Wardle, Elizabeth (1834-1902)

Gravestone of Elizabeth and Thomas Wardle, Cheddleton churchyard. Gravestone of Elizabeth and Thomas Wardle, Cheddleton churchyard.

Dame Elizabeth Wardle was an embroideress from Staffordshire. She married Thomas Wardle (1831-1909) in Leek (Staffordshire) in 1857. Her brother George Young Wardle worked for William Morris, who lived and worked in Leek between 1875 and 1878.

The first known embroideries by Elizabeth Wardle were made for her local church in Cheddleton in c. 1864. Together with her husband, Thomas, she founded the Leek School of Embroidery and the Leek Embroidery Society in 1879-80. She was particularly noticed for subtle colour combinations, which became a feature of Leek embroidery, and the use of untwisted silk (tasar floss). Under her direction the Society exhibited in major international events and was highly praised. 

She had fourteen children, four of whom died at a very young age.

Thomas Wardle was knighted in 1897.

Source: WALTON, Cathryn (2015). Hidden Lives. Leek's extraordinary embroiderers. Private publication.

Digital source (retrieved 3 July 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 3 July 2016).


Last modified on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:58