sampler.jpg (37830 bytes)A British nurse working in New Zealand contacted the parish website ( for information on a sampler which had been given to her by a friend who rescued it from a rubbish tip.   Following contact on the internet with the nurse, she sent a photograph of the sampler. This showed it to be beautifully worked with flowers, birds and a castle, also a scripture text, but more importantly the name of the young embroiderer, Hannah Wallop, age 13, Castle Combe, 1851. The census of 1851 shows that Hannah was a scholar who lived on Pig Hill with her father Samuel and stepmother Susanna. How the sampler found its way to New Zealand is a puzzle. There is no record of any Wallops in the maritime passenger lists of immigrants from England to New Zealand, but .perhaps Hannah married, and travelled under her married name. Further research will be undertaken to try and solve the mystery. Should anyone have any knowledge of the Wallop family please contact the museum. With great generosity, and knowing the historical value of the sampler, the nurse has donated it to the museum, where it will shortly be on show.

Update Winter 2005

Without any request from the museum, the kind folks at have done an amazing job of following up on this story. See the full research (still growing at the time of writing) at:,124504.45.html, a summary of Hannah's life follows, written by Jane Masri, a contributor to rootschat:

1838 Hannah WALLOP birth reg March quarter 1838 Chippenham (8 284)
1860 Married William BREYLEY Sep. quarter 1860 Chippenham (5a 69)
1861 census (7 April) both at School House, Brightling, Sussex
1861  birth reg of Alexander William BREYLEY Sep. quarter 1861 Battle Ssx(2b 43)  
1862 Late 1862 left England aboard 'Tiptree', arrived Australia -
1863 January 14
1863 June, daughter Edith E. born Muswellbrook
1865 daughter Amelia A. born.  Died 1870 Muswellbrook
1867 son Arthur E. born Muswellbrook died 1946
1869 son Edwin G. born Muswellbrook.  Died 1872
1871 son Walter B. born Muswellbrook(later a teacher)
1872 William Breyley teacher at Brook St. Muswellbrook
1873 son Herbert John born Muswellbrook (later a teacher)
Hannah's stepmother died in Castle Combe
1875 daughter Mary Agnes born Patricks Plain (later a teacher)
1877 daughter Florence A born Muswellbrook died 1878 Newcastle
Hannah's father died in Castle Combe.
1878 William headmaster of Christchurch school Newcastle 1878-1882
1879 son Ernest A born Newcastle (later tram driver)
1882 William to Emu Plains school
1893 Son Walter B. marry's Amy Selway. Paddington
1900 son Herbert J. marry's Jessie M. Smith, Sydney died 1901
1900 daughter Edith E. marry's John S. Rayner, Penrith
1901 son Alexander W. marry's Alexandria Percy, Newcastle
1901 daughter Edith E. Rayner dies.
1906 William retires
1913 daughter Mary A. marry's John McGrath, Sydney
1917 William dies
1920 Hannah dies

Also some Jane, some enlightening info about the ship in which they made their crossing to Australia:

A little about the maiden voyage of the 'Tiptree" 1856.
Hannah, William & Alexander travelled steerage.

The ss ‘Tiptree’, a vessel of some 1650 tons, belonged to London owners of whom Mr. R. Alexander was one of the principals. The builders of this ship intended her to be a model ship not only for sailing qualities but also for strength and capacity of passenger accommodation, and she was so named after a contemporary model farm owned by a Mr. Mechi, a wealthy agriculturist. She sailed under the flag of the White Star Line, a Liverpool company owned by Pilkington & Wilson, well known for their fleet of splendid ships.

    The captain was a Mr. J. Pinel, and as this was apparently the maiden voyage of the vessel, there were many dignitaries including the owners, who boarded her on Saturday 19th September 1856. The saloon was a large one, beautifully arranged, and would be occupied on the voyage by thirty lady and gentlemen passengers. There was an unusual height between-decks, whilst down below was the steerage, comfortably holding about 300. In all, including second-cabin passengers there would have been 400 aboard. They assembled on deck and were medically examined, and all pronounced to be in good health. They were mainly English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish, with a few Germans and six Italians. At one o’clock they dined on meat, potatoes, biscuit, and soup which were evidently greatly relished.

    At about 3 o’clock they gathered for prayers and hymn singing, followed by a sermon from the Reverend James Buck from Liverpool. The following day, Sunday, 20th they set sail. The weather was somewhat cold, but the air was still and during the morning they again gathered on deck for prayers and singing. At noon the guns announced her departure, and she left for her long voyage amid cheers from all aboard. I must say I admire James for his courage. I have been on a replica of the type of boat here in Liverpool, and I was not impressed. Conditions were exceedingly cramped from what I could see, and the lighting was provided by little more than flickering lamps. This was, of course, below decks. I am sure the first class passengers would fare much better. However, a journey by sea in the winter, lasting over three months, with a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, must have been horrendous.

It is still not clear how the sampler came to be in NZ, it does not appear that any members of the Breyley family move there, however, the story is still developing.