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In the seventeenth century, Hackney was the centre of education for girls of the middling sort and upper classes. Referred to as ‘The Ladies’ University of the Female Arts,’ it was here that girls were taught a variety of practical skills and artistic accomplishments. Though a surprising number of objects made in the early modern schoolroom survive, they have received little attention. This paper will explore embroidered and paper objects from Hackney’s nonconforming girls’ schools, uncovering the artistic and social connections the area’s students shared.

Isabella Rosner is a final-year Ph.D. student at King’s College London, where she researches Quaker women’s art before 1800. Her project focuses on seventeenth-century London needlework and eighteenth-century Philadelphia wax and shellwork. Isabella also specialises in the study of schoolgirl samplers and early modern domestic stitching. 

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