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A sampler on linen with green and brown embroidery. The upper part of is decorated with trees, foliage, floral designs, crowns, and animals. The lower part features the following short verse on obedience "On Obedience / All you my Friends who now expect to See/ A Piece of marking thus performed by me/ Cast but a smile on this my mean Endeavour / To strive to mend and to Obey forever". Some of this text is now illegible due to wear. " H.M. Honeyfield / Aged 9 Years, 1833 " is embroidered on the bottom section along with floral designs and two pairs of figures carrying material between them. Deer are also embroidered on either side of her name.
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Needlework samplers reflect a time when young girls were prepared for lives of domestic duty and religious piety. Needlework instruction for girls was widespread during the nineteenth century, and relatively basic samplers like this one worked by nine-year-old Harriet Matilda Honeyfield in 1833 were used as the first stepping stones to teach girls practical embroidery skills. Part of the moral verse on this sampler pledges Harriet will ‘strive to mend and to Obey forever’. Honeyfield emigrated from England to Taranaki on the Berkshire in 1850. She married farmer John Litchfield Newman and they lived at Ōmata, raising five children. A brief obituary noting her death on 27 March 1886 seems to be her only appearance on the public record, a common occurrence for women during this period.
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