Fox and Rabbit Designs – Botany Bay Sampler
This Scottish Sampler was stitched by Margret Begbie, a 10 year old girl from Scotland. The Australian Colony established in 1788 stopped being referred to as Botany Bay around 1830, so this sampler most likely dates from the late 1700’s to early 1800’s.
The sampler was probably inspired by her geography lessons and based off a painting or illustration. There are some other Scottish Samplers with similar Botany Bay references, one was reproduced by The Essamplaire originally stitched by Euphemia Doieg, which is dated 1814. It is likely that they were in the same class.
A “Margaret Begbie” was sentenced to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) for 7 years by Edinburgh Court of Justiciary and arrived on the ship, Lloyds on 7th November 1845 with 169 other female convicts. So, there is a chance that this was the same Margret and she eventually saw Botany Bay.
The original sampler was stitched on a woollen even weave fabric with cotton threads and is approximately 340mm wide by 395mm high. Some liberties were taken in reproducing this sampler as a number of the stitches in the original sampler were stitched across 1 thread and down 2 threads.