This sampler is the brightly coloured work of a 7 year old girl. Sarah Bechin was born in Surrey in about 1776. We do not know if she was taught to stitch at home or attended a school where she learned her alphabet and numbers as well as needlework. Strawberries and carnations are common sampler motifs. Strawberries symbolise innocence and purity. The pink carnation can mean maternal love. Sarah knew a variety of stitches. The long religious verses are painstakingly worked in cross-stitched capital letters. Each word is a different colour. Sarah’s sampler shows that she was able to finish her work neatly, living up to the verse beginning ‘Let me O God my labours so employ/That I a competency may enjoy’. Sarah married Henry Furneaux in 1801 and had a daughter, Hannah. Hannah’s son moved his family to Exeter. Sarah’s great-granddaughter Edith gave the sampler to the museum in 1926.