their first daughter and next to Elizabeth’s parents and brother in the Baptist Churchyard. Their grave inscription reads:
“In affectionate remembrance of Thomas Chapman who departed this life November 21st 1855 Aged 78 years. He was a member of this Church fifty-eight years & filled the office of deacon forty-eight years. His end was peace. Also Elizabeth Chapman Relict of the above Thomas Chapman who departed this life January 28th 1868 Aged 82 years. She was a member of this Church 62 years. The memory of the just is blessed.”