Lambert, Frances

Frances Lambert, The Hand-book of Needlework, first published in 1842. Frances Lambert, The Hand-book of Needlework, first published in 1842.

Frances S. Lambert was a mid-nineteenth century British embroideress and author of several influential books about embroidery. Her books were published in both Britain and North America.

Miss Lambert was married in the early 1840's, but the exact date is unknown, as is the name of her husband. It has been suggested by various authors, including Marianne Van Remoortel (2015), that the ‘S’ in her name refers to the surname of her husband. If this is correct, then Frances Lambert’s husband might be David Dewing Stribling, as the only Frances Lambert to marry a man whose surname ended in an S took place in 1843.

In the introduction to her book, My Knitting Book (1843), she noted that: "I am indebted to my husband for his assistance in some of the historical notices, and again for his permission in allowing my maiden name to appear on the title-page, as being that by which I am more generally recognized in my avocation." In addition, “my avocation” refers to the fact that during the 1840's she was an embroideress to Queen Victoria (r: 1837-1901) and at the same time she ran a needlework emporium in London. The first emporium was at 7 Conduit Street and then they moved to 3 New Burlington Street.

Her books and articles included (in chronological order):

  • Practical Hints on Decorative Needlework, London: John Murray (1840)
  • The Hand-book of Needlework: Decorative and Ornamental including Crochet, Knitting and Netting, London, John Murray (1842) and republished in the USA by Wiley and Putman, New York in the same year. This book was republished on various occasions, in 1846 for example, John Murray was distributing the 5th edition of this book. It was also later republished under the title: The Ladies Complete Guide to Needle-Work and Embroidery Containing Clear and Practical Instructions, Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson (1859). Download here (retrieved 6 April 2016)
  • My Knitting Book, London: John Murray (1843). Download here (retrieved 6 April 2016)
  • Church Needlework with Practical Remarks on its Arrangement and Preparation, London: John Murray (1844). This book was influential in the works produced by the British group The Ladies Ecclesiastical Embroidery Society
  • My Crochet Sampler, London: John Murray (1848)
  • Instructions for Making Miss Lambert’s Registered Crochet Flowers, London: John Murray (1852). Part of this booklet was also published in Godey’s Magazine 1853, vol. 46, pp. 170-173. Download here (retrieved 6 April 2016)

Many of these books were published and re-published by various groups, so there are numerous editions. The dates given above are the earliest editions noted so far.

See also Jane Washbourne


  • MORRIS, Barbara J. (1962). Victorian Embroidery, London: H. Jenkins, p. 27.
  • VAN REMOORTEL, Marianne (2015). Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press, London: Routledge, Chapter 3, footnote 40.

Digital source.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 1 July 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 20 November 2016 17:48