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Item of the month - July 2017

A sampler from the Uxbridge School of Industry for Girls.

The School of Industry for Girls was founded in Uxbridge in 1808 and moved to new premises in George yard in 1816.

School of Industry 1816-600

It was a charity school intended to teach young girls "in the lower ranks of life". The girls were taught to spell and read, the elder ones also learning writing and basic arithmetic. To fund this they were taught plain sewing which was taken in from the townspeople and for which moderate charges were made. The aim was to equip the girls for life as a domestic servant. Each Sunday all the girls were expected to go with the schoolmistress to church, both morning and afternoon. Any who did not attend church were expelled.

The charity continued to run the school until 1909 when it was taken over by the Middlesex County Council and renamed the Belmont Road Girls School.  In 1928 it was reorganised and became the Belmont road Infants School until 1968 when the children transferred to the newly built Hermitage School. The old school building remained until 1986, hidden among the buildings of the Belmont Road Infant School. A large office block now stands on the site. 

Belmont Road School-600

This sampler, measuring only 23cm square, was made by Sarah Richardson in 1823.

Sampler by Sarah Richardson, 1823-600

She was one of 82 girls in school that year. She was born in 1814 and baptised at St Margaret's church. Her father, David, was a labourer. In later life she was a pedlar, travelling the country selling her wares. She died in Uxbridge in 1910 at the great age of 96, unmarried but living with her nephew.

The sampler is one of several in our museum collection and can be seen on request. (Item UXBLH : 2002.00484)

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 04 Aug 2017 at 12:09