Richard Ridley of Yarm, Embroidery Sampler

Richard Ridley is buried in St John the Baptist Church burial ground, Egglescliffe. Grave number 332598. The actual date of birth is not officially recorded, this tapestry embroidery sampler states it was February 15, 1808, date of death January 10, 1870. Richard Ridley calculated age at death was 61. On Richard Ridley gravestone the grave occupants including two infants, are listed below.
The words on this tapestry say: “In Memory of Richard Ridley, Yarm, Born February 15 1808, Died January 10 1870. The righteous are taken from the evil to come (they) Pass a few swiftly – fleeting years. And all that now in bodies live, Shall quit like me this vale of tears. Their righteous sentence to receive, But all, before they hence remove, May mansions for themselves prepare, In that eternal house above, And O’ My God, Shall I be there?”

I found this tapestry embroidery sampler in a junk shop in Leeds. I purchased it because of its Yarm and Stockton connection. It appears to have been the custom then, in some denominations, Stockton 1870, to have a burial tapestry made to record a loved one’s memory and passing. I have traced the author of the prayer on it, to John Wesley, Editor-Poet-Priest, 1782, the Methodist Church founder, and horseback travelling famous Northern missionary.

Image and details courtesy of Bob Wilson.

5 thoughts on “Richard Ridley of Yarm, Embroidery Sampler

  1. Bob Wilson, it is great that you saved this tapestry from a charity shop in Leeds. Where would it be now, do you have it in your possession still?

    The only connection that I found for Richard Ridley with Leeds would be with his first daughter Mary, who he had with his first wife Hannah. So I find it quite likely that this lovely piece of work may have been done by her.

    In answer to some of the questions above;
    No, Richard Ridley had no connection to Ridley Cycles
    He did not move to Egglescliffe, he lived at 122 High Street, Yarm. After his death, his second wife Sarah and their 3 daughters continued to live at 122 High Street and when Sarah died her eldest daughter Margaret continued to live there with her husband Moses Verity and their 2 sons. Their eldest son Richard left the area to be a clerk in holy orders and their younger son Oswald remained at 122 High Street until his death in 1952. My grandmother lived there from some time before 1939 until Oswald’s death.


  2. Thank you for posting this image Bob. According to the 1861 Census, Richard Ridley was a Master Builder employing 8 men. At the time of the census he was living in Yarm with his wife and daughters, he must have moved to Egglescliffe at some later date.


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