Thursday, 2 September 2010

1852 Lady Chapel window dedicated to John Merewether; stained glass of Hereford Cathedral



The Lady Chapel of Hereford Cathedral has five lights making up the East Window, as can be seen in the slideshow above. They depict the life of Jesus, starting with Mary as a child through to the last supper. Whilst they have a strong vertical element, the story runs from left to right across the lights, from bottom to top. Here is my tentative interpretation:
  • Row 1: Mary with her mother Anne; Mary’s betrothal to Joseph(?); spirit of god enters Maria; Wedding of Joseph & Mary?; Jesus & Mary in stable. 
  • Row 2: Angels appear to the shepherds; 3 Kings and guiding star, visiting King Herod; Kings pay homage to Mary & Jesus; Jesus baby; Jesus, Mary & Joseph flee on a donkey. 
  • Row 3: Killing the firstborn sons; Jesus as a boy with the teachers at the temple; Jesus baptised by John the Baptist; Jesus being tempted by the devil; Turning water into wine? 
  • Row 4: Jesus and his disciples; feeding of the 5000; Walking on water; Jesus preaching to the children; Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. 
  • Row 5: Washing Jesus’ feet at last supper. 
The dedication at the bottom of the window reads:

In Memoriam Johannes Merewether sacre theologie professoris ecclesie herefordens decani Quo strenuo fautore huits Sacre aedis res(tit) Peliciter et inchoata obiit pridie donas Aprilis anno domini millesimo Octingenges quidouages Nockalls I Cottingham arch fecit AD 1852 

Dean John Merewether initiated the restoration of Hereford Cathedral by the Cottinghams in 1841.

Nockalls Johnson Cottingham (1823-1854) was an architect son of the renowned pioneer of the study of medieval gothic architecture, Lews Nockalls Cottingham (1787 – 13 October 1847), who also worked on the restoration of Hereford Cathedral http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Nockalls_Cottingham; http://www.vauxhallcivicsociety.org.uk/home/history/lewis-nockalls-cottingham.

I could find little further information on Nockalls Johnson Cottingham, other than a reference to his death on the shipwreck of the SS Arctic, on its way to New York. An account of the shipwreck is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Arctic

The window was made by C A Gibbs of London, based in Marylebone Road, London. There is a tantalizing bit of information about the company at the following site:
http://www.sussexparishchurches.org/content/view/330/40 
Also see: Hereford Cathedral: Stained glass (ISBN 978-0-7117-4491-2)


Eight stained glass windows in Hereford Cathedral are described individually and in detail in separate articles, links below 

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