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william penn lisburn 1178 damask philadelphia oath quaker

Damask banner woven for the Philadelphia exhibition 1876, Bessbrook spinning co. Ltd, c.1876

Philadelphia exhibition 1876: Woven Damask banner

Woven to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the declaration of independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this banner features a scene from Benjamin West’s famous depiction of the Quaker William Penn (1644-1718) signing a peace treaty with the Native Americans.  Note the text below Penn: ‘The Only Treaty Never Ratified By An Oath and Never Broken’.  As a Quaker, Penn refused to swear an oath, believing that his word was a guarantee.  The cloth was woven with a ‘Bessbrook’ machine, an innovative Jacquard powerloom developed at the Richardson-owned Factory.

See it on display this September(2015) at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum.


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