A Lydia of appropriate age was born in Northington, Connecticut, to Joseph and Mary Bird Hart on August 8, 1728. Her father was a shoemaker, deacon of the church, and a town magistrate.4 Quite possibly his daughters were educated in Boston. This Lydia married Noah Gillet (1718-1790) on December 15, 1748, and their ten children were born in Farmington, Connecticut.5 No woman is known to have kept a Boston girls' school from 1724 through 1754, but circumstantial evidence suggests that these samplers may have been worked under the instruction of Susanna Hiller Condy (1686-1747) and her sister-in-law Abigail Stevens Hiller (?-1775), who advertised her school from February 1748 until May 1756.6 Four samplers dated 1765 to c. 1772 have Lydia's border and similarly worked flowers, including one by Mary Welsh, whose sister Hannah married Abigail's son Joseph (1721-1758).7 -B.R.
1 For five of the nine samplers mentioned here, another closely related example, and the best known English prototype, see Ring, Girlhood Embroidery, vol. 1, pp. 37-41, figs. 33-370 39, and the catalog for Sotheby's sale 7010 (6/97, lots 330, 331, 332).
2 This was probably the Lydia Hart who worked a borderless band sampler inscribed "Boston" and dated "February The 4 Day 1731" (collection New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord).
3 Alfred Andrews, Genealogical History of Deacon Stephen Hart and His Descendants, 1632-1875 (Hartford, Conn.: Case, Lockwood, and Brainard, 1875), pp. 169, 181.
4 Wilma Gillet Thomas, The Joseph Gillet/Gillett/Gillette Family of Connecticut, Ohio, and Kansas (Chicago, Ill.: Adams Press, 1970), p. 32.
5 Boston Evening-Post (Feb. 1, 1748, April 22, 1751, and April 9, 1753), and Boston Gazette (June 11, 1754, May 26, 1755, and May 24, 1756).
6 Stephen Huber and Carol Huber, The Sampler Engagement Calendar 1992 (Old Saybrook, Conn.: 1991), fig. 45, Calendar 1993, fig. 38, Elisabeth Donaghy Garren, "American Samplers and Needlework Pictures in the DAR Museum, Part I: 1739-1806," The Magazine Antiques 105, no. 2 (February 1974): 358, and Ring, Girlhood Embroidery, vol. 1, p. 53, fig. 51.
7 Helen Bowen, “The Fishing Lady and Boston Common,” Antiques 4, no. 2 (August 1923): 70-73.
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