Amphyllis Washington embroidery

Contributed by Sulgrave Manor

Mid-17th century embroidery, sewn by the great great grandmother of the First US President. © Sulgrave Manor Board

Ladies in the middle of the 17th century used stumpwork, which this embroidery includes, to demonstrate their expertise.This embroidery is symbolic of the great emigration by the English to North America in the 17th century. It was made by Amphyllis Washington (nee Twigden) and was taken to the United States by one of her children sometime after 1656. It was doubtless displayed in their houses on the Northern Neck as they helped that area to move from being part of the frontier of European settlement to being the prosperous colony of the 18th century.

It remained in Virginia with the Washington family until the 20th century.
The purchase in 1914 of Sulgrave Manor in South Northamptonshire to be "a centre from which sentiments of friendship and goodwill between the British and American peoples will forever radiate" predates by some twenty years Churchill's coining of the phrase "special relationship", encapsulating the recognition of the shared language, values, culture and bloodlines. The embroidery was given back to the Manor, built by the five times great grandfather of the first President of the independent United States George Washington, as part of the American contribution to setting Sulgrave Manor up in its continuing symbolic role.

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